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While in Calgary as a Killam Visiting Scholar, guitarist Joe Morris worked with multi-wind player and professor Jeremy Brown, whose solo work impressed Morris so much that they began performing regularly as a duo, deciding to rehearse and record this remarkable series of improvised duos that Morris describes as unique to his catalog, something conversationally precise and organic.
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Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: FSR 17 / 2022
Squidco Product Code: 32635
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Dimension Sound Studio in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, on June 23rd, 2019, by Joe Stewart.
Jeremy Brown-alto saxophone, clarinet, flute
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• Show Bio for Joe Morris
"Joe Morris was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 13, 1955. At the age of 12 he took lessons on the trumpet for one year. He started on guitar in 1969 at the age of 14. He played his first professional gig later that year. With the exception of a few lessons he is self-taught. The influence of Jimi Hendrix and other guitarists of that period led him to concentrate on learning to play the blues. Soon thereafter his sister gave him a copy of John Coltrane's OM, which inspired him to learn about Jazz and New Music. From age 15 to 17 he attended The Unschool, a student-run alternative high school near the campus of Yale University in downtown New Haven. Taking advantage of the open learning style of the school he spent most of his time day and night playing music with other students, listening to ethnic folk, blues, jazz, and classical music on record at the public library and attending the various concerts and recitals on the Yale campus. He worked to establish his own voice on guitar in a free jazz context from the age of 17. Drawing on the influence of Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor,Thelonius Monk, Ornette Coleman as well as the AACM, BAG, and the many European improvisers of the '70s. Later he would draw influence from traditional West African string music, Messian, Ives, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Lyons, Steve McCall and Fred Hopkins. After high school he performed in rock bands, rehearsed in jazz bands and played totally improvised music with friends until 1975 when he moved to Boston.
Between 1975 and 1978 he was active on the Boston creative music scene as a soloist as well as in various groups from duos to large ensembles. He composed music for his first trio in 1977. In 1980 he traveled to Europe where he performed in Belgium and Holland. When he returned to Boston he helped to organize the Boston Improvisers Group (BIG) with other musicians. Over the next few years through various configurations BIG produced two festivals and many concerts. In 1981 he formed his own record company, Riti, and recorded his first LpWraparound with a trio featuring Sebastian Steinberg on bass and Laurence Cook on drums. Riti records released four more LPs and CDs before 1991. Also in 1981 he began what would be a six year collaboration with the multi-instrumentalist Lowell Davidson, performing with him in a trio and a duo. During the next few years in Boston he performed in groups which featured among others; Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Kowald, Joe McPhee, Malcolm Goldstein, Samm Bennett, Lawrence "Butch" Morris and Thurman Barker. Between 1987 and 1989 he lived in New York City where he performed at the Shuttle Theater, Club Chandelier, Visiones, Inroads, Greenwich House, etc. as well as performing with his trio at the first festival Tea and Comprovisation held at the Knitting Factory.
In 1989 he returned to Boston. Between 1989 and 1993 he performed and recorded with his electric trio Sweatshop and electric quartet Racket Club. In 1994 he became the first guitarist to lead his own session in the twenty year history of Black Saint/Soulnote Records with the trio recording Symbolic Gesture. Since 1994 he has recorded for the labels ECM, Hat Hut, Leo, Incus, Okka Disc, Homestead, About Time, Knitting Factory Works, No More Records, AUM Fidelity and OmniTone and Avant. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe as a solo and as a leader of a trio and a quartet. Since 1993 he has recorded and/or performed with among others; Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe and Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, Raphe Malik, Ivo Pearlman, Borah Bergman, Andrea Parkins, Whit Dickey, Ken Vandermark, DKV Trio, Karen Borca, Eugene Chadborne, Susie Ibarra, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Roy Campbell Jr., John Butcher, Aaly Trio, Hamid Drake, Fully Celebrated Orchestra and others.
He began playing acoustic bass in 2000 and has since performed with cellist Daniel Levin, Whit Dickey and recorded with pianist Steve Lantner.
