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Reid, Tomeka Quartet: Old New (Cuneiform)

Drawn from some of New Yorks finest and most active improvisers, cellist Tomeka Reid's string-centric quartet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Jason Roebke on bass, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, take Reid's lyrical compositions into ebullient territory, showing the effective power of these versatile string instruments in creative and irresistible modern jazz.
 

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product information:


UPC: 045775046525

Label: Cuneiform
Catalog ID: Rune 465
Squidco Product Code: 29438

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Greenwood Underground, in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18th, 2018, by Eivind Opsvik.


Personnel:

Tomeka Reid-cello

Mary Halvorson-guitar

Jason Roebke-bass

Tomas Fujiwara-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
9/23/2020

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

"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."

-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
9/23/2020

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

"Jason Roebke is a double bassist, improviser and composer living in Chicago. He was born and raised in tiny Kaukauna, Wisconsin in 1974 and began playing electric bass at age 14. His first fascination was with Motown bassist James Jamerson. Roebke's first introduction to jazz was at a summer jazz camp run by local legend, pianist, John Harmon. Here he heard recordings of Charlie Parker and a life long fascination with music was begun. His high school band director had a small jazz CD collection which included Ornette Coleman's "The Art of the Improvisers" and Charles Mingus "Mingus Ah Um" which he listed to endlessly for years.

Entering college at the University of Minnesota for an extremely short stay, he returned to Wisconsin, graduating from a small liberal arts university in 1996. Roebke moved to Madison, WI to study with legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell. There he worked as Mitchell's music copyist for 18 months, spending nearly everyday at Mitchell's home reworking orchestral and chamber music scores with the composer. In 1998, Roebke entered the University of Michigan where he studied with bassist Rodney Whitaker.

In 1999, Roebke moved to Chicago and quickly began working with a new crop of young improvisers. There were early associations with saxophonists Aram Shelton, Dave Rempis and Matt Bauder (also a Michigan alumnus); drummers Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly and cornetist Josh Berman. Soon after his arrival in Chicago, Roebke organized his first quartet with Bauder, guitarist Jeff Parker, and drummer Chad Taylor. He also began playing with a large improvising ensemble Chicago Improvisers Group with Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, Michael Zerang, Jim Baker among others. He made his first recording as a leader in 2003 with "Rapid Croche" on 482 Music. A trio session with saxophonist Aram Shelton and drummer Tim Daisy, the recording was a critical success. Also during this time, Roebke began his long and continuing association with Fred Lonberg-Holm. Roebke played, toured and recorded with Lonberg-Holm's Terminal 4 and Valentine Trio. Roebke was the instigator of three recordings and a tour with the improvising trio tigersmilk, with cornetist Rob Mazurek and Vancouver drummer Dylan van der Schyff.

In recent years, Roebke has been playing with Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown, Jason Stein Trio, Jeb Bishop Trio, James Falzone's KLANG, Jorrit Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective, Pillow Circles, and The Whammies, Keefe Jackson, and Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things. The trio of Nate Wooley, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Roebke released two recordings "Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing" and an untitled LP. Roebke and Berlin-based tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius released a duo CD on Nottwo Records in 2012."

-Jason Roebke Website (http://www.jasonroebke.info/biography/)
9/23/2020

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

"Born in Boston in 1977, Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara emerged during the early to mid-2000s as a valued sideman before forming his own quintet, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up, which gathered accolades for blending influences such as Wayne Shorter, Taleb Kweli, and Me'Shell Ndegéocello with the experimental and unpredictable spirit of the 21st century Brooklyn creative jazz scene. After studying for eight years with drummer and educator Alan Dawson in the Boston area, Fujiwara moved to New York at the age of 17. His first performing experiences included a five-year stint beginning around the turn of the millennium with the off-Broadway show Stomp, but he also began appearing as a sideman on jazz recordings (e.g., Three Souls by the Adam Rafferty Trio in 2003) and moving in exploratory, adventurous directions.

Fujiwara developed a particularly strong collaborative relationship with New Haven, Connecticut-based cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, whose own avant-leaning ensembles have featured a number of top Brooklyn improvising musicians. Fujiwara first appeared with Bynum on two 2007 recordings, The Middle Picture by the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet (Firehouse 12) and True Events by the Taylor Ho Bynum/Tomas Fujiwara Duo (482 Music). During the following years, the drummer appeared on the Bynum Sextet albums Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY, 2009), Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12, 2011), and Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) (Firehouse 12, 2013), and the Bynum/Fujiwara Duo album Stepwise (Nottwo, 2010). Fujiwara is also a member of Positive Catastrophe, a ten-piece outfit co-led by Bynum and percussionist Abraham Gomez-Delgado and inspired by Sun Ra and Latin jazz; the group has released two albums on Cuneiform, Garabatos Volume One (2009) and Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo... (2012).

