West Coast multi-reedist and founding member of the Rova Sax Quartet Larry Ochs leads this impressive free improvising quintet patterned after the New York Contemporary Five, with the superb lineup of Nate Wooley, Harris Eisenstadt, Pascal Niggenkemper, and Ken Filiano.
The Fictive Five
Released in: USA
"Founding member of the Rova Sax Quartet, Larry Ochs has worked with many of the greatest musicians in Creative Music-Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith, Terry Riley, George Lewis, John Zorn, Derek Bailey and countless others. His newest ensemble is an update on the classic New York Contemporary Five and features Larry's Shepp-tinged tenor sax along with some of the best young players out of New York's Downtown scene. Ochs is particularly excited by both the ensemble sound and the music here, a set of pieces he considers to be among his strongest and most successful blendings of composition and improvisation. Fabulous and soulful, The Fictive Five is a tremendous achievement by this West Coast master of surprise!"-Tzadik
"Wildly imaginative stories in sound, by a quintet of veteran improvising musicians… In September 2013, Larry Ochs was in residence at The Stone. On two nights that week he premiered this quintet to enthusiastic acclaim. But most importantly, all five musicians were really excited by what happened at The Stone. The music was on fire, the compositions sparked their imaginations and left plenty of room for continued exploration.
Because Ochs lives in San Francisco Bay Area, and busy schedules made it difficult to connect. The Fictive Five did not perform again until December 2014, immediately followed by a really focused recording session, and the music from that session releases October 2015 on Tzadik, the label curated by John Zorn. Bring your imaginations and be ready for anything, and you won’t be disappointed.
Larry Ochs Tenor and Sopranino Saxophones
Since 1978, Larry Ochs' professional activities have been primarily centered around the Rova Saxophone Quartet, which has made over thirty-five European tours plus numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as recording over 30 CDs/LPs as a quartet and/or in collaboration with other artists. In addition Ochs currently composes for and leads Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core with Scott Amendola, Don Robinson, Satoko Fujii, and Natsuki Tamura (“Stone Shift”- 2009 CD; next CD in early 2016) and Kihnoua with vocalist Dohee Lee, Scott Amendola and special guests (“The Sybil’s Whisper”- 2012 CD – music samples here). He is performing in and composing for more “collective” bands such as: East-West Collective - with Didier Petit, Sylvain Kassap, Miya Masaoka, Xu Fengxia (“Humeurs” – 2014 CD – music samples); Ochs-Robinson Duo with drummer Don Robinson (The Throne – 2015 CD) (; Jones Jones - with Mark Dresser and Vladimir Tarasov (“We All Feel the Same Way”- 2010 CD- music samples); Trio Dave Rempis- Darren Johnston- Larry Ochs (“Spectral“- 2014 CD – preview track).
Nate Wooley Trumpet Visit Website
Nate Wooley is one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson. Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language. Time Out New York has called him “an iconoclastic trumpeter”, and Downbeat’s Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas has said, “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole”. His work has been featured at the SWR JazzNow stage at Donaueschingen, the WRO Media Arts Biennial in Poland, Kongsberg and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and the New York New Darmstadt Festivals. Since 2008, the Nate Wooley Quintet has been involved in recasting the hard bop and free bop jazz traditions of the 1960s and 70s. Their first album, (Put Your) Hands Together, released in 2011 on Clean Feed Records was released to rave reviews in the New York Times, Jazz Times, Down Beat, Paris Transatlantic, and Signal to Noise magazines. The recording was voted one of the best records of the year by the New York City Jazz Record in 2011, alongside Wooley being voted Musician of the Year.
Harris Eisenstadt Drums Visit Website
Most active in jazz and improvised music, as both a bandleader and in-demand sideman, Harris Eisenstadt has performed all over the globe, been awarded grants from organizations such as Meet The Composer, American Composers Forum, Canada Council for the Arts, and appeared on more than 50 recordings since 2000, including 15 as a leader. Recordings of his compositions since 2002 often appear on the Songlines, Clean Feed, and 482 Music labels, and are consistently included on critics’ best-of lists. A live Golden State concert recording from the 2014 Vancouver Jazz Festival was released on Songlines in early 2015. Eisenstadt’s album Woodblock Prints (No Business) was named album of the year (2010), and he was included on the short list for composer of the year (2010 and 2012) and drummer of the year (2013) in the El Intruso international critics poll. Other recent honors: nominations for Up and Coming Artist of the year by the Jazz Journalists Association (2009), included in Rising Star Composer (2009), Arranger (2015) and Percussion (2012-2015) categories of the Downbeat international critics poll. He is a visiting instructor in the humanities department at SUNY Maritime College, and in 2014 became an instructor in New York University’s McGhee Division. Recent performance/research/teaching in: NYC, Cuba, Brazil, across Canada & Europe.
