Swell's, Steve Kende Dreams (Swell/ Brown / Crothers / Parker / Taylor)
Hommage A Bartok
Trombonist Steve Swell presents an homage to composer Bela Bartok, applying jazz techniques to the composer's music to find something new and unexpected, in an amazing quintet with Connie Crothers (piano), William Parker (bass), Chad Taylor (drums) & Rob Brown (sax).
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Catalog ID: SHCD160
Squidco Product Code: 21268
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, New York, on December 5th, 2015 by Jim Clouse.
Rob Brown-alto saxophone
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1. Roswellian Folk Song 7:58
2. For Will Connell Jr 7:52
3. After SQ4 9:59
4. Attack Of The Mikkrokosmos 8:12
5. Bartok Screams 13:40
6. Lent-Oh! 14:09
7. Ultima 8:34
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sample the album:
"Trombonist Steve Swell's approach to a Bartok homage on Kende Dreams is a synthesis as well, and it advisably leaves the encounter with the Hungarian a relatively loose and oblique affair, with specific points of convergence but an end product that feels more like it was inspired by the composer than obliged to adopt his methods. The seven tracks are creative music pitched at the highest level; as is that music's unalienable right, it absorbs and transforms things that it comes into contact with.
So, unlike Milhaud's attempts to quote or characterize jazz, this is jazz eating and fully digesting modern classical music, turning it into something else completely. The band is a very special configuration, pianist Connie Crothers adding a wild card element to the underground New York crew. On "Bartok Screams" and in a long unaccompanied stretch of "Lent-Oh!," her playing conjures a Bartok sensibility rather directly, pummeled clusters and dark pedal reminding how dissonant and forward thinking the composer could be.
But the playing is open and spontaneous, William Parker and Chad Taylor establishing a buoyant, floating matrix for free interplay. Taylor kicks off "After SQ4" - a piece inspired by the fourth string quartet - eventually hitting the funky groove. The band draws on the imagined traditional music of a town very close to the little-known burg of Ruddville on "Roswellian Folk Song." Swell's trombone is the appropriate feature here, his big, smeary solo tipping a hat to fellow sackbut master Roswell Rudd. Rob Brown spars with Parker on the angular, Steve Lacy-esque "Attack of the Mikrokosmos," his tart alto shooting off sparks; Crothers meets Taylor's (thumb) piano later in the track, exploring a more indirect energy, before Brown and Swell complete the round robin duets.
The usual thing to say about a tribute project dedicated to a deceased artist is that the subject would have liked it. I think that's beside the point. The question isn't whether Bartok would have enjoyed Kende Dreams or even recognized himself in it. It's more important that this is music he would never have imagined, a producer's idea that encouraged Swell to germinate new material and inspired the band to record a CD with a unique character that B.B. couldn't have foreseen."-John Corbett, April 2015
• Show Bio for Steve Swell
"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.
Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.
Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.
Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.
Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."-Steve Swell Website (http://www.steveswell.com/SteveSwellBio.htm)
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• Show Bio for Rob Brown
"Rob Brown (born February 27, 1962) is an American free jazz saxophonist and composer.
Rob was born in Hampton, VA. He started playing saxophone at the age of 12 or 13. His first gigs were with a local Virginia and swing band. He eventually studied at Berklee College for two years and worked privately with both Joe Viola and John LaPorta. After a year on the west coast, Brown bounced back to Boston, where he met pianist Matthew Shipp. He moved to NY in 1984 where he enrolled at New York University, earned a music degree, and studied with saxophone masters such as Lee Konitz, but the teacher who had more influence on Rob conceptually was Philadelphian Dennis Sandole. Rob took the train to Philly once a week to study with him for a year and a half.
His first issued recording was the duet with Shipp Sonic Explorations and since then has been actively leading groups or working as a sideman with Shipp, William Parker, Whit Dickey, Joe Morris and Steve Swell.
He is a 2001 CalArts/Alpert/Ucross Residency Prize winner and has received many Meet The Composer Fund grants. In 2006 Rob was awarded a Chamber Music America New Works grant."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Brown_(saxophonist))
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• Show Bio for Connie Crothers
"As performer and recording artist, Connie releases her deepest feeling-her source-into the music, creating a wide range of expression and a virtuosity which is based on her desire to discover everything she can hear and imagine through spontaneous improvisation.
This year, She performed solo in Kassel, Germany, at Staats Theater. The reviewer Von Georg Pepl, under the headline "Fantastic Adventure," called it "a magnificent solo concert."
