The Squid's Ear Magazine

Moondoc, Jemeel

The Zoopkeeper's House (Trio/Quartet/Quintet)

Moondoc, Jemeel: The Zoopkeeper's House (Trio/Quartet/Quintet) (Relative Pitch)

A series of exceptional compositions by saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc plus one by Alice Coltrane, performed in a variety of group settings, from duos to quintet, with sidemen Matthew Shipp, Roy Campbell, Steve Swell, Hilliard Greene, and Newman Taylor Baker.
 

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Personnel:



Jemeel Moondoc-alto sax

Mathew Shipp-piano

Roy Campbell, Jr.-trumpet

Steve Swell-trombone

Hilliard Greene-bass

Newman Taylor Baker-drums


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UPC: 616892212041

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1026
Squidco Product Code: 19066

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded 1at Park West Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26th, 2013, by Jim Clouse.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The Zoo Keeper's House is be a series of compositions by Jemeel Moondoc and one piece by Alice Coltrane, performed & recorded in a variety of group settings: a duo with bass and alto sax, a trio with bass, drums and alto sax, a quartet with bass, drums, soprano sax and trumpet, a quartet with bass, drums, alto sax and piano, a quintet with bass, drums trombone, trumpet and alto sax and a sextet with the traditional jazz rhythm section with trombone, trumpet and alto sax. The Zoo Keeper's House includes compositions of the blues, ballads and the up-tempo post be-bop avant-garde jazz that Jemeel Moondoc has become known for; Zoo Keeper's House invokes feelings and emotions that one could only imagine feeling, as we walk through the Zoo Keeper's House filled and encrusted with the ageless but modern existence of mankind."-Relative Pitch


Artist Biographies

"Jemeel Moondoc (August 5, 1946 – August 29, 2021) was a jazz saxophonist who played alto saxophone. He was a proponent of a highly improvisational style.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and studied clarinet and piano before settling on saxophone at sixteen. He became interested in jazz largely due to Cecil Taylor and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he was a student of Taylor's. After that he moved to New York City, where he founded "Ensemble Muntu" with William Parker, Roy Campbell, Jr., and Rashid Bakr. The group also had its own Muntu record label, but eventually faced financial difficulties. In 1984, he formed the Jus Grew Orchestra, which secured a residency at the Neither/Nor club in the Lower East Side. He worked with Parker again in 1998's album, New World Pygmies.

He died in August 2021, at the age of 75 from the effects of sickle cell anemia."



From the biography entry of JemeelMoondoc.com, the website currently inactive:

"It was Cecil Taylor who brought the young JEMEEL MOONDOC into modern jazz, and Jemeel has remained a devoted disciple ever since. Moondoc studied with Cecil Taylor and played in his Black Music Ensemble at Antioch College in 1970 - 1971, becoming a featured soloist. Moondoc's own early groups, the Ensemble Muntu, which included Arthur Williams, Mark Hennen, Roy Campbell Jr. William Parker, Rashid Bakr, et al, was very much in the Taylor mold, but Moondoc remained open to other influences as well; the recent release of a three-CD box set, The Muntu Recordings, (NoBusiness Records NBCD 7-8-9) chronicles the first recordings and performances of Jemeel Moondoc and Muntu during the New York loft jazz scene. (see http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD27/PoD27Muntu.html)

In the 1980's Moondoc made three recordings for Soul Note Records including Judy's Bounce with Ed Blackwell and Fred Hopkins. This recording in particular gave Moondoc recognition as an innovative improviser and composer; his playing style sits somewhere between Ornette's country wail and Jimmy Lyons street corner preaching. In 1983 Moondoc formed the Jus Grew Orchestra, a group of improvisers that included Roy Campbell Jr. Bern Nix, Zane Massey, Steve Swell, Codaryl Moffett, Nathan Breedlove, John Voigt and others. Moondoc composed extensively, understanding, as did Mingus and Ellington, that t he strength and power of composition lies with the individual and unique talents of the orchestra members, he also use a technique called 'conduction' which is an improvisational technique were the conductor can guide the entire group through unwritten passages. At one point for about a year and a half during 1983 and 1984 Jemeel Moondoc and Jus Grew Orchestra performed every Thursday night at the Neither-Nor bookstore on East 5th Street. The Orchestra also did stints at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and First on First, with intermittent performances at the Fez. The Jus Grew Orchestra made two live CD performances - Spirit House [Eremite, 2000], recorded at UMASS at its Magic Triangle Jazz Series, and Live at the Vision Festival [Ayler, 2002].

Between 1985 and 1996 Jemeel Moondoc could not secure a recording date. "There was a lack of interest in recording so-called free jazz at the time", recalls Moondoc. "I remember thinking that the whole music scene was going downhill, I was still playing, I just didn't record, it didn't really bother me because I knew I was going to get the opportunity to record again".

