A series of diverse landscapes in the voluptuaries of guitarist Brandon Seabrook and pianist Simon Nabatov, evoking an imaginary garden of sensual pleasures expressed through dialogs running the gamut from elegant lyricism of lush and languid interaction to quirky runs of playful inventiveness; an elegantly complex and always sophisticated set of exchanges.
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Label: Leo Records
Catalog ID: LEO 894 CD
Squidco Product Code: 30570
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in LOFT, in Cologne, Germany, on November 4th, 2019, by Stefan Deistler.
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• Show Bio for Brandon Seabrook
"Described by Spin Magazine as "An apocalyptic, supersonic general of the banjo..." Brandon Seabrook has made a name for himself in the New York avant-garde music scene as an explosive guitar and banjo performer, relentlessly committed to immediacy and precision.
Seabrook honed his terror-inducing riffage skills at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has since performed extensively in North and South America, Mexico and Europe, as a solo artist, bandleader and collaborator. He has been summoned by the likes of Anthony Braxton, Elliot Sharp and Joey Arias for his unpredictably spiked approach to improvisation and impeccable caterwauling. He has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Magnet Magazine, Fretboard Journal, NPR and The Wire.
Seabrook Power Plant, the nuclear trio donned "a manic clusterfuck of merciless banjo torture" by the Village Voice, is Brandon's brainchild, blending the brutal energy of punk-rock with the intricate execution of through-composed avant jazz. The band has released two albums to much critical acclaim. Time Out New York praised the band's eponymous debut as "not only one of the most baffling experimental releases of the year... also one of the best."
Brandon is an accomplished solo artist, named Best Guitarist in New York City by the Village Voice 2012. In 2014, New Atlantis Records released his first solo album titled Sylphid Vitalizers. Noisey called the album a "dissonant guitar army...(with) mind-blowing prog-rock complexities - all at mind-numbing breakneck speed."
Brandon is currently working on two new albums with his noise-prog trio, Needle Driver and a new sextet featuring immoral, percussive compositions under the name Die Trommel Fatale. This recent work is a poly-rhythmic exploration of the dark side of the drum, layering cello, bass, electronics, voice and guitar against dichotomous drummers."-Brandon Seabrook Website (http://www.brandonseabrook.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Simon Nabatov
"Simon Nabatov's musical education began at the age of 3, his father, himself a musician, being the first teacher. The Central School of Music and Moscow Conservatory were the next steps. After the whole family emigrated and settled in New York in 1979, Nabatov continued his studies at the Juilliard School Of Music. By that time his interest and involvement in jazz and improvised music grew strong enough to make them his main activity.
Since then he performed and recorded with many fine musicians such as Paul Motian, Tony Scott, Sonny Fortune, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Skidmore, Herb Robertson, Louis Sclavis, Charles McPhearson, Billy Hart, David Murray, Paul Horn, Ricki Ford, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Dresser, Barry Guy, Gerry Hemingway, Jim Snidero, Herb Geller, Dave Pike, Attila Zoller, Matthias Schubert, Barry Altschul, Vladimir Tarasov, John Betsch, Ed Schuller, Arto Tuncboyaci, Adam Nussbaum, Paul Heller, Jay Clayton, Ron McClure, Mark Feldman, Drew Gress, Phil Minton, Michael Moore, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, Wolter Wierbos, Paulo Alvares, Gareth Lubbe, Ben Davis and many others.
He enjoyed continuous work with Ray Anderson Quartet, Arthur Blythe Quartet, Perry Robinson Quartet, NDR Big Band (Hamburg,Germany), Steve Lacy - Simon Nabatov Duo, Nils Wogram Quartet, Nils Wogram - Simon Nabatov Duo, Matthias Schubert Quartet, Matthias Schubert - Simon Nabatov Duo and Klaus König Orchestra.
His own projects and activities included, since three decades, hundreds of solo recitals.In the early 90s Nabatov founded the trio with the bassist Mark Helias and the drummer Tom Rainey; the quartet "Nature Morte" with the British vocalist Phil Minton, multireed-player Frank Gratkowski and trombonist Nils Wogram (both from Germany); and the quintet including his trio plus the violinist Mark Feldman and the trumpet player Herb Robertson.In 2003 another trio was formed, with the cellist Ernst Reijseger and the drummers Michael Vatcher (and later Michael Sarin).
