The Squid's Ear Magazine

Hoffman, Christopher: Asp Nimbus [VINYL] (Out Of Your Head Records)

With many parallels to and collaborative work with Henry Threadgill, cellist Christopher Hoffman pens eight dynamic compositions for his superb quintet of Bryan Carrott on vibraphone, Rashaan Carter on bass, Craig Weinrib on drums and David Virelles on piano, merging melodic approaches to creative jazz with interesting structures and virtuosic soloing from all performers.

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Christopher Hoffman-cello, compositions

Bryan Carrott-vibraphone

Rashaan Carter-bass

Craig Weinrib-drums

David Virelles-piano

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 195999657448

Label: Out Of Your Head Records
Catalog ID: OOYH 009
Squidco Product Code: 31225

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Figure 8 Studios, in January 8th and 9th, 2020, by Lily Wen.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Christopher Hoffman is a composer and cellist who has also worked in cinema. That means he's collaborated with as diverse group of artists as Martin Scorsese, Marianne Faithfull, Yoko Ono, Ryan Adams, Marc Ribot, Anna Webber and Anat Cohen. His own works reflects the avant, artistic bent of the company he keeps, and that includes his latest project as a leader.

For Asp Nimbus, Hoffman trades in mind-expanding electro-acoustic experimentation of his prior release Multifariam for group vivacity. There's plenty of fertile ground for finesse to be found here, as Hoffman put together a quartet of hotshots able to bring his advanced modern jazz compositions to vivid life. Craig Weinrib is on drums, Rashaan Carter on bass, and fellow Henry Threadgill alumnus Bryan Carrott on vibraphone (Carrott was a member of Threadgill's Make A Move, Hoffman a part of Zooid). It's that exotic mix of cello and vibes that generates a lot of the spark, and Hoffman even looked to another vibes player, Bobby Hutcherson, for some of the inspiration for his own record.

The second song from Asp Nimbus is "Dylan George," named after Hoffman's late brother, and it premieres in the stream above. This track has the distinction of being the only one where the quartet is augmented, by the piano of David Virelles. Another distinction is that Virelles' piano part was overdubbed, as the entire recordings of the album is otherwise a 'live in the studio' affair.

Virelles, by the way, is currently in a Henry Threadgill ensemble, so the Threadgill runs extra deep in this song. No more is that evident than with the composer, Hoffman. Like all Threadgill protégés, Hoffman draws from him some sophisticated harmonic and song structure lessons but applies them in his own way. "Dylan George" has modern classical elements in it blended with the freedom of jazz, without confining itself into either camp. The interaction between the musicians is invigorating, whether it's between Hoffman and Carrott in the intro, Hoffman and Virelles shortly afterwards, or Virelles and Carrott at the end."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!

Get additional information at Something Else!

Artist Biographies

"Christopher is a cellist, composer, producer, engineer and filmmaker. He currently performs in Henry Threadgill's Pulitzer Prize winning ensemble Zooid, Anat Cohen Tentet, Kenny Warren Trio, Tony Malaby, Michael Blake, Darius Jones and his own projects. He has worked with Martin Scorsese, Yoko Ono, Bleachers, Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, Marianne Faithfull, Michael Pitt & Pagoda, Marc Ribot, Butch Morris, Lee Konitz, Rudy Royston, Anna Webber, Ryan Scott, Anthony Coleman, Jeremiah Cymerman & many others."

-Christopher Hoffman Website (

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"Bryan Carrott is an internationally renowned vibraphonist/mallet percussionist, who performs, records, and tours extensively in the jazz idiom. A prolific composer and improviser as well, Mr. Carrott is also an accomplished pianist. Bryan began percussion studies at New York's High School of Music and Art and continued at the Manhattan School of Music. He then went on to study at Brooklyn College under New York Philharmonic percussionist Morris Lang and William Paterson College, where he studied with Dave Samuels. Bryan completed degrees in Jazz Studies and Jazz Performance.

A two-time recipient of New York's "Meet the Composer Foundation", Bryan has been cited by Down Beat Magazine's International Critics' Poll seven of the last nine years for "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" in the vibes category. Mr. Carrott was featured in the concert film "The Lounge Lizards Live in Berlin," as well as several television programs including "BET's JAZZ CENTRAL". Bryan can also be seen performing on marimba with Don Byron and Harvey Kietel in the film, "Lulu on the Bridge". He spent two years as a featured mallet percussionist for Disney's Broadway production of "The Lion King" and most recently performed with Branford Marsalis and his Quartet on the original soundtrack music composed by Marsalis for the Spike Lee produced film, "3 A.M.".

