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Turbulence: Vertical Currents (Evil Clown)

A meditative and expansive improvisation from the Boston-based collective Turbulence, a precursor to Leap of Faith Orchestra led by Evil Clown leader David Peck, here performing on a variety of clarinets, saxophones, flutes, winds and percussive devices, in a quartet with Bob Moore on trumpets and percussion, Duane Reed on baritone horn and Melanie Howell-Brooks on contrabass clarinet.
 

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product information:


Label: Evil Clown
Catalog ID: 9278
Squidco Product Code: 31179

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Livestreamed to YouTube, from Evil Clown Headquarters, in Waltham MA, on July 14th, 2021.


Personnel:

David Peck (PEK)-clarinet, contralto clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, piccolo flutes, alto flute, bass flute, Christmas flute, occarinas, piccolo oboe, bass tromboon, medieval horn, sheng, [d]ronin, electric chimes, chime rod boxes, telstar, spring boxes, rachet, gongs, brontosaurus bells, tank bells, cow bells, almgocken, chimes, glockenspiel, Tibetan bells, crotales, hand chimes, voice

Melanie Howell-Brooks-contrabass clarinet, flute, piccolo, gong, hand chimes, chimes, bells, temple blocks, log drums, seed pd ratle, cowbells, cymbells, glockenspiel, crotales, whistle

Bob Moores-trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, [d]ronin, chimes, chime rod boxes, telstar, spring boxes, hand chimes, chimes, Englephone, plate gong, cymbal, brontosaurus bell, orchestral chimes, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, xylophone

Duane Reed-baritone horn, hand chimes, chimes, gong, Englephone, orchestral chimes, glockenspiel, crotales, cowbells, xylophone, wood blocks, temple blocks, log drums, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"PEK (aka David Peck) is a multi-instrument improviser who plays all kinds of instruments including saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, percussion, electronics and auxiliary sound making devices of all kinds.

PEK was born in 1964 and started playing clarinet and piano in elementary school. In 7th grade he started saxophones, first on alto, then switching to tenor in high school. He spent 10 years playing in rock bands and studying classical and jazz saxophone with Kurt Heisig in the San Jose CA area before moving to Boston in 1989 to attend Berklee where he studied performance with George Garzone. While Berklee was an excellent place to study harmony, voice training and other important aspects of a conventional formal music training course of study, it was not a very good environment for learning contemporary (or pure) improvisation (apart from his work with George). PEK did find, however, that Boston had a thriving improvisation scene, and it was here that he developed his mature pure improvisation language.

During the 90s, PEK performed with many notable improvisers including Masashi Harada, Glynis Lomon, William Parker, Laurence Cooke, Eric Zinman, Glenn Spearman, Raqib Hassan, Charlie Kohlhase, Steve Norton, Keith Hedger, Mark McGrain, Sydney Smart, Matt Samolis, Martha Ritchey, Larry Roland, Dennis Warren, Yuri Zbitnov, Craig Schildhauer, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Leslie Ross, Rob Bethel, Wayne Rogers, Eric Rosenthal, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tatsuya Nakatani, James Coleman, B'hob Rainey and George Garzone.

PEK met cellist Glynis Lomon when they played together in the Masashi Harada Sextet which existed between 1990 and 1992. They developed a deep musical connection which they continued following the MHS; first with the Leaping Water Trio for a few years and then with the first version of Leap of Faith in 1994. Leap of Faith was very active in Boston from that time until 2001 and went through a series of several core ensembles which always included both PEK and Glynis. Other key Leap of Faith core members during this period were Mark McGrain (trombone), Craig Schildhauer (double bass), Sydney Smart (drums), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and James Coleman (theremin). Leap of Faith was always a very modular unit with constantly shifting personnel and many different guests. The early Leap of Faith period concluded in 2001 with a dual bill at an excellent room at MIT called Killian Hall with George Garzone's seminal trio the Fringe.

At this time, PEK changed careers for his day gig, returning to college for a computer science degree and beginning to work in the structural engineering industry at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. He became far too busy to continue the heavy music schedule, and preferring not to do music casually, he entered a long musically dormant period.

Flash forward to early 2014. PEK was a regular mail order customer of Downtown Music Gallery, the premiere specialty shop in Manhattan for free jazz, contemporary classical and other new music. While in New York on SGH business, he went down to DMG and had a lengthy conversation with proprietor Bruce Lee Gallanter about the early Leap of Faith period. He then sent Bruce a package of about 15 CD titles from the 90s and was pleasantly surprised when Bruce managed to sell nearly all of it. This public interest in the old catalog spurred PEK into getting back into performance. He reformed Leap of Faith with Glynis Lomon (cello, voice, aquasonic), Yuri Zbitnov (drums) and newcomer Steve Norton (clarinets and saxophones) and started to record and perform in early 2015.

