The Squid's Ear Magazine


Sacks, Jacob: Fishes (Clean Feed)

Eleven new works from New York pianist Jacob Sacks in a quintet with some of NY's finest--Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, Tony Malaby on tenor & soprano saxophones, Michael Formanek on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums--referencing traditional jazz influences like Monk & Mingus with superbly creative soloing fostered by the freedom of Sack's compositions.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Jacob Sacks-piano

Ellery Eskelin-tenor saxophone

Tony Malaby-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Michael Formanek-bass

Dan Weiss-drums


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UPC: 5609063004977

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF497
Squidco Product Code: 26506

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York, on April 13th, 2017, by Mike Marciano.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"It makes so much sense for a Portuguese record label to release a new opus of the New York pianist and composer Jacob Sacks, considering his many connections with the jazz scene of this country and musicians like Joao Lencastre, Sara Serpa, Andree Matos, Gonccalo Marques and Demian Cabaud. Sacks is widely recognized as one of the most creative musicians in his hometown, and Fishes presents him in the company of other notable protagonists of the New York jazz scene, all of them members of the Clean Feed family: Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek and Dan Weiss.

Here is a meeting of giants led by someone who has already covered the entire range of that music we call jazz, by the side of the greatest: Clark Terry, Joe Maneri, Charles Gayle, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz and too many more to mention, going from mainstream to the most audacious exploratory music. Inside this recording you'll find all the identifying characteristics of Sacks' personal style and more: harmonic subtleties, structural simplicity, deep and mysterious meanings, a refined sense of form, poetic beauty, rhythmic drive and lots of soul. You start to be overwhelmed by the way the little pieces of the clock function, until you let yourself go with the balance produced by the sculptures of time coming track by track."-Clean Feed



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"Jacob Sacks is one of the most creative pianists on the NYC jazz scene today. His strong individual voice has been heard in a variety of settings ranging from the mainstream jazz traditions of the Mingus Big Band and Orchestra to the open approach of the Paul Motian Septet to the vamp based fusion of David Binney's Balance.

Originally from Michigan, Jacob was a 1995 Presidential Scholar In The Arts before he moved to New York City to study with Garry Dial at the Manhattan School Of Music. After graduation in 1998, Jacob was a finalist in the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.

In the last 12 years, Jacob has been a member of many different ensembles, recorded several albums, and has toured the United States, Europe, and Canada several times. He has performed with musicians such as Clark Terry, Joe Maneri, Terumasa Hino, Charles Gayle, Eddie Henderson, Christian McBride, Brian Blade, Tony Malaby, Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein, Ohad Talmor, Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Ben Monder, Adam Rogers, Kenny Wollesen, Gene Jackson, and Matt Wilson.

Current projects include a longstanding duo with vocalist Yoon Sun Choi, with whom Jacob recently released a critically acclaimed album of Joe Raposo's music; the quartet "Two Miles A Day" co-led with bassist Eivind Opsvik, featuring violist Mat Maneri and drummer Paul Motian; and a trio with drummer Dan Weiss and bassist Thomas Morgan.

Jacob currently resides in Brooklyn where he is working on several recording projects and teaching 15 or so students in his private practice."

-Jacob Sacks Website (http://www.jacobsacks.com/biography)
2/28/2024

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

"For the past thirty years Ellery Eskelin has been at the forefront of the global creative improvised music scene. Based in New York City, he has traveled widely performing, recording and amassing a very personal and iconoclastic body of work. And yet Ellery Eskelin has always remained deeply committed to the traditions of jazz and American music. Eskelin embodies this seeming contradiction with ease. He does not see jazz as a style or idiom but as a process. Further, a process of creative development that has great relevancy to our time. In this pursuit Eskelin consistently delivers to the listening public unadulterated, passionate music with no excuses and no apologies.

Ellery Eskelin (born 1959) was raised in Baltimore and began playing the tenor saxophone at age ten, inspired by his mother "Bobbie Lee" who played Hammond B3 organ professionally in the early sixties. In 1983 Eskelin moved to New York City and in 1987 began recording with the cooperative group Joint Venture which also began his exposure on the European international touring circuit. Soon after, Eskelin formed the first of many projects as a leader beginning with a trio comprised of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes followed by a short lived group featuring Joe Daley on tuba and Arto Tuncboyaciyan on bakdav drums and percussion. In 1992 Eskelin joined drummer Joey Baron's group, "Baron Down" (instrumentation of drums, trombone and saxophone), an experience that proved to be an important catalyst in his own work fostering an increased interest in new and unusual instrumentation. In 1994 Eskelin formed the group most often associated with him including accordionist Andrea Parkins and drummer Jim Black. To date he has written over 50 compositions for this group, each of which has been documented on a series of CD releases on the Swiss hatHUT record label. The band has toured regularly and performed hundreds of concerts in the US, Canada and throughout Europe during the past twenty years. Eskelin's most recent project is "Trio New York" featuring organist Gary Versace and drummer Gerald Cleaver. "Trio New York" takes a free approach to the great American songbook, bringing Eskelin full circle to his musical beginnings while addressing his varied musical journeys since then.