Another musician with whom Fujiwara has often worked, guitarist Mary Halvorson, also often travels in the same creative orbit as Taylor Ho Bynum; like Fujiwara, Halvorson is a member of the Bynum Sextet, and along with Bynum and violist Jessica Pavone, the drummer and guitarist formed the collective quartet the Thirteenth Assembly, which has recorded two albums for the Important Records label, 2009's (un)sentimental and 2011's Station Direct. Fujiwara, Halvorson, and Bynum also appeared as members of the Chicago-New York nonet Living by Lanterns, whose New Myth/Old Science album -- based on fragments of music recorded by Sun Ra in 1961 -- appeared on Cuneiform in 2012. In 2014 Cuneiform released another album featuring Fujiwara and Halvorson, the eponymous debut of Thumbscrew, a collaborative trio also including veteran bassist Michael Formanek.

Fujiwara first assembled his Hook Up quintet in 2008, later describing the bandmembers as "some of the most important musicians in my life" -- and given all of Fujiwara and Halvorson's recorded appearances together in various settings, it was no surprise that the guitarist was in the lineup. Also featuring tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, and bassist Danton Boller, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up released their debut album, Actionspeak, on 482 Music in 2010. Featuring Trevor Dunn on bass in place of Boller, the group's sophomore album, The Air Is Different, arrived (also on 482 Music) in 2012.

The many other projects in which Fujiwara has played as a collaborator or sideman include the Steve Lacy tribute band Ideal Bread, the eight-piece "bhangra funk dhol 'n' brass" outfit Red Baraat, and saxophonist/clarinetist Matt Bauder's acoustic jazz quintet. "

-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tomas-fujiwara-mn0000909926/biography)
9/23/2020

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track listing:


1. Old New 4:06

2. Wabash Blues 4:56

3. Niki's Bop 4:56

4. Aug. 6 5:22

5. Ballad 4:53

6. Saddie 5:14

7. Edelin 6:34

8. Peripatetic 4:23

9. RN 5:29
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The jazz polls might still list cello under the miscellaneous instrument category, but in the hands of Tomeka Reid it's an essential vehicle for unfettered jazz exploration. Old New, the second album by the Tomeka Reid Quartet, is a project that exemplifies why she's quickly become a definitive figure on the 21st century jazz scene. As a composer, arranger, improviser, bandleader, and impresario, she embodies jazz's progressive ethos. Crafting memorable tunes brimming with arresting textures and melodies, Reid creates music palpably connected to the tradition while recasting those sounds to meet her own expressive needs. Old new, indeed!

While Reid has recorded prolifically since making her debut on flutist Nicole Mitchell's 2002 Black Earth Ensemble album Afrika Rising (DreamTime Records), Old New is only her second album leading her own band, following up on the eponymous Tomeka Reid Quartet (Thirsty Ear). Like that 2015 release, the band's second album features a brilliant cast with guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, who play together in at least half a dozen different ensembles, and Chicago bassist Jason Roebke. It's essentially a string band, an electro-acoustic hybrid in which any player might take on bass, melodic or rhythmic responsibilities at any given time.

"I wanted to have a string-centered group," says Reid, who was recently voted Violinist/Violist/Cellist of the Year for the second consecutive time by the Jazz Journalists Association. "I wanted a harmonic instrument, but not piano and I wanted to go in a different direction. For this quartet I like Mary's manner of using pedals in interesting and creative ways. You can hear right away that it's her. I like that contrast with me being all acoustic in this ensemble."

Based in Queens since 2016, Reid wrote much of the Old New music with the support of a grant from Roulette Intermedium. The album opens with the title track, a slippery piece that almost serves as a manifesto for an artist consciously building on the work of her most adventurous string predecessors. It's a Reid original "that's an old form, a hymn," she says. In much the same way, "Wabash Blues" opens with Fujiwara's clattery trap work, a jittery introduction for an incident-filled soundscape inspired by the changeable energy of the Chicago block where she lived before moving to New York City.

Reid is as effective evoking people as places. "Niki's Bop" is a tribute to her dear friend and mentor Nicole Mitchell, a joyous, terpsichorean line that practically shimmies. "I could imagine her playing that melody on flute," Reid says. "She's a huge inspiration in my life. There's nothing better than writing a song for somebody."

Mary Halvorson was a source of inspiration for "Ballad" and the piece's coiled energy, conversational flow and wry asides seem to reveal facets of the guitarist that aren't necessarily apparent. "The melody reminded me of something about Mary's personality, sweet, no nonsense, reserved, and yet funnier than most people might know," Reid says.

