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Cartwright, George / Dave King / Josh Granowski: Stick Insect [2 CDs] (Mahakala Music)

A serious album of expressive free jazz from innately lyrical playing to scrabbly exploration, by the Twin Cities, Minneapolis trio of George Cartwright on saxophones, Josh Granowski on upright bass and Dave King on drums, performing live at Jazz Central Studio for two CDs of superb playing, the title inspired by the novel "A Calculated Life" by Anne Charnock.

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product information:

UPC: 195269139612

Label: Mahakala Music
Catalog ID: MAHA-023
Squidco Product Code: 31701

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded Live at Jazz Central Studio, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


George Cartwright-saxophones

Josh Granowski-bass

Dave King-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"George Cartwright is a Minnesota-based composer, performer, bandleader, producer and musical collaborator, with a prolific career spanning over 30 years. His career began in his home state of Mississippi, shaped by a childhood woven through with early memories of singing in church and learning songs at his grandfather's knee. He grew up on rock-n-roll and fell in love with jazz after hearing Charles Lloyd's iconic "Forest Flower," and like the British bands that he listened to in high school, he was also heavily influenced by the blues being played literally in his own backyard of the Mississippi Delta.

Musical instrument exploration naturally followed, beginning with piano lessons and later guitar, learning to play by ear. During this phase, George began his initial foray into composing, writing lyrical pieces, as well as instrumental pieces in the manner of Mississippi John Hurt and John Fahey. He bought his first sax on his 2 birthday from a secondhand thrift store for $65-a gift from his grandmother. Irresistibly drawn to the beauty and passion of jazz saxophone - not to mention experiencing a musical epiphany after hearing Ornette Coleman's "Dancing in Your Head" - George began to purposefully channel his energy into composing.

Post-college, he studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, where he was exposed to the music and concepts of Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton, Karl Berger, Frederic Rzewski, Kalaparusha, Ursula Oppens, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, and many other major jazz innovators of the time.

The late 70's involved a move to New York City, where George formed a trio with Michael Lytle and David Moss, known as Meltable Snaps It, performing at such venues as The Kitchen, The Franklin Furnace, Phil Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation, and Inroads. In 1979, he also formed his band Curlew with bassist Bill Laswell, which went on to record 12 CDs and LPs under the Cuneiform Records label, among others. The band included such notables as Tom Cora, Fred Frith, Wayne Horwitz, Davey Williams and Ann Rupel, and performed at high-profile jazz festivals and venues in North America and Europe.

In 1993, George returned to his Southern roots, relocating to Memphis, Tennessee. Over the next six years, he continued to collaborate with fellow musicians, compose, perform and produce recordings with Curlew. During this time, he also produced a solo CD 'The Memphis Years".

George moved to his current home base in the Twin Cities in 1999, where he found a tremendous wealth of like-minded musicians, with whom he continues to collaborate and record to this day. George has worked with a wide range of artists both domestically and abroad. In addition to composing, George continues to perform locally in the Twin Cities. Performances include The Cedar Cultural Center, numerous events at The Walker Art Center, Studio Z, The Black Dog. Jazz Central and others."

-George Cartwright Website (

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"Josh Granowski started playing upright bass at age 11, soon following with bass guitar. As a teenager, he played classical etudes, punch/thrash/rock, and jazz. Today Josh is an active member of the Twin Cities improvisation and experimental music community, playing with the Bookhouse Trio, Davy Demons Trio, George Cartwright's Merciless Ghost, Painted Saints, Aby Wolf, Jon Davis, Amethyst Three, Patrick Harison, Peter Schimke, Davu Seru, Park Evans, Javier Matos, Tony Balluff, the Skruffians, and more. Notes Vieux Carre', Josh is a "first call in town for any group that swings.""

-Twin Cities Jazz Festival (

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"Born 1970 Minneapolis MN
Studied piano and drums as a young person. Played in some amazing grade school, jr high school and high school bands and ensembles..............seriously ground breaking in approach and chart selection including a big band version of "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A" by John Mellancamp (formally known as John Cougar and John Cougar-Mellancamp).
Moved out east for a moment in 1989 when nyc still had barrel fires burning in lots that now house the American Apparel flagship store next to a place you can get a $7.00 espresso.
Moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to warm up a bit.
Was a couple of miles from the epicenter of the 1994 L.A. earthquake.
Decided that wasn't the place for me.
Moved back to Minneapolis.
Co founded Happy Apple.
Co founded Love-Cars.
Co founded Halloween, Alaska.
Joined 12Rods.
In 2000 co founded The Bad Plus in NYC.
Co founded The Gang Font featuring Greg Norton of punk icons Husker Du.
Have Performed music in 75 countries and 6 continents.
Have appeared on over 50 recordings.
Besides my working groups I have recorded and or performed with Bill Frisell, Joshua Redman, Dewey Redman. Jeff Beck. Tim Berne, Hank Roberts, Chris Speed, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Django Bates, Dead Prez, The Coup, Joe Lovano, Bill Carrothers, Anthony Cox, Chris Morrissey, Mason Jennings, Haley Bonar, Meat Beat Manifesto, Craig Taborn, Matt Mitchell, Matt Maneri, Benoit Delbeq, Craig Green, Jason Moran, Tchad Blake, David Torn, Donna Lewis, Atmosphere, and a few more great people.
I have also worked extensively with The Mark Morris Dance Group and with acclaimed fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi on his fashion week music and t.v. show music.
I have also recorded and composed for film including two films for animated film maker Tom Shroeder and 6 seconds of one of my drum beats is in the film "The Hot Chick" starring SNL icon Rob Schneider believe it or not."

