The Squid's Ear Magazine

Lopez, Brandon / Tom Rainey / Ingrid Laubrock: No Es La Playa (Intakt)

Despite five years of performance in the NYC area, this is the debut album of the collective trio of Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, Brandon Lopez on bass and Tom Rainey on drums, fueled by the near-telepathic rapport of Laubrock & Rainey and expanded by the ferocious and astute contributions of Lopez, avoiding histrionics through literate and impeccably controlled discourse.

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Includes a 12-page booklet with liner notes in German and English, images, credits and discographical information.

UPC: 7640120193768

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK376.2
Squidco Product Code: 31480

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded at GSI studios, in New York, on April 25th, 2021, by Jason Rostkowski.


Ingrid Laubrock-saxophones

Brandon Lopez-bass

Tom Rainey-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Dreamlike experiences. Sparks fly and a musical interaction works without arrangement or plan. An organic musical process develops out of intuition alone. The same magic happens every time.

When Brandon Lopez, a New Yorker with Puerto Rican roots, joined the duo of saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey, this wasn't simply about adding a plus one to the Laubrock - Rainey duo. Thanks to the young bassist (born 1988), already collaborating with musicians from Dave Liebman via Zeena Parkins to John Zorn, a new dynamic has formed involving all three. In this triangular constellation a different balance is achieved and an altered play of energies. They are clearly on the same wavelength, with a similar sense and understanding of overarching form, inner structure, timing, feeling, energy, density, transparency and volume."-Intakt

"Right from the first note the chemistry between them was right. The interplay between the three worked so effortlessly and naturally it bordered on telepathy. The three want to keep up the momentum and capture the magic moment,"-Christoph Wagner, from the liner notes.

"The debut album by this trio, which has been gigging around the greater NYC area for closing on five years, declares itself honestly. It is not the beach. But depending on your affinity for music that is both free and very thoughtfully organized, it might be every bit as enjoyable as a trip to the seaside.

Everything on No Es La Playa is collectively improvised by bassist Brandon Lopez, soprano/tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey. No one here is a stranger to such practices, and it shows. Laubrock and Rainey were already veterans with decades of experience playing no-net improvisation, conventionally swinging and rigorously composed jazz before they joined forces, in both the familial and musical senses, over a decade ago. They worked extensively as a duo before COVID time, and when gigs weren't an option in 2020-2021, they issued 60 home-recorded tracks on their Bandcamp page. The pair has also been part of larger ensembles, including a remarkable trio with Mary Halvorson. Lopez is much younger, but he has thrived in similarly configured, free fall-oriented ensembles with Dave Rempis, Steve Baczkowski and others.

Given all that experience, one might expect to be strongly reminded of all those other projects. But one of this album's virtues is the extent to which it forges a unique collective identity out of its members' familiar strengths. This comes, in part, from dialing back on certain aspects of what they've done. There's less of Laubrock's extended reed techniques than one hears in the Laubrock-Rainey Duo; instead, she pivots to pure-toned, slippery figures that maneuver in unexpected directions that capitalize upon the responsiveness of her fellow musicians. Lopez also plays a bit less aggressively than he often does, but no less fleetly; most of the time, he's the rhythmic center. While it's partly a matter of a very drum-friendly mix, Rainey feels very upfront here, not just due to volume, but because his independent, simultaneous attacks on different parts of the kit creates a possibility-rich sonic framework for the group's interactions, and his strategic punctuations assert strong opinions about where the music should go. Here's hoping that when the virus' lethality fades, this trio hits the road; they're way too good to be confined to home turf."-Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine

Includes a 12-page booklet with liner notes in German and English, images, credits and discographical information.

Get additional information at Dusted Magazine

Artist Biographies

"Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock resides in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1989 and 2009 she was active as a saxophonist and composer in London/UK. She performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates' Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble and many others.

Ingrid's current projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra, Ingrid Laubrock Sextet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include LARK,Haste,Paradoxical Frog and Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo.She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Andrew Drury's Content Provider, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris' Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley's Battle Pieces and Luc Ex' Assemblée. Ingrid was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize and the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award. Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for jazz quintet and dancers (2006), Nonet music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011 and "Vogelfrei", a piece for chamber orchestra (ACO/Tricentric Foundation). She won Rising Star/soprano saxophone in the 2015 in the 'Downbeat Annual Critics Poll and won the 'El Intruso Critics Poll for tenor saxophone in 2013. Ingrid was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools. Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others."

-Ingrid Laubrock Website (

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"[..] Composer/bassist, Brandon A. Lopez, deemed "The Ubiquitous Free Improv Bass Ace" by the Village Voice and said to play with a "Bruising Physicality" by the Chicago reader.

He was born and raised in the splendors of Northwestern New Jersey, in the shadow of the (New York) city. It was there that he cultivated a taste for the left of center musics and subsequently, dug graves.

He's had the pleasures of working with many of the world's luminary weirdos. Here's a list: Nate Wooley, William Parker, Chris Corsano, Justice Yeldham, Weasel Walter, Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Gerald Cleaver, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, Paul Lytton, Mette Rasmussen, Jooklo Duo, Michael Foster, Leila Bordreuil, Jaimie Branch, Joe Morris, Brandon Seabrook, Cactus Truck, John Dykeman, Daniel Carter, and many others.

He's currently leads a trio dubbed "The Mess", another one called the Brandon Lopez Trio, works as a soloist and is formerly/currently/latterly writing more and more music. He may play some it sometime soon (see "gigs").

He attended New England Conservatory."

-Brandon Lopez Website (

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

"Thomas "Tom" Rainey (born 1957, Santa Barbara, California) is an American drummer.

After attending Berklee College of Music he moved to New York in 1979. He has played with American jazz saxophonist and composer Tim Berne, and also with Nels Cline, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, Tom Varner, Drew Gress, Kenny Werner, Mark Helias, and Simon Nabatov. A prolific session musician, he has appeared on close to eighty recordings over a career spanning over 25 years.

He released his own first album, Pool School (Clean Feed), in 2010."

-Wikipedia (

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

Track Listing:

1. No Es La Playa 13:33

2. When The Island Is A Shipwreck 8:15

3. Saturnian Staring 8:09

4. Camposanto Chachacha 9:57

5. Little Distance Before 11:21

6. The Black Bag Of Want 5:32

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings

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