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A trio of Michigan creative music improvisers with wind player Piotr Michalowski, guitarist Jaime Rodriguez Matos and bassist/trumpter/percussionist Christopher M. Skebo in 3 studio and one live recording.
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Catalog ID: abzu 006
Squidco Product Code: 15628
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Tracks 1-3 recorded by Jaime Rodriguez Matos at 4th Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI on October 1st, 2011. Track 4 recorded in concert at The Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, on August 16th, 2011.
Piotr Michalowski-soprano saxophone, alto flute, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
Jaime Rodriguez Matos-guitar
Christopher M. Skebo-upright bass, Bb trumpet, concierge bells, bike horns
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• Show Bio for Piotr Michalowski
"Piotr Michalowski grew up in Poland and moved to the United States in 1968 to earn his master's degree and Ph.D. at Yale University. After postgraduate research at Harvard and Penn, he took his first job at UCLA.
He'd been an avid jazz fan since he was a teenager -- he swore off rock 'n' roll after seeing the Jazz on a Summer's Day concert film -- but his tastes leaned more toward the old school, New Orleans-style than the new avant-garde.
In Los Angeles, Michalowski made friends with a record-store clerk who turned him onto some further-out sounds, including L.A. players the clerk also booked at the storied Century City Playhouse. There, Michalowski checked out gigs by adventurous improvisers, like John Carter, Nels Cline, and Golia, the last of whom inspired him to start playing clarinet.
"It was a fantastic scene," he says.
After a stint teaching in Philadelphia during which he didn't really play, Michalowski landed in Ann Arbor in the early '80s to work at the University of Michigan, where he continued to teach until just last year.
He took up music again at the urging of a friend and was soon playing traditional jazz, swing, and standards on alto and tenor sax, performing with David Swain's II-V-I Orchestra and jams with friends. He enjoyed the tunes, but it didn't feel right.
"I was playing 'Body and Soul' at some art place, and I just thought, 'It's totally ridiculous for me to play "Body and Soul."' I have in my head Coleman Hawkins and all these classic performers. It's almost sacrilegious for me to do it. While I love listening to that music, playing it was absurd. You could say playing as an amateur is absurd anyway, but I love doing it. That was just so crazy. I decided I was just making an ass of myself, and I just couldn't really justify it."
So, in the '90s, he turned back to his love of improvisation and found some like-minded, younger players at the University of Michigan and its Creative Arts Orchestra, who he started sitting in with. He collaborated regularly with James Ilgenfritz, Sarah Weaver, and "a whole generation" of musicians until they eventually left town to pursue their music.
Another longstanding collaborator for years was Detroit violinist Mike Khoury, with whom Michalowski has released a half-dozen or so short-run CDs. He's also continued to play with Ilgenfritz when the two are in the same city. In March, the two played as an impromptu trio with U-M music professor Stephen Rush during an Ilgenfritz show at Kerrytown Concert House, and earlier this month, Michalowski and Relyea, a mezzo-soprano vocalist, joined the bassist in Steve Swell's band for a New York performance.
Through Kerrytown and Detroit's free improvisation scene, Michalowski has made connections around the country that have developed into mini-tours with professional musicians and one-off shows in other cities when traveling for work.
He recalls one notable house show in Berkley, Calif., wiith Golia and Jon Raskin of the Rova Saxophone Quartet all playing sopraninos. "It was advertised as a very squeaky evening," he says.
When pianist Thollem McDonas was recruiting musicians to perform with at Kerrytown last summer, he asked Michalowski and Ann Arbor cellist Abigail Alwin to join him. McDonas recorded the session, which is now posted to Bandcamp as part of a 15-album series produced while touring."-Christopher Porter-Ann Arbor District Library (https://aadl.org/taxonomy/term/106916)
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1. Dyad One 10:32
2. Dyad Two 11:02
3. Dyad Three 9:36
4. Dyad Four 15:46
sample the album:
"dyads is a set of four improvised duets by three instrumentalists who currently live and play in Southeastern Michigan. The first three feature Michalowski and Rodríguez Matos; the fourth is an extended sound exploration by Michalowski and Skebo.Piotr Michalowski performs on various woodwinds; here he plays soprano & baritone saxophones, alto flute and bass clarinet. For many years he has performed alongside violinist Mike Khoury in duo and in an ensemble named Close Embrace of the Earth. Currently he can often be heard in the Dark Sounds Ensemble and in other gatherings of improvising musicians in Southeastern Michigan. He often plays with visiting improvisers such as the Polish duo Mikrokolektyw. Recent travels have taken him to Europe and to various places in the US, where he has performed with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, with woodwind players Jon Raskin and Vinny Golia as well as with percussionist Gino Robair.
Jaime Rodríguez Matos plays guitar. He is a newcomer to the Michigan creative music scene. His music is often released under the moniker Rodzmatos. The label Pandafuzz had released two collections of his work in 2011 under that name: Untimely Music and Until the Spirit New Sensation Takes Hold. His electronic work has been featured in the magazine "CNCPTN new sound by concept and design." He performs most often as part of the duo Interstitium, with keyboardist Kenn Thomas, most recently at the 2011 edition of Edgefest in Ann Arbor.
Christopher Skebo plays upright bass, Bb trumpet, concierge bells, and bike horns. He performs with equal skill on French Horn, guitar and flute. Skebo studied music with Roscoe Mitchell, Chris Brown, John Bischoff, and Fred Frith at Mills College and composition with James Hartway and Jon Anderson at Wayne State University. His musical hybrid of composition and improvisation blurs the lines between the notated and the spontaneous. A composer in many mediums, Skebo has written dance music for Wayne State University, Mills College and Rapid Decent Dance Company and has performed and led improviser groups at the Chicago Calling Festival and the Detroit Jazz Festival. In 2011, his musical activities earned him a nomination for "Outstanding Classical Composer" at the Detroit Music Awards. Skebo is the founder of Little Grey Cat Records, a record label with a focus on creative music. He currently teaches and performs in the Detroit area, appearing with his Creative Music Ensemble and often as a member of the Dark Sounds Ensemble and other groups, often in tandem with James Cornish and Piotr Michalowski."
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