The Squid's Ear Magazine


Tipple (Gjerstad / Norton / Watson): Cartoon Heart (Relative Pitch)

The trans-Atlantic Tipple Trio of David Watson on guitar & smallpipes, Kevin Norton on percussion & drums, and Frode Gjerstad on saxophone, clarinet & alto flute in their 5th album since 2010, a studio recording from the NY area of 15 succinct and diverse approaches to free improvisation, each player shining uniquely and in extraordinary group interplay.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



David Watson-guitar, smallpipes

Kevin Norton-percussion, drums

Frode Gjerstad-saxophone, clarinet, alto flute


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UPC: 5902249001785

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1091
Squidco Product Code: 29209

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded in Leonia, New Jersey, in September, 2018, by Frode Gjerstad.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Tipple is the trio of David Watson, electric guitar, Kevin Norton, percussion, vibes and marimba, and Frode Gjerstad on alto saxophone, Bb clarinet, and bass clarinet. The trio is a free improvising group, crossing the international boundary by joining the Norwegian Gjerstad with New York area players Watson and Norton. Watson performs on electric guitar and various bagpipes. The communication between the trio is superb, and each release has brought a more telepathic link to their improvisations. The dialog ranges from very sparse conversation to emphatic and vigorous attacks, but never overwhelms the listener in chaotic ways, maintaining extraordinary control and composure. As Gjerstad comments on his website, "A nice little trio producing music that is not constantly loud, but reflective and moving." Space is a frequent ingredient to their playing, in call and response or slowly developing discourse.


Artist Biographies

"David Watson (born 1960) is a musician originally from New Zealand. Watson has lived and worked in New York City since 1987. Originally known as a guitarist, since 1991 Watson's work has also featured new music for the Highland Bagpipes.

Before moving to New York, while in New Zealand in the 1980s, Watson co-founded Braille Records to document the local experimental music scene. He organized national improvisation festivals (Off the Deep End, in 1984 and 1985) and in 2001 started the Artspace/alt.music festival to present new experimental music in Auckland.

Watson's work includes regular performances with MacArthur Award winner John Zorn; ongoing recording projects with Lee Ranaldo and Christian Marclay; a premier performance of a Robert Ashley work in New York; performances in Europe with rock-minimalism pioneer Rhys Chatham ; recording project with downtown drum legend Jonathan Kane; performances with Zeena Parkins at Brooklyn Academy of Music and a score for Jeremy Nelson Dance.

Watson released his disc Throats - with vocalists Makigami Koichi and Shelley Hirsch - on Ecstatic Peace; and a double CD Fingering an Idea, on Phill Niblock's XI Records to critical acclaim. Together with Tony Buck and Ranaldo he formed the band Glacial. In 2010 Ranaldo released the solo album Maelstrom From Drift on Three Lobed Recordings with guest appearances of Tony Buck and David Watson. The band released On Jones Beach In 2012."

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

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

"Kevin Norton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY. The composer/percussionist came to jazz in an unlikely setting but befriended drummer and fellow record collector Kenny Washington as a teenager. Studies at Hunter College introduced Kevin to Milt Hinton and after a short period, Kevin began to perform with Milt Hinton, eventually recording The Judge's Decision with a quartet led by Milt. Under Milt's encouragement, Kevin went back to school to get his Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music.

After graduation he played every kind of gig available to a versatile percussionist: classical, jazz, blues, Dixieland, off-Broadway shows, rock, but especially taking part in the blossoming downtown New York City scene that strove to combine all these musics. This lead to him playing with Fred Frith's band Keep the Dog, which also included harpist Zeena Parkins and saxophonist John Zorn. Soon Mr. Norton was asked to play with a vast amount of downtown New York (sometimes called the Knitting Factory scene) ensembles. However, he longed to return to his jazz roots and began to play with downtown outsiders Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester and their co-led band, the Microscopic Septet (and later Johnston's Big Trouble, with two CDs on Black Saint).

Still unsatisfied on a level of self-expression, Kevin began to devote himself to his own projects featuring his composition work and his improvising on total percussion (predominantly vibes and drums). Kevin has written several multi-movement pieces sometimes based on extra-musical subject matter. For Guy Debord (in nine events)is a piece for quintet and woodwind soloist (originally Anthony Braxton) based on the texts of the radical French philosopher whose thought proved central to the riots of Paris, 1968. Change Dance (Troubled Energy) draws it's inspiration from another radical political activist, Kathy Change (born Kathleen Chang). Both suites are approximately an hour in duration. On February 23, 2006 Kevin's Water and Fire Suite was premiered. It was commissioned as part of the national series of works from Meet The Composer Commissioning Music/USA, which is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, and the Target Foundation.

In less than 10 years he has led and/or co-led about 20 critically acclaimed recordings, many of them making year-end "Best of" lists. On one of the recent recordings, Time-Space Modulator integrates intricate, sophisticated composition work with the deep improvisatory skills of Kevin, Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou and John Lindberg.

