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A 15-member ensemble of Boston area improvisers plus guests Jeb Bishop, Tony Malaby and Taylor Ho Bynum, taking their name from the deep-sea submersibles used for exploring, as this band survey's large form improvisation that blends free and melodic jazz in adventurous ways.

Bathysphere (with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c)

Bathysphere (with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c): Bathysphere (Driff Records)

Label: Driff Records    
Released in: USA    

"Bathysphere (Greek words bathus, "deep" and sphaira, "sphere") is a large ensemble project that brings together improvisers from the Boston community-as well as out-of-town guests Jeb Bishop, Tony Malaby, and Taylor Ho Bynum, who joined us for this recording. The group's name comes from the deep-sea submersible in which scientists William Beebe and Otis Barton set diving records in 1934. Our own explorations take place within a fifteen-member ensemble that includes two analog synthesizers and an abundance of deep pitches: two basses, two trombones, tuba, and baritone sax. The pieces were composed with the individual musicians in mind and their contributions during the rehearsal process were crucial.'-Pandelis Karayorgis and Jorrit Dijkstra, September 2015

"From the adventurist Driff label comes Bathysphere (Driff 1502) a rather exciting big band project from Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis. The 15-piece band features some of the best on the Boston scene, plus a few imported from elsewhere. The original charts are divided up between the two leaders, with four by Karayorgis and three by Dijkstra. They were written with the players in mind and so have a kind of organic resonance reinforced by the close relationship between the written and the improvised.

The band sports a full contingent of deep-noted players: Charlie Kohlhaus on baritone (and tenor), Jeb Bishop and Jeff Galindo on trombones, Josiah Reibstein on tuba, plus Nate McBride and Jef Charland on basses.

Tony Malaby and Seth Meicht join Kohlhase and Dijkstra in the reed section (and Dijkstra also plays some analog synth). Then there is Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet plus Forbes Graham and Daniel Rosenthal on trumpets, Luther Gray on drums, Andrew Neumann on analog electronics, plus of course Pandelis at the piano.

It is then a very potent group of players. The Bathysphere, that round iron diving rig that allows for very deep sea explorations, is an apt metaphor for the music, which has much depth, is exploratory and of course carries plenty of deep tone clout in its makeup.

The charts very happily prevail--covering a considerable stylistic distance from references to big band tradition and the bop and after giants to the outside contemporary avant realms. The piano of Pandelis, the alto of Jorrit and the solo power of other key players enrich the music considerably. Pandelis does some great work on piano especially. The compositional element is foundational, memorable and nicely alive.

This is primo avant big band music. Along with Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus (covered yesterday) it is one of the most exciting large ensembles you can hear out there these days. The album is a showstopper for sure, so definitely give it your undivided attention. I hope the lineup can flourish and continue to evolve in the years to come despite the formidable economic obstacles such ensembles face today. For now, though, they come at you full-blaze! Do not miss this."-Grego Applegate, Gapplegate Music Review

"Taylor Ho Bynum (b. 1975) has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation - through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. As heard on over twenty recordings as a bandleader, Bynum's expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention as one of the singular musical voices of his generation. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe.

His varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, producing most of Braxton's recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker's Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders and organizations. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation."

-Taylor Ho Bynum website (

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Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Boston Area Improvisers
Large Ensembles
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Get additional information at Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog

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Price: $13.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 616892351849

Label: Driff Records
Catalog ID: 1502
Squidco Product Code: 21419

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Wellspring Sound Studio, Acton, Massachusetts on July 21st, 2015 by Eric Kilburn.


Jorrit Dijkstra-alto saxophone, lyricon, analog synth

Pandelis Karayorgis-piano

Tony Malaby-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone

Seth Meicht-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Charlie Kohlhase-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophones

Taylor Ho Bynum-cornet

Forbes Graham-trumpet

Daniel Rosenthal-trumpet

Jeb Bishop-trombone

Jeff Galindo-trombone

Josiah Reibstein-tuba

Nate McBride-bass

Jef Charland-bass

Luther Gray-drums

Andrew Neumann-analog electronics

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Track Listing:

1. Sounding Line 7:28

2. Funnel 8:19

3. Chip Log 7:19

4. Boter 4:32

5. Bathychord 13:22

6. Coelacanth 7:27

7. White Sea 9:30