In 1995 Moondoc began a recording relationship with the now renowned Eremite Records label (eremite.com/eremite); between 1996 and 2002 he recorded several records on Eremite. The most acclaimed is Revolt of the Negro Lawn Jockeys 2001. This recording "shows a musician capable of drawing together the post-bop linage that includes Jackie McClean and Charles Mingus, and the free-jazz energy music tradition of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor into one grand swinging synthesis", writes Ed Hazell in the liner notes. "Any quintet lineup featuring alto sax, vibes, bass and drums inevitably invites comparison with Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch. Hard act to follow, but Jemeel Moondoc can hold his head up high. Those who take perverse pleasure in announcing the death of jazz in all its forms, should be strapped to a table and forced to listen to this 47-minute set until their ears bleed". - Dan Warburton, Paiisiantransatlantic.com . Jemeel Moondoc's "unorthodoxies are deeply rooted in the knowledge of and a profound feeling for his craft. His heavily vocalized sound on alto combines the sharp edge of Jackie McLean and a gentleness of tone reminiscent of Joe Henderson. He manipulates timbre as expressively as Albert Ayler. The vivid animation and emotionalism of his playing again recall Ayler , along with another of Black Musuc's great exponents, the South African musician Dudu Pukwana". But "Moondoc's rhythmic concept, delivery, and sense of space are completely unique; his phrases slip and wobble prankishly, forming impossible oblique shapes, while somehow holding to a melodic line". "Moondoc gives everything he does an old-world, future-world, other-word plurality. He is one of the most singular players in music, and one of the most eloquent and communicative storytellers", explains Michael Ehlers of Eremite Records.

Moondoc is currently associated with the newly formed Relative Pitch Records, his newly released CD, Two 2012, is an intriguing duo dialogue between Connie Crothers and Moondoc, "the program finds the two players engaging in an off-the-cuff improvisations - the takeaway from this intimate series of duets is that Crothers and Moondoc are kindred souls - not the sort who traffic in cheap musical melodrama - the emotional reach in their interactions is real." (Derek Taylor - Dusted Magazine). Moondoc's newest release The Zookeeper's House 2014, has started to gain some critical acclaim. "Alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc has been keeping the faith in a post-free-jazz mindset for many years, working with bassist William Parker and others on the adventuresome avant-jazz fringes. He continues his progression with The Zookeeper's House, The new five-track set, with different groupings and musical angles, captures a distinctly live vibrancy and in-the-moment vulnerability in the studio. On the opening track, Moondoc is joined by sensitive foil Matthew Shipp on piano, bassist Hilliard Green and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, laying out the rumbling ruminations for Moondoc's six note, Albert Ayler-esque theme, played with brittle fervor by the saxophonist. Structure yields to abandon, and Moondoc's toothy, sharp-toned burst, angular fragments and sense of space alight, with empathetic help from his allies. On "Little Blue Elvira," a kind of ambling, slap-happy horn trio-with trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. (who died a few months after this session, and to whom the album is dedicated) and trombonist Steve Swell joining the leader in unison-conjures up a Mingus vibe. Loose essences of Coltrane (or the Coltranes) are worked into the album's fabric with Alice Coltrane's "Ptah The El Daoud," another chord-less setting with Swell and Campbell, and the aptly named "One For Monk & Trane." "For The Love Of Cindy," with only drums, bass and the saxophonist's poetically embracing space, ends the album on an airy note, with a bittersweet ambiance vaguely redolent of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," but less lonely. With The Zookeeper's House; Moondoc returns-and-continues-a bit deeper and wiser". Josef Woodard-Downbeat Magizine October 2014"

-Wikipedia (https://www.jemeelmoondoc.com/biohttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jemeel_Moondocgraphy)
12/6/2023

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

"Roy Sinclair Campbell Jr. (September 29, 1952 - January 9, 2014) was an American trumpeter frequently linked to free jazz, although he also performed rhythm and blues and funk during his career.

Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1952, Campbell was raised in New York City. At the age of fifteen he began learning to play trumpet and soon studied at the Jazz Mobile program along with Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan and Joe Newman. Throughout the 1960s, still unacquainted with the avant-garde movement, Campbell performed in the big bands of the Manhattan Community College. From the 1970s onwards he performed primarily within the context of free jazz, spending some of this period studying with Yusef Lateef.

In the early 1990s Campbell moved to the Netherlands and performed regularly with Klaas Hekman and Don Cherry. In addition to leading his own groups, he performed with Yo La Tengo, William Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Matthew Shipp, and other improvisors. Upon returning to the United States he began leading his group Other Dimensions In Music and also formed the Pyramid Trio, a pianoless trio formed with William Parker. He performed regularly as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which is held annually in New York City.