She performed at the Vision Festival with dancers Elaine Gutierrez and Elaine Cray, MoralesDance, at Judson Memorial Church, NYC
During the year, Connie's performances featured a number of musicians in a variety of contexts. She performed duos-with Warren Smith, percussionist, at Zurcher Gallery, NYC and also at Clemente Solo Velez, NYC, presented by Arts for Art Evolving Series; Joe McPhee, tenor saxophone, at Zurcher Gallery NYC; bassist Ken Filiano at Soup and Sound, Brooklyn; electronic composer and improviser Tom Hamilton at The Old Stone House, Brooklyn, presented by Dan Joseph's Musical Ecologies; Paula Hackett, poet, Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn; Ryan Messina, trumpet, Scholes Street Studio. Her trio performances included TranceFormation-Andrea Wolper, voice, Ken Filiano, bass at the Will Connell Memorial Concert, St. Peter's Church, NYC; Kevin Norton, vibes and percussion, and Guillermo Gregorio at iBeam, Brooklyn; Michael Bisio, bass and Michael T.A. Thompson, drums, at Clemente Solo Velez, Arts for Art, NYC; Adam Lane, Michael Wimberley, Scholes Street Studio; Pete Swanson, bass and Michael Wimberley, drums at Scholes Street Studio. Quartet appearances include Adam Caine Quartet, with Adam Caine on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass, Federico Ughi on drums, Firehouse Performance Space, Brooklyn; Jeff Pearring Quartet at Lang Hall, Hunter College, NYC, with Jeff Pearring on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass and Carlo Costa on drums, also at Scholes Street Studio.
In 2014, Connie was selected for a week residency at The Stone, from August 19 to 24, 2014. She performed twelve sets, each set with a different lineup of musicians. The duet set with Pauline Oliveros was chosen for the critics pick in the music section in Time Out magazine. This residency was a CD release celebration for "Concert in Paris," a CD of selections from a solo concert performed in Paris in 2011, New Artists label. This CD was selected by Ken Weiss for his best of 2014 list in Cadence and by Gregory Applegate Edwards for "best jazz album of the year" (a tie). Earlier in this year, her quartet, with Richard Tabnik on alto saxophone, Ken Filiano on bass, Roger Mancuso on drums, released "Deep Friendship," New Artists, from a concert at William Paterson University. The quartet celebrated the CD release in a performance at Roulette in Brooklyn. This CD received a four-star review in DownBeat and was included by DownBeat in their selection of best recordings of the year. She appeared in the Vision Festival in June with Times Three, a trio with Henry Grimes on bass and violin and Melvin Gibbs on electric bass. In this festival, she also performed in a set with the dancer Patricia Parker. She appeared at The Firehouse Performance Space, Brooklyn, in a quintet led by bassist Adam Lane which featured two pianos, the other pianist being Virg Dzurinko. She performed duo with bassist Ken Filiano at JACK, Brooklyn. She toured California with Jessica Jones, tenor saxophone, celebrating their 2013 CD release, "Live at the Freight." This CD was chosen for best of the year lists by Ken Weiss and Duck Baker.
In 2013, the Relative Pitch label produced a duet CD with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, "Two." She performed at the Vision Festival with poet Steve Dalachinsky. With the Northwoods Improvisers, she performed at the Edge Festival. She performed solo at Roulette. In 2012, the French label RogueArt released a four-CD box set, a duo with pianist David Arner, "Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos." Ken Weiss, Alain Drouot and Pat Frisco chose it for their best of 2012 lists. A trio, TranceFormation, with Ken Filiano and singer Andrea Wolper, released the CD, "TranceFormation in Concert," New Artists. She recorded duo with singer Alexis Parsons, "Hippin'," and duo with poet Paula Hackett, "Sharing the Thrill," both released on New Artists. Four CDs were released in 2011. "Live at the Stone, NYC'' features her quartet, performing with poet Mark Weber. Another band release is "Band of Fire," the quartet plus Roy Campbell on trumpet. "The Stone Set," is a duet performance with clarinetist Bill Payne. "Kingston Tone Roads," features a duet with Kevin Norton on vibes and percussion, with Tabnik on one track, New Vanguard label. Connie's quartet appeared in the 2011 Vision Festival. Writing in Jazz Inside, Ken Weiss described this set as "the highlight of the Festival."
Max Roach and Connie recorded duo in 1982, as part of Roach's historic duets project-"Swish," New Artists. This recording got two four-star reviews in DownBeat. They performed duo at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, in Tokyo, and at Harvard University, where she was honored as Visiting Jazz Artist. She co-led an engagement at The Vanguard with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Pete Scatarettico. Marsh performed with her in Carnegie Recital Hall with Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon. Connie's quartet, co-led with tenor saxophonist Lenny Popkin, featured bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Carol Tristano. Their recording, "Love Energy," was voted #1 of the year in Wire Magazine by Jack Cooke.
As a solo performer, she appeared in the Berlin Jazztage, Jazz at Middleheim when she received a feature article in Knack, the Toronto International Jazz Festival, and at Carnegie Recital Hall, presented by Lennie Tristano. Tristano wrote on her first record, "Perception," SteepleChase, "Connie Crothers is the most original musician it has ever been my privilege to work with." "-Connie Crothers Website (http://www.conniecrothers.net/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for William Parker
"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."
In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.
Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
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