As co-leader Nabatov played and recorded in duos with Steve Lacy, with the German tenor sax player Matthias Schubert, American drummer Tom Rainey, Dutch drummer Han Bennink, German trombonist Nils Wogram, Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger and the Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg, just to mention a few. His current duo partners are the South-African born viola player and vocalist Gareth Lubbe, the Turkish clarinetist Oguz Buyukberber and the Brazilian pianist Paulo Alvares.
In the 1999-2000 season a large-scale radio production project (co - sponsored by WDR and Bayer AG) saw him write and record over 6 hours of music for solo piano, duo (with the American reed player Michael Moore), his trio, the quartet "Nature Morte" and the quintet. Beginning of 2000 the Swiss label HatHut Records brought out the first recording - the trio release "Sneak Preview". The next three recordings, quartet "Nature Morte", quintet "The Master and Margarita" and solo "Perpetuum Immobile" have been released by Leo Records.
Two more CD´s - " Chat Room" ( duo with Han Bennink ) and "Autumn Music" ( trio with Ernst Reijseger and Michael Vatcher ) were brought out by this independent English label.The next project produced by WDR in 2004 was a 90 - minute piece " A Few Incidents" based on the texts of Russian writer Daniil Charms. The octet included Phil Minton, Frank Gratkowski, Nils Wogram, Ernst Reijseger, Cor Fuhler, Matt Penman, Michael Sarin and Simon Nabatov. Leo Records released the recording of this composition in 2005. Together with "Nature Morte" and "Master and Margarita" it completed the "Russian Trilogy", 3 musical projects based on the Russian literature.
In 2009 Nabatov, sponsored by the Cologne culture institutions, completed a 5-day project called "Roundup" (involving M.Schubert, N.Wogram, E.Reijseger and T.Rainey), resulting in 3 CD's released on Leo Records: quintet "Roundup", a trio with E.Reijseger and M.Schubert - "Square Down" and another one with N.Wogram and T.Rainey - "Nawora".
Starting around 2000, parallel to his jazz activities, Simon Nabatov developed a deep interest for the culture and music of Brazil. This led him to study the Portuguese language, travel number of times throughout the country and learn a great deal about a number of different musical genres.
Some of the more structured activities in that field were a CD release "Around Brazil" on the ACT label (2006), and the two-months long Goethe-Institut "Artist-in-Residence" in Porto Alegre, which allowed Nabatov to learn more about the regional "musica gaucha". Since 2007 he often performs his solo program based on Brazilian music.
In the recent years Nabatov also delved into the field of electronic music, learning MAX/MSP programming environment; in April 2013 he premiered his new solo program for piano and computer, developed together with the German composer and electronic music specialist hans w. koch. In December 2016 excerpts from this program made up a half of the program of his most recent CD "MONK 'N' MORE".
Another musical adventure of the recent years was Nabatov's solo program dedicated to the music of the great jazz composer and pianist Herbie Nichols. Leo Records released a highly acclaimed CD of that program, and the PanRec label brought out a DVD.2015 saw Nabatov realize a four-part project "...still crazy after all these years" (celebrating 25 years in Cologne), which resulted in forming 4 new trios: with two young Cologne musicians Stefan Schoenegg and Dominik Mahnig, with Andre de Cayres and Rodrigo Villalon (dedicated to Brazilian music), with two giants of improvised music Barry Guy and Gerry Hemingway, and a trio with two string players, Gareth Lubbe (viola) and Ben Davis (cello). The first documentation of the project - Simon Nabatov Trio "Picking Order" was released August 2016 on Leo Records. Other 3 releases are planned for 2017.
Simon Nabatov performed and recorded numerous pieces of chamber music, some of them written specially for him: "Piano Concerto "Baba" by the American pianist/composer Kenny Werner, "Sonata for violin and piano" by the Irish bassist/composer Ronan Guilfoyle,"Trumpet Sonata", "Cello Sonata", "Trio for flute,cello and piano" by the Swiss reed-player/composer Daniel Schnyder. He also performed and recorded some of the more known "crossover" works, such as "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin (NDR Symphony Orchestra Hannover,1998) or "Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra" by Rolf Liebermann (NDR Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, Hamburg,1996).
Nabatov was among the winners of the 3rd "International Great Jazz Pianist Competition" in Jacksonville, USA (2nd prize) in 1985, and of the "Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition" in Paris, France (3rd prize) in 1989. In 1987 he was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Simon Nabatov made numerous radio productions for most of the major European broadcasting companies: WDR, NDR, HR, BR, SFR, Radio France, Radio Zürich, Radio Ireland etc.
