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Thollem's Astral Traveling Sessions

w/ Avreeayl Ra & Matt Lux / Sunken Cages

Thollem's Astral Traveling Sessions: w/ Avreeayl Ra & Matt Lux / Sunken Cages (Astral Spirits)

As part of Thollem McDonas' Astral Traveling Sessions concert series, the pianist met Chicago legendary drummer Avreeayl Ra and and highly active improvising bassist Matthew Lux for this exceptional concert of two extended improvisations, followed by 8 duo studio improvisations as "Sunken Cages" recorded in Philadelphia with electroacoustic drummer Ravish Momin.
 

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Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS153-10
Squidco Product Code: 31276

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Live concert recording at the Hungry Brain, in Chicago, Illinois, on September 14th, 2019.


Personnel:

Avreeayl Ra-drums

Matthew Lux-bass

Thollem McDonas-piano

Ravish Momin-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Chicago master drummer/percussionist Avreeayl Ra was born in Chicago and still lives there today. He is a renowned musician always in demand among visiting jazz artists in Chicago. Avreeayl's father, Arthur 'Swinglee' O'Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra's Arkestra. Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, and has performed and/or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd ('Professor Longhair'), Hamid Drake, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more."

-Ragdale (http://ragdale.org/residency/resident/avreeayl-ra/)
9/28/2022

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

Bassist Matthew Lux is a member of Chicago Odense Ensemble, Exploding Star Orchestra, Heaven And Earth, Heroic Doses, Isotope 217, Life Lives, Mandarin Movie, Pulsar Quartet, Rob Mazurek Quintet, Underground Jazz Trio, and his own Matthew Lux Communication Arts Quartet.

-Discogs.com (https://www.discogs.com/artist/46777-Matthew-Lux)
9/28/2022

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

"Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, organist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Though Thollem's widely known as an acoustic piano player, he's also the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and has recently branched out significantly into the world of electronics through a multitude of projects.

Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 15 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 22 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. "Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument" (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Rob Mazurek, Martha Colburn and ACVilla. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. Presently Thollem is developing an audio/visual experience about America through an 8 month, 48 state odyssey with his partner the videographer ACVilla. He's also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine."

-Thollem McDonas Website (http://www.thollem.com/bio.html)
9/28/2022

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


1. Thollem + Lux + Ra 1 25:35

2. Thollem + Lux + Ra 2 16:54

3. Intermission 1:00

4. Their Eyes Met Only Once 4:15

5. Secret Language Of Water 4:24

6. Lighthouse Fresnel Flickers In The Storm 3:35

7. Eye Of The Drum 4:12

8. Stillness Under Water 3:35

9. The Tunnel Ceiling Grew Maps 4:09

10. The Unseen 3:26

11. Hidden In The Saffron Fields 4:38

12. Regeneration 4:11
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Thanks to Josh Berman, Mike Reed and Hungry Brain for hosting us as part of the Sunday Night Jazz and Improvised Music Series and the lovely audience that came out for it. This was the first time Avreeayl and I played together. Matt and I had played a bit previously."-Thollem



"WARNING! This album truly needs a warning label, because the music you're about to hear is at a level of dangerous intensity. I remember this concert well. The sun had already set on that brisk Chicago evening, and people were starting to make their way to the Hungry Brain. My brain was certainly very hungry. I came in thinking I might need a coffee, but upon hearing a few minutes of the trio's quick sound check, I realized all the energizing power I needed was about to be given to me by these three improvisational monsters! Absolute creative masterminds! Hearing Thollem play is quite the experience on its own, but the addition of Matthew Lux and Avreeayl Ra was something of a whole new category. Each of these creators pushed each other in new directions and new heights, each knew exactly when to let it all out, and when to play as softly as possible; when to start a new piece, and when to let it ride. I am so thankful that evening was captured for posterity. Listeners will be wrapping their minds around this for centuries to come."-Matt Scutchfield



