The Squid's Ear Magazine


Fowler / Perelman / Shipp / W. Parker / Hirsh: Alien Skin (Mahakala Music)

A confluence of saxophones (and stritch, saxello and flute) from the sextet of Chad Fowler on stritch & saxello, Zoh Amba on tenor sax & flute, Ivo Perelman on tenor saxophone, Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass and Steve Hirsh on drums, recording in the superb Park West Studios in a collective set under the influence of the 2021 Vision Festival.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Chad Fowler-stritch, saxello

Zoh Amba-tenor saxophone, flute

Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone

Matthew Shipp-piano

William Parker-bass

Steve Hirsh-drums


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UPC: 195269189228

Label: Mahakala Music
Catalog ID: MAHA-041
Squidco Product Code: 32900

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded on October 6th, 2021, by Jim Clouse.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"On the last afternoon of Arts for Arts' iconic Vision Festival in 2021, I found myself standing next to pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Andrew Cyrille as William Parker's closing group took the stage. Matthew and I were casually chatting as the stage filled with what would ultimately be the largest group of the festival that year. The music started and the bandstand spouted fire from beneath as it lifted off toward the stars. Every person in the venue floated in space together through almost an hour of spiritual, emotional, cathartic joy. It was music so raw and frenetic that, had I had a horn with me, It would have been difficult to fight the urge to join them uninvited.

Steve and I had already been planning a couple of studio dates later that year in Brooklyn at Jim Clouse's Park West Studios. After hearing this music, I wanted to recreate the feeling I got from listening to it. The visceral experience. Not the sound. I can't remember what it sounded like. That wasn't the point. So as Steve and I started planning for our upcoming session, we set out to put together a group to generate that same kind of energy: The group: ZA (who had played on William's Vision set), Ivo Perelman (who we asked at the last minute to come by for a day and he ended up on both days of the recording), Matthew Shipp, William, Steve, and me.

This was the first and probably last time this group of musicians will have ever come together in this configuration. As is our custom, we didn't discuss much about what the music would be before Jim Clouse started recording. This record documents our second full day together, presented in order. From soulful balladry to demented rock music to an otherworldly march, the musical tension is palpable throughout. As is, I think, the pure joy of creation that animated our time together."-Chad Fowler, Mahakala Music


Artist Biographies

"I'm Chad Fowler. I write books, write and play music, write software, lead organizations (currently for Microsoft, in Berlin), invest in startups, speak at conferences, teach, learn, organize conferences, etc.

I started and co-organized a couple of Ruby-related conferences including The International Ruby Conference and RailsConf."

-Chad Fowler Website (http://chadfowler.com/)
2/26/2024

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

"Zoh Amba is a saxophonist from Kingsport, Tennessee who since moving to New York in fall 2021 has quickly emerged into a notable presence in the avant garde scene. Zoh has spent considerable time studying with David Murray in New York, and also at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music & New England Conservatory. The endorsement and collaboration with the creative music world's most notable sound painters means Zoh is poised to continue her ascent in New York and beyond. She has her debut record O, Sun releasing on Tzadik March 18th, 2022. With Micah Thomas, Thomas Morgan, and Joey Baron. Produced by John Zorn."

-All About Jazz (https://www.allaboutjazz.com/musicians/zoh-amba)
2/26/2024

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

"Born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil, Perelman was a classical guitar prodigy who tried his hand at many other instruments - including cello, clarinet, and trombone - before gravitating to the tenor saxophone. His initial heroes were the cool jazz saxophonists Stan Getz and Paul Desmond. But although these artists' romantic bent still shapes Perelman's voluptuous improvisations, it would be hard to find their direct influence in the fiery, galvanic, iconoclastic solos that have become his trademark.

Moving to Boston in 1981, to attend Berklee College of Music, Perelman continued to focus on mainstream masters of the tenor sax, to the exclusion of such pioneering avant-gardists as Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, and John Coltrane (all of whom would later be cited as precedents for Perelman's own work). He left Berklee after a year or so and moved to Los Angeles, where he studied with vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, at whose monthly jam sessions Perelman discovered his penchant for post-structure improvisation: "I would go berserk, just playing my own thing," he has stated.

Emboldened by this approach, Perelman began to research the free-jazz saxists who had come before him. In the early 90s he moved to New York, a far more inviting environment for free-jazz experimentation, where he lives to this day. His discography comprises more than 50 recordings, with a dozen of them appearing since 2010, when he entered a remarkable period of artistic growth - and "intense creative frenzy," in his words. Many of these trace his rewarding long-term relationships with such other new-jazz visionaries as pianist Matthew Shipp, bassists William Parker, guitarist Joe Morris, and drummer Gerald Cleaver.

Critics have lauded Perelman's no-holds-barred saxophone style, calling him "one of the great colorists of the tenor sax" (Ed Hazell in the Boston Globe); "tremendously lyrical" (Gary Giddins); and "a leather-lunged monster with an expressive rasp, who can rage and spit in violence, yet still leave you feeling heartbroken" (The Wire). Since 2011, he has undertaken an immersive study in the natural trumpet, an instrument popular in the 17th century, before the invention of the valve system used in modern brass instruments; his goal is to achieve even greater control of the tenor saxophone's altissimo range (of which he is already the world's most accomplished practitioner).

