The Squid's Ear Magazine


Hawkins, Alexander / Tomeka Reid : Shards & Constellations (Intakt)

With intricate interplay and textural passages, Chicago improvising cellist Tomeka Reid and UK pianist Alexander Hawkins present their first collaboration, an exciting set of rapid interchanges of pointillistic playing and introspective playfullness, 9 collective dialogs alongside Leroy Jenkin's piece for "Albert Ayler (His Life Was Too Short)".
 

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Personnel:



Alexander Hawkins-piano

Tomeka Reid-cello


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UPC: 7640120193447

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK344
Squidco Product Code: 29256

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Challow Park Studios, in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, on April 13th, 2019, by Will Biggs.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Shards and Constellations presents duets with two remarkable musicians Tomeka Reid and Alexander Hawkins. Both have become creative epicenters in the jazz and improvisation scene in recent years with their original, versatile and innovative art. Reid has recorded extensively with many legendary artists from the AACM such as Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell as well as the next generation of AACM artists including Nicole Mitchell, Dee Alexander and Mike Reed.

Hawkins is a composer and pianist from the London jazz scene and is regarded in the UK as one of the most innovative musicians of the younger generation with a surprising radius of action. His work attempts to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and his infatuation with composition and structure.

Five of the compositions are collectively conceived with intricate textures and interplay. Two of the pieces feature works by two masters from the first generation of the AACM - Muhal Richard Abrams and Leroy Jenkins. "Shards and Constellations is asingular achievement exploring a broad spectrum of musical avenues from the lyrical to the pointillistic, from the angular to the serene. This adventurous music deserves to be heard," writes Anthony Davis in the liner notes."-Intakt



"The first recorded collaboration between British polymath pianist Alexander Hawkins and the versatile American cellist Tomeka Reid reveals a natural rapport that takes multiple shapes. Eight of the recording's ten tracks are free improvisations, most of them focusing on refined dialogues rife with extended techniques, subtle textural shifts and quicksilver responses. The opener 'If Becomes Is' finds Reid initially producing brittle, wandering pizz figures that gradually morph into an elusive rhythmic thrum in sync with Hawkins' patient organisation of pointillistic notes into fitful, cycling patterns. The pianist summons the sound of early free jazz piano on 'Danced Together', with a jagged left hand chordal runs intersected by the cellist's toggle of clean walking lines and dissonant, plucked note clusters. The duo seems to be of a single mind, together finding a pathway, whether abstract or linear, regardless of how far apart them might appear at the beginning of each piece, but that connection never opts for the glib or predictable. They also imaginatively essay a couple of tunes from the AACM songbook.-the lyrically yearning 'Peace On You' by Muhal Richard Abrams and the elegantly pastoral 'Albert Ayler (His Life Was Too Short)' by Leroy Jenkins-a repertoire of great importance for both musicians."-Peter Margasak, The Quietus


Get additional information at The Quietus

Artist Biographies

"Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is 'unlike anything else in modern creative music' (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a 'dazzling new apex' (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure. In 2012, he was chosen as a member of the first edition of the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Soundhub' scheme for young composers. He also received a major BBC commission in late 2012 for a fifty minute composition: One Tree Found was first performed and broadcast in March 2013, and was subsequently performed and broadcast for the WDR in Cologne (2014). He has also twice been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival (once as composer, once as an arranger), and by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2016).

An in-demand sideman, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Harris Eisenstadt, amongst many others. He has also been noted in recent years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo. Concert appearances have taken him to club, concert and festival stages worldwide."

-Alexander Hawkins Website (http://www.alexanderhawkinsmusic.com/biographyimages.html)
12/4/2023

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

"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
12/4/2023

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


Track Listing:



1. If Becomes Is 4:14

2. Shards and Constellations 3:57

3. Danced Together 4:08

4. Sung Together 6:13

5. Peace On You 9:47

6. Strange Familiar 4:45

7. A Guess That Deepens 4:17

8. Serene and Playful 3:29

9. Alber Ayler (His Live was too Short) 5:05

10. Is Becomes If 5:06

Related Categories of Interest:


Intakt
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Stringed Instruments
Piano & Keyboards

Search for other titles on the label:
Intakt.


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The Squid's Ear Magazine

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