-Dave King Website (

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track listing:


1. Hog's Grease 6:26

2. Winter Fleece 6:45

3. Henbane 8:37

4. Blackbone 12:51

5. Card No.3 12:28

6. Bow Tie 19:42


1. The Number 11 Makes Me Blink 10:01

2. Bleed Bleed Bleed 11:23

3. The Television Theme Song 8:59

4. Love Me Some Snakes 13:54
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Recently, Davey Williams spoke up to me and he said:

"George that's dang good band ys got there in the frozen zen like neither atmospheres three up way up there and:"

It was pretty good there down in Lower Alabama. The frog of time has hopped about on my memory of the show or even when the two of us got together. Two bedroom apt, Dave was working a country band playing drums and playing the immense and tremendous songs of the time. I worked part time as a bartender serving beer to anyone with a mouth to breath out of around that time.

Now, Josh, that's a different but more confusing story.

There was much talk of art and music there in LA, ideas, theories, subjections, lager, fighting, like one million drumsticks flying into the sun , our sun that is, no Pall Malls were involved! I was mostly right but you'd have to ask Dave what he thought... LOTS OF trees there in Lower Alabam, green expansive expanse, oaks, further south there are masses, messes of tall pine trees (J. B. Lenoir). Made for music.

I forgot Dave's favorite country song of the time. Give me a bit, I'll see if i can come up with it.

The visit from author Barry Hannah was a godsend. He slammed and confused and (watched the OLe miss football game carried on his shoulder to the Mayflower in Jax, MS)and sorted us out fast. He strengthened us. Josh really said, if on a desert island, Barry's books would be the ONLY ONES he would bring

NOW I of course question that wisdom and believe deeply that a few books of Calvin and Hobbs would be a great early morning hello. We did seriously consider changing our names to Facetto, Man Mortimer and Big Missy MarcineMentailaly but didn't. I wish I could remember what it was he said about that.

Barry is funny though. We fell into a... (did I say I was learning the sax(ophone) at the time? Yeop, true, got a little better every day) (not much but a bit) ('cumulates pal) ran into Josh Granowski at a huge and tremendously frothingingly sweeping and slappinginy battle of the bands at the MID South Coliseum in Memphis, TN. HOME to Jerry Lawler and Sputnik Monroe (It Came From Memphis). Josh was in a band that played 1900 staples, Dave still in a progresive country funk band that incorporated heavy metal singing and buck dancing, the REAL buck dancing where you can't move your arms. At all. ME, PRE free jazz, and or not or nil at the time Anthony (braXTon) but heading sasheingly that way in that direction forward..

Anyway, Josh lept in the air, viscously, quoting Sputnik Monroe : "?" Leaping into the surging screaming crown chucking crowd yelling "analog analog analog" and "'death to the fascists" which no one there understood but they kindly people tham being, helped him back on the massive stage in a country political daze with 43 bands! I mean, my goodness this was a big time, ba baa!!!

So we three got to talking, ho ho ha, right, i was in a salt and pepper soul band that had one singer like al green (mem) and the other like Otis Redding. One gig we did in south, Mississippi had a story of a customer who (male) (assuming that, naturally as I was not there) had a habit of peeing into the bell of the tenor sax player's HORN. I kept both eyes out.

Gee, what were we talking about? Hell or heck, I don't remember.

Our band was born THAT DAY out of lanky beats, sodden and stroked. Firely energy, smiling mighty hots of fire in the air the ground ground and all in betweens! MY MAN SAID!!!!!!, energy, and the calm and the carefully tattooedly intentions frothing to the unknown breaching of music simple, fat and, if it would it did take up. We padded fiercely about, to and also.

Dave said something interesting that was interesting. Josh, my g(G?)od that man, with 17 children, 4 dogs, uncountable cats and a metal upright bass also comments.

ME it was yes all the way ;especially since I fled the ancient volcano just in time for this one gig of a giant slant falling up . The rest is in the past and is the past and relegated to the misty and weaving (a bearly used musical term) Past. Love what Wm F said about that, Past.

I just woke up with a start in St Paul ,MN all on overcast late Of (fatty daddy little ((ONE)) fall) day. Ummmmm.

I hear from Dave that he is in Italy slurping up as much well water as he can. (don't)(He will soon wake up in Robbinsdale. When he's back. Josh just got in from an all night gig in a country band playing the questionable hits of the day.

Bary did say that OC changed his life.

Thanks Davey Williams"-George Cartwright

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