Ken Filiano Bass
Active since the early '80s, bassist Ken Filiano has since contributed to dozens of albums, most of them pertaining to creative jazz -- from post-bop to free improvisation. Despite his commanding level of activity, he has arguably yet to meet the recognition he deserves from the jazz press. Based in Brooklyn, Filiano keeps strong ties with the West Coast. He has recorded for Nine Winds, CIMP, Knitting Factory, and Clean Feed, among other labels. One of Filiano's first regular partners was saxophonist Steve Adams, with whom he started playing in 1980. Formative years took him through classical and jazz repertoires, which allowed him to develop formidable technique. His participation in Richard Grossman's 1989 LP In the Air brought him the first shards of critical acclaim. At the onset of the 1990s he began to appear alongside Vinny Golia and Rob Blakeslee. A member of the Aardvark Orchestra, he has also performed with Bertram Turetzky, Barre Phillips, JoĎlle Léandre, Bobby Bradford, Rova Saxophone Quartet, and Paul Smoker, with whom he has recorded regularly since the late '90s. An educator, the bassist has taught at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), New York State University (Buffalo), UCLA, and Rutgers University. In 2002 Filiano finally released his first solo album, titled Subvenire. The November 2010 release Dreams from a Clown Car marked the recording debut of Filiano’s Quantum Entanglements quartet, featuring saxophonists Tony Malaby and MichaĎl Attias and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson.
Pascal Niggenkemper Bass Visit Website
New York City-based German-French bassist, composer and improviser Pascal Niggenkemper is a performing and recording artist active on the creative music scene in the US and in Europe. In 2005 he received the DAAD award and moved to New York. From 2008 to 2010 Pascal led the PNTrio with Tyshawn Sorey and Robin Verheyen. (CD "pasąpas" Konnex 2008 & “urban creatures” JazzHausMusik 2010). The trio toured extensively in Europe. Performances at the Jazzcologne Festival, Jazzherbst Konstanz and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Recordings for the WDR and the BR Radio. In September 2011 Pascal released with Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver the CD/LP upcoming hurricane on NoBusiness Records which is listed among 'Albums of the year' 2011 in the 'The New York City Jazz Record'. He recently recorded a new solo program called: ‘look with thine ears’ music for bass & preparations was premiered at the Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg in November 2013. The CD was released in March 2015. Pascal is co-leading the groups baloni with Frantz Loriot viola and Joachim Badenhorst clarinets (CD ‘fremdenzimmer’ 2011, ‘Belleke’ 2014 & ‘Ripples’ 2015 clean feed records. Festival shows includes: Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vision Festival New York, Umbrella Festival Chicago, Banlieues Bleues Paris, Strade del Cinema Aosta, météo Mulhouse, Jazzcologne, JIGG Lisbon, Taktlos Zurich, Jazz ą la Cité in Paris, ESCUCHA Madrid, DC Jazz Festival Washington, Pori Jazz Festival, Middelheim Antwerp, Grenzenlos Köln, undead Jazzfest NYC, D’Jazz Nevers, NewAdits Klagenfurt, Font New York, Music Unlimited Wels, Vive le Jazz Cologne, Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf etc..."-Larry OchsWebsite
"The track "Similitude" opens with a blast from the two horns in Larry Ochs' latest group, the Fictive Five, and the steady blare continues for a good nine minutes. Nate Wooley blares out a trumpet solo made of crisp color and passionate growls, propelled by the rhythm section of drummer Harris Eisenstadt and two basses: Ken Filiano and Pascal Niggenkemper.
That track is the opener to another well-crafted improv album by Ochs, playing with a cast of veterans. But there's another facet to The Fictive Five: The three major pieces that make up the album are dedicated to filmmakers - Wim Wenders, Kelly Reichardt, and installation artist William Kentridge.
As Ochs explains in his own liner notes (posted on his website and not available with the CD), the dedications reflect his feeling that there's a visual aspect to the music, a movie of the mind. "I'm inspired to create musical landscapes that the listener when closing her eyes can then imagine her own visual images into, inspired by my music," he writes. Like a choreographer working without music, Ochs is playing the role of soundtrack composer without a film.
While it's common for an improvised piece to develop a particular character, what follows in The Fictive Five are well sculpted pieces that do indeed feel like narratives. Ochs is good at this; he's frequently convened improv groups that work from compositions or skeletal structures that guide the impulses of the moment toward a common goal.
"Similitude" is forceful and bold, evoking a bright energy even as the piece moves to a slower phase in its second half - a bigger-picture view, like a camera panning back, but with plenty of action still playing out.
"By Any Other Name" opens with the groans of arco basses and dark, solemn horn statements. The mood brightens as the group works short passages of small subsets - and eventually, a kind of round-robin forms, with players hopping in and out to form duets and trios of intriguing small sounds. Trumpet and drums take a turn, then there's a basses-and-drums moment with one bass bowed, the other plucked. It's a musical game whose pieces fit into a macroscopic novel of music. A fiery group passage lands the piece back in the dark underworld where it began, a satisfying bit of symmetry.
"Translucent," the Reichardt dedication, has a personality that stands out the most. It starts out choppy and high-strung, with tension surrounded by white space. Ochs abbreviates his sax phrases, a start-stop patter that plays well against Eisenstadt's forceful snippets of drums. The sound softens as the basses and trumpet come in, building a brisk flow that's not overwhelming. The final third of the 15-minute piece is a lingering denoument that patiently comes in for a landing."-Memory Select: Avant-jazz radio
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Catalog ID: TZA-CD-4012
Squidco Product Code: 21363
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at EastSide Sound in New York City, New York, on December 5th, 2014 by Marc Urselli.
Ken Filiano-bass, effects
Larry Ochs-tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone
Pascal Niggenkemper-bass, prepared bass
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1. Similitude (For Wim Wenders) 24:48
2. A Marked Refraction 4:23
3. By Any Other Name (For William Kentridge) 22:36
4. Translucent (For Kelly Reichardt) 16:13