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The Oakland-based Ton Trio II featuring Aram Shelton on alto saxophone, Scott Brown on bass, and Alex Vittum on drums, perform avant sophisticated jazz weaving through melody, rhythm, and texture while allowing for spacious improvisations.
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Label: Singlespeed Music
Catalog ID: SSM-013
Squidco Product Code: 19459
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Franciso, California, on May 24th, 2013, by Aram Shelton. Mastered by James Fei.
Aram Shelton-alto saxophone
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1. This Reminds Me 5:35
2. Orange Poppies 5:32
3. We Were Told 7:40
4. On And On 5:38
5. Let's All Go 7:37
6. Layover 2:12
7. Freshly Pressed 8:14
8. Findings 6:03
9. Turncoats 5:33
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
sample the album:
"Oakland, CA, based jazz and improvisation protagonist, alto saxophonist Aram Shelton could hold his own with most anyone in a cutting-contest. But there's more than a whole lot of technical acumen taking place with Ton Trio II. One of the principle selling points so to speak, is how the musicians impeccably integrate the modern jazz vernacular with invocative avant-garde campaigns, heaving with impact and intensifying discourses.
The trio's spry and spunky demeanor is led by Shelton's burly tone and fluent phrasings amid a search and conquer manifesto. On "Orange Poppies," the band whirls through—with the greatest of ease—a complex bop-drenched time signature as Shelton ignites a firestorm. Here, bassist Scott Brown primarily operates within the upper-registers to incite a sense of urgency, where the band lashes out with sizzling choruses, sparked by Shelton's amazingly fast flurries and gruff accents. He circumnavigates many of the rhythmic components executed by drummer Alex Vittum's crackling pulses and polyrhythmic attack, along with solos that convey poetic qualities.
The band's concentrated focus is keenly disassembled in certain movements as they loosen the vibe with free-form escapades of various hues and cadences. But the quasi, jazz-waltz oeuvre "Let's All Go," is a solid forum for Shelton to deliver John Coltrane-like chromatics via searching notes during an extended bridge as he restates and darts around the main theme, anchored by the rhythm section's blustery grooves. However, Vittum explodes with a rough and tumble solo, gushing with regimented maneuvers; fancy footwork on the bass drum, and dizzying geometrical patterns as the band closes by punching out a snaky unison chorus. Otherwise, Shelton communicates isolation and reflection on the ballad "Findings," ramped up by a mid-tempo jaunt, dyed with a harrowing storyline. Hence, the musicians' self-perpetuating cycles of enthusiastic interplay engulfs the dynamically moving parts. Indeed, a blockbuster production."-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
Get additional information at All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Aram Shelton
"Aram Shelton is an improviser and composer who performs on saxophone, clarinets, and live electronics. His writing and playing is grounded in avant-jazz and free improvisation and is documented through more than two dozen albums to date. He's been an integral member of the creative music communities in the Bay Area and Chicago, and has recently relocated to Copenhagen.
Shelton creates music with an aesthetic that is guided by the musicians he works with. In Oakland (2005-2016), he developed music for the avant jazz quartet Gold Age; the creative free jazz Ton Trio II; his solo electroacoustic project Tonal Masher; the chamber improv group Broken Trap Ensemble; the electroacoustic Stratic; the collaborative quartet Cylinder; his sextet Marches; and the Oakland Active Orchestra. In Chicago (1999 - 2005) he created music with his Quartet, the cooperative sextet Fast Citizens, Jason Adasiewicz' Rolldown, Dragons 1976; Arrive; the electroacoustic duo Grey Ghost, and others.
Shelton studied electroacoustic music and recording techniques at Mills College in Oakland, California. He continues to improvise and compose electroacoustic music focused on the concepts illustrated in his graduate thesis Sound Extended: Replication of Acoustic Material and Phrase Modification.
In the past Shelton has been fortunate to perform with many exceptional musicians from the Bay Area, Chicago and New York scenes including Larry Ochs, Kjell Nordeson, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Frank Rosaly, Jordan Glenn, Cory Wright, Kristina Dutton, Tim Daisy, Mark Clifford, Safa Shokrai, Britt Ciampa, Theresa Wong, Jason Adasiewicz, Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Matt Bauder, Alex Vittum, Michael Coleman, Lisa Mezzacappa, Darren Johnston, Henry Kaiser, Kyle Bruckmann, Jon Raskin, Steve Adams, Bruce Ackley, Jacob Felix-Heule, Jacob Wick, William Winant, Mark Dresser, Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson, Josh Sinton, Jason Ajemian, Ken Vandermark, Audrey Chen, Tony Buck, Magda Mayas, James Fei, Damon Smith, Tim Perkis, Guillermo Gregorio, and Chris Brown. He has performed in Europe, Canada and the United States including appearances at the Switchboard Music Festival, Soundwave, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, the Suoni per il Popolo Festival, and the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival. He has led workshops at the Evergreen State College, the Luzern Jazz School, through NEXMAP and at UC Santa Cruz. As a curator he founded the Active Music Series and Active Music Festival. His playing and music are available through Delmark, Clean Feed, Cuneiform, 482 Music, and his own Singlespeed Music."-Aram Shelton Website (http://www.aramshelton.com/about.html)
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