The Squid's Ear Magazine


Johnson, Max Trio (w/ Anna Webber / Michael Sarin): Orbit Of Sound (Unbroken Sounds)

A new trio from NY bassist Max Johnson with Anna Webber on tenor saxophone & flute and Michael Sarin on drums, performing five lyrically inclined yet inventive compositions from Johnson, allowing distinction for each performer as they bridge sections between fluid straight-ahead playing and spaciously singular experimentation, keeping player and listener on their toes.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Anna Webber-tenor saxophone, flute

Max Johnson-bass

Michael Sarin-drumset


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UPC: 755491237946

Label: Unbroken Sounds
Catalog ID: U01
Squidco Product Code: 32115

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Big Orange Sheep, in Brooklyn, New York, on August 18th, 2021, by Michael Perez-Cisneros

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Orbit of Sound is the new release from composer/double bassist Max Johnson's newest trio, with Anna Webber on tenor saxophone/flute, and Michael Sarin on drumset. Formed in 2018, the trio traverses tightly knit composed music and patient, sprawling improvised textures, highlighting all three individual voices as improvisers.

The trio completed their inaugural tour of Europe in February & March, having to cancel their final concert and subsequent recording due to the pandemic, delaying the recording a full year and a half. But finally the music is being released as the first release on Johnson's new record label Unbroken Sounds, coinciding with the trio's spring tour of Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Austria."-Broken Sound



"Multi-faceted bassist Max Johnson helms a terrific trio on Orbit Of Sound. Although also active in bluegrass and contemporary classical arenas, this set forefronts Johnson's jazz chops as composer and improviser with Anna Webber (tenor saxophone and flute) and Michael Sarin (drums).

The opening "A Quick One" shows the album title to be aptly descriptive of the sort of relentless momentum Johnson initiates, as bass and drums circle intricate boppish tenor in interlocking patterns. Here and elsewhere, evidence of Johnson's composer's ear surfaces in how cannily he extracts maximum impact from the three voices. But the same cut also exemplifies another of the program's traits: sudden mood changes. The braided interplay abruptly drops away, replaced by a lighter airier section, which launches Webber on a path veering from staccato pure tones to expressive slurs. A subsequent drum solo constitutes one of the highlights of the piece, as Sarin places different elements of his kit into intersecting orbits too, a taut logic emerging from his crisp timbral command. It is always fascinating to witness how the group meets the challenge of making its way back to the theme following one of the precipitous about-faces.

On "The Professor" the combination of droning arco bass and precisely controlled bubbling saxophone multiphonics take the piece into very rarefied atmosphere, eventually retrieved by a somber unison and increasingly coherent cymbal and plucked bass accents. They also explore a similarly extreme soundworld at the outset of "Over / Under", built from creaking bow work, scraped percussion and tenor susurrations and whistled overtones, incrementally moving towards a written line not blossoming until the very end. They come closest to overt melody on the solemn and valedictory "Shepherd's Morning", but even here breathy tenor is accompanied by Sarin's crumpling and rustling noises, which undercuts any sentimentality, emblematic of a release that constantly defies expectations."-John Sharpe, NYC Jazz Record


Get additional information at New York City Jazz Record

Artist Biographies

"Reedist Anna Webber, a Brooklynite by way of British Columbia, is one of the most exciting new arrivals on the New York avant-garde jazz scene in the past couple years. Her second album, SIMPLE, demonstrates the inextricable link between her improvising and her compositions; her detail-rich writing recalls the work of elders as disparate as Tim Berne and Henry Threadgill, and her busy motion evokes a fizzy sort of exhilaration.-Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Anna Webber is an integral part of a new wave of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene. A saxophonist and flutist who strives for the unexpected, she has furthermore consistently proven herself to be a unique and forward-thinking composer with releases such as 2014's SIMPLE (Skirl Records) and 2013's Percussive Mechanics. Binary, the follow-up to SIMPLE which features bandmates John Hollenbeck and Matt Mitchell, further establishes Webber as a compelling improvisor and composer."

-Anna Webber Website (http://www.annakristinwebber.com/index2.html)
4/10/2024

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

"Max Johnson is a bassist, composer and bandleader based in New York City. Known for his big sound, eclectic style and prolific output, Johnson has made a name in both the jazz and improvised music world, playing with legendary luminaries Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Muhal Richard Abrams, among others, in addition to becoming a first call bluegrass bassist, playing with legends Sam Bush, David Grisman, the Traveling McCourys & Tony Trischka. With 6 albums, and over fifteen hundred concerts under his belt, Johnson has proven to be an unparalleled force on the bass, and a unique, exhilarating voice as a composer.