Along the way Eskelin has done a number of side projects including a group featuring guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Kenny Wollesen dedicated to the music of Gene Ammons, improvisatory duos with Dutch drummer Han Bennink, an improvising ensemble consisting of strings, vibraphone and saxophone and most recently a group featuring Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar and bassist Michael Formanek. Over the years Eskelin has developed a number of other important associations with musicians such as Gerry Hemingway, Mark Helias, Sylvie Courvoisier, and Bobby Previte. As a side-person Eskelin has worked with a broad cross section of jazz, avant-pop and new-music figures such as organist Brother Jack McDuff, composer Mikel Rouse, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, oud player and composer Rabih Abou-Khalil, drummer Daniel Humair and the pseudo-group "The Grassy Knoll" among many others.

Eskelin's recordings as a leader and co-leader (there are currently twenty) have been named in Best of the Year critics' polls in the New York Times, The Village Voice , and major jazz magazines in the US and abroad. He also appears on over fifty recordings as a side person. DownBeat Magazine named Eskelin as one of the 25 Rising Stars for the Future in its January 2000 issue ("...players who not only insure the music's survival but promise to take it to the next level") as well as including him in their Annual Critics Polls nearly every year since then. Eskelin was a nominee for the prestigious Danish Jazzpar award in 2003 and was the recipient of a Chamber Music America French-American Exchange grant in 2007 and in 2014 as well as a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant in 2009."

-Ellery Eskelin Website (http://home.earthlink.net/~eskelin/styled-5/)
2/28/2024

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

"Tony Malaby (born January 12, 1964 in Tucson, Arizona) is a jazz tenor saxophonist. Malaby moved to New York City in 1995 and has played with several notable jazz groups, including Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Mark Helias's Open Loose, Fred Hersch's Trio + 2 and Walt Whitman project, and bands led by Mario Pavone, Chris Lightcap, Bobby Previte, Tom Varner, Marty Ehrlich, Angelica Sanchez, Mark Dresser, and Kenny Wheeler. Other collaborators have included Tom Rainey, Christian Lillinger, Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, Nasheet Waits, and Michael Formanek. His first album as a co-leader was Cosas with Joey Sellers."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Malaby)
2/28/2024

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)
2/28/2024

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

"Shifting Foundation grantee Dan Weiss has been hailed as one of the top five jazz drummers in The New York Times, and his large ensemble recording "Fourteen" made the top ten list of their best recordings of 2014. Weiss's innovative drumming and forward thinking compositions have been pushing musical limits for years.

With his piano trio, he's released two recordings entitled, "Now Yes When" (2006) and "Timshel" (2011), which have been critically acclaimed for their unique approach to song structure and endless creative improvisation. Weiss also leads his sixteen piece large ensemble that features some of NYC's most gifted musicians. The two albums " Fourteen" (2014) and "Sixteen: Drummers Suite" (2016) released on the Pi record label have made numerous critic polls. His newest project features Craig Taborn, Matt Mitchell, Ben Monder, and Trevor Dunn and is an amalgam of jazz, metal, and new music. The recording will be released on the Pi record label in the Spring of 2018.

Weiss has been studying tabla under Pandit Samir Chatterjee for twenty years. He has performed with the legendary Ashish Khan and Ramesh Misra and recorded a solo tabla cd "3dcd" (2007). Weiss recorded two groundbreaking cds "Teental Drumset Solo" (2005) and "Jhaptal Drumset Solo" (2011) where he performs classical Indian repertoire on drum set.

Weiss was named 'The Top Up and Coming Percussionist' 2 years in a row in the 60th and 61st annual Downbeat's Critic's Poll and earned a spot in Modern Drummer's coveted Top 5 Jazz Drummers of 2014."

-Dan Weiss Website (https://www.danweiss.net/about-1/)
2/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Saloon 5:15

2. Carnegie The Sketcher 2:49

3. This Is A Song? 5:00

4. Carnegie Kvetches If 1:36

5. The Opener 6:38

6. Carnegie Echos Kent 2:01

7. Five Little Melodies 5:20

8. Carnegie Chutes Fork 2:07

9. Chopped In 7:51

10. Carnegie Stock Thew 2:19

11. Ill Blues 5:26

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Clean Feed.


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