The Squid's Ear Magazine

Uesaka, Yuma / Cat Toren / Colin Hinton: Ocelot (577 Records)

The Brooklyn trio of Yuma Uesaka on tenor saxophone & clarinets, Cat Toren on piano & synthesizer, and Colin Hinton on drums, percussion, gongs, glockenspiel, & vibraphone, in a sophisticated album of modern creative improvisation with a lyrical attitude and a confidently introspective approach, all three players contributing original compositions to this debut album.

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product information:

UPC: 7555491189177

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5859
Squidco Product Code: 30022

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Italy
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded October 20, 2019 at The Bunker Studio, in Brooklyn, New York, by Nolan Thies, assisted by Carlos Mora.


Yuma Uesaka-tenor saxophone, clarinets

Cat Toren-piano, synthesizer

Colin Hinton-drums, percussion, gongs, glockenspiel, vibraphone

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Ocelot - the new Brooklyn-based trio featuring Cat Toren, Yuma Uesaka, and Colin Hinton - presents its irresistibly vivid debut album, via 577 Records. At a contemplative time for the world, the new Brooklyn-based trio Ocelot makes its debut on record with an album that emphasizes melody and atmosphere, whether the music is meditative or more volatile.

This group - featuring award-winning pianist Cat Toren, saxophonist/clarinetist Yuma Uesaka and drummer/percussionist Colin Hinton. Ocelot represents the culmination of a year's worth of composing, rehearsing, touring and local gigging for the band - including an October 2019 residency in New Haven, Connecticut, and a tour of the East Coast and Canada that deepened the trio's chemistry and its approach to the material recorded later that month.

Remarkably, Toren was pregnant with her daughter during the entire process, a challenge made easier by the keenly supportive relationships in the band. "We're three friends who trust each other, converse easily and have tremendous respect for one another," Toren explains. "Our relationships are the foundation for our interactive discourse, which can vary - we've performed concerts that were musically very patient, and we've played gigs at bars that were real bangers."-577 Records

Artist Biographies

"Yuma Uesaka (b. 1991) is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and improviser-composer mostly known for his work in jazz and creative music. Since his arrival to New York City in 2014, Yuma quickly built a reputation for his improvisational sensibilities and his powerful sound. As an advocate for music that celebrates modernity, hybridity, and rigor, Yuma works across diverse musical communities including jazz, creative music, and new classical music.

Yuma has performed at many of the notable venues in NYC such as National Sawdust, Roulette, The Jazz Gallery, Cornelia St Cafe, and Zinc Bar. He tours regularly both as a leader and as a sideman, and has performed across the US and beyond, making appearances in international festivals such as Detroit Jazz Festival (US), Lima ICPNA Jazz Festival (Peru), Otsu Jazz Festival (Japan), TU Jazz Festival (Canada), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Festival (China).

He currently co-leads Ocelot, a collaborative trio consisting of Colin Hinton and Cat Toren. Ocelot recorded their debut album in 2019, which will be released on March 26th, on 577 Records. Yuma released his debut EP, Spear and Shield, in 2015. Dave Sumner (Bird is the Worm) praises the album as a "compelling debut from saxophonist Uesaka, who susses out some powerful moments from his gentle lyricism."

As a sideman, Yuma has performed and/or recorded with Anna Webber's New Large Ensemble, Jeff Lederer and The Brooklyn Blowhards; Lex Korten's Make/Believe; Colin Hinton's Simulacra; Gabriel Zucker; Lesley Mok's Living Collection, Peter Nelson's Ash, Dust, and Chalkboard Cinema; Ken Ychicawa's Thruworld; Pravin Thompson's A Thoughtful Collapse; Alec Goldfarb's Laughing Coffin. Through these projects, he had the pleasure of working with leading musical figures such as Jorge Roeder, Allison Miller, Eric Wubbels, and Kate Gentile, as well as rising young talents such as Nick Dunston, Adam O'Farrill, and Lex Korten. He was also a part of a world premier of Monteverdi Shapero by Alvin Lucier as a part of Ensemble Evolution at Banff Center for the Arts.

Born in London, Yuma spent his early childhood in Nagoya, Japan. He moved to West Bloomfield, Michigan at the age of 8 and started playing the saxophone at the age of 10 and clarinet at age 12. He holds two bachelor's degrees from University of Michigan, where he majored in Jazz Studies and Computer Science Engineering. He studied with Geri Allen, Robert Hurst, Andrew Bishop, and Erik Santos. An alumnus of Banff Jazz and Creative Music Workshop and Ensemble Evolution, Yuma worked and studied with cutting edge luminaries such as Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey, Nicole Mitchell, Amir ElSaffar, Claire Chase, and Steve Schick. Since relocating to NYC, he has studied clarinet with Vasko Dukovski and composition with Eric Wubbels.

