The Squid's Ear Magazine


Laubrock, Ingrid  (Laubrock / Swift/ Reid / Seabrook / Formanek / Rainey): The Last Quiet Place (Pyroclastic Records)

Destined for top lists of 2023, saxophonist & composer Ingrid Laubrock's ambitious work brings together unusual orchestration through previous collaborators Brandon Seabrook (guitar), Michael Formanek (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums) along with violinist Mazz Swift and cellist Tomeka Reid, for six fascinating and articulate compositions of farge ranging mood and gestures.
 

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Includes 6 panel color foldout poster

UPC: 020286242017

Label: Pyroclastic Records
Catalog ID: PR24
Squidco Product Code: 33183

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold w/ Booklet
Recorded at Firehouse 12, in New Haven, Connecticut, in September, 2019, by Nick Lloyd.


Personnel:



Ingrid Laubrock-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Mazz Swift-violin

Tomeka Reid-cello

Brandon Seabrook-guitar

Michael Formanek-double bass

Tom Rainey-drums


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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Visionary saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock reaches a new height of expression with The Last Quiet Place, a sprawling, ambitious album that demands to be heard and felt. Leading an otherworldly avant-garde sextet that is receptive of other genres and experimentation, she managed to infuse so much freedom within the organized procedures and deliberate structure of six fully realized gems. They all show the bandleader's incredible knack for modern composition and unpredictable choices in the arrangements.

"Anticipation" is set up with duo and trio combinations, making us feel the astonishing breadth of these musicians. At an early stage we hear Brandon Seabrook's sparse guitar chords, the lyrical violin of Mazz Swift, and understated drumming by Tom Rainey. There's occasional bass and cello injections by Michael Formanek and Tomeka Reid, respectively, who discreetly join the undisturbed communion. Afterwards, it's Laubrock who stands out by spiraling over diagonal bass matrixes. Unisons announce the theme, and you'll eventually find stylish brushwork, timely bass plucks, fabulous guitar comping, and responsive string activity.

The contagious dynamism of "Grammy Season" brings an invigorating motion and a fun funky feel reinforced by electric guitar. This piece, combining fertile melodic imagination and an astute approach to form, includes parallel lines, counterpoint, and plenty of rhythmic hooks before becoming cinematically mysterious in its final chamber impression. "The Last Quiet Place", whose oneiric title stemmed from the readings of books by American journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert, leans more toward the alternative pop/rock milieu via its chordal sequence and odd rhythmic flow. Laubrock sounds great on the soprano, blowing over pointillistic guitar and distorted harmonies, nuanced bass pedal points, and expertly brushed drums. The string players also soar around the edges.

"Delusions" conveys a deep sense of cohesiveness, whether through the precise and angular figure that defines its theme or the contorted shapes thrown in by Seabrook, who, together with Laubrock, is extremely active. The demure "Afterglow" features a tenor solo over drums, with intermittent stormy washes from guitar. The album closes with "Chant II", a previously recorded modular piece (see Laubrock/Rainey duo album Utter from 2018) that, at this juncture, comes to life with swarming buzzes and humming undertones. Rainey excels throughout, and melodic synchronism arises from the six-beat obbligato that leads to the end.

Laubrock makes a huge impact with this disc, showing not just her personal connection to the material but also with the excellent group she leads."-Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail


Includes 6 panel color foldout poster

Get additional information at Jazz Trail

Artist Biographies

"Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock resides in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1989 and 2009 she was active as a saxophonist and composer in London/UK. She performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates' Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble and many others.

Ingrid's current projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra, Ingrid Laubrock Sextet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include LARK,Haste,Paradoxical Frog and Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo.She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Andrew Drury's Content Provider, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris' Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley's Battle Pieces and Luc Ex' Assemblée. Ingrid was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize and the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award. Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for jazz quintet and dancers (2006), Nonet music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011 and "Vogelfrei", a piece for chamber orchestra (ACO/Tricentric Foundation). She won Rising Star/soprano saxophone in the 2015 in the 'Downbeat Annual Critics Poll and won the 'El Intruso Critics Poll for tenor saxophone in 2013. Ingrid was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools. Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others."

-Ingrid Laubrock Website (http://ingridlaubrock.com/about.html)
5/31/2023

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"Violin/Vox/Freestyle Composition artist Mazz Swift is critically acclaimed as one of America's most talented and versatile performers today and engages audiences worldwide with her signature weaving of composition and improvisation called MazzMuse. Aside from her work as a performing artist, Ms. Swift is a composer. Her works include commissions by The University of Delaware, Neues Kabarett (through a Meet-the-Composer grant), The New Harmony Music School & Festival, and the Blaffer Foundation. Several of her pieces for atypical chamber ensemble have been performed live and also replayed on National Public Radio. Mazz is also a teaching artist with Carnegie Hall's Musical connections program, conducts workshops on free improvisation in the States and abroad, and has traveled to Suriname, Mozambique, Cte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Albania and Siberia as cultural ambassador on behalf of the United States Department of State."

