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Weiss, Alex (Rick Parker / Maoz / Ishenko / Ches Smith): Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis (OutNow Recordings)

NY saxophonist Alex Weiss with Rick Parker (trombone and electronics), Eyal Maoz (guitar), Dmitry Ishenko (bass), Ches Smith (drums) and Mark Hodos (birimbau) mixing aggressive approaches to improv with the stranger side of organic beauty.

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product information:

UPC: 7290011216689

Label: OutNow Recordings
Catalog ID: ONR012
Squidco Product Code: 18196

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Israel
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded by Aaron Nevezie in January 2012 at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, NY.


Alex Weiss-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, acoustic guitar, pocket piano, voice

Eyal Maoz-electric guitar

Rick Parker-trombone

Dmitry Ishenko-electric bass, acoustic bass

Ches Smith-drums, percussion

Mark Hodos-birimbau

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Artist Biographies:

"Eyal Maoz (born 1969, Haifa) is an Israeli-born American guitarist, bandleader, solo performer and composer. His music has been described as a synthesis of rock, jazz and avant-garde, tinged with deep electronic and radical Jewish-middle-eastern music.[1]

He leads a number of original music ensembles, including Edom, Dimyon, and Crazy Slavic Band. He also co-leads the Maoz-Sirkis Duet, the Maoz-Masaoka Duet (with koto player Miya Masaoka) and Hypercolor (with Lukas Ligeti and James Ilgenfritz), and is a guest member of John Zorn's Cobra.

Eyal's ensembles have performed at major music festivals worldwide such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, NYC 2007 Winter Jazz Fest, Brooklyn BAM Next Festival, Verizon Jazz Festival, the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival, Florida Music Harvest, The Jewzapalooza Festival in NYC and many more.

His music was featured in the movie Keepers of Eden by Yoram Porath, Israeli's Cinema History documentary by Raphaël Nadjari, as well as at the MTV show Undress. WNYC/NPR recently interviewed him and dedicated a 90-minute program to his music.

Eyal started to explore jazz, rock and avant-garde music at an early age. He led the Lemon Juice Quartet which performed regularly at the Red Sea International Jazz Festival, released three CDs and was heralded for their CD Peasant Songs, a version of Béla Bartók and Erik Satie's music on Piadrum Records.

Eyal's collaboration with long-time childhood friend and drummer Asaf Sirkis has resulted in two duo CDs; the most recent "Elementary Dialogues" released in June 2009 by Ayler Records (France).

His Jewish music acoustic ensemble, Dimyon, has earned critical acclaim after performances in Israel and Italy. After a solo tour in Austria, Eyal completed a guitar tour in China,

Hope and Destruction, his second CD on Tzadik Records, with his ensemble Edom was released in 2009. The group's debut CD, featured Maozwith, John Medeski, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, and Ben Perowsky."

-Wikipedia (

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"Dmitry Ishenko is a versatile and in-demand New York City acoustic and electric bass player. He has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of jazz artists, including Steve Lacy, John Tchicai, Eric Harland, Dave Liebman, Myron Walden, Jeff Williams, Roy Campbell, Jr., Sam Yahel, Steve Swell, Kenny Wollesen, Ches Smith, and many others. A graduate of both the Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, he is also a busy session player and arranger, having worked in the studio and on the road with Paul Banks of Interpol, among others. Dmitry has toured all over Northern America, Western Europe, Russia, and Japan, appearing at the NYC CareFusion Jazz Festival, Vision Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Boston Beantown Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, as well as countless other venues around the world."

-Dmitry Ishenko Website (

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"Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn."

-Ches Smith Website (

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track listing:

1. Whale 4:49

2. Your Last Affront 5:20

3. $ Mrdran 8:49

4. Filler 1:24

5. Control Avalanche 6:14

6. Glaciers 5:36

7. Get Carter Theme 5:37

8. Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis 5:45

9. Angel Of Death 2:20
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The titles Fighter Planes and Praying Mantis hints at the basic dynamics at play in Alex Weiss' music: the lounder, more aggressive side of human design comes together with the stranger side of organic beauty. [...] The musical DNA here also goes back to the mid-sixties Atlantic tradition, as if Joel Dorn had produced Last Exit. But there were no producers suggesting material. Weiss' music should sound like eclecticism, bu there something else going on here. This is the vision of someone with a broad ear, not someone looking to range over a broad swath of listeners. Jazz can absorb other genres whole, and Weiss knows it. By the end of Fighter Planes and Praying Mantis, the covers sound like a previously invisible part of jazz history suddenly reversed."-Drew Gardner, from the liner notes.

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Sextet Recordings
Instant Rewards

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