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Lux's, Matthew Communication Arts Quartet: Contra/Fact [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD CODE] (Astral Spirits)

Chicago bassist Matthew Lux (Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra) in an album of effusive and spiritual percussive grooves under electronic and acoustic leads, performed with Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics and percussion, Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, percussion, mellotron and more, and Jayve Montgomery on various woodwinds, samples and percussion.

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product information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS052
Squidco Product Code: 25002

Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded at Electrical Audio, by Greg Norman.


Mikel Patrick Avery-drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, mellotron

Ben Lamar Gay-cornet, electronics, melodica, percussion

Jayve Montgomery-tenor sax, clarinumpet, flute, samples, percussion

Matthew Lux-bass, synth, electric guitar, chirimia, percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery has been active within the Chicago art scene since moving to the area 8 years ago. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional "non-musical" objects. Mikel is also a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek's Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams's Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates's Black Monks of Mississippi. He also leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*, and a new conceptual dance company co-led with artist Amanda Avery called The Something Beautiful Movement Orchestra. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama.

For the 2015 Festival, Kate Dumbleton, Executive & Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, says that Mikel "is inventing a piece that will open in the form of a parade and likely culminate with a stage performance. . . .What he came up with is exactly why I wanted to pick him [for a commission]. . . .He's going to have this crazy parade - really connected to the neighborhood--a lot of fun."

The commission to Mikel Patrick Avery is a collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation. The project has been developed in conjunction with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival's Story Share Project. For this commission, Mikel has created a new composition in response to stories collected with residents in the neighborhood around the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative on the South Side of Chicago. We are grateful to the Chicago Community Trust for their support of this project."

-Hyde Park Jazz Festival (

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"Ben Lamar is a prolific composer, vocalist, trumpeter, producer, and music educator. Lamar began his musical journey with the initial influence of his father's diverse vinyl collection and his family's unique music listening rituals. He has been creating music professionally for over 20 years now - performing, recording, producing for, and studying with a number of vital figures in the world of music, including Jazz, Blues, Hip-Hop and Electronic." (

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"Of Jamaican and Louisiana Creole descent, Montgomery was born at Ft. Hood, Texas on the last day of 1979 and raised a dependent of the department of defense in Berlin, Germany, before and after the wall; Rayne, Louisiana, before the frogs left; Columbia, SC, home of the confederate flag; and Ft. Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division. Montgomery received a double BA in Japanese Studies and Anthropology from Centre College of KY and has also studied sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is Senior Program Specialist for the Chicago Park District's Inferno Mobile Recording Studio, a hip hop revitalization program. He is also a curator and artist-in-residence at Brown Rice, an art space for listening in Chicago, IL."

-Phantom Gallery (

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Bassist Matthew Lux is a member of Chicago Odense Ensemble, Exploding Star Orchestra, Heaven And Earth, Heroic Doses, Isotope 217, Life Lives, Mandarin Movie, Pulsar Quartet, Rob Mazurek Quintet, Underground Jazz Trio, and his own Matthew Lux Communication Arts Quartet. (

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track listing:


1. Camisa Sete 3:20

2. Mallowcoat 1:34

3. Ninna Nanna 6:00

4. C.G.L.W 10:03

5. Singlet 0:50

6. Paw Paw 6:13


1. Colonial Gysins 3:20

2. Israels' 8:14

3. Mercury Lights 8:27

4. Gris/Bleu 1:59
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"It's hard to believe that this is indeed the debut album as a leader for Matthew Lux. If you don't recognize his name don't worry, chances are good you have heard his playing with groups such as Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra and other various Rob Mazurek ensembles, or as sideman/bassist extraordinaire for Iron and Wine, Azita, Plush, Smog, Diverse, Tranquility Bass and so much more. Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader recently dubbed Lux the "Kevin Back on Chicago music, connected to just about every important living player in the city."

Lux has built a career from staying out of the spotlight and we are quite excited to help push Lux deservedly out into the light. Contra/Fact finds Lux surrounding himself with some of Chicago's best and brightest including Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics and percussion (Bottle Tree, El is a Sound of Joy), Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, percussion, mellotron and more (Josh Abram's Natural Information Society, Rob Mazurek, Theaster Gates, etc) and Jayve Montgomery (Theaster Gates, etc) on various woodwinds, samples and percussion.

Conta/Fact is incredibly eclectic but is still singularly focused throughout. All forays into percussion led grooves, electronic abstractions, modal explorations and more are mixed with a spiritual-tinged jazz resulting in what could well be a modern day Phil Cohran album (and I say that without hyperbole). Matthew Lux has given us a modern day jazz masterpiece."-Astral Spirits

Also available on vinyl LP.
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
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