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Zorn, John feat. the Brian Marsella Trio: Calculus (Tzadik)

Two major 20-minute long-form compositions scored for piano trio from composer John Zorn, performed by the NY trio of pianist Brian Marsella along with the dynamic rhythm section of Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen, each piece a tour-de-force from rapid runs of technical mastery to fervid moments of instrospection and delicacy, a passionate expedition in the piano trio form.
 

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product information:


UPC: 702397837121

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: CD-TZA-8371
Squidco Product Code: 29253

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack

Personnel:

John Zorn-composer

Brian Marsella-piano

Trevor Dunn-bass

Kenny Wollesen-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers".

Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone. He attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987, and Naked City in 1989. After spending almost a decade travelling between Japan and the US he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.

Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the klezmer/free jazz-influenced quartet Masada, composed over 600 pieces as part of the Masada Songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, and produced music for opera, sound installations, film and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, often performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output.

Zorn's compositions cross many genres and he has stated "All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I'm an additive person-the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can't see the connections, but they are there." For Zorn "Composing is more than just imagining music-it's knowing how to communicate it to musicians. And you don't give an improviser music that's completely written out, or ask a classical musician to improvise. I'm interested in speaking to musicians in their own languages, on their own terms, and in bringing out the best in what they do. To challenge them and excite them." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zorn)
9/21/2020

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

"Brian Marsella is an emerging artist in the improv music community. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brian learned music by ear at age three from listening to his father, an amateur jazz musician, play the saxophone and vibraphone. His first music loves were Tchaikovsky, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Scott Joplin. At five, Brian started to study classical piano and gave his first public performance. Most of Brian's childhood was filled with the struggle of learning music and the exhilaration of performance. At age eleven, Brian had has first professional "gig." Throughout his teen years, Brian performed extensively around the Philadelphia area in a myriad of settings. A friendship at that time with Philadelphia bassist, Lance Walker, whom had worked with Patti LaBelle and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, opened Brian to the world of R&B, blues, funk, and fusion, working with bands The Dukes of Destiny, The Elgins, and countless others. While doing club dates at night and weddings on the weekends, Brian kept up his classical career as well. At fourteen, Brian was the music director, conductor, and harpsichordist for the New Hope Performing Arts Festival's production of Mozart's opera, Bastien and Batienna, which received rave reviews. At sixteen, Brian gave his first full length concert at The James Lorah House, in Doylestown, Pa. The concert included works of D. Scarlatti, Chopin, Brahms and the world premier of Peter Cody's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. Throughout this time, Brian was studying classical piano with master, David Ancker.

Brian went on to study composition at the Westminster Choir College, and piano performance at The Juilliard School and The Peabody Conservatory, having studied with teachers such as David Dubal and Robert MacDonald. After a year hiatus from music, Brian moved to NYC and received his BFA in jazz performance from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program. There he studied with Richie Beirach, George Garzone, Reggie Workman, Junior Mance, Joanne Brackeen, and LeAnn Ledgerwood.

Since 2000, Brian has been a busy performing and recording artist, playing around the world with some of the world's finest musicians. Brian has been a member of Brazilian percussionist, Cyro Baptista's internationally acclaimed band, Beat the Donkey, since 2004. With Beat the Donkey, Brian has performed throughout the US and Europe, having played Central Park Summer Stage, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Bethel Woods Jazz Festival, and the Planet Arlington World Music Festival. This past year, Cyro and Brian have collaborated in forming the band, Vira Loucos, with bassist, Shanir Blumenkrantz and drummer, Tim Keiper. The group has played Tonic, The Jazz Standard, and MOMA, to frenzied audiences. Their debut album will be out this fall.

Brian is also a founding member of long-time band of friends, Caveman. Caveman has played over 300 shows in the US and Canada, including performances at the 2002 Endless Mountain Music Festival, 2003 New Orleans Jazz Festival, and Camp Bisco VI. Caveman has self-released two albums, 'Before the World' (which features a track with friend, Matisyahu) and 'totem'. Brian has also toured with Tzadik recording artist, Eyal Maoz's, 'Edom'. With Edom, Brian has performed at The New York City Winter Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the oy!hoo festival in NYC. The group will be recording a new album for Tzadik this year and will be performing in Russia this fall. Brian's other touring and recording credits include work with artists: Billy Martin, G. Calvin Weston, Marshall Allen, Odean Pope, Dave Fuszinski, Anat Cohen, Byard Lancatser, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Matisyahu, Trevor Dunn, Mary Halvorson, Briggan Kraus, Romero Lubambo, D.J. Logic, Taylor McFerrin, George Garzone, Rick Iannicone, Elliot Levin, Warren Oree, Dennis Irwin, Jason Smart, Edmar Castenada, Stephen Bernstein, Jon Madof, Erik Friedlander, Ches Smith, Baye Kouyate; and groups: Mad Cow, Big Tree, Leana Song, Pharoah's Daughter, UB313, Chris Tunkle Band, Circuit Breaker, Mother of All Bombs, Brentwood Estates, Exoskeleton, and Group Therapy."

-The Flail (http://www.theflail.com/presskit/brianM_bio.pdf)
9/21/2020

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

"About Trevor Dunn

1968: born traversing a fine line between hippies and rednecks behind the redwood curtain. first musical affinities: the beach boys, blondie, cheap trick, kiss. first television: ultraman, speedracer, bugs bunny. first films: over the edge, the mouse and his child, snoopy come home, bedknobs & broomsticks. first books: zylpha keatly snyder's witches of worm, the velvet room and the headless cupid.