"Chicago master drummer / percussionist Avreeayl Ra was born in Chicago on May 21st, 1947 and still lives there today. He is a renowned musician always in demand among visiting jazz artists in Chicago. Avreeayl's father, Arthur "Swinglee" O'Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra's Arkestra. (Avreeayl reports that John Gilmore had a crush on Avreeayl's sister and so spent as much time as he could at the family house.) Swinglee O'Neil played in one of Sun Ra's early Chicago bands, and Sun Ra played in one of Swinglee's groups as well.Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, his relationship with the seminal music organization having begun with early studies with AACM co-founder Kelan Philip Cohran. Avreeayl has performed and / or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd ("Professor Longhair"), Hamid Drake, Malachi Favors, Donald Raphael Garrett, Charles Gayle, Henry Grimes, Billy Harper, Joseph Jarman, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more.Avreeayl considers himself greatly blessed to have come up in the richly progressive Chicago "avant-garde" jazz community. Though he has lived briefly in New Orleans and New York and has toured widely in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Far East, and Africa, he has always returned home to live in Chicago.

Matthew Lux (1973, Chicago) Known primarily from group Isotope 217, Iron & Wine, and his association with Rob Mazurek's various ensembles. Performing and recording with musicians such as - Peven Everett, Bill Callahan, Pharoah Sanders, Nobukazu Takemura, George Freeman and Eddie Kirkland over his 30 year career. His first release as a leader, Contra/Fact came out in 2018 on Astral Spirits."-Astral Spirits





"Ravish and I have played together here and there for years. Mostly when I'm on the east coast and our respective schedules work out for a meeting. A few years ago we had back to back residencies at Pioneer Works and played quite a bit together for our various projects then. We both feel like it all came together, however, when I came through Philadelphia and we recorded in his studio. The raw material for this album was generated freely in one afternoon. Ravish brought it all into Ableton and produced an album with it. That said, it's not far removed from what it sounded like live, and we can certainly play this live again (more or less)."-Thollem



"Ravish Momin is an Indian-born drummer, electronic music producer and educator. A Structural/Civil Engineer by training, Momin also privately studied with Jazz master- drummer Andrew Cyrille for years while he worked as an engineer in New York City in the late 1990s. He quit his engineering practice in 2003 to become a professional musician. His unique approach quickly led him to work as a sideman with a diverse cast of musicians ranging from pop-star Shakira to legendary US avant-saxophonist Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre (of the AACM).

He led the acclaimed Global/Jazz/Electronic band Tarana (members included Jason Kao Hwang, Sam Bardfeld, Tanya Kalmanovitch and Rick Parker) on international stages for 14 years and recorded several albums to critical acclaim. In addition to his duo with synth whiz Thollem McDonas, he currently leads the live electronic music duo 'Turning Jewels Into Water' with Haitian electronic music pioneer Val Jeanty. As a solo- artist, his highlights include performances at Moogfest (Durham, NC, US), The Unyazi Festival of Electronic Music (Johannesburg, SA), the Diagonal Festival (Catanzaro, Italy) and the Beirut Art Center (Lebanon).

For the past decade, Momin has been experimenting with enhancing his acoustic drum sounds with electronic ones, and has crafted a unique electro-acoustic approach. He triggers sounds and textures, layers live-loops and manipulates them 'on the fly', to blur the lines between composition and improvisation.

He will debut as an electronic music producer under the moniker "Sunken Cages" on the UK based OnTheCorner Records in the Spring of 2021. "-Astral Spirits



"Love the tracks I heard on the new record with Thollem and my cousin Ravish. It's got the vibes of what I love about Mahavishnu Orchestra and 70s fusion put thru a modern bass and beat driven left field electronic production. Definitely don't sleep on this!" - Alap Momin (Dälek, MRC Riddims and Internet and Weed Records)

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Trio Recordings
Percussion & Drums
Duo Recordings
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