The Squid's Ear Magazine


Dewar, Andrew Raffo / John Hughes / Chad Popple: Reflejos IV-VII (Waveform Alphabet)

A student of Steve Lacy & Anthony Braxton and active from NYC to the San Francisco Bay Area, soprano saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar is heard in these studio recordings with bassist John Hughes and drummer/vibraphonist Chad Popple, a follow-up to the 2018 trio album Reflejos on pfMENTUM, presenting a series of compositions based on reflection/refraction-based compositional forms.
 

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Personnel:



Andrew Raffo Dewar-soprano saxophone, composition

John Hughes-double bass

Chad Popple-drums, percussion, vibraphone


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Label: Waveform Alphabet
Catalog ID: 002
Squidco Product Code: 33037

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Hamburg, Germany on June 16th, 2019, by Wolfgang Helbsing.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This album is a follow-up to our 2018 trio CD, Reflejos (pfMENTUM PFMCD122), which showcased the first three compositions in my Reflejos series. While we have performed together as a trio off and on since 2005, this is only the second document of our work together.

The Reflejos ("reflections") series of pieces are primarily based on mirror image and other reflection/refraction based compositional forms that use a limited set of musical materials to reorder and rearrange, both rhythmically and melodically. It is systematic, but not rigidly so. I use the concept more as a guideline than a rule - a way to generate formal ideas that then hopefully come to life when put into practice and used as springboards for improvisation.

In this current set of pieces I have added a new formal extension to the series, that of "trizas" ("shards") which in live performance are little "loops" drawn from the longer works that can be cued up for performance by anyone in the trio in real-time, but on this album are presented as standalone miniatures that function as interludes between the other pieces.

This malleable approach and decentralized organizing of compositional materials derives from my long-term engagement with Anthony Braxton's music system, whose work I have been fortunate to perform as a member of his touring ensembles (primarily the "12+1tet") since 2005.

Another conceptual touchstone for this series of pieces is Jimmy Giuffre's 1960s trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, whose simultaneously angular and melodic approach accompanied by complex asymmetrical counterpoint has fascinated me for decades.

One of the most helpful lessons I learned from an early mentor, the late soprano saxophonist/composer Steve Lacy, was to always work with musicians more accomplished than you, as you are then guaranteed to learn something new, and your craft will continue to evolve and improve.

While that can be a very humbling approach, it is also great advice that I have taken to heart, and which has put me on a continuous path of learning. My trio mates Chad Popple (vibraphone, percussion) and John Hughes (contrabass) are two amazing Hamburg-based musicians I've been fortunate to work with for years - in Chad's case, since the mid 1990s - and they not only bring this music to life, but challenge me to stretch myself each time we play together. It is a gift to make music with these remarkably creative and skilled artists - and after the years of global pandemic isolation we all experienced, I am even more thankful for their friendship and musical fellowship."-Andrew Raffo Dewar


Artist Biographies

"Andrew Raffo Dewar (b. 1975 Rosario, Argentina) is a composer, improviser, woodwind instrumentalist and ethnomusicologist.

Since 1995, he has been active in the music communities of Minneapolis, New Orleans, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, performing his work in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Dewar studied with saxophonist/composers Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton and Phillip Greenlief, composer Alvin Lucier, trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon, and multi-instrumentalist improviser Milo Fine. He has also had a long involvement with Indonesian traditional and experimental music, particularly the Minangkabau music of West Sumatra and Central Javanese gamelan.

Dewar has been noted as "having the rare ability to translate his knowledge into something beautiful" (Matthew O'Shannessy, Foxy Digitalis). The 2008 debut recording of his music on Porter Records was described as "a garden of forking paths" (Foxy Digitalis), "absorbing" (Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine) and "evoking something unnatural and plugged-in" (Clifford Allen, Bagatellen). San Francisco's Aquarius Records described the album as "musical rainfall...a swirling soft cloud of free jazz flutter," and "absolutely essential listening for the drone inclined and jazzbos with a thing for far out sounds."

As a composer, his pieces have been performed by the Flux Quartet (NYC), Sekar Anu (Indonesia), the Koto Phase ensemble (USA/Japan) and the XYZ composer collective (NYC). He has received grants from Arts International, Meet The Composer and the Getty Foundation to support his work.

"Though he's a noted composer of chamber music, Dewar's flutters and wails show that he's no slouch when it comes to heavyweight sax playing either" (Clifford Allen, Signal to Noise). As a performer, Dewar has been described as having "complete control of the instrumental nuances," and being "inherently clever [and] intuitively rational," with "uncommon sensitivity" (Massimo Ricci, Temporary Faults). Approaching the soprano saxophone as "a piece of metal capable of making sounds" (Richard Grooms, The Improvisor), Dewar's conception at times "sounds almost electronic in the way it pulsates" (Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC), leading one writer to comment that "you don't have to know what that means to appreciate that this will not be a traditional sax solo" (Flagpole Magazine, Athens, GA).

In addition to leading his own ensembles and performing in collaborative groups with musicians from around the world, he performs with and appears on recordings by the Anthony Braxton 12+1tet and the Bill Dixon Orchestra."

-Wesleyan University (http://adewar.web.wesleyan.edu/bio.html)
2/16/2024

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

"John Hughes (double bass) is an active member of the jazz and improvisation community in Hamburg, performing regularly both in Hamburg and in Germany. John has worked with numerous groups and projects, dancers, poets, artists and light technicians. In Nov. 2004, John curated the first, annual "Phenomorphonic" festival in the Christianskirche, Hamburg. This festival for experimental acoustic and electronic music brought together musicians from New York, Berlin, Switzerland, Italy, and Hamburg. Johns' current associations include the improv. groups, "Propele di Katsa" (B.Fuchsberger, J.Hochapfel, J.Hughes), the electro/accoustic trio Hughes/Scherzberg/Wiese and his duo collaborations with Italian pianist Alberto Braida and German saxophonist Lars Scherzberg. John also plays in "Rocket No.9" (C.Popple, M.Pfleiderer, J.Hughes), a jazz group which focuses on presenting the music of the great composers of the past, such as Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, and others."

-Frequenzgänge (https://frequenzgaenge.wordpress.com/tag/double-bass/page/2/)
2/16/2024

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

"Chad Popple was born in Waukesha, WI (usa) in 1974. He has been playing drums since 1979, vibraphone since 1991, and the classical North Indian drums, the tabla, since 1994. He has toured USA and Europe many times with his bands Colossamite and Gorge Trio, with whom he has released several records including: Colossamite's 'Economy Of Motion' and Gorge Trio's 'Open Mouth, O Wisp', both on Skin Graft records. Recently he has played solo concerts of vibraphone and drum music in Germany and France. Since 1998 located in Hamburg."

-Deep Space X (http://www.dspx.tischfuenf.com/Chad.html)
2/16/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Reflejo IV 8:53

2. Triza III (Trio) 1:06

3. Improvisation I 2:15

4. Triza IV 1:16

5. Improvisation II 1:58

6. Triza III (Duo) 0:47

7. Triza V 0:41

8. Reflejo V 7:55

9. Reflejo VI 8:11

10. Reflejo VII 6:38

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Mexico, Central & South Americas + Islands
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Waveform Alphabet.


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