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.
Label: Driff Records
Catalog ID: 1502
Squidco Product Code: 21419
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Wellspring Sound Studio, Acton, Massachusetts on July 21st, 2015 by Eric Kilburn.
Jorrit Dijkstra-alto saxophone, lyricon, analog synth
Tony Malaby-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Seth Meicht-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Charlie Kohlhase-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophones
Taylor Ho Bynum-cornet
Andrew Neumann-analog electronics
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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
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"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
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• Show Bio for Taylor Ho Bynum
"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 (http://taylorhobynum.com/)
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• Show Bio for Jeb Bishop
"Jeb Bishop was born in Raleigh, North Carolina during the Cuban missile crisis. He began playing the trombone at the age of 10, under the tutelage of Cora Grasser. Other influential teachers during junior high and high school included Jeanne Nelson, Eric Carlson, Richard Fecteau, Greg Cox, and James Cozart.
He majored in classical trombone performance at Northwestern University from 1980-82, studying with Frank Crisafulli. Deciding he did not want to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, he returned to Raleigh in 1982 and took up engineering studies at NC State University. Raleigh's developing underground rock scene attracted him, and from 1982-84 he played bass guitar in rock bands in the Raleigh area.
At the same time, he developed an interest in philosophy, eventually majoring in the subject, and spent 1984-85 studying philosophy at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
Returing to Raleigh in 1985, he spent the next few years working at menial jobs and playing guitar, bass, cheap keyboards, drums, etc., in rock bands including and/or, the Angels of Epistemology, Egg, and Metal Pitcher.
In 1989 he left Raleigh to pursue graduate studies in philosophy, first at the University of Arizona, then at Loyola University of Chicago (where he was awarded the Crown Fellowship in the Humanities). During 1991-92 he returned to Europe, spending the summer of 1991 studying German at the Goethe-Institut Iserlohn (now closed), and then pursuing independent studies in philosophy at the French-language division of the University of Louvain.
Returning to Chicago in 1992, he completed his M.A. at Loyola in 1993. By this time he had already begun to make connections with improvising musicians in Chicago, having joined the Flying Luttenbachers as bassist (later adding trombone) in late 1992, and playing guitar occasionally in a quartet with Weasel Walter, Ken Vandermark, and Kevin Drumm. Other bands during this period included the Unheard Music Quartet (with Vandermark, Mike Hagedorn on trombone, and Otto Huber on drums) and the Rev Trio (with Walter and saxophonist Joe Vajarsky). Bishop played electric bass in both these bands.
In late 1995, Bishop joined the Vandermark 5 as one of its founding members, and remained with the band through the end of 2004. During this period he also became associated with many other groups, including the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, School Days, Ken Vandermark's Territory Band, and his own Jeb Bishop Trio, and became a very frequent participant in ad hoc and free-improvised concerts in Chicago. Bishop performed in the inaugural concerts of two of the longest-running free-music concert series in Chicago: the Myopic Books weekly concerts (originally at Czar Bar; with Rev Trio) and the Empty Bottle Wednesday night concert series (with a quartet of Terri Kapsalis, Kevin Drumm, and Jim O'Rourke). He curated the monthly Chicago Improvisers Group concerts at the Green Mill from 1999-2002, and co-curated the weekly Eight Million Heroes concert series at Sylvie's in 2005-6.
Bishop has made dozens of recordings with many different groups, has toured North America and Europe many times, and maintains a busy performing schedule."-Jeb Bishop Website (http://www.jebbishop.com/jebbio.html)
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