He has lectured and conducted workshops trroughout the US and Europe. He is a former member of the faculty of Tufts University Extension College and is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory in the jazz and improvisation department. He was nominated as Best Guitarist of the year 1998 and 2002 at the New York Jazz Awards."-Joe Morris Website (http://www.joe-morris.com/biography.html)
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• Show Bio for Jeremy Brown
"Jeremy Brown is an award-winning saxophonist, teacher, composer, author and conductor who lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is Professor of Music at the University of Calgary (1990-present) and performs as a jazz, classical and free improviser, primarily on the saxophone. He is also a woodwind doubler and performs as a flautist, clarinetist, and penny whistle. At the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts, he has been a conductor of the wind bands and the jazz bands. Dr.Brown teaches courses in improvisation, instrumental music education and SoTL, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He is in his twenty-third year as conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony. He was the saxophone soloist with the National Youth Band of Canada in 2015, sponsored by Yamaha Canada, and again as conductor/artistic director in 2017, an unprecedented double invitation. He was founding Artistic Director and conductor of the National Concert Band of Canada, 2002-2010, an auditioned youth band of students from across Canada. He has been the Artistic Director and conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony for 23 years, a 60-member wind band founded in 1955.
As Director of The UCalgary Saxophone Ensemble, his students gave world premieres of works by Jordan Nobles and Laurie Radford at the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, Arizona, U.S.A. He also recently recorded a Jazz Y.Y.C. featured at the 2020 Jazz Y.Y.C. Jazz Festival found at (https://youtu.be/WfVL81Gep54). In February 2021, he was selected to be a performer at the International Conference for Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy.
As an author, he has written numerous pedagogical articles for The Instrumentalist magazine, among many other periodicals. His recent book The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell (Routledge Press, 2018) includes definitive recordings of Cowell's band music with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra's winds, conducted by Dr. Brown. He was series editor and lead compiler of the inaugural Royal Conservatory of Music Saxophone Series (Frederick Harris Music, 2014), a multi-volume saxophone anthology with graded repertoire, etudes, technical studies and orchestral excerpts.
His recording of Wayfaring (2014) by Nova Pon was nominated as the Outstanding Classical composition of 2015 by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2010, his solo recording of Canadian solo and chamber music for saxophone, "Rubbing Stone," was nominated outstanding classical record of the year by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2017, he was nominated for the Student's Union Teaching Award, an award he won in 1999. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural University of Calgary Teaching Award by the Faculty of Arts. In 2009 he was recognized at Southam Hall in Ottawa as a "Canadian Music Ambassador" by the Canadian Music Centre to commission and perform music by Canadian composers, with about sixty works commissioned. In 2008, he was named one of five "Innovators of the University of Calgary" for his volunteer/community outreach with the Salvation Army. In 2007 was awarded the David Peterkin Award for his contribution to music education in Alberta by the Alberta Band Association. Currently he is a board member for the Alberta Band Association and Jazz YYC.
As a university teacher, his undergraduate and graduate students have won numerous national and international awards, scholarships and recognition. His university ensembles have been widely recognized for original programming and performing excellence; most recently, the UCalgary Jazz Orchestra won the Outstanding Ensemble Award at the 2013 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and ten outstanding soloist awards at the 2014 Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Chicago, Illinois and numerous soloist awards at the 2018 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Jeremy Brown also attended the Band Director's Academy at the Lincoln Center (New York) in 2014.
As an improviser, he has worked with numerous free music specialists, including English saxophonist John Butcher, Montreal composer Chantale Laplante, Toronto pianist Marilyn Lerner, and Joe Morris over several months in Calgary as a Killam Scholar. Morris and Brown recorded an album to be released in 2021, Magnitudes, on the Polish record label Fundacja Sluchal.
He has recorded numerous records, including Scaramouche with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (2003, C.B.C. records) In the Company of My Soul (2003, Arktos Label), Ornamentology (lightblue records), Rubbing Stone(2010, Centredisc Label), The Lethbridge Sessions (2014, Centredisc Label) Music for Soup (2015) and Verismo Jazz Quintet (2005). His latest recording is with American tenor saxophonist Jack Wilkins, a Fulbright scholar at UCalgary in 2018 who was in residence with Jeremy Brown. It will be released on the Chronograph record label in 2021, featuring original compositions by Wilkins and Brown.
As a composer, his works are a mix of classical and jazz elements and have been performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, are published (dorn.pub.com) and are found on Spotify (Verismo). Upcoming releases that include his music are on Chronograph records with Jack Wilkins ("Belgium Blues") and his improvisations are on Magnitudes, on Fundacja Sluchal records. Several of his new works were premiered in Calgary in 2019 by the Jeremy Brown Collective, his new music band.