Yuma is a member of Polyfold Musical Arts Collective. Polyfold is a grassroots, artist-led non-profit organization that helps create opportunities for improvising musicians to present creative works."

-Yuma Uesaka Website (

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

"Cat Toren is an award winning pianist, improviser and composer residing in Brooklyn, New York. Described as "vibrant, earthy and spiritual" (UK Vibe), Cat "uses bold atmospheric abstraction and fluid melodies to mix deep human warmth with creative fire" (Coastal Jazz and Blues).

Cat Toren holds a Masters in Music Composition from the New York State University at Purchase College and an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies from Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC, her hometown. She has studied piano with highly respected pianists such as Andy LaVerne and Sophia Rosoff and composition with Dr. Lisa Miller, Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun and Pulitzer Prize Nominee Laura Kaminsky. In addition, Cat is passionate about sound therapy; she holds a Sound Healing Training Certificate from the Sage Academy in Woodstock, NY.

On January 21, 2017 Cat released her fourth album entitled Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND. It sold copies in over seven countries, receiving critically acclaimed reviews such as "A powerful recording" - Bandcamp Daily (The Best New Jazz on Bandcamp) and "Cat Toren should be a household name. Incredible music for 2017" - UK Vibe. The music is influenced by the free-form, socially conscious jazz of the late '60s as well as today's civil rights movement. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival in conjunction with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation asked Cat to be an artist speaker at the University of British Columbia Colloquium 2017 where the annual topic was Lines of Flight: Improvisation, Hope and Refuge. Cat gave a presentation and lecture entitled Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND: Music for Empathic Activism. This lecture was published in the online arts journal Nothing To Say. Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND will release their follow up album "Scintillating Beauty" on Panoramic Recordings (New Focus Recordings) on September 11, 2020.

Career accolades include a JUNO Award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year 2013, JUNO Nomination for Best Instrumental Album of the Year 2016, Western Canadian Music Award 2016, and Galaxy Rising Star Award 2010 all with the co-led ensemble Pugs & Crows. Additionally, Cat Toren is a respected composer. Commissions include "Sleep" for the Cassatt String Quartet, premiered in Vinalhaven, Maine in 2017 and "Gaea" for Orkestra Futura, premiered in Vancouver, BC in 2014. She is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre."

-Cat Toren Website (

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

"Colin Hinton is an active member of Brooklyn's creative music community. A drummer, percussionist, and composer, his music draws from the jazz and free music traditions of Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, and Muhal Richard Abrams, as well as 20th century classical composers Messiaen, Scriabin, Feldman, and Grisey.

He has performed in the US, Canada, Central and South America, and Asia, and has had his compositions performed in the US, Italy, and Canada. An active educator in the NYC area, Colin has taught at the City College of New York, numerous music academies, and has many private students.

Hinton studied drums with Ed Soph, Tyshawn Sorey, Dan Weiss, Ralph Peterson, and Ari Hoenig, and composition with Ingrid Laubrock, Tyshawn Sorey, and Eric Wubbels. Hestudied at the University of North Texas and City College of New York,completing a BFA in Jazz Performance and an MA in Music Performance with a focus in 20th century theory.

Colin has performed with Ingrid Laubrock, Todd Neufeld, Tony Malaby, Brandon Seabrook, Michael Formanek, Okkyung Lee, Eivind Opsvik, Tyshawn Sorey, Brandon Lopez, Jacob Sacks, Briggan Krauss, Miles Okazaki, Michaël Attias, Jesse Zubot, and Anna Webber. He performed on Jake Hanlon's 2012 CD release "Follow",which was nominated for ECMA Jazz Recording of the Year.

Hinton currently leads contemporary classical/avant jazz quintet Simulacra andfree-jazz/post-punk hybrid Glassbath."

-Colin Hinton Website (

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

Track Listing:

1. Daimon II 2:51

2. Factum 10:39

3. Iterations I 4:44

4. Post 5:43

5. Anemone 6:32

6. Contemptuality 10:16

7. Sequestration 8:08

8. Crocus 7:15

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Top Sellers for 2021 by Customer Sales

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