Crossing boundaries of jazz, rock and noise, the Haitian Rail quartet of Dan Blacksberg (trombone), Nick Millevoi (guitar), Ed Ricart (bass) and Kevin Shea (drums) present six scorching works of avant free improvisation with a dark NY Metropolitan intent.
Haitian Rail (Ed Ricart, Nick Millevoi, Dan Blacksberg, Kevin Shea)
Label: New Atlantis
Released in: USA
"The second full-length album by Haitian Rail. This record brashly charts the common spaces between creative noise rock and the jazz avant-garde, while shattering the restrictive barriers between them. Formerly dubbedRicart/Millevoi Quartet, with a stellar debut LP via Gaffer Records, this new lineup featuresguitarist Nick Millevoi (Many Arms, Deveykus), bassist Edward Ricart (Hyrrokkin, William Hooker Trio), trombonist Dan Blacksberg (Deveykus, Anthony Braxton), and drummer Kevin Shea (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Talibam!). This revamped iteration of the group raises the high watermark set by their debut, offering a set of roiling new compositions, buoyed by virtuosic technique and unbounded kinetic energy.
The pace is set at the outset with the thunderous, electrifying opening of 'Trembler.' The frontline dizzyingly navigates the serpentine head in unison before collectively arcing into raucous, high-octane energy music. An unaccompanied drum solo at the center of the piece deftly manages to sound skittish and menacing all at once. 'Overburden' is essentially through-composed, with a section of ominous trombone-driven improvisation, buttressed by serialist melodies. 'Flare Star,' at just under seventeen minutes, is the record's longest piece, boasting a minimalist introduction, and curvilineal head bookending an extended trombone/bass/drum trio romp, and a feedback-laden drum/guitar duo. 'Seven Wastes' is a fitting closer, with passing, chromatic drones soaring over pummeling, relentless percussion.
Edward Ricart is a guitarist and bassist presently located in Yellow Springs, OH. His creative outlets include avant-rock power trio Hyrrokkin; free jazz/noise rock quartet Haitian Rail; free-rock duo Matta Gawa; and the Edward Ricart Quartet, alongside Herb Robertson, Jason Ajemian, and Andrew Barker. He has also collaborated with William Hooker, Marshall Allen, Merzbow, Peter Broetzmann, Paul Dunmall, and members of the rock groups Tortoise, Black Flag, and Fugazi, among many others. A veteran of Washington DC's creative music underground, his weekly New Atlantis series of concerts earned him the designation of 'Avant Garde Savior' and Best in DC by the Washington City Paper. The series blossomed into a vanguard record label, with an exemplary roster of rising stars and established legends. His work incorporates the processes of new music- including serialism, through-composition, and free improvisation, braced with the dissonant, polyrhythmic backbone of creative rock music.
Nick Millevoi is a Philadelphia-based guitarist who explores and expands upon the sound of the electric guitar through frequent use of non-traditional tunings, feedback, and raw noise. On his most recent solo-guitar releases, Numbers on the Side (Ivory Antler, 2014) and In White Sky (Flenser Records), Millevoi combines his 6- and 12-string electric guitars with drones and extreme volume to create a startling new work. Nick is a member of the noise-rock-free jazz trio Many Arms, whose second album for John Zorn's Tzadik label will be released in April 2014. Nick makes one half of the duo Archer Spade with trombonist Dan Blacksberg, who have performed music by composers Mick Barr, Gene Coleman, Dave Soldier, and Johnny DeBlase, as well as curating a performance series in Philadelphia. Nick has toured extensively as a solo guitarist as well as with Many Arms, Deveykus (Tzadik), Make A Rising, Electric Simcha, and with Gene Coleman's Ensemble N_JP, and has performed across the US, Canada, and Europe and at festivals, such as Incubate (Netherlands), Gaffer Fest (France), Suoni Per Il Popolo (Canada), Montreal Jewish Music Festival, and the New Atlantis Festival (DC), and the Masada Book Three Premiere concert at New York's Town Hall. Nick has collaborated with many great improvisors, including Toshimaru Nakamura, Keir Neuringer, Thomas Buckner, Ken Ueno, Ches Smith, Travis LaPlante, Weasel Walter, Kevin Shea, Joe Lally, Dead Neanderthals, Balazs Pandi, and many others. The Village Voice has called Nick a "guitar-wielding, audience-massacring hero," and music journal Burning Ambulance has described him as, "A fierce player who knows his way around a riff and can tie himself, and the listener, in knots with his contorted, passionate soloing." Foxy Digitalis called In White Sky, "a searing collection of exploded guitar compositions." Millevoi's music has been reviewed by SPIN, NPR Music, The Onion AV Club, Wire magazine, and many others.
Dan Blacksberg is rapidly emerging as a new leading voice on the trombone. With musical activity that spans avant-garde jazz, modern classical music, improvised music and klezmer, Dan brings a burly, rough-edged sound intended to push at the technical and textural extremes of his instrument. Based in Philadelphia, Dan leads a variety of groups, such as the Dan Blacksberg Trio and Electric Simcha, and co-leads groups such as Archer Spade, the New York/Philadelphia avant-jazz quartet Bird Fly Yellow, and the terror-improv group Psychotic Quartet. In addition, Dan has also performed with Joe Morris, Joe Maneri, Danilo Perez, Gene Coleman, and is a founding member of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra. Dan is also one of the few musicians in the world who performs and teaches traditional klezmer on the trombone. He is a founding member of Alan Bern's The Other Europeans, and co-leads the klezmer power trio Leviticus with Michael Winograd and Tyshawn Sorey. He has also played with many of the field's top artists such as Frank London, Adrienne Cooper, Michael Winograd, Daniel Kahn, Michael Alpert, Hankus Netsky, Alicia Svigals, Alex Kontorovitch, Aaron Alexander, and the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra. He has taught at Klezmer Festival Fürth and Yiddish Summer Weimar in Germany, and has been an artist-in-residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He continues to be a regular faculty member at Klezkamp and Klezkanada.
Kevin Shea is an innovative and free-minded drummer, Kevin Shea has always imbued his playing with a humor and flexibility that few in the jazz world have been able to match. While perhaps best known for his work with the band Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Shea has played on a host of other projects in the Avant-Garde, Jazz, and other genres, including works by Rhys Chatham, People (with Mary Halvorson), Peter Evans Quartet, Alan Wilkinson, Talibam!, and storm&stress.
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"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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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
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Label: New Atlantis
Catalog ID: NA-CD-009
Squidco Product Code: 20145
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Seizures Palace in Brooklyn, New York, by Jason LaFarge.
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1. Trembler 7:20
2. Overburden 9:28
3. Scintillator 10:30
4. Flare Star 16:52
5. Seven Wastes 10:44