As a saxophone soloist, he has appeared with many bands and orchestras, including the Washington-Idaho Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Red Deer Symphony, Festival Orchestra of the 2003 World Saxophone Congress (Minneapolis), the Okanogan Symphony Orchestra, Kensington Sinfonia, the Calgary Civic Symphony, Calgary Youth Orchestra and the Ottawa Symphony. He is also a lead tenor saxophonist with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra and regularly performs with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as a jazz and classical soloist, and has been saxophonist with the CPO since 1993.
He is the Rubbing Stone Ensemble's founding Artistic Director and recorded the "Lethbridge Sessions" (Centrediscs) in 2014 with this ensemble. As the Calgary Wind Symphony's Artistic Director and Conductor, the group has toured Europe twice, performing at the Mid-European Conference. The C.W.S. performs four major concerts a year and has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for wind band, including the Canadian premiere of Slipstream by Juno-award-winning composers Jordan Nobles world premiere of Flat Out Covering Ground by Allan Bell. In 2003, he co-founded Verismo, a Calgary jazz quintet whose inaugural recording garnered great critical acclaim and subsequently performed at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival."-University of Calgary (https://scpa.ucalgary.ca/profiles/jeremy-brown)
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^ Hide Bio for Jeremy Brown
1. Amount 6:53
2. Angle 8:23
3. Capacity 6:33
4. Consequence 5:58
5. Degree 7:29
6. Extent 6:40
7. Measure 9:24
8. Velocity 9:23
sample the album:
"Jeremy Brown might be a new name to many listeners of this music. He is a Professor of Music at the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada who teaches improvisation, is the Director of the University Jazz Orchestra and the Saxophone Ensemble and is a notable and prolific scholar of music. He is a busy professional musician who plays saxophone, flute, clarinet in classical, and jazz settings. He is a virtuoso, who is very highly regarded in Canada and elsewhere.
I met him when I was the Killam Visiting Scholar at the University in the Spring 2017 semester. He was my contact in the music department. Jeremy's interest in improvising was sincere. Although he was quite humble about his knowledge of Free Music, or free improvisation, he was in fact quite capable of both understanding it and performing it. Before I went to Calgary Jeremy sent me a video of his performance of Other's, a solo saxophone piece that he commissioned by the great John Butcher. I confess to being surprised when he told me about it, and blown away when I heard him play. The piece contains state-of-the-art saxophone vocabulary. Jeremy's performance confirmed that he is a totally advanced, unique, and important contemporary musician who is able to play the most challenging music with ease.
We got together to play duos every week I was in Calgary. These sessions included serious discussion about improvisation and music of the highest level. Over the course of my time there I taught a class and conducted weekly workshops that included students in the department and community musicians. I also worked with the University Jazz Orchestra, led by Jeremy. He participated in everything, as a member of the groups or the class, with an open mind and great playing.
A few weeks into my stay Jeremy arranged for us to perform at a conference on classical saxophone in Edmonton. We did a short improvised piece. His decision to do that for a group who hold him in the highest regard as a respected colleague took a lot of courage, and he was very excited to do it. After our set he said to me "I've played every classical piece there is for thirty years and I can do it without thinking, but this was a challenge and now that I'm done I just want to go back on the stage and play some more".
We decided that we needed to record our duo while I was still up there. We planned a session to be done in the music department by an outside engineer. The music was great but the engineer had some problems, and then never sent us the master recording. Soon after my residency was over and I left Calgary. Fast forward to July 2019. Jeremy would be participating in the Tanglewood Music Festival about 80 miles from Boston and a good studio. So we arranged to record again, this time with a trusted engineer, Joe Stewart. The session was a breeze and the music here is the result.
I try to avoid repeating myself in every part of my music. My recordings are documents of distinctive work that I do. The interaction and conversational dialog in this duo is unique in my experience and discography. Our weeks of rehearsal enabled us to be very aware of a lot of subtle material and to mix elements that are often left out in other settings. We're working to go someplace that is precise and organic to create a challenging musical experience for listeners to decipher. We plan to continue this collaboration. A backlog of releases delayed this one, which turned out to be a good thing because our plans to tour were thwarted by the pandemic, but we will try to carry on when it ends.
Free Music often defies association. Unless there is a specific programmatic intent, finding words to fit as titles sometimes means avoiding exactitude. Magnitude is used as a kind of poetic marker, a signifier that suggests proportion, depth, density, or the absence or measurement of whatever. The puzzle is for pondering, reflecting on phenomena as a meditation. Or maybe the name considers the many indefinable things that go into making music like this."-Joe Morris
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