The Squid's Ear Magazine


Stewart's, Luke Silt Trio: The Bottom (Cuneiform)

The introduction of a new trio bringing together Washington D.C. bassist Luke Stewart (Heroes Are Gang Leaders) with D.C. area tenor saxophonist Brian Settles and Chicago/NY drummer Chad Taylor, in an album carefully sequenced like a live performance, a journey through free improv, funky roots, world music, ending with a reference to La Monte Young's Dream House.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Luke Stewart-bass

Brian Settles-tenor Saxophone

Chad Taylor-drums, Mbira


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UPC: 045775048727

Label: Cuneiform
Catalog ID: RUNE 487
Squidco Product Code: 32875

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Called "one of the 25 most influential jazz artists of his generation" by DownBeat Magazine and a member of several earth-shaking ensembles, including Irreversible Entanglements and Heroes Are Gang Leaders, polymathic bassist Luke Stewart, a creative catalyst on the Washington D.C. (and beyond) music scene for almost two decades, introduces his protean trio with Chicago drum legend Chad Taylor and powerhouse DC saxophonist Brian Settles.

A casual observer of the Washington D.C. music scene could easily get the mistaken impression that there are four or five guys coincidentally named Luke Stewart playing leading roles in a disparate array of musical communities. In fact, Stewart is a singular, uncontainable artist whose work as a bassist, saxophonist, producer, broadcaster, and all-around mover and shaker has deepened and extended the District's legacy as a hotbed for creative music.

Given his many pursuits, a single album can only capture a small portion of Stewart's oceanic sonic continuum, but The Bottom offers a deep dive into a particularly inviting pool with his loose and limber trio making their debut here.

A highly cohesive triumvirate in close communion, the band plays with the conversational ease of longtime, comfortable friends. Untethered to any particular stylistic convention, particularly bebop's head-solo-head format, the music's ebb and flow feels utterly in the moment.

"I approached the recording session as closely as possible to playing a set, arranging the sequence with that in mind," says Stewart, who was born and raised in Mississippi. "Like a set compositions are coupled by moments of free improvisation, but that free improv is contextualized by what happened before and after. It's a journey, and the recording session reflects that."-Cuneiform


Artist Biographies

"Luke has pursued a vast number of creative projects over the years. He plays bass and saxophone with DC-based indie rock band Laughing Man, who has performed at historic venues in the city including the Black Cat and St. Stephen's Church, opening for national acts such as The Evens, Wavves, Junkyard Band, and Wale. He has also played saxophone with his own experimental group Ziggurat, as well as various special collaborative performances throughout the East Coast.

As an electronic artist, he has been showcased in local exhibitions alongside legendary hip hop artist Grap Luva, and DC beatmaker Damu the Fudgemunk. He has also been a participant of Sonic Circuits' Festival of Experimental Music, performing on the same bill as cellist Okkyung Lee, as well as performing in other venues alongside instrument builder Layne Garrett and saxophonist Sam Hillmer (Diamond Terrifier). He is also a member of experimental electronic trio Mind Over Matter, Music Over Mind, which has participated in numerous festival performances, including Sonic Circuits' Festival and Noise Fest at George Mason University.

On the jazz side, Luke has performed at many of DC's historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57. He had the honor of studying and performing with saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett. Recently he lead a 12-member ensemble in an hour-long tribute to John Coltrane on his birthday at the legendary Bohemian Caverns. He is also a member of Trio OOO, a collaborative ensemble featuring saxophonist Aaron Martin, and drummer Sam Lohman.

More recently he has helped establish CapitalBop.com, a DC-based jazz website and 501c3 non-profit organization, as its Avant Music Editor. Through the site, he has helped launch a live jazz performance series dubbed the "DC Jazz Loft", presenting some talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his "Red Door Loft" series at the now-closed Goldleaf studios, as well as shows at CD Cellar in Arlington, VA, Bossa Bistro and Lounge, and DIY space the Paperhaus, where his performance curation was picked by Bob Boilen as one of the best shows of 2012.