Kevin has also played with many highly esteemed European Improvisers such as Paul Rogers, Jo‘lle LŽandre, Paul Dunmall and Frode Gjerstad. Also, for about ten years, Mr. Norton was Anthony Braxton's main percussionist in both the "ghost trance" phase and the "standards" phase, plotting out the course for all percussionists who followed him. His most recent projects include compositions for various sized chamber groups and a duo with pianist Connie Crothers.

In June of 2002, Kevin Norton was a resident composer at the prestigious MacDowell Colony. He has served on the faculty of several schools including the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of William Paterson University."

-Kevin Norton website (http://www.kevinnorton.com/bio.html)
2/28/2024

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

"Frode Gjerstad was born in Stavanger, Norway, 24-03-1948. He started trying to play improvised music as a trumpeter in 1968. When he moved to Lund in Sweden (1971 to 1975) he got a chance to meet, talk and play with musicians interested in this music. He had at that time started playing tenor saxophone (1969).

After he came back to Stavanger in 1975 he started collaborating with keyboardist Eivin One Pedersen. Together, they explored many different aspects of improvised music, as a duo or with others, but it was not until 1981, when they first played with John Stevens, that he had a real chance to feel what a dedicated musicians can do to the music-making.

At the early stage of his career, he choose mainly to play with international musicians because there was no tradition in Norway for the free music. However, after the club Blå opened in Oslo in 1996, a good number of younger musicians are now picking up on the music.

His relationship with British drummer, John Stevens which started in -81 and lasted up until his death in -94, was of great importance both musically as well as on a personal level. Through Stevens, he was introduced to some of the finest British improvisers and got to know their way of playing. Together, they led the trio "Detail" starting with Johnny Dyani on bass. And after Johnny died in -86, with Kent Carter.

He has also been active, running a larger group of mostly Norwegian musicians, the Circulasione Totale Orchestra. He started the group using electric instruments and modern rock-oriented rhythms. He has used the band to present his own compositions as well as a workshop and a place for young people to get to know free music. The band presented a commissioned work at the Molde Festival in -89 with a 13 man band combining free improvisations, compositions as well as rapping and scratching.(Three horns, three bassists, three drummers, accordeon, guitar a rapper and a DJ). The Circulasione Totale Orchestra is a powerful ever-changing band.

But it´s not easy to keep such a big group together. In 1998 he decided to keep the core of the band which at that time was Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Øyvind Storesund on bass and try to develop that sound. It became Frode Gjerstad Trio. So far the trio has toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Polen, Italy, Austria, Portugal, England, Canada and the United States.

He has received several grants from various foundations and has been very active in the Norwegian Jazzmusicians Federation as well as in the committee for the Norwegian Contemporary Music Federation. Voted Jazz Musician of the Year in Norway, 1997. Part of the price was a concert where he could freely choose which musicians to use. This was the first meeting with Hamid Drake and William Parker. The concert became a tour of Scandinavia in -97 and the US in 2000.

US Pianist Borah Bergman has also been important to Frode. They first met in -94 and have played as a duo and also as trio with Evan Parker and later Peter Brøtzmann. Borah has been a great inspiration and a challenge over the years!

English bassist Nicholas Stephens first played with Frode in 1984. He played electric bass at the time, but it was not until after John Stevens died in 1994 that they started working together as "Calling Signals". First with a tour of England in 1995 with Paul Rutherford and Terje Isungset. And in 1996 with Louis Moholo and Danish guitarist, Hasse Poulsen. The latest version of the group has been with accordionist Eivin One Pederesen and Paal Nilssen-Love or Tony Marsh on drums. Frode also met and worked with US percussionist Kevin Norton in 2004 and they have found a common ground. They have a trio with Nicholas Stephens: Instinctual Eye.

Electronic music started to make an impact when he met Lasse Marhaug. They have played some concerts together and made some recordings. Lasses sounds have opened up a whole new territory of possibilities and came at a time when Frode started playing clarinets. A very fruitful combination!

Another side of the electronic thing was the group Ultralyd which was Frodes idea: to bring in a loud powerful electric bass with drums, guitar and reeds. After about a year, he left the band because the sound level was unbearable for the old man.! And he left it to the youngsters to decide how loud the band should be. Still, he has continued playing with Morten, Anders and Kjetil in other projects."

-Frode Gjerstad Website (http://frodegjerstad.com/?page_id=162)
2/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Cartoon Heart 3:27

2. Incinerator 4:22

3. Smoke Rings 2:08

4. Hope Springs 2:16

5. Ghost Ship 3:48

6. Doors Closed 1:19

7. Miss Terry 3:57

8. Cracked Open 2:41

9. Tool Box 1:30

10. Lumin Essence 2:25

11. Tell Me 0:49

12. Cartoon Door 3:48

13. Echo Ridge 3:32

14. Cinnamon 3:14

15. Satin Lampshades 2:24

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
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Relative Pitch.


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