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Maroney / Ilgenfritz / Niescier / Drury: Mind Games (OutNow Recordings)

The NY quartet of pianist Denman Maroney, alto saxophonist Angelika Niescier, bassist James Ilgenfritz and drummer Andrew Drury, exploring rhythmic playing, timbral variation, and harmonic shading in elegant and delightful ways.

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product information:

UPC: 7290011216917

Label: OutNow Recordings
Catalog ID: ONR011
Squidco Product Code: 17069

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: Israel
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded on August 12th, 2010 by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios.


Angelika Niescier-alto saxophone

Denman Maroney-piano

James Ilgenfritz-doublebass

Andrew Drury-drums, objects

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Artist Biographies:

"The exceptional musician Angelika Niescier is one of those extraordinary women who have been giving new contours to the European jazz scene for some time. She is not only a determined artist with unrivaled energy, rich sound palette and virtuoso technique, but also composes for film, theater, big band, ballet and symphony orchestras. Niescier has received numerous scholarships and awards, including the "Prize for Young Artists" in North-Rhine Westphalia, was the first "improviser in residence" in the renowned jazz city of Moers, and received the Echo Jazz for sublim III -thing CD of the year.

Niescier played with jazz greats such as Joachim Kühn, Steve Swallow, Achim Kaufmann, Jim Black, Simon Nabatov, Julia Hulsmann, Nasheet Waits, Ralph Alessi, Tyshawn Sorey, Ulrike Haage ...

She has performed with her own projects on the most important stages and festivals in Europe and toured in Central Asia (eg the Goethe Institute), Italy, Greece, Croatia, Egypt, Mexico, USA, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Bahrain, Gaza, West Bank, Iraq, Lebanon, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Russia ...

She regularly gives concerts for various radio and television houses (including WDR, Bavarian Radio, Saarland Radio, Radio Bremen).

Whether soloprograms, continuous work with their working quartet Angelika Niescier sublim, the diverse themes of the composition or fulfillment of compositions for film, theater and dance - the central theme of their works is to blend complex composition and improvisation into an organic whole. She understands the influence of the word, the (film) image, the movement and the visual arts as an important inspiration."

-Angelika Niescier Website (Translated by Google) (

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"The music of "hyperpianist" Denman Maroney (born 1949) is inspired by nature and the music of John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Henry Cowell, Duke Ellington, Charles Ives, Scott Joplin, Olivier Messiaen, Thelonious Monk, Conlon Nancarrow and Karheinz Stockhausen among others. Maroney plays what he calls hyperpiano, which involves bowing and sliding the strings with copper bars, steel cylinders, Tibetan prayer bowls, rubber blocks and CD cases and gives him a unique sonic vocabulary. He also uses a system of temporal harmony based on the undertone series that allows him to improvise and compose in several tempos at once.

Maroney also has worked with musicians Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Jon Deak, John King, Garrett List, Roger Miller, Michael Moore, Bob Ostertag, William Parker, Bobby Previte, Ed Schuller, Elliot Sharp and Peter Zummo among others, and dance and theater artists Davidson Lloyd, Sin Cha Hong, Tom Keegan, Tom Lillard, Erin Martin, Wendy Osserman and Mel Wong among others.

Maroney was educated at Cal. Inst. of the Arts (MFA '74), Bennington College and Williams College (BA '71). His teachers included John Bergamo, Alan Chaplin, Bill Dixon, Jimmy Garrison, Leonid Hambro, Ingram Marshall, Steven Mosko, Morton Subotnick, and James Tenney."

-Denman Maroney Website (

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"Bassist and composer James Ilgenfritz has worked in New York's experimental music community for ten years, interacting with visual artists, improvisers, composers, and literary figures. As an improviser James has performed with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Coleman, Jin Hi Kim, Jon Rose, Steve Swell, Nate Wooley, Jeremiah Cymerman, and Brian Chase. As an interpreter of notated music, he has also worked with composers Lukas Ligeti, JG Thirlwell, Annie Gosfield, Pauline Oliveros, Ted Hearne, David T. Little, Karin Rehnqvist, Duane Pitre, Kevin Norton, & Gordon Beeferman. He recently completed a tour of the Midwest and northeast with his jazz quartet MiND GAMeS (with Denman Maroney, Andrew Drury, Angelika Niescier). His debut solo recording 'Compositions (Braxton) 2011' features his distinctive solo bass interpretations of the music of Anthony Braxton, and was called "a considerable achievement of solo instrumentalism and an important demonstration of the possibilities open to the double bass in the early 21st century" by Avant Music News's Dan Barbiero. Current projects include his longstanding Anagram Ensemble (which has morphed from jazz quartet to experimental big band to avant-garde theatrical chamber ensemble), Hypercolor (with Lukas Ligeti and Eyal Maoz), Red Triangle (with Chuck Bettis and Nonoko Yoshida), COLONIC YOUTH (with Dan Blake, Philip White, and Kevin Shea), The Curators (with Joe Hertenstein and Mikko Innanen) and Radiant Tongues (with Jason Ponce). In 2011 James was Artist In Residence at Issue Project Room, where he premiered his opera The Ticket That Exploded (based on the 1962 William S. Burroughs novel of the same name). He is coordinator of the WSB100 festival, New York City's month-long celebration of the life and legacy of William S. Burroughs on the occasion of his 100th birthday. James Ilgenfritz holds degrees from University of Michigan & University of California San Diego, and is on faculty at Brooklyn College Preparatory Center & Brooklyn Conservatory."

