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Eskelin, Ellery / Christian Weber / Michael Griener: The Pearls (Intakt)

In their second album the trio of saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Christian Weber and drummer Michael Griener revisit the music of jazz tradition through the modern ears of the free improvisation, alternating the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, Harry Edison/Count Bassie, and Russell Robinson with original group compositions, a fascinating contrast in time and style.
 

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product information:


UPC: 7640120193317

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: INT331
Squidco Product Code: 28342

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorde at Centre du culture ABC, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, on March 2nd, 2018, by Alex Huber.


Personnel:

Ellery Eskelin-saxophone

Christian Weber-bass

Michael Griener-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"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/)
4/1/2020

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

Christian Weber: Doublebass, composition, electronics. Born in Zürich/Switzerland

1990 discovery of the Doublebass
1993-96 studies at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz
1995-98 studies at the Bruckner Conservatory Linz with Adelhard Roidinger
1998 studies with Ernst Weissensteiner, Vienna
2000-06 operative and artistic management of the WIM Zürich
2000- music for film & theater, soundinstallations
2001 grant from the city of Zürich; composition commissioned by ProHelvetia
2003 Zürich culture award (Werkjahr)
2004- extensive touring all over the world
2007-13 guest lecturer at the University of Berne
2013- lecturer at the University of Lucerne



regular appearances

Sudden Infant, ensemble für neue musik zürich, Christy Doran's Bunter Hund, Die Welttraumforscher


festivals
Druga Godba (Ljubliana), Jazzfestival Zagreb, Jazz Meeting TelAviv, Jazz-Meeting Jerusalem, Jazzfest Wiesen, Hörgänge Wien, Jazzfestival Schaffhausen, AMR Festival (Geneva), Ice On Fire (Kuwait), Festival de Jazz Grenoble, Jazzfest Wien, unerhört!, Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, Uncool Poschiavo, Jazzfestival Mulhouse, Wien Modern, Moers Festival, LEM (Barcelona), Jazzherbst Konstanz, Taktlos, Vision Festival (NYC), FIMAV (Victoriaville), Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Umbrella Festvial Chicago, Jazzfestival Willisau, Jazzfestival Belgrade, Fri Resonans Trondheim...


toured in
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, England, Ireland, Poland, Israel, China, Taiwan, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Kuwait, Croatia, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Japan, Russia, USA, Canada...


works/worked with
Lina Allemano, Bruno Amstad, Tim Barnes, Johannes Bauer, Ludwig Bekic, Han Bennink, Claudia Ulla Binder, Jeb Bishop, Andres Bosshard, John Butcher, Antoine Chessex, Gene Coleman, Collegium Novum, Lol Coxhill, Chris Dahlgren, Tim Daisy, Jacques Demierre, Bertrand Denzler, Robert Dick, Roberto Domeniconi, Michel Doneda, Christy Doran, Paul Dunmall, Markus Eichenberger, Ellery Eskelin, Peter Evans, Kai Fagaschinski, Pierre Favre, Peter K Frey, Charles Gayle, Gegenklang, Michael Griener, Andy Guhl, Uli Gumpert, Boris Hauf, Franz Hautzinger, Stefan Heckel, Gerry Hemingway, Gerhard Herrmann, Charlotte Hug, Ben Jeger, Russ Johnson, Jason Kahn, Vera Kappeler, Mazen Kerbaj, Hans Koch, Ritsche Koch, Jonas Kocher, Tomas Korber, Peter Kowald, Jesse Kudler, Joachim Kühn, Oliver Lake, Joke Lanz, Urs Leimgruber, Tony Levin, Werner Lüdi, Paul Lytton, Rudi Mahall, Phil Minton, Norbert Möslang, Michael Moser, Jon Mueller, Günter Müller, Simon Nabatov, Lucas Niggli, Noid, Evan Parker, Dave Phillips, Simon Picard, Wolfgang Puschnig, Christian Reiner, Wolfgang Reisinger, Paul Rogers, Roger Rotor, Olaf Rupp, Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, Julian Sartorius, Eric Schaefer, Philip Schaufelberger, Matthias Schubert, Willem Schulz, Irène Schweizer, Christine Sehnaoui, Sharif Sehnaoui, Elliott Sharp, Martin Siewert, Markus Stauss, Steamboat Switzerland, Michael Jefry Stevens, Co Streiff, Michael Thieke, Dieter Ulrich, Tom Varner, Colin Vallon, Walter & Sabrina, Matthew Welch, Chris Wiesendanger, Bo Wiget, Michel Wintsch, Stephan Wittwer, Nils Wogram, Christian Wolfarth, Michael Wollny, Nate Wooley, Katsura Yamauchi, Raed Yassin, Otomo Yoshihide, Michael Zerang, Matthias Ziegler, Alfred Zimmerlin, Philip Zoubek...

