A live performance at Judson Church in Manhattan as part of the 20th Vision Festival from the NY/France free improvising trio of Joelle Leandre on double bass, Mat Maneri on viola, and Gerald Cleaver on drums and percussion, two tracks of steadily building, incredibly compatible dialog.
Judson Trio (Joelle Leandre / Mat Maneri / Gerald Cleaver)
An Air of Unreality [VINYL]
Released in: France
"An "air of unreality" characterizes the best free improvisation. This performance-captured during last year's Vision Festival in Manhattan's Judson Church-definitely ranks among the best on record this year. Part of this unreality has to do with finding beauty and gratification in uncertainty, something that so often makes reality difficult to bear. Another part is transcendence, both of person and pedigree: the idea of a musician effaced by their instrument, and then by their creation. Music that, if not divorced from each musician's lineage, then certainly-as the truism goes-surpassing their sum. Joëlle Léandre, Mat Maneri, and Gerald Cleaver as bass, viola, and drums, and then as something else entirely.
Absorption is as good a benchmark as any when attempting to evaluate improvisation. Even after several listens, I found myself surprised each time that An Air of Unreality was already concluding. Maneri and Léandre are a proven pairing, neither afraid of all the pitches and ambiguity that lie between the notes. The microtonal improvisation Maneri inherited from his father has parallels with the inflections of many folk traditions, and his close work in recent years with pianist Lucian Ban seems to have drawn even more of that influence into his playing. These deep cultural wells, authentic music of story-telling-and often of stunning virtuosity-are the places Léandre draws from, as well. "Unreal II" develops the meandering, melancholic quality of a Romanian doina, a rhythmically free and largely improvised folk lament.
Cleaver compliments the strings nicely. A robust and almost absurdly versatile drummer, his restraint here is commendable. He bides much of his time focused on color and accent, a palette heavy in cymbals, rattles, bells. He's often able to anticipate points Léandre and Maneri wish to emphasize, underscoring each with an emphatic kick or thunderous tom hit. Still, he's unafraid of making leading, muscular moves to goad his companions in new directions. Late in "Unreal I" he finds a vein of rhythm in Léandre's low grinding drone and opens it into a propulsive groove, an brief and unforeseen measure of order in previously restless music.
The Vision Festival, celebrating its 20th edition in 2015, has become the last bastion for large-scale celebration of this music in a country that is often painfully indifferent to the avant-garde. Its annual rosters consist of none less than titans of creative music, and last year was no different. Listening to An Air of Unreality, documenting about half of the trio's late Saturday night set, it's hard to imagine a more earnest statement of improvisation's vitality, or-even among such a field of giants-that many other performances that week could have reached Judson Trio's apogee."-Dan Sorrells, Free Jazz Blog
• Show Bio for Joelle Leandre
"Joëlle Léandre (born 12 September 1951 in Aix-en-Provence, France) is a double bassist, vocalist, and composer active in new music and free improvisation.
In the field of contemporary music, she has performed with Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, and worked with Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Both Cage and Giacinto Scelsi have composed works specifically for her.
She gave an historic solo concert in "Jazz em Agosto" in 2007 (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal). In this same top jazz festival, Léandre performed also in the "Quartet Noir", a quartet with quite rare live performances, with Marilyn Crispell, Urs Leimgruber and Fritz Hauser.
She has also collaborated with some of the preeminent musicians in the fields of jazz and improvised music, including Derek Bailey, Barre Phillips, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, India Cooke, Evan Parker, Irène Schweizer, Steve Lacy, Maggie Nicols, Fred Frith, Carlos Zingaro, John Zorn, Susie Ibarra, J. D. Parran, Kevin Norton, Eric Watson, Ernst Reijseger, Akosh S. and Sylvie Courvoisier.
In 1983 she became a member of the European Women Improvising Group (EWIG), which resulted from former Feminist Improvising Group and in later 1980s she co-founded the feminist improvising Trio Les Diaboliques, with Schweizer and Nicols."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo%C3%ABlle_L%C3%A9andre)
^ Hide Bio for Joelle Leandre
• Show Bio for Mat Maneri
"Mat Maneri was born in 1969, and started studying violin at age five. He studied privately with Julliard String Quartet founder Robert Koff, and with bass virutuoso Miroslav Vitous. Mat received a full scholarship as the principal violinist at Walnut Hill High School, but left school to pursue a professional career in music. By 1990, Mat founded the critically acclaimed Joe Maneri Quartet with Randy Peterson. Mat started releasing records as a leader in 1996, and has developed four working ensembles. Pianists Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, and Borah Bergman have called upon Matt to perform with them in such venues as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, and concert stages across Europe. Mat also enjoys a strong relationship with bassists Ed Schuller, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Barre Phillips, and John Lockwood. Never to be boxed in, Mat has also worked with Joe Morris, John Medeski, Tim Berne, Cecil McBee, T.K. Ramakrishnan, Franz Kogelman, Roy Campbell, Spring Heel Jack, Draze Hoops, and appears on an Illy B Eats remix CD. Mat presently teaches privately and through the New School / NYC, and performs and records worldwide."-Aum Fidelity (http://www.aumfidelity.com/maneri.html)
^ Hide Bio for Mat Maneri
• Show Bio for Gerald Cleaver
"Gerald Cleaver (born May 4, 1963) is an African-American jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan. Cleaver's father is drummer John Cleaver Jr., originally from Springfield, Ohio, and his mother was from Greenwood, Mississippi. Gerald had six older siblings. Cleaver joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995. He has performed or recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitou , Michael Formanek, Tomasz Sta ko, Franck Amsallem and others.
Under the name Veil of Names, Cleaver released an album called Adjust on the Fresh Sounds New Talent label in 2001. It featured Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn and Reid Anderson and was a Best Debut Recording Nominee by the Jazz Journalists Association. Cleaver currently leads the groups Uncle June, Black Host, Violet Hour and NiMbNl as well as working as a sideman with many different artists."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Cleaver_(musician))
^ Hide Bio for Gerald Cleaver
See all items in the Vinyl Recordings category
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog
Search for other titles on the RogueArt label.
Other Recommended Releases:
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Shipping Weight: 16.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: Rog-0073
Squidco Product Code: 23228
Packaging: LP - Gatefold
Recorded live at Judson Church, Manhattan, New York, on July 11th, 2015, by Stephen Schmidt.
Joelle Leandre-double bass
Gerald Cleaver-drums, percussion
Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search
1. Unreal I 19:20
1. Unreal II 9:43
2. Unreal III 6:46