He died in January 2014 of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the age of 61."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Campbell_Jr.)
12/6/2023

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

"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.

Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.

Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.

Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."

-Steve Swell Website (http://www.steveswell.com/SteveSwellBio.htm)
12/6/2023

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

"Hilliard Greene has been studying music for more than 30 years and has been playing professionally over twenty. His emphasis is in classical, jazz, rock, blues, R&B, Tango as well as the music of other continents and US regions, and solo performances.

Greene studied at the University of Northern Iowa and at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been teaching private students and classes for over 25 years. He is currently a faculty member at the Bass Collective in New York City. He continues to teach privately and to do workshops and master classes in upright and electric bass for both children and adults.

He performs widely in the New York City area: recitals, nightclubs, concert halls (including Carnegie Hall), recording studios, radio and television. Also performs in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe east and west, Asia, the West Indies, and South America.Greene performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott for 20+ years, serving as his Musical Director from 1995 to 2013. Greene was also Cecil Taylor's Concert Master for his group "Phtongos". He was in residence at Minton's a.k.a. legendary Minton's Playhouse as the house bassist.

Greene works / worked with Rashied Ali, Barry Altschul, Lucian Ban, Billy Bang, Kenny Barron, David Berger, Karl Berger, Cindy Blackman, T.K. Blue, Dougie Bowen, Joanne Brackeen, Oscar Brown Jr., Uri Caine, Roy Campbell, Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Skin, Daniel Carter, Carla Cook, Akua Dixon, Dave Douglas, John Esposito, Bobby Few, Erik Friedlander, Camille Gainer, Eddie Gale, Charles Gayle, Eddie Gladden, Electric Symphony, Alex Harding, George Haslam, Jon Hendricks, John Hicks, Jason Kao Hwang, The Inkspots, Yoron Israel, Vijay Iyer, Klaus Kugel, Leroy Jenkins, Howard Johnson, Frank Lacy, Gloria Lynne, Michael Marcus, Sabir Mateen, Jason Moran, Bern Nix, Greg Osby, Jimmy Ponder, Don Pullen, Lenore Raphael, Matana Roberts, Perry Robinson, Josh Roseman, Vanessa Rubin, Nipsy Russell, Warren Smith, Steve Swell, Grady Tate, Jacky Terrasson, Gebhard Ullman, Marlene VerPlanck, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Petras Vysniauskas, Jack Walrath, Bobby Watson, Mars Williams...

Hilliard Greene has recently formed The In&Out Band, a trio using jazz standards as a vehicle for free improvisation. Also, he is co-leader of the classical crossover ensemble ZigZag Quartet. He produced three CD's with his own ensemble The Jazz Expressions, a solo bass CD entitled "Alone", and co-produced self-titled ZigZag Quartet CD."

-Hilliard Greene Website (http://hilliardgreene.com/about/)
12/6/2023

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

"Newman Taylor Baker is a drummer best known for Singin' Drums, his exploration of the washboard, and his work with musicians Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang, Henry Grimes, Leroy Jenkins, and Diedre Murray and choreographers Mickey Davidson and Joanne Tucker

Mr.Baker currently performs in the ensembles of Makoto Kuriya, Jemeel Moondoc, Sylwester Ostrowski, Henrique Prince, Cheryl Pyle and Matthew Shipp, among others.

Singin' Drums, his solo drumset project, has also featured collaborations with fellow drummers Horacee Arnold, Steve Berrios, Susie Ibarra. In 2012, Mr. Baker collaborated with his niece, mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, along with pianist Richard Lewis, on Singin' Drums: Voice and Drum which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.Baker released his premiere solo drum recording, Drum Suite Life, on Innova label in 2013.

For the past five years, Newman T. Baker has been developing creative music for the washboard. He currently performs as a duo with guitarist Marvin Sewell and has recently launched Washboard XT to explore new musical territory in the quartet and quintet setting. Baker has been performing with the Ebony Hillbillies since 2010.

Mr. Baker currently offers clinics and master classes in collaboration with saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowki to music conservatories throughout Poland. With Mickey D and Friends and the Avodah Dance Company, hebrings dance/music residencies and workshops to schools, communities and correctional facilities throughout the U.S.

Newman Taylor Baker has served as peer review panelist for such organizations as American Composer Forum and Chamber Music America."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/newmantaylorbaker)
12/6/2023

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


Track Listing:



1. The Zookeepers's House 9:11

2. Little Blue Elvira 9:43

3. Ptah, The El Daoud 10:48

4. One For Monk And Trane 12:42

5. For The Love Of Cindy 8:18

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Sextet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Relative Pitch.


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