A beautifully balanced Downtown NY album mixing rock forms with improvisation from some of NY's finest improvisers: the trio of Mary Halvorson (guitar, voice, compositions), Kyle Forester (bass), and Kevin Shea (drums) with guests Peter Evans, Sam Kulik, and Dan Peck.
People (Halvorson / Shea / Forester)
Label: Telegraph Harp
Released in: USA
"What do you get when you take three of Brooklyn's heaviest hitting composer improviser crazy brilliant musicians, and throw them together in a band with songs and singing, wild back-beats and a horn section? Why, People, of course.
The members of People (Mary Halvorson, Kevin Shea, Kyle Forester) are plenty famous for their separate accomplishments, but believe us, nothing else in the world sounds like this. Sure, you could say it's like a free jazz rock band with syrupy sweet classic melodies, but that's not quite it -- this band has control in the midst of its monstrous rumble.
Is the spirit of Robert Wyatt speaking through Melt Banana's mystic radio? We don't quite know, but we do know it's brilliant stuff, that doesn't happen every day. In fact this album, their third, almost didn't make it here at all, after a series of label closings in the Great Drought of the late oughts. Hence we call it: The Misplaced Files. Added perks -- the record features horn arrangements from the ever-brilliant Peter Evans, played along with Sam Kulik and Dan Peck. If adventurous music is the name of your game, you owe it to yourself to hear it played by People."-Telegraph Harp
• Show Bio for Mary Halvorson
"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."
After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.
As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Kevin Shea
"Kevin Shea is valued as being a vital and original artist in the contemporary music scene. Shea's originality is manifested not only by his personal approach to his instrument, but also throughout his constant search for new musical horizons unifying all the bands he has been involved in despite the parameters set for musicians by genre definition, or by historical icons.
The plurality of rigorous artistic aspirations and creative engagement that distinguish the discography of Kevin Shea are not the product of chance or merely taking advantage of opportunities -- but the result of labor, strong convictions, and a strong conceptual support -- a deliberate search for transitional territories away from the dogmas of boring and unnecessary conventions.
Shea's artistic interests are rooted in reevaluating what a band/music, musician/performer, artist and audience can and should be. Splitting the difference between passion and song, Shea plays multi-dimensional utopian sound in which opposing musical forces integrate to form a new sustainable recipe for sound and social implication. Remaining devoted to his belief that the application of sonic diversity is paramount to the appreciation of human diversity, Shea's ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion -- an approach perpetuating audiences, listeners, and sometimes fellow band members, to face, question, define, and attempt to defend their own level of tolerance and compassion head-on, no-holds-barred.
Through this carefully planned direct method in the round, Shea's sonic investigations emphatically traverse the mobius strip highway of refurbished canticles, perpetually climaxing between Sadean semelparity and Platonic resurrection. At the heart of Shea's dialectical core, unabashed artifacts of rhythmic iconoclasm conjoin with anthemic melody gestures and modern memory loss to create a vital force that gives us bittersweet contemplation and empathy.
As a youth, Shea moved throughout the States many times, transforming any of his formal expectations into a joyous foundation of constant flux. He learned that intuition and customs had to be constantly re-evaluated and negotiated rather than held as sacred. This process of questioning is central to Shea's music. To him, sound is a result of a broader process rather than formulas tied to notions of predictable emotional response. Shea sees sound and music, not as a prize, but a simple aspect of banal daily life.
Kevin Shea has over 25 years of experience as a professional drummer, composer and performer. He has recorded on over 120 albums in a mish-mash of contexts and has performed in over 40 countries. His training started in public elementary school and continued steadily through his college years at Berklee College of Music."-Kevin Shea website (http://www.kevinshea.info/)
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Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Song Based Music
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Label: Telegraph Harp
Catalog ID: TH 005
Squidco Product Code: 18980
Recorded at the Gallery Recording Studio in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2008, by Keith Parker.
Mary Halvorson-guitar, voice, composition
Kyle Forester-bass, voice, acoustic guitar
Kevin Shea-drums, voice, lyrics
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1. Prolegomenon 4:02
2. These Words Make Up The Lyrics Of The Song 6:48
3. What's So Woman About That Woman 1:37
4. A Song With Melody And Harmony And Words And Rhythm 4:11
5. Supersensible Hydrofracked Dystopia!!! 0:52
6. Zwischenspiel 0:46
7. Reinterpreting Confusing Lyrics To Popular Songs 0:44
8. Interoperable Intertrigo 3:50
9. Piles For Miles 3:51
10. Psychic Recapitulation 0:49
11. The Virtuous Relapse 0:57
12. The Caveman Connection 2:37
13. The Lyrics Are Simultaneously About How The Song Starts And What The Lyrics Are About 3:47
14. The Disambiguated Clone 1:05