-Alisa Rose / Swift Rose Website (http://www.arosefiddle.com/swift-rose/)
5/31/2023

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"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
5/31/2023

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"Described by Spin Magazine as "An apocalyptic, supersonic general of the banjo..." Brandon Seabrook has made a name for himself in the New York avant-garde music scene as an explosive guitar and banjo performer, relentlessly committed to immediacy and precision.

Seabrook honed his terror-inducing riffage skills at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has since performed extensively in North and South America, Mexico and Europe, as a solo artist, bandleader and collaborator. He has been summoned by the likes of Anthony Braxton, Elliot Sharp and Joey Arias for his unpredictably spiked approach to improvisation and impeccable caterwauling. He has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Magnet Magazine, Fretboard Journal, NPR and The Wire.

Seabrook Power Plant, the nuclear trio donned "a manic clusterfuck of merciless banjo torture" by the Village Voice, is Brandon's brainchild, blending the brutal energy of punk-rock with the intricate execution of through-composed avant jazz. The band has released two albums to much critical acclaim. Time Out New York praised the band's eponymous debut as "not only one of the most baffling experimental releases of the year... also one of the best."

Brandon is an accomplished solo artist, named Best Guitarist in New York City by the Village Voice 2012. In 2014, New Atlantis Records released his first solo album titled Sylphid Vitalizers. Noisey called the album a "dissonant guitar army...(with) mind-blowing prog-rock complexities - all at mind-numbing breakneck speed."

Brandon is currently working on two new albums with his noise-prog trio, Needle Driver and a new sextet featuring immoral, percussive compositions under the name Die Trommel Fatale. This recent work is a poly-rhythmic exploration of the dark side of the drum, layering cello, bass, electronics, voice and guitar against dichotomous drummers."

-Brandon Seabrook Website (http://www.brandonseabrook.com/bio/)
5/31/2023

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"One marker of bassist Michael Formanek's creativity and versatility is the range of distinguished musicians of several generations he's worked with. While still a teenager in the 1970s he toured with drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Joe Henderson; starting in the '80s he played long stints with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch and Freddie Hubbard. (As a callback to those days, Formanek recorded with hardbop pianist Freddie Redd in 2013). The bassist has played a pivotal role on New York's creative jazz scene going back to the '90s when he notably led his own quintet and played in Tim Berne's barnstorming quartet Bloodcount. Nowadays Formanek's in the co-op Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.

Formanek is also a composer and leader of various bands. His principal recording and international touring vehicle is his acclaimed quartet with Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, which records for ECM; 2010's The Rub and Spare Change and 2012's Small Places both earned coveted five-star raves in Down Beat. Formanek writes, and the quartet plays, compositions of great rhythmic sophistication that unfold in a natural sounding way - challenging music the players make sound like lyrical free expression. His occasional groups include the 18-piece all-star Ensemble Kolossus, roping in many New York improvisers he works with. Ensemble Kolossus recorded their first CD of all Formanek originals for the prestigious ECM label in December of 2014. The CD, The Distance was released in February 2016 and in addition to numerous other accolades also received a five-star review in Downbeat!

Formanek's other recordings as leader include Wide Open Spaces and Extended Animation for quintet and Low Profile and Nature of the Beast for seven players (all on Enja), and the solo album Am I Bothering You? (Screwgun). Mirage (Clean Feed) is by the occasional improvising trio of Formanek, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. Thumbscrew's 2014 debut is on Cuneiform Records. Michael Formanek has also made dozens of recordings as sideman, for among others Dave Ballou, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Burrell, Harold Danko, Marty Ehrlich, Tomas Fujiwara, Gary Thomas and Jack Walrath.

As composer of works for ensembles from duo to mixed jazz and classical orchestra, Michael Formanek has received institutional support from Chamber Music America, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Peabody Conservatory, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. As an educator, Formanek teaches bass and other jazz courses, and leads the Jazz Ensemble at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory."

-Michael Formanek Website (http://www.amibotheringyou.com/bio.html)
5/31/2023

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"Thomas "Tom" Rainey (born 1957, Santa Barbara, California) is an American drummer.

After attending Berklee College of Music he moved to New York in 1979. He has played with American jazz saxophonist and composer Tim Berne, and also with Nels Cline, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, Tom Varner, Drew Gress, Kenny Werner, Mark Helias, and Simon Nabatov. A prolific session musician, he has appeared on close to eighty recordings over a career spanning over 25 years.

He released his own first album, Pool School (Clean Feed), in 2010."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Rainey)
5/31/2023

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Track Listing:



1. Anticipation 6:36

2. Grammy Season 8:30

3. The Last Quiet Place 8:33

4. Delusions 8:24

5. Afterglow 5:46

6. Chant II 11:16

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Sextet Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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