-James Ilgenfritz Website (

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"Andrew Drury grew up near Seattle (USA) and works primarily in avant-jazz and free improvisation, with regular forays into other genres and media. He has performed in Europe and North America, made five CDs as a bandleader, and appeared on over 20 others. He is an acclaimed leader of percussion workshops.

Drury began drumming in the sixth grade band at his school on Bainbridge Island, Washington. After spending a summer digging a basement under his parents' house with a shovel and pick he bought a drum set and began taking lessons from Seattle drummer Dave Coleman, Sr. He later studied with Ed Blackwell, Bill Lowe, Bill Barron, and the writer Annie Dillard at Wesleyan University. He is a self-taught composer.

Drury performs as a soloist, collaborates with adventurous musicians from around the world, and leads several groups that play his compositions. In addition to groups that he leads and frequent encounters with improvisers from various parts of the world he plays regularly with Jason Kao Hwang, Jessica Lurie, Reuben Radding, the Rat Race Choir, the Steve Swell Trio, TOTEM>, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, and others.

Since 2002 much of Drury's music has been characterized by an exploration of new materials and techniques, and by the use of texture as a central organizing element. He frequently performs using one drum, scraping the head with wood slivers and fingernails, manipulating drum head tension and harmonic patterns with bells, using the drum as an acoustic filter and amplifier for vibrations produced on other objects, and using the drum as a wind instrument.

Drury's wide ranging interests lead him periodically to explore other media and formats. Inspired by the work and writings of visual artist Robert Smithson, Drury performed and photographed over 20 Earth Solos-site specific drum set solos in desert, mountain, prairie, and industrial settings throughout the western US. He co-created a street theater piece that he performed in streets and political rallies in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico in 1993. In his work with choreographers (Love of the New Gun, Self-Obliteration Companion, etc.) he has created collages of field recordings and percussion samples, with occasional live mixing, percussion, or prepared piano. His music for dance has been presented at DTW, Joyce Soho, NW New Works Festival, and five cities in Romania.

Drury has led nearly 1,000 percussion workshops and trainings for music teachers and since 1989. Participants have included people of all ages, backgrounds, and physical abilities in rural and urban areas in schools, prisons, museums, Indian reservations, festivals, villages in Nicaragua and Guatemala, as well as the graduate school of the Columbia University School of Social Work. In 2005 he drummed with homeless people and battered women in ten shelters in Indiana. Following a six-month "Millennium Project" residency with the Oneida Nation in 2000 the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation identified him as "one of the most skilled and experienced community artists in America."

Drury has received 18 grants for his work from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Artist Trust, the Puffin Foundation, and others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York (USA)."

-Andrew Drury Website (

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track listing:

1. Ledig House 3:07

2. One Off, or Two 6:19

3. Perplexia 8:04

4. SocialHypochondria 7:50

5. Innervista 8:50

6. Canter 6:35

7. Greene St 8:17

8. Warum Bist Du Gekommen? 18:21
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The rhythm section of MiND operates in orthodox and unorthodox ways. Often it plays the traditional role of creating a rhythmic and harmonic foundation, but elsewhere it constructs analogous ambient foundations primarily through the use of color and texture. And sometimes it abandons the traditional functions and lexicons altogether. The ensemble attempts to embrace timbral variation and expansiveness on an equal footing with harmonic shading, and to do so fluidly and organically.

In addition to relatively familiar approaches to the piano and drumset, both Maroney and Drury employ an array of unorthodox techniques. Denman Maroney plays "hyperpiano," using copper bars, rubber blocks, brass bowls, wood dowels, and other objects on the strings. Often the objects change the string length and therefore pitch (3, 4, 6, 8); sometimes they create a strumming or bowing effect (5, 7). These effects range from subtle changes in the sound to otherworldly soundscapes. Andrew Drury's effects blend so seamlessly with Maroney's that at times it is hard to distinguish one from the other. Most of Drury's techniques relate to his manipulation of the harmonic characteristics of drum membranes. In this regard he employs bamboo skewer friction (1, 5), pressure and positioning of bells (1, 2, 5, 8), and vibrations resulting from bowing a dustpan and other objects (4, 6, 8). Drury also uses his breath: to inflate drums, to vibrate bells with air pressure, and to create noise and tones with the air flow, in and out of the drum (1, 5).

It is perhaps the bass that forms the strongest link between the shifting colors of the rhythm section and the melodic intrigue of the saxophone. Given the single-line nature of the two instruments, this relationship does make sense as a contrast to the multiplicity of textures created by the many strings and surfaces of the piano and drums. A tandem is created between Niescier's excited reed and Ilgenfritz's bowed strings, as a kaleidoscope of harmonic detail shifts around the fundamental pitches.

The ensemble nonetheless is a full entity, moving together, ebbing and flowing. The music is in some ways not unlike a jaunt through New York traffic... albeit one that is infinitely more focused on mutual support and commonality of intent. There is constant shift of relationships and directionality, as sounds dart out from behind other sounds, and everyone ultimately gets somewhere- but the ride is always as important as the destination."-OutNow Recordings

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments
Instant Rewards

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