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Blum, John / Jackson Krall: Duplexity (Relative Pitch)

A dynamic and red-hot album of free improvisation from two New York legends--pianist John Blum and drummer/percussionist Jackson Krall--both in jaw-dropping form as they present two extended improvisations, "Blood and Bone" and "Wind and Wing", appropriate for the energy and intense and seemingly physically-defying technical skill each brings to their playing.

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product information:

UPC: 5902249002379

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1100
Squidco Product Code: 29734

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Michiko Studios, in New York City, on October 10th, 2018.


John Blum-piano

Jackson Krall-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"John Blum was born April 15, 1968 in New York City. While an undergraduate from 1987-1991 Blum received a degree in Biological Science at Bennington College and also received a BFA in Music through his studies with Bill Dixon and Milford Graves. After college he continued his musical studies with pianists Borah Bergman and Cecil Taylor, and later received a MFA in Jazz Composition and Performance.

While in Europe in 1992, he worked with Han Bennink (Drums), Antonio Grippi (Sax), Demian Richardson (Trumpet), Tristan Honsinger (Cello), and the legendary Tony Scott on Clarinet.

Upon returning to New York City, Blum became a member of the Improvisers Collective (1993-1995) and also initiated projects as a soloist and a group leader. By early 1998 he joined together with Antonio Grippi on Saxophone, William Parker on Bass, and Denis Charles on Drums to form The" Astrogeny Quartet". A CD of this group was released on Eremite records in 2005. In 2001 Blum recorded a solo piano CD for Drimala Records entitled "Naked Mirror", and was also featured on Butch Morris' "Conduction 117" released on JumpArts Records. In 2003, Blum recorded with Sunny Murray's trio and is featured on his CD Perles Noires Volume 2 on Eremite Records. Blum joined the Steve Swell Quintet in 2005 and a CD was released on NotTwo Records of their 2006 Vision Festival performance in NYC. He performed with Han Bennink (Drums) and Peter Brotzmann (Sax) in 2006 and also played duets with Hamid Drake (Drums) and Marco Eneidi (Sax). In 2007 he played with Jackson Krall (Drums) at the Sage Gateshead New Music Festival in Newcastle England. Blum was featured with The Daniel Carter Quintet in 2008 at the Ponta Delgada Jazz Festival in Portugal.

He recorded a trio CD in 2008 entitled "In The Shade Of Sun" with William Parker and Sunny Murray released on Ecstatic Peace Records. That same year he also recorded a solo piano CD "Who begat Eye" released on Konnex Records in 2009. Blum returned to the Ponta Delgada Jazz Festival in 2010 and also played at the Abrantes Musicam Festival in Portugal as a soloist. In 2011 Blum played a series of solo concerts in Portugal on the islands of Pico, Faial. and Sao Miguel; and at Circol Malda in Barcelona. That year he also played at the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival in Montreal, Canada. In 2012 Blum performed regularly in NYC and was featured in several music festivals, including the High Zero Festival in Baltimore and the Jazzores Festival in Portugal, where he performed on the island of Santa Maria. He returned to Barcelona in 2012 to play at Robadors with Bassist Masa Kamaguchi.

In 2013 Blum performed in Mexico in the cities of Guanajuato at Casa Cuatro, and in Merida at the Chaakab Paaxil Free Jazz Festival. He also played as a soloist and with a trio in at the Crossover Festival in Italy, the Jazz and More Festival in Romania, and the Musicam Festival in Portugal."

-John Blum Website (

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"Jackson Krall ((born October 12, 1949) ) After studying jazz drumming with Alan Dawson in Boston and being strongly influenced by the teachings of Milford Graves at Bennington College in the early 1970's, Jackson Krall set up shop on Manhattan's Lower-East-Side, the emerging hub of New York's art scene. While making inroads in the downtown avant jazz scene and after making hand drums and some of the finest marraccas imaginable, he crafted his first line of agogo bells in 1978. He immediately started supplying many of New York's local musical instrument dealers such as "Music Inn", "Mannys", and "Drummers World" with his creations, and eventually expanded his marketing worldwide.