As a sideman Bryan has played with many top jazz groups including James Spaulding, Benny Powell, The Lounge Lizards, Kimati Dinizulu, and Roy Campbell. In recent years, he has been recording and performing with David "Fathead" Newman, Muhal Richard Abrahms, Butch Morris, The Jazz Passengers, Bob Moses, The Spirit of Life Ensemble, Henry Threadgill, Dave Douglas, Yoron Israel Connection, and Charlie Hunter. These performances include dates in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. In the Summer of 2006, Carrott is stated to perform with the world renown Ju Percussion Group in Teipei. Carrott has also collaborated with pianist/composer Riccardo Fassi for successful tours and festival performances in Italy. An original member of The Ralph Peterson Fo'tet, Bryan has composed, performed, and recorded with the group for the last ten years.

As a composer, Bryan has performed and presented his original music throughout the U.S., Europe and on recordings with the Fo'tet and vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd, all to critical acclaim. He also performs and tours with his own groups the Bryan Carrott Trio, Quartet, and Quintet. Bryan performs and records exclusively with the Ross R715G vibraphone and R420W marimba."

-(le) Poisson Rouge (

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"Rashaan Carter (* around 1986 in Washington, DC) is an American jazz musician (double bass, also electric bass) of modern jazz.Live and actCarter grew up in the Washington area and comes from a musical family: his father is a saxophonist, his mother puts together jazz programs for the radio. He first played various instruments before choosing the double bass. After high school, he moved to New York City to study with Buster Williams and Reggie Workman at New School ; he also took lessons from Ron Carter. Since 2006 he has worked with Michael Marcus (The Magic Door, 2006), Wallace Roney, Cindy Blackman Jure Pukl, Sonny Simmons, Gary Thomas, Frank Lacy, Raynald Colom, Marc Cary, Brandee Younger and Mark Weinstein, among others. He also toured with Gary Thomas, Marc Cary, Antoine Roney, and David Murray; He was also a member of the Aruán Ortiz Quartet, Matteo Fraboni Quintet, Takuya Kuroda Sextet and imWayne Escoffery Quintet. In the field of jazz, he was involved in 19 recording sessions between 2006 and 2018, most recently with Josh Evans (Hope And Despair, 2014) and Maria Grand (Magdalena, 2018). Currently, it belongs to the Theo Hill on Quartet, on the album Interstellar Adventures he sang (2018)."-Wikipedia (

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"Craig Weinrib (1988) lives and works in New York. He graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a degree in English Literature. Since then he has collaborated with some of the most progressive artists in the world, including Henry Threadgill, Ravi Coltrane, and David Virelles. He now works with Henry Threadgill's Double-Up, Roman Filiú's Quarteria, the Ben van Gelder Quartet/Quintet, and the Sam Harris Trio; he also appears with Jonathan Finlayson and Sicilian Defence, the Dayna Stephens Quintet, and the Matt Brewer Quintet, among others.

As a recording and performing artist, Weinrib has appeared with Henry Threadgill, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Turner, Jason Moran, Greg Osby, Ambrose Akinmusire, David Virelles, Roman Filiu, Aaron Parks, Dayna Stephens, Curtis Fowlkes, Lage Lund, Ben Street, Sam Harris, Ben van Gelder, Rafiq Bhatia, Jonathan Finlayson, Matt Brewer, Larry Grenadier, and Joe Wilder, among many others."

-Paiste (

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"Cuban-born pianist David Virelles grew up in a musical home, his father a singer-songwriter and his mother a flutist and music teacher. Even though classically trained at the conservatory, he also heard many types of music in the culturally rich Santiago while growing up. Eventually, Virelles also discovered Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill, and started studying the connections between this music and Cuban rhythms.

In 2003, David became the first recipient of the Oscar Peterson Prize, presented by Peterson himself. Since his arrival to NYC, he has appeared on live concerts and recordings with musicians as diverse as Steve Coleman, Mark Turner, Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyrille, Chris Potter, Wadada Leo Smith, Tom Harrell, Milford Graves and Ravi Coltrane.

David's 2012 release Continuum (Pi Recordings) united Andrew Cyrille, Ben Street and Román Díaz. This album ended on many "Best Of The Year" lists, including The New York Times. Since then, he has released three more albums on the Munich label ECM to critical acclaim, documenting a wide sonic range - Mbóko, Antenna, and his latest Gnosis."

-Pi Recordings (

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Track Listing:


1. Discretionary 04:03

2. Dylan George 06:00

3. Asp Nimbus 03:40

4. Angles Of Influence 03:33


1. Orb 02:49

2. Non-Submersible 04:25

3. For You 03:14

4. The Heights Of Spectacle 03:46

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
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