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Various Artists: Lao Dan / Rick Countryman / Colin Webster: Saxophone Anatomy (Armageddon Nova)

Saxophone solo improvisation omnibus by three free saxophonists from around the globe: Lao Dan from China recording in an underground bomb shelter in an agressive solo performance; US ex-pat Rick Countryman from the Philippines in a traditional yet extremely free jazz exposition; and London's Colin Webster on baritone sax for an exploration of extended techniques.

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product information:

Label: Armageddon Nova
Catalog ID: AN R-6
Squidco Product Code: 25328

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Japan
Packaging: Jewel Case
Track 1 recorded at China Laio/ning Military shelter on May 1st, 2017.

Track 2 recorded at Strawberry James Music Studio in Quezon City, Phillippines, by Mrk Estandarte.

Track 3 recorded at SoundSavers in London, England, on july 29th, 2017 by Alex Clegg.


Lao Dan-alto saxophone

Rick Countryman-alto saxophone

Colin Webster-baritone saxophone

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Artist Biographies:

"Lao Dan was born in Chinese border city Dandong in 1987. He started on Saxophone when he was 8 and took up Chinese flute in 14 when he began majored in Chinese classical music.Lao Dan decided to make flute his primary instrument when he attended ShenYang Conservatory of Music in 2007. There he focus on playing Chinese traditional music ranging from Chinese ancient music, Wuju opera, Northern Shaanxi folk music to Local Opera. At the same time, he also involved in researching Chinese modern national music.

World music caught his ears in 2011 and he turned to the study and practice of it. Dan not only embraced Indian Bansuri, Turkish kaval, but also absorbed them into his personal style. He is skillful in changing the traditional way to play Chinese flute. It can be seen from the music of Xiban that gave a glimpse of his unique improvisational ability.

He was enchanted by Jazz since he recognized and cooperated with many jazz musicians in Shanghai. It made a big difference in his performance style when he combined Voice, Chinese Suona, Bamboo Sax, Didgeridoo, Duduk, Jaw Harp with effect pedal, which rendered his music a kaleidoscope of color. Dan jointed with Xing and Yu in Red Scarf in 2013 showed his passionate willingness in the region/ area of Experimental, Free Improvisation."

-Lao Dan Facebook Page (

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"Rick Countryman (born January 31, 1957) is an American jazz saxophonist and flautist.

Rick was an active member of the underground "Gorilla Jazz" scene in Seattle during the late 70s and 80s, which included Michael Bisio, Rick Mandyck, Mikel Rollins, Lonnie Williams, Gregg Keplinger, and many others. During this time, he met and studied with Bert Wilson; and through Michael Bisio, was introduced to Barbara Donald and Sonny Simmons. He led, composed for and performed in standard quartets; as well as collaborating with Gregg Keplinger in a free duo, "The Thing Is", and with John Zoltek in free trio, "Thick and Thin." Rick resurfaced in 2011 as part of the Manila jazz scene.

Rick Countryman now resides in Quezon City, Philippines; leading and performing in ensembles on baritone sax, alto sax, alto flute and bass flute; performing original compositions in his own jazz quartets and trios. He also leads Indian fusion groups Blue Syahi and Puranas, collaborating with local alternative ensembles Biologic and Venus Flytrap, and as a sideman for world music group Humanfolk. He created and arranged a Peruvian Folk Fusion group Unity, which performed at 2015 APEC summit in Manila.

While in his early 20s, Rick studied traditional jazz improvisation, intervallic cycles and concepts, and extended techniques for sax with Bert Wilson; and recently studied extended techniques for flute with Robert Dick. After private lessons with ex-Berklee instructor Steven J. Solomon as a teenager and college bands under Fred Radke (former lead trumpet for Harry James), he began his musical pursuits and "live" education in the 70s in the Seattle area, participating nightly in jazz sessions in Pioneer Square which continued in private music houses till 6am.

In his late 30s, dissatisfied with his musical development, and his financial situation, Rick left the scene to pursue "regular work" and slowly shifted his attention to Hindustani music. Overtime, employment opportunities would take him to Tokyo, where he would be overwhelmed, once again, by jazz; frequenting clubs nightly. Inspired, he resumed his jazz studies, and eventually began to attend sessions and perform.

He currently continues his pursuit within the Manila scene, appearing regularly in local jazz festivals and jazz/improvisational venues. Rick began collaborations with bassist Simon Tan on original jazz concepts in Metro Manila in 2011, followed with collaborations with Switzerland's Christian Bucher in 2013, resulting in recording "Acceptance - Resistance" and "Signal Number Three." "

-Rick Countryman 11/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Colin Webster is an improvising saxophonist based in London. He is a frequent collaborator with Mark Holub, Graham Dunning, Andrew Lisle, John Dikeman, &c.

-Squidco 11/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Self-Destruct Machine 17:048

2. River Remains River 19:38

3. Homerton 19:16
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"China's Lao-Dan, who also participates in the free music group "Red Scarf", is a guerrilla recording his track in an underground bomb shelter, making use of echoes like a giant air cannon in a special place called a shelter, revealing a fast and forceful style.

Rick Countryman in the Philippines is the most "free(ly) jazz" style among the participating artists, and it keeps the "core", yet listens to the roar that keeps struggling in search of the light further beyond the next one.

Colin Webster, from London based in UK, has already released a lot of work, challenging the extreme north of expression by saxophone with a melody kept on the verge of collapse while heavily using special rendition style.

The intention of this work questioned the area of expression by saxophone from the root. It is the one that sinks deeply into the sea of ​​formalin, with each of the three standing positioned and aimed, and illuminating the differing personalities and styles respectively."-Deathrash Armageddon

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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