Now having access to financial resources always absent in the early period, PEK began to accumulate a huge collection of instruments both for himself and also to expand the palate of Leap of Faith and the other projects soon to follow. He acquired new recording equipment and many new saxophones, clarinets, double reeds, metal and wooden percussion instruments, electronic instruments, signal processing equipment and other sound-making devices from many cultures. He revived his old record label, Evil Clown, and created reissues and new releases for much of the early period work by Leap of Faith and many of his other projects to sell at shows, DMG and the internet (around 100 archival titles).

The Arsenal of equipment has a grand purpose: To establish a large scale aesthetic problem to use the instruments to make long form broad palate improvisations with dramatic transformation and development. The very broad palate enables the long improvisations to evolve with very different movements and pronounced development over their length. PEK started the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a greatly expanded Leap of Faith, to achieve this purpose along with a number of smaller ensembles which are sub-units of the full orchestra including String Theory (focusing on orchestral strings), Metal Chaos Ensemble (focusing on metallic percussion), Turbulence (horn players), Mekaniks (electronics) and Chicxulub (space rock). In all, the Evil Clown roster includes over 40 musicians who contribute to one or more of the various projects, with PEK participating in all of them. Leap of Faith has also had some special guests like Steve Swell (trombone), Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet) and Jim Hobbs (alto sax). The Leap of Faith Orchestra happens whenever several of these groups play together at the same time, or the ensemble exceeds 7 or 8 players. The Full Orchestra is a special case discussed below.

The current roster is comprised in part of: - Core Leap of Faith: PEK, Glynis Lomon, Yuri Zbitnov (Steve Norton has since left to go to Graduate School) - Percussion: Andria Nicodemou (vibes), Kevin Dacey (perc), Joe Hartigan (perc), Syd Smart (drums) - Strings: Jane Wang (cello), Clara Kebabian (violin), Tony Leva (bass), Mimi Rabson (violin), Kirsten Lamb (bass), Brendan Higgins (bass), Silvain Castellano (bass), Rob Bethel (cello), Kit Demos (bass), Matt Scutchfield (violin), Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin) - Piano: Eric Zinman, Peter Cassino, Emilio Gonzales - Horns: Dave Harris (tuba, trombone), Charlie Kohlhase (saxes), Bob Moores (trumpet), Sara Honeywell (trombone), Forbes Graham (trumpet), John Baylies (tuba), Dan O'Brien (woodwinds), Zack Bartolomei (woodwinds), Kat Dobbins (trombone), Steve Provizer (trumpet, baritone horn), Matt Samolis (flute) - Electronics: Greg Grinnell, Jason Adams (electric bass, electronics) - Guitar: Dru Wesely, Grant Beale, Chris Florio - Voice: Dei Xhrist

Evil Clown is documenting the ongoing solutions to this aesthetic challenge by creating limited CD editions and digital download albums of every performance and studio session by this array of ensembles. Interested audience can track the development of the grand scale project over the many releases - over 80 albums recorded and released so far between Jan of 2015 and March of 2017. All of the bands are highly modular, changing personnel and instrumentation with each meeting. The result is an enormous amount of music that shares the same fundamental improvisational language but differs from event to event greatly both in sonority (overall sound) and specific detail.

For the full Leap of Faith Orchestra, PEK composes a graphic notation score to guide the improvisation. The full Orchestra is comprised of roughly 20 players from the roster and performs twice a year. Two performances have occurred to date - The Expanding Universe in June of 2016 and Supernovae in November of 2016. Composition for Possible Universes is completed and the work will be performed on May 28, 2017 with another performance (score not yet begun) scheduled for November.

The scores use a device called Frame Notation where written English descriptions of the overall sonority desired and simple graphic symbols are given durations for each player on their part along with direction on when to play and when not to play. The directions are put in little boxes called frames which are arranged on a timeline and are simple enough to be immediately understood by the performers. Horizontal lines, called Duration Bars, extend across the page indicating when each Event (the Frame + the Duration Bar) begins and ends. An Event can be intended for the full ensemble, a defined group within the ensemble (for example, Metal Chaos Ensemble), a custom group (for example, Tubas), or an individual (for example, Andria Feature).

Parts are the full score annotated with Hiliters so that each player's instructions stand out. They can clearly see their individual instructions, but can also see the big picture, enabling far more knowledge about the pending actions of the rest of the ensemble than typical in pure improvisation. The players track the elapsed time on a very large sports clock. There is no melodic, harmonic or rhythmic information specified. This system allows PEK to compose detailed Ensemble Events without having to notate pitches or rhythms which would require significant rehearsal to accurately achieve."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/pek)
11/23/2021

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

"Born in Hartland, Wisconsin, Melanie Howell-Brooks currently lives in Canton, MA and performs throughout the New England area. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Performance and Music Education from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and her Masters in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory. Though her main focus is the baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, especially when it comes to jazz and rock, she primarily plays alto saxophone, flute, and clarinet for musical theater and in more classical settings.