Growing up in Hoboken, New Jersey, Johnson learned about music at an early age from his father, Glenn Johnson, drummer/composer of the band Leisure Class. At age 13, Max took up the electric bass, and after performing with local bands in Montclair, NJ, he joined the School of Rock in 2004, where he had the incredible opportunity to tour internationally and perform with Jon Anderson, John Wetton, the Butthole Surfers, Adrian Belew, Vernon Reid, Andrew W.K., Ronnie Spector, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and a long list of others. Johnson then attended the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in 2008, where he studied bass with masters Henry Grimes, Mark Helias, Reggie Workman, Cameron Brown & Marji Danilow; and composition with Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne & Bill Kirchner. While studying there, he began performing professionally in New York City, building a name for himself as a bassist and bandleader in the improvised music world, and a first call bass player in the bluegrass scene. Johnson continued his education at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he recieved his Master's degree in classical composition under Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Mallia and Roger Zahab.

Although young in age, Johnson has already crafted a unique sound and vision as an improviser, and is rich in experience, having performed with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nels Cline, Candido Camero, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Butch Morris, Karl Berger, Bobby Sanabria, Sylvie Courvoisier, Erik Friedlander, Mary Halvorson, Joseph Jarman, Kenny Wollesen, Elliott Sharp, Angelica Sanchez, and many others. As a bassist with a non-stop touring schedule, Johnson has performed over one thousand concerts throughout North America and Europe, including top festivals and performing arts centers such as Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Lollapalooza, Quebec City Festival, Bern Jazz Festival, and many others. Max Johnson has been featured as a sideman on over twenty-five recordings, including the platinum-selling Night Castle by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

An active bandleader, Max Johnson has six records to his name: Elevated Vegetation (FMR), The Invisible Trio & Something Familiar (Fresh Sound-New Talent), featuring Kirk Knuffke on cornet & Ziv Ravitz on drums; The Prisoner (NoBusiness) featuring Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri & Tomas Fujiwara; and Quartet (NotTwo), with Mark Whitecage on alto saxophone and clarinet, Steve Swell on trombone, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Big Eyed Rabbit, his collaborative trio with Ross Martin and Jeff Davis, also released their debut album in 2014, Big Eyed Rabbit (NotTwo). His albums have been positively reviewed in the New York Times, NYC Jazz Record, JazzTimes, and other publications. El Intruso International Critic's Poll voted Max Johnson #1 Newcomer Musician in the 2012, and #2 Bassist and #4 Musician of the year in their 2014 poll."

-Max Johnson Website (http://www.maxjohnsonmusic.com/biography.html)
4/10/2024

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

"Over the last twenty-five years, drummer Michael Sarin has been at the center of New York City's genre-bending jazz and improvisation community. His versatility and musical wit helped forge long associations with forward-looking artists Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Ben Allison, and David Krakauer.

Born in 1965, Michael was raised on Bainbridge Island, WA-a ferryboat ride from Seattle. His interest in music and the drums came early, nourished by both the record collections of his parents and older sister, and by the AM radio he received at age seven.

His formal music education began during high school with drummer Dave Coleman, Sr. He went on to study drums and percussion with Tom Collier at the University of Washington, and later with master drummer, Jerry Granelli.

Since moving to New York in 1989, Michael's unique style and approach to the drum set has been highly sought after by NYC and European musicians looking to expand the definitions of jazz and improvised music. He has contributed to recordings by the aforementioned artists as well as those of Frank Carlberg, Anthony Coleman, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Helias, Denman Maroney, Simon Nabatov, Mario Pavone, and Ned Rothenberg--recordings found on numerous music critics' Top Ten CD year-end lists.

Michael performs all over the world--in major and minor festivals; concert halls famous and infamous, big and small. He can be heard on recent recordings of Frank Carlberg, Mark Dresser, Joe Fiedler, Erik Friedlander, David Krakauer, and Leslie Pintchik."

-Michael Sarin Website (http://www.michaelsarin.com/html/about.php)
4/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. A Quick One 6:53

2. Over/Under 13:43

3. Too Much Tuna 5:02

4. The Professor 16:17

5. Sheperd's Morning 7:51

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Unbroken Sounds.


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