Toronto drummer and composer Nick Fraser in a superb trio with saxophonist Tony Malaby and pianist Kris Davis, performing Fraser originals that merge free improvisation, jazz and avant compositional approaches with astonishing solos from all three.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 336
Squidco Product Code: 20998
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded and mixed by Michael Brorby.
Tony Malaby-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
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1. Too Many Continents 9:56
2. Recovered as Granted (Sketches 28 & 27) 3:46
3. I Needed It Yesterday 6:04
4. Also 4:23
5. Nostalgia for the Recent Past 9:51
6. Sketch #25 4:28
7. There'll Be More Dreams to Come 8:18
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music
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sample the album:
"Little by little (we would prefer otherwise, but that's how things go), all that the Canadian scene has to offer comes to light. Drummer and composer Nick Fraser is a fundamental figure of the progressive jazz circuit established in Toronto, due to his "feeling for economical gestures and innate sense of form", as critic Mark Miller wrote. And indeed, he's out in the open: after playing with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Dave Liebman, Marilyn Crispell and David Binney, in this new opus he has the company of two other notable musicians with international reputations: Tony Malaby and Kris Davis. They enable him to give some groove to the music (wrong: lots of it!) and to be a colorist whenever needed, going to avant-garde land without losing sight of the jazz tradition. If you've already heard him with the bands Drumheller, Ugly Beauties, Peripheral Vision and Titanium Riot, "Too Many Continents" is something else. Between Malaby's tenor sax harshness and Davis' refined piano constructions, Fraser has enough room to surprise us. And he does. They all do, over and over and over."-Clean Feed
Nick Fraser's notes on the music:
"Too Many Continents expands on my interest in geography, in the world around us, in language and space. In where people choose to make their lives and why.I've known Kris and Tony for close to twenty years and have long felt a kinship with their music. The title piece is the first thing that we played together on the day we recorded and it offers a patient, rambling, and expansive improvisation to open the album.
"Recovered As Granted (Sketch 28/27)" is a reading of two pieces indebted to Edgar Varese. After stating the melody a few times, Tony plays a solo that really goes from zero to sixty (and back again). One thing that this album offers is (I believe) a more complete portrayal of Tony's soprano saxophone playing than I have heard on record.
"I Needed It Yesterday" is about patience and impatience. The title is from some graffiti that I found near my house in Toronto. A cryptic and vaguely threatening message writ large. Kris really slams the door on this one. What Kris offers a group of improvisers as a structuralist is unparalleled. She has an uncanny ability to frame abstract material into clear, cogent musical statements.
"Also" is a piece that I have recorded four times, making it possibly the most recorded piece in the history of Canadian free jazz. It's a ballad.
"Nostalgia for the Recent Past" opens with a soprano and drum improvisation over an insistent repeated single piano note. Kris continues to use that single note as the theme for further improvisation. A weighty improvised ballad follows.
"Sketch #25″ was inspired by the great Muhal Richard Abrams.
"There'll be More Dreams to Come" could be the title of a jazz standard. It features some more of Tony's deeply swinging soprano playing.
I hope you enjoy the music."-Nick Fraser, 2015
• Show Bio for Tony Malaby
"Tony Malaby (born January 12, 1964 in Tucson, Arizona) is a jazz tenor saxophonist. Malaby moved to New York City in 1995 and has played with several notable jazz groups, including Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Mark Helias's Open Loose, Fred Hersch's Trio + 2 and Walt Whitman project, and bands led by Mario Pavone, Chris Lightcap, Bobby Previte, Tom Varner, Marty Ehrlich, Angelica Sanchez, Mark Dresser, and Kenny Wheeler. Other collaborators have included Tom Rainey, Christian Lillinger, Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, Nasheet Waits, and Michael Formanek. His first album as a co-leader was Cosas with Joey Sellers."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Malaby)
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• Show Bio for Kris Davis
"Pianist-composer Kris Davis has blossomed as one of the singular talents on the New York jazz scene, a deeply thoughtful, resolutely individual artist who offers "uncommon creative adventure," according to JazzTimes. The Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-residing Davis was dubbed one of the music's top up-and-comers in a 2012 New York Times article titled "New Pilots at the Keyboard," with the newspaper saying: "Over the past couple years in New York, one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis." Reviewing one of the series of striking albums Davis has released over the past half-decade, the Chicago Sun-Times lauded the "sense of kaleidoscopic possibilities" in her playing and compositions.
Long favored by her peers and jazz fans in the know, Davis has earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her in his Best of 2012 piece in Art Forum, writing: "A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold."
The newest album from Davis as a leader is Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed, 2013), with the pianist joined by kindred spirits Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Mat Maneri (viola), Trevor Dunn (double-bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). Davis made her debut on record as a leader with Lifespan (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003), followed by three progressively inventive and acclaimed albums for the Fresh Sound label: the quartet discs The Slightest Shift (2006) and Rye Eclipse (2008), then the trio set Good Citizen (2010). Davis's 2011 solo piano album on Clean Feed, Aeriol Piano, appeared on Best of the Year lists in The New York Times, JazzTimes and Art Forum. Davis wrote the extraordinary arrangements for saxophonist-composer Tony Malaby's nonet project Novela, with the album Novela released by Clean Feed in 2011 and appearing on Best of the Year lists in DownBeat and JazzTimes. The pianist is also part of the collaborative Paradoxical Frog with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey; their eponymous 2011 album on Clean Feed was included on Best of the Year lists by National Public Radio, The New York Times and All About Jazz.
In addition to her work as a leader, Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Michael Formanek and Mary Halvorson. Davis started playing piano at age 6, studying classical music through the Royal Conservatory in Canada and formulating her desire for a life in music by playing in the school jazz band at age 12. She earned a bachelor's degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Toronto and attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz program in 1997 and 2000. The pianist received a Canada Council grant to relocate to New York and study composition with Jim McNeely, then another to study extended piano techniques with Benoit Delbecq in Paris. She holds a master's in Classical Composition from the City College of New York, and she teaches at the School for Improvised Music.
The Jazz Gallery has given Davis a commissioning residency to write for her trio with Rainey and John Hébert to take place in May 2013, and the Shifting Foundation awarded her a grant to compose and record a large-ensemble project. About her art, JazzTimes has declared: "Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she's doing doesn't hit you until the piece has slipped past." "-Kris Davis Website (http://krisdavis.net/bio/)
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