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Bloor: Drolleries (Astral Spirits)

Drolleries are small creatures adorning the margins of 13th-15th century illuminated manuscripts; Sam Weinberger is a Brooklyn saxophonist known for groups W-2, and this Bloor project with electric guitarist Andrew Smiley and drummer Jason Nazary, an assertive and rugged trio playing Weinberg's compositions about the perceptual phenomenon of ever-changing repetition.

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product information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS084
Squidco Product Code: 27188

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1,3,5,6,7 recorded at WFMU, in NYC, New York, Sept 30th, 2018.

Tracks 2,4,9,10 recorded at Seizures Palace, Brooklyn, New York, on May 29th, 2018, by Jason Lafarge.


Sam Weinberg-tenor saxophone, alto saxophone

Andrew Smiley-electric guitar

Jason Nazary-drum kit

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Artist Biographies:

"Sam Weinberg is a Brooklyn based saxophonist, improviser and composer whose playing ranges from the textural and timbral to slippery and melodic. With equal footing in non-idiomatic free improvisation, free jazz, and notated musics, Weinberg attempts to push the language and capacity of the saxophone beyond its usual, assumed limits. Current outfits include Maestro Day, a quartet he co-leads with bassist Henry Fraser (along w Joe Moffett and Connor Baker) which explores novel forms of composition, structure and group interaction ; W-2 with synthesizist Chris Welcome, an abrasive, rhythmically abraded and contorted electro-acoustic duo ; Captain Phillips with snare drummer David Grollman which borrows performative elements and humor in its performances. Other improvised collaborations/ projects are many and varied and include the likes of Jaimie Branch, Jack Wright, Andrew Smiley, Brandon Lopez, Chris Pitsiokos, Jon Lipscomb and Weasel Walter.

For a year and a half, he was a curator at the weekly music series A.E. Randolph Presents at Bar Below Rye in S. Williamsburg, Brooklyn."

-Sam Weinberg Website (

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

Guitarist Andrew Smiley is a member of Little Women, Happy Place, Salo, Horse Torso, Chris Pitsiokos Quartet, and has recorded with Joelle Lurie.

-Squidco 6/9/2021

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

"Jason Nazary is a drummer/producer from Atlanta, GA. Moving to New York in 2005, Jason has already begun to make an impact on the improvised music scene. His raw approach to improvisation blends a variety of influences from Tony Williams to J Dilla to Morton Feldman to Lightning Bolt. Jason plays in a variety of different projects, most notably free jazz/punk/soul band Little Women, who have toured North America and Europe extensively and released three records, the latest of which being Lung, on AUM Fidelity. He also is featured on recordings with Joe Morris, Darius Jones, Dave Crowell, Olga Bell, Travis Reuter, to name a few."

-Jason Nazary Website (

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track listing:

1. Bast 5:07

2. J1 0:51

3. Mollycoddled 5:07

4. The Croy Hours 5:22

5. A1 1:18

6. Defacer 3:57

7. Ending Phrase 2:07

8. Liber Scivias 6:21

9. Drolleries 3:26

10. Splice Master 4:28
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Much of the initial BLOOR music came from a concentrated compositional burst in the summer of 2017. I felt that in order for the band to succeed, I had to almost be didactic and overly obvious about my fixation on repetition-I wanted this band to be something of a vessel for these ideas I was having about the perceptual phenomenon that surrounds hearing something over and over again. In light of that, I wanted all of the pieces-all of which are documented on Drolleries-to be terse and strongly asserted, repetitive yet constantly changing; gradually unfurling into improvisations which made ample use of the spirit of the written material.

There have been many moments where I've been so elated while playing with Andrew and Jason: it is incredibly fulfilling for me that the three of us are able to conjure the absolute sound I had in my head when I conceived of the band. Much of that can only come through the conviction that we have in improvising together, and me not saying much, but I do think the pieces that I wrote for the group serve to prod us in the right direction and immerse us in particularly potent zones rather quickly. So, while it doesn't seem entirely worthwhile to trace out each composition individually, I will say that all of the pieces that I have written (and continue to write) are all geared towards conjuring a gestalt sense of the whole by having little ambiguity with respect to the parts, how we should approach them, etc. I think we are successful in that mission for which I'm immensely proud."-Sam Weinberg

"Bloor! I'm not gonna lie, that's the exact sound I make when I spew all over the place. But this isn't about me or the awful noises I make or the awful things that come out of my body or the awful mess I usually have to clean up afterward. This is about Bloor, an NYC trio that has, over the past few years, been honing their own set of stinking blurts and blasts while stunned audiences sit in shock ... until they're finished playing at least, then those audiences erupt into glorious applause. Pro tip: this is exactly what you want an audience to do after you've finished playing them some of your music.

Saxophonist Sam Weinberg (W-2) is behind Bloor, and he's joined by guitarist Andrew Smiley (Little Women, Feast of the Epiphany) and drummer Jason Nazary (Little Women, Anteloper). Together they rip through the Bloor playbook, which here consists of ten tracks with names like "Bast," "Defacer," and "Liber Scivias," all of which sound like ways to strip meat from bone. And that's sort of what listening to Bloor feels like, like you're heading face-first into some sort of industrial meat processor and you come out the other side with mostly bones showing. Taking cues from Arthur Blythe (to whom "Splice" is dedicated), Harry Pussy, Sonny Sharrock, and certainly the rest of the Astral Spirits roster, Bloor dismantles the ideas of traditional jazz and experimental music and repurposes bits of them for their own monstrous Frankensteinian creations. Always unnerving, never unnerved, Bloor make restlessness sound like the next frontier in philosophical composition - just how thoroughly can one band explore the rocks and crags and fissures of its potential?

Also, Drolleries refers to the "small creatures adorning the margins of 13th-15th century illuminated manuscripts." That's seems so weird and yet so appropriate somehow, like those little creatures were running around on the instruments and magically making them play with their passage."-Ryan Masteller, Tabs Out

Also available on cassette.
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings

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