He is also an Artist-In-Residence at the art space Union Arts and Manufacturing, in Washington, DC, where he regularly rehearses his numerous musical projects as well as hosts special performances and workshops.

During the day, he is the Production Coordinator for WPFW 89.3FM, as well as the host of THE VIBES edition of Overnight Jazz, weekly eclectic jazz program which showcases music from various sources in Luke's musical explorations. Through WPFW he has had the privilege of working with some seminal figures in music and social justice such as Chuck Brown, Yusef Lateef, Randy Weston, Muhal Richard Abrams, Juma Sultan, and Amiri Baraka. He has had the opportunity of producing many successful programs including a month-long commemoration of Black Music Month., featuring notably the reunion of trombonist Phil Ranelin and saxophonist Wendell Harrison from the Tribe organization of Detroit. He also co-produced a month-long tribute to pianist Horace Tapscott Los Angeles based community organization UGMAA (Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension). He also produced Washington, DC's first live radio appearance of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the program Jazz and Justice with Tom Porter."

-Luke Stewart Website (https://lukethings.wordpress.com/about/)
6/17/2024

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

"Saxophonist and composer Brian Settles has established himself as a rising force with a long-term artistic vision. Settles blends the outwardly engaging with the deeply personal, reconciling his intimate command of the jazz lineage with a commitment to his own experimental voice. He performs regularly with some of modern jazz's leading groups, including Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up, Michael Formanek's Cheating Heart and Big Band Kolossus, and bands led by Jonathan Finlayson. Settles has also accompanied the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Jason Moran and Marc Cary.

Settles' two albums as a leader feature entirely original music, highlighting his buoyant, pithy compositions: Secret Handshake (Engine, 2011) featured the five-piece Central Union, and was named the best jazz record of the year by both the Washington City Paper and CapitalBop.com. Settles followed up with Folk (Engine, 2013), a trio album acclaimed by Something Else Reviews and the NYC Jazz Record.

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Settles picked up the saxophone in the eighth grade and was immediately enamored. The next year he enrolled in the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he spent the next four years studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Davey Yarborough. During his time at Ellington, Settles began a ten-year mentorship with tenor saxophone legend Stanley Turrentine. This exposure to the life of a veteran performer and recording artist solidified his plans of becoming a jazz musician.

Settles went on to attend the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, where he was mentored by bass legend Reggie Workman and saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, the school's founder. After graduating from the New School, Settles joined forces with bassist, Tom Abbs and drummer, Chad Taylor. Under Abbs' leadership, the trio (Frequency Response) performed throughout New York City and in 2003 (with the addition of cellist, Okkyung Lee) recorded the album Conscription (CIMP - 288).

In 2008 Settles earned a master's degree in music from Howard University, where he studied with the great saxophonist Charlie Young. While at Howard, Settles joined drummer Tomas Fujiwara in The Hook Up. The quintet has since released three well-received albums, and has been celebrated by the New York Times as "a gathering of sharp young improvisers ... insightful [and] invigorating." And Settles has earned a growing chorus of acclaim on his own: In 2015 he was listed as a rising star on tenor saxophone, in Downbeat magazine's critics poll, and he earned an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. All the while he's worked with young musicians as a teacher and mentor at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, where he has served since 2002.

To anyone who's heard it, Settles' warbling, viscous tone is immediately recognizable, and his solos are never too quick with their emotional payoff. Inky and warm, his playing can seem to hover weightlessly while simultaneously boring down. Critic Michael J. West calls Settles "absolutely heart-stopping on the bandstand ... known for his versatility, expressiveness, and dizzying imagination" (Washington City Paper)."

-Brian Settles Website (http://briansettles.com/biography.html)
6/17/2024

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

"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:

"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages." Allmusic.com

Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."

-Chad Taylor Website (http://www.chadtaylordrums.net/html/about.php)
6/17/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Reminiscince 6:11

2. Roots 5:07

3. Angles 11:42

4. The Bottom 5:32

5. Circles 3:08

6. Dream House 8:57

Related Categories of Interest:


Cuneiform
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Cuneiform.


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