Written for her maternal grandmother, "Sadie" is a boppish line that's as poised and elegant as the woman herself. Designed to feature Roebke, "Edelin" is a mysterious, slow-breath piece that takes on density as it goes. "Jason should be much better known," Reid says. "He does great, interesting work, and being in Chicago you can get overlooked. There are so many people doing interesting things there."

Reid closes the album with "Peripatetic," an Anthony Braxton-inspired tune that covers a lot of distance in a relatively short span, from the portentous opening statement to the skittery mid-section to the almost operatic conclusion. Speaking of gorgeous melodies, the pizzicato-powered "RN" offers a glimpse at Reid's love of pop music, with its incantatory refrain and unabashed lyricism. It's a sweet sign off, and an implicit promise that there are many more realms for this band to investigate.

If Reid's music seems to draw on a multiplicity of sources, that's because she's absorbed a mind-boggling array of influences in a relatively short period of time. Over the past decade she's collaborated with veteran visionaries connected to Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), performing and recording with Anthony Braxton, Nicole Mitchell, Roscoe Mitchell (no relation) and the collective he co-founded, the Art Ensemble of Chicago. She's also worked closely with contemporaries such as drummer Mike Reed, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, and veteran masters such as Nicole Mitchell and pianist Myra Melford, among many others. Reid has embraced her role as a champion of creative string players, on and off the bandstand. "I'm a big advocate for strings in improvised music, particularly violinists, violists and cellists who are their own leaders," says Reid, who founded and runs the Chicago Jazz String Summit. "A lot of my projects are centered around string players."

"What's awesome as a cellist is that we can create a sound for ourselves," said Reid, who was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. "We do have a history, but not the same kind as trumpet, saxophone and pianists for example, with hundreds and hundreds of predecessors. I've come to appreciate that a lot more." With Old New, Tomeka Reid has staked another flag in the future."-Cuneiform Records

Related Categories of Interest:


Cuneiform
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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The Anthony Braxton Project
(Cuneiform)
McPhee / Rempis / Reid / Lopez / Nilssen-Love
Of Things Beyond Thule Vol. 2
(Aerophonic)
McPhee / Reid / Lopez / Nilssen-Love / Rempis
Of Things Beyond Thule Volume 1 [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(Aerophonic)
Reid, Tomeka / Kyoko Kitamura / Tyler Ho Bynum / Joe Morris
Geometry Of Distance
(Relative Pitch)
Vinuesa, Juan Jazz Quartet (Vinuesa / Berman / Roebke Avery)
Blue Shots From Chicago
(NoBusiness)
Formanek, Michael Very Practical Trio (w/ Tim Berne / Mary Halvorson)
Even Better
(Intakt)
Berman / Lytton / Roebke
Trio Discrepancies [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits)
Bishop, Jeb Flex Quartet
Re-Collect
(Not Two)
Eisenstadt, Harris (Malaby / Roebke / Bishop)
Old Growth Forest II [CASSETTE with DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Spirits)
Douglas, Dave
Showing Up / The Power of the Vote [7" VINYL]
(Greenleaf Music)
Fujiwara, Tomas
Triple Double [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Rainey, Tom Trio (w/ Laubrock / Halvorson)
Combobulated
(Intakt)
Reid, Tomeka / Filippo Monaco
The Mouser
(Relative Pitch)
Laubrock, Ingrid (w/ Halvorson / Davis / Wooley)
Contemporary Chaos Practices - Two Works For Orchestra With Soloists
(Intakt)
Rempis, Dave / Tomeka Reid / Joshua Abrams
Ithra
(Aerophonic)
Mitchell, Nicole
Maroon Cloud
(FPE Records)
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(Cuneiform Records)
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(Firehouse 12 Records)
Mitchell, Nicole
Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
(FPE Records)
Courvoisier, Sylvie / Mary Halvorson
Crop Circles
(Relative Pitch)
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(NoBusiness)
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Convallaria
(Cuneiform)
Braxton, Anthony
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(Braxton House/Firehouse 12 Records)
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(Clean Feed)
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(Clean Feed)
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(Relative Pitch)
Whammies, The (Dijkstra / Oliver / Karayorgis / Roebke / Bishop / Bennink)
Play The Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 3, Live
(Driff Records)
Bauder, Matt and Day in Pictures
Nightshades
(Clean Feed)
Bynum, Taylor Ho
Navigation (Possibility Abstracts XII & XIII) [2 CDs]
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Cady, Jason
Happiness Is The Problem
(Lock Step Records)
Braxton, Anthony Steptet (with Ho Bynum / Halvorson / Pavone / Rozen / Siegel / Testa)
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Smith, Ches and These Arches (Smith / Berne / Malaby / Halvorson / Parkins)
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Perpetual Frontier The Properties of Free Music [BOOK]
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(Les Disques Victo)
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