He played on countless international jazz festivals including Paris, Antibes, Helsinki, Zagreb, Nevers, Berlin, Dublin, Cork, Vilshofen, Bergamo, Groeningen, Vilnus, Karlsbad, Genua, North Sea, Brugge, Voss, Bergen, Riga, Vilnius, Ulrichsberg a.m.o.
Simon Nabatov gave concerts and workshops in over 60 countries, he appears on ca. 70 recordings, and his own music and projects are documented on over 25 CD's and 3 DVD's (all DVD's on PanRec).
He has taught at the Folkwang Hochschule (Essen), Musichochschule Lucerne (Switzerland) and at the International Jazz and Rock Academy (Remscheid).2012 - 2014 he was the substitute professor of Jazz piano and Ensemble at the Conservatory of Hannover, Germany.
Since 1989 he resides predominantly in Cologne, Germany, but keeps an apartment and a part of his heart in New York."-Simon Nabatov Website (http://www.nabatov.com/biography.htm)
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1. Daggers 5:21
2. Who Never Dies 4:55
3. Dust Storms 5:03
4. Fresnel Lenses 4:41
5. Squalid Simplicities 3:02
6. Foam 2:31
7. Grosbeak 4:36
8. Spirit of the Staircase 5:04
9. Diamonds and Dust 2:25
10. Vex Me 3:07
11. La Femme Makita 3:48
12. Voluptuaries 4:03
sample the album:
"Chuck Berry once famously opined, "I have no kick against modern jazz, unless they try to play it too darn fast, and change the beauty of the melody, until they sound just like a symphony." I think differently. I can love a languid Lester ballad or a glacial Ayler dirge, but I'm also delighted listening to music that's as fast as possible in as many ways as possible. Listening to Art Tatum, it's hard not to imagine a young Charlie Parker's listening, working as a dishwasher at Jimmy's Chicken Shack to hear Art Tatum, and hearing the whole panoply: Tatum, counterrhythms of clanking dishes, kitchen door mutes, cash register, customers, waiters, bartenders, all the fractional beats and collisions as they might have filtered into BirdMind, sorting out the randomness of it all.
Last year pianist Simon Nabatov released Last Minute Theory, an excellent quintet session of his compositions with Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek, Gerald Cleaver and Brandon Seabrook. It was fine music, with its own edges, but listening to it, I wanted to hear more of Seabrook's edgy guitar lines with Nabatov, preferably in a wholly improvised setting. Voluptuaries is that CD: Seabrook and Nabatov are both nano-second improvisers, changing direction or inserting interstitial counter lines and commentary in the quickest lines. Seabrook's guitar might suggest the techniques of surf guitarist supreme Dick Dale and his Middle Eastern picking roots or Eugene Chadbourne on banjo or guitar; Nabatov grew up in demanding Russian academies and furthered his technique playing post-bop jazz.
The music here isn't all high-speed, but even dreamscapes and ballads are informed by the sudden aside, the unlikely insertion or shift in direction. It's dynamic, sometimes hyper-active music that can suggests a particle accelerator, with the phrase "sudden and unexpected" applicable at every turn. The opening "Daggers" has them intersecting at oblique angles, throwing off overlapping abstract runs and sudden shifts in dynamics with occasional shocks in timbre that can suggest prepared guitar or piano or involuntary body noises. "Who Never Dies" has tightly picked guitar eruptions tunneling up through the piano runs, with quick shifts to sustain-pedal gossamer piano and bursts of guitar-pedal noise, before they all fade into quarter-tone mystery
Slowing down the tempo is usually accompanied by disorientations of tempo or pitch. "Dust Storms" turns from pure piano reverie into reverberating tremolo guitar, still stretching dreamward, but there will be unpredictable sonic intrusions and sudden, just lightly jarring adventures in pitch. On "Squalid Simplicities" there are reactive materials on the piano strings, multiplying and altering Nabatov's notes, but Seabrook is still feeding into it, fast-picked runs packed in amongst the piano sounds. While Seabrook's guitar frequently sounds barely amplified, he also can summon up electronic tones that sound like Bronx cheers. There are playgrounds, carnivals and several haunted houses here‒usually comic‒and frequently developed narrative evolutions: "Spirit of the Staircase," for example involves numerous chases and several disguises, usually assumed by Seabrook: his sudden sonic eruptions, almost musique concrete, function like sound effects in an ancient radio drama.
There's genuine joy and playfulness here, often at warp speed, part of the appeal of these strange soundscapes and kinetic episodes."-Stuart Broomer, The Free Jazz Collective
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