Since the mid 1970's Jackson has played drums with other high-profile musicians such as Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Alan Silva, Karen Borca, William Parker, and Steve Swell, as well as choreographers Elaine Shipman and Kay Nishikawa and his own group "The Secret Music Society."

What most people are unaware of is that he is a master craftsman and artisan who has been hand making bells, drums, other percussion instruments and sound sculptures for over 35 years. Through the years Jackson's instruments have found their way into the hands of the world's greatest drummers and percussionists, and can be heard on recordings as well as in live performance by many bands, orchestras, and the most popular Broadway and Off-Broadway shows like "Lion King" and "Blue Man Group".

In the early 1980's, under the leadership of Toni and Celia Nogueira, Jackson was a founding member and helped write the bylaws of New York's first samba school, the now legendary Empire Loisaida Escola de Samba."

-Aquasonic Waterphone Website (

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track listing:

1. Blood and Bone 21:24

2. Wind and Wing 16:30
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Relative Pitch Records celebrates its 100th release with a duo recording by Pianist John Blum and Drummer Jackson Krall. John Blum is an underground legend of the downtown music scene in New York City, known for his high voltage pianism and as a musician who strives for the very personal. His stylistic antecedents are apparent: Boogie-woogie, Stride, Bebop and Free Jazz, but John has absorbed all of these styles to craft a unique voice that defies classification.

Jackson Krall has been a fixture in NYC since the 1970s, recording with many Jazz luminaries including Cecil Taylor and Marshall Allen. Blum and Krall first played together over thirty years ago and since then have performed in an array of combinations, but this is their first release as a duo. When talents like this converge, the result is nothing short of alchemy."-Relative Pitch

"A pianist of undeniable virtuosity and uncompromising intensity, John Blum has impressed free-jazz aficionados since the early 2000s with his uniquely potent approach to his instrument. One can easily hear the influence of Cecil Taylor in his ferocious, jaw-dropping power; but just as important are his ties to earlier pianists. There is just as much Art Tatum as Taylor in Blum's manic flights, as lightning-quick stride passages are as likely to surface as his more concussive thunderings. Fortunately, he's teamed here with a drummer eminently capable of matching his seemingly limitless energy, as Jackson Krall was Taylor's go-to drummer for fourteen years starting in the late 1990s and he brings a massive sound, with his own deep reserves of strength.

Despite the musicians' notoriety, the 2010s were a quiet decade for both, at least in terms of recorded output. Krall appeared on Steve Swell's Nation of We in 2012 (Cadence Jazz), and Blum had a pair of releases in 2009, with a solo disc called Who Begat Eye (Konnex) and a trio album with Sunny Murray and William Parker, In the Shade of Sun (Ecstatic Peace!). But since then, it seems, their work has been limited to live outings. This makes this project most welcome, especially when one dives into the music. It's clear that these two still have plenty to say.

Some freely improvised recordings begin tentatively, as the players seek to find a mutual foothold before they ratchet up the intensity. That is not Blum's approach. From the very beginning of the first piece, the aptly-titled, 21-minute "Blood and Bone," Blum charges in with mighty bass register rumblings, assaulting the piano as much as playing it, and Krall is right there with him, accentuating Blum's fusillade of chords with a mix of rolling thunder and well-timed detonations. But it's not just the explosive violence in Blum's technique that impresses; it's the sheer discipline and control that allow him in even his most tumultuous moments to hint simultaneously at the boogie-woogie and stride piano traditions, thus leavening his otherwise unrelenting onslaughts.

While at sixteen-plus minutes "Wind and Wing" isn't as long, it still possesses just as much passionĐand with a somewhat greater emphasis on the upper register, Blum's command and precision are even more noticeable. With very few moments of respite, the physicality of the music is striking, and the stamina needed to produce it is equally astonishing.

Kudos to Relative Pitch for bringing these two stalwarts togetherĐand fittingly for the label's 100th release."-Troy Dostert, All About Jazz

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

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Piano & Keyboards
Percussion & Drums
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