The Squid's Ear Magazine


Tong, Brianna / Johanna Brock / Andrew Scott Young / Ishmael Ali: Akjai (Amalgam)

Part of the Chi Away project bringing together new collaborations of Chicago improvisers, Akjai is the unique experimental chamber jazz quartet of Brianna Tong on vocals, Johanna Brock on voice & violin, Ishmael Ali on cello and Andrew Scott Young on double bass, blurring 20th century classical music, art song and free jazz with texts by Brianna Tong, Octavia Butler, and RA Washington.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Brianna Tong-vocals

Johanna Brock-vocals, violin

Ishmael Ali-cello

Andrew Scott Young-double bass


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Label: Amalgam
Catalog ID: AMA037
Squidco Product Code: 32181

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recording live at Marmalade, in Chicago, Illinois, on May 29th, 2021 by Ishmael Ali and Bill Harris.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Akjai is an improvising quartet incorporating two vocalists and a string trio. The group's unique instrumentation lends itself to exploration of strange timbres, textures, and orchestrations. This recording documents a first meeting in which they explore musical worlds ranging from 20th century classical music, to art song, to free jazz, with text by Brianna Tong, Octavia Butler, and RA Washington.

Chi Away will comprise recordings of three separate small ensembles made over the course of a few months, culminating in a series of album releases on the Chicago record label Amalgam. The project was awarded the New Music USA Creator Development fund in 2021. The groups are new collaborations, made up of musicians from the Chicago area. The assemblies include musicians from a wide array of musical backgrounds, ranging from classical to jazz to country to experimental to punk. Included in the fray are Ishmael Ali, Allen Moore, Bill Harris, N.W. Long, Wills McKenna, Brianna Tong, Johanna Brock, and Andrew Scott Young. Thematically, the goal of the project as a whole is catharsis-reflecting on our individual experiences as well as the role of community during the past year in isolation. The music will simultaneously embody release, reflection, beginning."-Amalgam


Artist Biographies

Brianna Tong is a Chicago-based vocalist and improviser. A former community organizer and librarian originally from Delware, she moved to Chicago to attend University of Chicago in 2011. She is a member of groups Cordoba, Je'raf, and Bussy Kween Power Trip.

-Squidco 2/26/2024

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

"Johanna Brock (she/her) teaches violin, piano, and audio engineering. She began studying viola at the age of 9 and graduated with a BA in Music from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2005. Johanna loves performing both classical and improvised music and she's grateful to have toured with rock groups and classical ensembles, performing in concert halls, museums, and living rooms across the US and Europe."

-Music House (https://www.musichouseinc.com/our-team-blog/johanna-brock)
2/26/2024

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

"Ishmael Ali is a first generation Filipino-Arab-American cellist, guitarist, improviser, composer, and electronic artist currently residing in Chicago. His work centers on exploring sound through improvisation, experimentation, collaboration, as well as a wide array of idiomatic approaches in an ever-changing, always-growing list of projects with diverse focuses and influences.Though varying drastically from group to group, a common thread in his work is the juxtaposition of seemingly disparate elements to create something new: both foreign and familiar.

In addition to performing, Mr. Ali is a co-founder and audio engineer at the recording space Marmalade in Chicago and was the founder and director of the now inoperative music and art space, Orotund Music. He continues to work as an organizer and promoter through the music series OBTC."

-Ishmael Ali Website (https://ishmaelalimusic.com/)
2/26/2024

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

Andrew Scott Young is a Seattle-based bassist, a member of Tiger Hatchery.

-Squidco 2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Marks Along Your Pavement 11:10

2. Drowning People Sometimes Die Fighting Their Rescuers 5:52

3. Simone (And Other Irrevocable Truths) 10:38

4. Lumpy Soul 8:36

5. Laughter As A Barometer 7:41

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Chamber Jazz
Stringed Instruments
Spoken Word
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Friends of Squid

Search for other titles on the label:
Amalgam.


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The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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