Perelman is also a prolific and noted visual artist, whose paintings and sketches have been displayed in numerous exhibitions while earning a place in collections around the world."

-Ivo Perelman Website (http://www.ivoperelman.com/bio/)
2/26/2024

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

"Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted."

-Matthew Shipp Website (http://www.matthewshipp.com/bio.html)
2/26/2024

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

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
2/26/2024

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

Steve Hirsh: "About Me

I come from a non-musical family. But every week growing up, I'd get my allowance and go to the local record store to pick up the latest hit. At 10 years old, I started guitar lessons at a neighborhood community center. I wanted to learn Beatles tunes but instead found myself learning classical guitar. I wasn't into it and stopped after a year. Then in junior high, I had a band/orchestra class. I started off playing alto sax. But in the summer after my first year, I got braces on my teeth and my orthodontist told my mother that playing a reed instrument would be bad for my overbite. So in my second year, I started on drums because I figured it would be the easiest instrument to catch up on. The bug bit me then, and I would spend hours playing along to records on my snare drum.

I went to a specialized public high school in New York City that focused on math and science. They had no music classes, except for a single music appreciation class that dealt entirely with European classical music. There was one Black girl in my class (!). One day she asked the teacher why he didn't teach anything about jazz and Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That was the first time I heard those names. The teacher said something dismissive and moved on.

Somewhere around there I got my first drum set and was trying to figure out how to play it. One day in the library, I was thumbing through the record collection and came across Kind of Blue and Blue Trane. I remembered hearing Miles' and Trane's names and took the records home. I was astounded by what I heard, particularly drummer Philly Joe Jones on Blue Trane. I had no idea what or how he was playing and could hardly believe that there was only 1 drummer.

Over the next 10 or so years, I dove deeper and deeper into the music. I worked forwards and backwards - Bitches Brew-era Miles, and late John Coltrane, and Max and Bird and then everyone in between, and then back to Basie and Ellington and Papa Jo Jones. I was playing in rock and blues bands and saw jazz drumming as beyond my abilities. After my 2nd year of college, I told my parents that I wanted to transfer to Berklee College of Music. But I had no one to help me navigate that change and I was unable to do it myself. Eventually, I just quit college, moved to California, and started playing in bands. I wound up hanging out and then working at Keystone Korner. I saw everyone there - Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Rhasaan Roland Kirk, Stan Getz, Mary Lou Williamson, the house band with George Cables and Eddie Marshal, Billy Higgins, Woody Shaw, Elvin Jones. And I started trying to play the music. But eventually, I quit playing for a variety of reasons, including the inability to believe I could really ever play it well and authentically, and the need to get away from the drug scene (this was San Francisco in the mid-'70s). But I never stopped listening, and eventually went back to playing in rock and blues bands.

I quit playing again in the early 80s but then picked it back up 20 years later when I bought my son a drum set. I bought it for him, then took it over (I sat down behind it to check it out and didn't come out for a week.). I've been playing steadily since then. I played a lot of straight-ahead jazz gigs, a lot of dinner jazz. But I always had a taste for the more outside sounds, and for the last few years, that's exclusively what I've been playing.

I have led several improvising ensembles in the last few years, and have played most of the Twin Cities venues that are open to this music, including Khyber Pass Cafe, The Icehouse, Jazz Central Studios, The Cedar Cultural Center, and Grand Oak Opry. I started a regular series at the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, featuring my groups and other improvising ensembles. I also hosted a weekly open session there, where anyone could come and gain experience improvising with experienced players.

I've played with (among others) William Parker, Joel Futterman, Eri Yamamoto, Matthew Shipp, Ivo Perelman, Luke Stewart, Douglas Ewart, Babatunde Lea, George Cartwright, Donald Washington, Chad Fowler, Zoh Amba, Brad Holden, Dick Studer, Josh Granowski, Matt Trice, Kavyesh Kaviraj, and DeVon Russell Grey.

In the past year, with the isolation of the pandemic and the near-total loss of performance opportunities, I have become involved in several remote collaborations, with both old and new friends. There are a few of those on the Recordings page, if you're curious.

My latest releases are Ebb & Flow, with Joel Futterman and Chad Fowler, Notice That There, with Geirge Cartwright, Chad Fowler, Christopher Parker and Kelley Hurt, Warp & Weft, a collaboration with the extraordinary pianist Joel Futterman, Two Five None, a duo with Chad Fowler, and You Know When It's Time by Original Mind, all on Mahakala Music https://mahakalamusic.bandcamp.com/. There's more stuff coming - follow me on Bandcamp, follow Mahakala Music, and send me a note asking to be added to my email list.

I endorse Canopus drums and Bosphorus cymbals. Beautiful instruments I'm lucky to play.

Born and raised in New York City, I now make my home in the woods of Northern Minnesota."

-Steve Hirsh Website (https://www.stevehirshdrums.com/steve-hirsh-drums-music-bio)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Occupation Day 2 19:00

2. In Pairs 11:29

3. Alien Skin 06:49

4. Sentient Sentiment 19:29

5. Broken Language 08:07

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
Sextet Recordings
Parker, William
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Mahakala Music.


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