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McKenna, Wills / Norman W. Long / Ishmael Ali / Bill Harris: Anemoi [2 CDs] (Amalgam)

Part of cellist Ishmael Ali's Chi Away Project recording small ensembles of new collaborations between Chicago musicians of diverse backgrounds, this live recording of energetic and unique free jazz and ea-improv was captured at Marmalade in 2021, bringing together Ali, drummer Bill Harris, saxophonist & flutist Wills McKenna and sound artist Normal W. Long.
 

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product information:


Label: Amalgam
Catalog ID: AMA038
Squidco Product Code: 32182

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Marmalade, in Chicago, Illinois, on May 11th, 2021, by Ishmael Ali and Bill Harris.


Personnel:

Wills McKenna-saxophone, flute

Norman W. Long-synthesizer, sampler

Ishmael Ali-cello, electronics

Bill Harris-drums

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Artist Biographies:

Wills McKenna is a Chicago saxophonist and composer. His own Wills Mckenna Quintet is a Chicago-based group that plays music drawing from a variety of styles including jazz, rock, shoegaze, grunge, improvised and noise music, using its double guitar formation to create a full and complex yet melodic sonic landscape. The music is mostly written by saxophonist Wills Mckenna, and the band plays regularly in the Chicago area. He is also a member of the genre-merging band Je'raf.

-Squidco 10/5/2022

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

"Norman W. Long is a Chicago-based sound artist. His practice involves walking, listening, improvising, performing, recording and composing to create environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory space, value, silence and the invisible. Long has performed and toured as a member of Angel Bat Dawid and Tha Brothahood, and has collaborated with Dan Bitney and John Herndon (Tortoise), Standing On The Corner, Damon Locks (Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble, The Eternals (4)), Lia Kohl, and Sara Zalek, among many other artists. Long has released music on Chicago-based labels Hausu Mountain and Reserve Matinee.

Norman W. Long has performed and exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center, Experimental Sound Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Links Hall, Elastic Arts, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Cultural Center and 2017 PRIZM Art Fair (Miami). Long has received 3Arts Award for Visual Art in 2011, 3Arts Djerassi (Woodside, CA) Artists Residency Fellowship in 2014, BOLT Artist in Residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition in 2014-2015, 3Arts Fellowship for AS220 (Providence, RI) 2017 Artist in Residence program, Three Walls RaD Lab and Outside the walls Fellow for 2017-2019 and Guest Composer at EMS Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm, Sweden made possible in part by the City of Chicago's DCASE grant. Norman was named one of Chicago's Top 50 artists by New City Chicago in 2020."

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/6699330-Norman-W-Long)
10/5/2022

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"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/)
10/5/2022

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

"Bill Harris is a percussionist, composer, improviser, and audio engineer from Pittsburgh currently based in Chicago. He also operates and produces for Amalgam, a Chicago-based collective.

(B. 1987, Pittsburgh, PA)

Bill has been active in Chicago's music communities since 2011, working at the intersection of free improvisation, jazz, noise, rock, and country. His music has been presented at Constellation, Elastic Arts, The Bop Stop, The Hungry Brain, The Hideout, Experimental Sound Studios, Spot Tavern, Beat Kitchen, Empty Bottle, and Comfort Station.

Bill is humbled to have played or recorded with Jim Baker, Dave Rempis, Kent Kessler, Brian Sandstrom, Ed Wilkerson, Carol Genetti, Angel Bat Dawid, Jeb Bishop, Peter Maunu, Josh Berman, Brandon Lopez, Keefe Jackson, and Jason Roebke, among many other experimental and improvisatory musicians and artists.

Bill is constantly inspired by and thankful to work with his frequent collaborators: Ishmael Ali, Jake Wark, Timothee Quost, PT Bell, Gerrit Hatcher, Eli Namay, Matt Piet, Brianna Tong, Wills McKenna, David Fletcher, Jess McIntosh, Aaron Smith, Jeff Kimmel, Adam Shead, Molly Jones, Jakob Heinemann, and many others...

In 2015 he started Amalgam, a 100% artist-run collective and label dedicated to showcasing works of improvised and experimental music in Chicago. Bill is also an audio engineer working in both studio and live situations, and operates an independent studio in Chicago with engineering, mixing, mastering, and production credits on labels such as Amalgam, Astral Spirits, No Index, 577 Records and Ears&Eyes."

-Bill Harris Website (http://www.billyharris.net/bio)
10/5/2022

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track listing:


CD1



1. You Can't Cross The Sea 7:52

2. With Such 3:03

3. Thin Wings. 21:15

CD2



1. The Wind 10:36

2. Makes It Hard 6:29

3. To Hear. 16:46
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"These recordings document a first-meeting of a quartet of improvisers during the pandemic in Spring of 2021. The grouping is assembled from individuals with divergent approaches that feed a wide tonal palette blending and morphing into kinetic mass of sound.

This album is part of the Chi Away project, started by Ishmael Ali as part of the New Music USA's Creator Development Fund in 2021. About the Chi Away project:

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 ourindividual experiences as well as the role of community during the past year in isolation. The music will simultaneously embody release, reflection, beginning."-Amalgam

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Jazz
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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