-Christian Weber Website (http://www.christianweber.org/bio.html)
4/1/2020

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

"Michael Griener, born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1968, began playing drums in 1982, lives in Berlin since 1994.

Under the influence of the HOHE-UFER-concerts initiated by Günter Christmann he became involved early on in the various forms of Jazztradition, Free Improvisation and New Music, which led to a longer collaboration with Christmann in his Vario-projects (a.o. C.I.M.-Festival Den Haag 1990, Moers-Festival 1992, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik1993).

He has worked frequently with dancers, actors and poets (most recently in a project on Paul Celan with German writer Oskar Ansull). His duo KIMMO ELOMAA with electronic wizard jayrope received a grant by the city of Berlin in 2002 Received the 1. price as "most creative soloist" at the "New German Jazz Award" in 2006 His current projects include a.o.:

Uli Gumpert Quartet, TGW (Thieke-Griener-Weber), a Duo with Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Lacy Pool, Squakk and Carl-Ludwig Hübsch' Primordial Soup Michael Griener teaches jazz drumming at the University for Music "Carl Maria v. Weber" in Dresden and jazz-history and rhythm at the Jazzschule Berlin."

-Michael Griener Website (http://www.michaelgriener.de/bio/bio.html)
4/1/2020

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


1. ABC 04:36

2. Magnetic Rag 02:51

3. La Fee Verte 11:10

4. The Pearls 03:02

5. Rue Jardiniere 06:32

6. Jive At Five 02:01

7. Il Gatto 04:52

8. Eccentric Rag 01:51

9. Black Drop 10:45
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"At any given time in the past few decades, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, bassist Christian Weber and drummer Michael Griener have been members of genre-defining trios across Europe and the US, proving just how vital jazz is today in its historical form as well as in free playing styles. In the trio Ellery Eskelin, Christian Weber and Michael Griener play free music and traditional jazz. They do not melt down the playing styles, but alternate, contrast and deepen them.

With the new album The Pearls they present the second studio record after their critically acclaimed release Sensation of Tone. Ellery Eskelin writes in the liner notes:

"In jazz we talk about playing time and playing free. Playing time usually means expressing a steady pulse and playing free usually means not adhering to a steady pulse. Either way there is still the sensation of movement, time. In making this recording I was struck by the ways in which time can simultaneously be so exacting, so malleable and so multi-dimensional. In these performances you'll hear free improvisations (with no preconceived forms or steady time pulse) as well as renditions of classic compositions from an earlier musical form directly addressing time, Ragtime."

-Intakt



"It's interesting that Ellery Eskelin chose time as the subject of his liner notes essay for this release, because his music has always had a feeling of timelessness about it. His discourse ranges from concrete sundials to wrist watches and atomic clocks to the abstraction of music's swing and stop-time improvisations. Without diving too deep into a philosophical argument about whether time moves only irreversibly forward, the saxophonist, Swiss bassist Christian Weber, and German drummer Michael Griener, proceed to time travel from the present to 1914, with a skip into the 1920s and 40s.

Much like their previous release Sensations of Tone (Intakt Records, 2017), the traditional sax/bass/drums trio dives into pre-WWII jazz. While their takes on Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, J. Russel Robinson, and Count Basie & Harry "Sweets" Edison remain faithful to the original scripts, don't expect Lincoln Center Jazz to come calling these three anytime soon. Rather than mimic Joplin's "Magnetic Rag," Eskelin energizes it, playing with period sounds and musical gestures. Same for Morton's "The Pearls." Griener coats his drums with brushes and Weber's bass states the melody with Eskelin before he takes a solo that would have fit naturally on a bandstand in 1914. From ragtime to swing, the two minute cover of Basie and Edison's "Jive At Five" retains the elegance and nimbleness of the original supplemented and amplified by the "to-die-for"-Lester Young' lushness of Eskelin's tenor tone.

Just as easily as the trio time travels backward, they come back to a free jazz future. "ABC," "Le Fˇe Verte," "Rue Jardiniˇre," "Il Gatto," and "Black Drop" explore another set of time rules. Strict time keeping is cast aside, but not at the expense of expression. And why notŃthe trio has an assorted bag of emotive tools that undoubtedly strike the ear with the same surprise and wonder as the those first encounters with jazz in the early 20th century."-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz


Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:


Intakt
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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