1977: began studies on clarinet

1981: began studies on electric bass and subsequently quit the clarinet as i realized that girls would now talk to me.

1986: the same year that Lynch's blue velvet and Slayer's reign in blood were released, graduated from EHS. the school's motto: "pigs live in litter, loggers live in pride". started a band called Mr. Bungle. then i got a job at shakey's pizza. began classical technique studies on the contrabass.

1990: graduated from humboldt state university after studying the likes of harry partch, iannis xenakis, alban berg, igor stravinksy, gustav mahler, js bach, you know, all the cats. Also performed Koussevitsky's Concerto for Double Bass with the HSO.

1992: first Mr. Bungle record released on Warner Bros. Moved to SF and two months later embarked on the first MB tour of the US. At the age of 24 I was one of the oldest people in the van. For the next eight years played lots of weddings and restaurants between tours with MB. Learned a lot about music playing with Connah, Goldberg, Schott, Kavee, Amendola, Greenlief, et al.

2000: relocated to Brooklyn, NYC.

Currently playing in various projects under the direction of John Zorn (Nova Quartet, Dreamers, Electric Masada, Aleph Trio). The Nels Cline Singers, Curtis Hasselbring's New Mellow Edwards, Melvins Lite, Endangered Blood, Tomahawk, The Darius Jones Quartet & Erik Friedlander's Bonebridge. I still have plans for my own bands: trio-convulsant, PROOF Readers and MadLove; and I continue to write music for independent films, practice long tones, pine over Daisy Lowe and drink shitty beer in heavy metal saloons."

-Trevor Dunn Website (http://www.trevordunn.net/biography.html)
9/21/2020

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

"Kenny Wollesen (born 1966) is an American drummer and percussionist.

Wollesen lives in New York City. He has recorded and toured with Tom Waits, Sean Lennon, Ron Sexsmith, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, John Lurie, Myra Melford, Steven Bernstein, and John Zorn. He is a founding member of the New Klezmer Trio and a member of the Sex Mob and Himalayas groups. He also performs on the soundtrack to the popular children's show The Backyardigans.

Kenny grew up in Capitola, CA, studying at Aptos HS and spent many teenage years jamming with Donny McCaslin. He spent quality classroom time with flugelhornist and arranger Ray Brown at Cabrillo College. Kenny also arranges and studied vibraphone at Cabrillo."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Wollesen)
9/21/2020

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


1. The Ghost Of Departed Quantities 22:21

2. Parabolas 19:21
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Calculus is another radical step forward for Zorn — two major 20-minute long-form compositions scored for piano trio. Featuring the incredible young pianist Brian Marsella along with the dynamic rhythm section of Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen, this is a complex and exhilarating display of instrumental virtuosity at its most extreme.

Drawing upon all of Zorn's musical obsessions, from thorny atonality to touching minimalism, burning jazz, funk, folk, exotica, ambient, noise and more, this is some of the most ambitious and expansive music ever created for jazz piano trio. Passionately performed by three core members of Zorn's inner circle Calculus is an outrageous and kaleidocopic journey into the unknown."-Tzadik



Two major 20-minute long-form compositions scored for piano trio from composer John Zorn, performed by the NY trio of pianist Brian Marsella along with the dynamic rhythm section of Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen, each piece a tour-de-force from rapid runs of technical mastery to passionate moments of instrospection and delicacy, a passionate expedition in the piano trio form.

"Calculus is the mathematics of change - whether determining instantaneous rates thereof or accumulating shapes of varying sizes. A clear analogy exists between calculus and John Zorn's career, as the latter has never been able to stay in the same place for long. There is another even more obvious analogy between calculus and Zorn's latest release of the same name.

Like many recent Zorn recordings, Calculus features other musicians playing his compositions, this time a piano trio. The rhythm section consists of long-time Zorn collaborators Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen on bass and drums, respectively. Brian Marsella mans the lead instrument.

Even on the first listen there are two observations that can be made. First, the scope and variety exhibited by each of the two 20-minute tracks are nothing less than remarkable. Marsella, Dunn, and Wollesen move fluidly from jazz, to atonal workouts, to lounge music, to chaotic breaks. Indeed, like its mathematical namesake, these pieces are all about change. Second, Marsella is an absolute virtuoso navigating Zorn's thorny compositions.

While all of this dynamism can make the music come across as disjointed, anyone familiar with Zorn's output over the last 40 years will not find it to be distracting. If anything, this particular style is ear candy for anyone with a knack for patterns and who does not require the repetition that most musical forms employ. Attentive listeners may recognize fragments that are similar to melodies or rhythms from Zorn's other recordings.

High points include Marsella fluidly playing clusters and inside-out runs over rapid-fire time changes, then jumping into a complex or conventional theme followed by Dunn and Wollesen. Dunn's acoustic has a deep, rich sound as he plays it as straight as you can with Zorn's material (with a few exceptions), while Wollesen is more exploratory. But there is no way to sum up Calculus in a few words - it is as hard to pin down as Zorn himself."-Mike, AMN Reviews


Get additional information at AMN Reviews
Related Categories of Interest:


Tzadik
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Zorn. John
Trio Recordings
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