The Squid's Ear Magazine


Alcorn, Susan: Soledad (Relative Pitch)

Pedal Steel guitar innovator Susan Alcorn in a mostly solo release, beautifully performing 4 lush compositions by Astor Piazzolla, with bassist Michael Formanek joining for the Alcorn-penned "Suite for AHL".
 

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Personnel:



Susan Alcorn-pedel steel guitar

Michael Formanek-contrabass (track 4)


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UPC: 616892267843

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1032
Squidco Product Code: 20383

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Uma Studios in Baltimore, Maryland.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Pedal Steel guitar innovator Susan Alcorn in a mostly solo release, beautifully performing 4 lush compositions by Astor Piazzolla, with bassist Michael Formanek joining for the Alcorn-penned "Suite for AHL".



"Susan Alcorn is a Baltimore, Maryland-based composer and musician who has received international recognition as an innovator of the pedal steel guitar, an instrument whose sound is commonly associated with country and western music.Having absorbed the technique of C&W pedal steel playing and refined it to a virtuosic level, her original music reveals the influence of free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and other musics of the world. The UK Guardian describes her music as "beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from pulse and conventional harmony."

Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne., the late Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Joe Giardullo, Joe McPhee, Mike Cooper, L Quan Ninh, Ellen Fullman, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Ellery Eskelin, and John Butcher."-Susan Alcorn website


Artist Biographies

"Susan Alcorn (born 1953) is an American composer, improvisor, and pedal steel guitarist. Having started out playing guitar at the age of twelve, she quickly immersed herself in folk music, blues, and the pop music of the 1960s. A chance encounter with blues musician Muddy Waters steered her towards playing slide guitar. By the time she was twenty-one, she had immersed herself in the pedal steel guitar, playing in country and western swing bands in Texas.

Soon, she began to combine the techniques of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world. By the early 1990s her music began to show an influence of the holistic and feminist "deep listening" philosophies of Pauline Oliveros.

Though mostly a solo performer, Alcorn has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Joe Giardullo, Caroline Kraabel, Earl Howard, Le Quan Ninh, Sean Meehan, Joe McPhee, LaDonna Smith, Mike Cooper, Walter Daniels, Ellen Fullman, Jandek, George Burt, Janel Leppin, Michael Formanek, Ellery Eskelin, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Evan Parker, Johanna Varner, Zane Campbell and Mary Halvorson."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Alcorn)
5/28/2024

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

"One marker of bassist Michael Formanek's creativity and versatility is the range of distinguished musicians of several generations he's worked with. While still a teenager in the 1970s he toured with drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Joe Henderson; starting in the '80s he played long stints with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch and Freddie Hubbard. (As a callback to those days, Formanek recorded with hardbop pianist Freddie Redd in 2013). The bassist has played a pivotal role on New York's creative jazz scene going back to the '90s when he notably led his own quintet and played in Tim Berne's barnstorming quartet Bloodcount. Nowadays Formanek's in the co-op Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.

Formanek is also a composer and leader of various bands. His principal recording and international touring vehicle is his acclaimed quartet with Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, which records for ECM; 2010's The Rub and Spare Change and 2012's Small Places both earned coveted five-star raves in Down Beat. Formanek writes, and the quartet plays, compositions of great rhythmic sophistication that unfold in a natural sounding way - challenging music the players make sound like lyrical free expression. His occasional groups include the 18-piece all-star Ensemble Kolossus, roping in many New York improvisers he works with. Ensemble Kolossus recorded their first CD of all Formanek originals for the prestigious ECM label in December of 2014. The CD, The Distance was released in February 2016 and in addition to numerous other accolades also received a five-star review in Downbeat!

Formanek's other recordings as leader include Wide Open Spaces and Extended Animation for quintet and Low Profile and Nature of the Beast for seven players (all on Enja), and the solo album Am I Bothering You? (Screwgun). Mirage (Clean Feed) is by the occasional improvising trio of Formanek, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. Thumbscrew's 2014 debut is on Cuneiform Records. Michael Formanek has also made dozens of recordings as sideman, for among others Dave Ballou, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Burrell, Harold Danko, Marty Ehrlich, Tomas Fujiwara, Gary Thomas and Jack Walrath.

As composer of works for ensembles from duo to mixed jazz and classical orchestra, Michael Formanek has received institutional support from Chamber Music America, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Peabody Conservatory, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. As an educator, Formanek teaches bass and other jazz courses, and leads the Jazz Ensemble at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory."

-Michael Formanek Website (http://www.amibotheringyou.com/bio.html)
5/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Soledad 8:50

2. Invierno Porteno 9:11

3. Adios Nonino 12:06

4. Suite For Ahl 8:06

5. Tristezas De Un Doble A 17:25

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Guitarists, &c.
Solo Artist Recordings
Top Sellers and Staff Lists for 2015

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The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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