Mrs. Brooks is an active musician in the Boston area and is a member of the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, as well as smaller permutations of that group - Oddsong and the Jazz Composers Alliance Saxophone Quartet. She also performs with Mehmet Ali Sanlikol's large jazz ensemble, Whatsnext?, the John AllmarkOrchestra, and has formed her own group, The Phoenix Fire Collective. She can also be seen playing with The Ward Eights and Soul City bands. Other performance groups include appearances with the BT/ALC Big Band, as well as the Fernando Huergo Big Band. She was a member of the Beantown Swing Orchestra since its inception in 2006 until its membership direction moved to musicians much more new to plaing in big bands.

Other more recent notable performances include recording with David Liebman under the direction of Ken Schaphorst with Mr. Sanlikol's band, Whatsnext? as well as a Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra performance with special guests, Jerry Bergonzi, Marshall Gilkes, and Lewis Porter. She has also played in the backing bands for The Temptations/Four Tops as well as with Johnny Mathis, performed with Symphony New Hampshire, and has been a pit orchestra musician with the North Shore Music Theatre. She has also performed and touredwith Whatsnext? on baritone sax and bass clarinet performing alongside David Liebman and Tiger Okoshi. Mrs. Brooks toured Turkey and Cyprus and played at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in 2017 along with Mr. Okoshi and Whatsnext?. In 2016 she had the honor of performing with Aretha Franklin in her band when she cameto Boston. That year she also celebrated the life of David Bowie with a concert led by Russ Gershon of the Either/Orchestra on baritone sax, flute, and bass clarinet performing all of his last recording, Blackstar.

Over the years Mrs. Brooks has also been a guest soloist on alto saxophone with the Waltham Symphony Orchestra, a pit musician for numerous community, college, and high school theater groups, been a show band musician with Carnival Cruise Lines, and has played on a number of recordings."

-Evil Clown (https://www.evilclown.rocks/bio-melanie-howell-brooks.html)
11/23/2021

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

"Bob Moores Having spent most of his life flying under the radar working on obscure projects that may some day come to the light of day, trumpeter/guitarist/composer/improviser/artist/photographer/poet/conceptualist Bob Moores has finally started to emerge into the light playing in the free improvisation collective Fable Grazer and through his solo project Resonator.

Having played every kind of music imaginable on trumpet in every kind of setting from classical to funk to blues to R&B to pop punk and metal to jazz, in small and large ensembles, Bob has settled on playing only freely improvised music at this stage of his evolution, both in group situations and as a solo artist. Moores is an exponent of what he calls unschooled primitive coloristic guitar having started to play in earnest with Fable Grazer.

He has been composing music since he was a child and composes and arranges for a variety of ensembles types, instrumentations and genres."

-Evil Clown Website (http://www.giantevilclown.com/bio-bob-moores.html)
11/23/2021

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


1. Vertical Currents 1:10:45
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

I opened Evil Clown Headquarters in mid-May to players that have been fully vaccinated. Horn players can't really wear a mask, so there was no way to do ECH studio sessions inside during the stupid CV. There has been some shifting in the roster with some players no longer available and some players returning after a period of absence. This set was originally scheduled around clarinetist Todd Brunel (who played on a couple Leap of Faith sets following the reboot in 2015) and Evil Clown newcomer Melanie Howell-Brooks (who plays flutes, clarinets and saxophones). As often happens with scheduling busy players, Todd had a schedule conflict arise after we arranged the session, so we went on with out him as a quartet with Melanie, Evil Clown regulars Bob Moores (trumpets) and Duane Reed (baritone horn), and me.

I met Melanie during the pandemic when she reached out to me regarding my contrabass clarinet, a fairly unusual horn at the bottom end of the clarinet family. I love low clarinets, and I had this metal, paperclip shaped, contra since the early 90s. In 2015 or 2016, I bought a nice contralto clarinet and I started to use the contrabass infrequently - it is a nice horn that plays well, but it has a tricky peg arrangement and is a bit awkward as a result. I tended to use the contralto as my main low clarinet, it's in a great register, almost as low as the contrabass, and did not have any of the awkwardness of the giant paperclip. Anyhow, I bought a new contrabass at the beginning of 2020 which is a straight horn without the peg issues during instrument changes. In a wild coincidence, she inquired about this rare instrument and I happened to have two of them! Anyway, she bought my old horn from me to use for her immediate need and to extend her clarinet range to the bottom register.

I'm always looking for new qualified players to bring into Evil Clown, and during our discussion around her purchase of my old instrument, we decided that we would like to play together. This was her first set with Turbulence and she was great as I expected! Look for more of Melanie in Turbulence and Leap of Faith albums coming in the future from Evil Clown...Turbulence and Leap of Faith albums coming in the future from Evil Clown..."-PEK

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