The Squid's Ear Magazine


Evangelista's, Karl Apura (w/ Wong / Scampavia / Mezzacappa / Andrew Cyrille): Ngayon (Astral Spirits)

Ngayon, the Filipino tagalog word for "Now" or "Today", effectively describes the immediacy of the second release from Bay Area guitarist and composer Karl Evangelista and his exceptional Apura band, performing five sophisticated original works.
 

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Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: As208
Squidco Product Code: 33389

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at 25th Street Recording, in Oakland, California, on July 18th, 2021, by Gabriel Shepard.


Personnel:



Karl Evangelista-guitar

Francis Wong-saxophone

Rei Scampavia-piano

Lisa Mezzacappa-bass

Andrew Cyrille-drums


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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In the Filipino language Tagalog, Ngayon translates to "now." Appropriately, this sophomore effort from Karl Evangelista's Apura is intended to capture the feeling of an abstract and transcendent present - a moment apart from the desperation and uncertainty that afflicted the past several years of human life. What began as an indictment of fascism vis-a-vis Apartheid South Africa, Trump's America, and the long lineage of Filipino political corruption slowly morphed into a story about how battling human violence requires endurance above all else.

This recording came within a razor's edge of total oblivion. Conceived in 2019, the original intention behind Ngayon was to provide an opportunity for the great Louis Moholo-Moholo to visit California for the first time in over three decades. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a variety of other unpredictabilities, Ngayon was canceled, re-envisioned, and rescheduled countless times. I take some pride but no great pleasure in declaring that only brutal perseverance, dumb luck, and the generosity of others rescued this project from the colossal hole that it dug itself into.

Heartfelt thanks are due to my compatriots, including Asian Improv aRts cofounder Francis Wong, the endlessly resourceful Lisa Mezzacappa, and Rei Scampavia, my closest collaborator. Others, like pianist Alexander Hawkins, engineers Andrew Scott and Myles Boisen, attorney Bill Martinez, bassist/educator Ravi Abcarian, and my family, played pivotal roles in seeing this project to fruition.

Of the many kind faces that participated in this recording, the great Andrew Cyrille deserves special notice. The goal of Apura has been to foster ties between generations and cultures, identifying synchronicities between the legendary creative music of the past and the activist sounds of the modern day. In Louis's absence, Andrew provided a center of calm and personal depth that was both invaluable and inimitable. One of Andrew's statements has stuck with me. Regarding our time making music together, he intoned, "Well, this is what's happening right now."

Ngayon also translates to "today." As Andrew reminded me, the sounds of the 21st century have a weight imbued with both the power of tradition and the infinite possibility of the future."-Karl Evangelista


Artist Biographies

"Filipino-American guitarist/composer Karl Evangelista (b.1986) ranks among a new wave of musicians pushing the traditions of jazz and experimental rock into the 21st century. Synthesizing the heavy legacy of contemporary improvised music with popular song and 20th century composition, Evangelista explores multicultural concepts with sonic intensity and political fervor.

Signal to Noise magazine hails Evangelista as "one of the most original instrumentalists and composers of his generation," and as the creative force behind boundary-breaking group Grex, Evangelista's music has been called an "otherworldly experience" (Eugene Weekly), "a near-seamless blend of modern jazz, contemporary structuralist composition, indie rock, and blues rock" (Tiny Mix Tapes).

Evangelista has explored new realms in sound and intercultural collaboration across a vast spectrum of academic and professional situations. He has worked in a wide variety of ensembles with or under the direction of, among others, Achyutan (Marvin Patillo), Bruce Ackley, Scott Amendola, Tatsu Aoki, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), India Cooke, Nava Dunkelman, Fred Frith, Eddie Gale, Jordan Glenn, Ben Goldberg, Phillip Greenlief, Alexander Hawkins, Jon Jang, Darren Johnston, Lewis Jordan, Oliver Lake, Lenora Lee, Myra Melford, Hafez Modirzadeh, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Bill Noertker, James Norton, Larry Ochs, Zeena Parkins, John-Carlos Perea, Dan Plonsey, Gino Robair, Rent Romus, Daniel Schmidt, Marcus Shelby, Aram Shelton, David Slusser, Damon Smith, Karen Stackpole, Melody Takata, Marshall Trammell, Eli Wallace, Wayne Wallace, Trevor Watts, and AIR co-founder Francis Wong, and has performed in new arrangements of works by Luciano Chessa, Christian Jendreiko, Polly Moller, Moe! Staiano, AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams, and Art Ensemble of Chicago co-founder Roscoe Mitchell. Evangelista has presented work at the Guelph Jazz Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, Myra Melford's New Frequencies Festival, the Switchboard Festival, the Sonic Circuits Festival, and the Outsound New Music Summit, and he was awarded a 2011 Zellerbach Grant for Taglish, a suite centered on Filipino-American culture; an album of the composition was successfully funded via Kickstarter and released in 2012.

Evangelista holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley (Summa Cum Laude, '06) and an MFA in Improvised Music from Mills College ('09). He has lectured at UC Berkeley and directed guitar ensembles at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and San Francisco Waldorf High School. Karl is also a licensed instructor in the popular Kinderguitar method."

-Karl Evangelista Website (https://www.karlevangelista.com/bio.html)
9/27/2023

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

"Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong, considered one of "the great saxophonists of his generation" by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles as a leader and sideman. For over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe with such with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Tatsu Aoki, Genny Lim,William Roper, Bobby Bradford, John Tchicai, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi.

But to simply call the Bay Area native a musician would be to ignore his pioneering leadership in communities throughout Northern California. Wong's imaginative career straddles roles as varied as performing artist, youth mentor, composer, artistic director, community activist, non-profit organization manager, consultant, music producer, and academic lecturer. Key vehicles for his work are Asian Improv aRts, the company he co-founded with Jon Jang and as a Senior Fellow at the Wildflowers Institute. In addition, Wong was a California Arts Council Artist in Residence from 1992 through 1998, and a Meet The Composer New Resident in 2000-2003. In 2000-2001 he was a Rockefeller Next Generation Leadership Fellow. He has also been a guest member of the faculty at San Francisco State University (1996-98) and at University of California at Santa Cruz (1996-2001)."

"I choose for my work to build community and to seek out how I, as an artist can meet the challenges that our community faces. In the Asian American community, the biggest challenge is continuity of culture and the impact of assimilation. Through music, I envision a way to create continuity through the integration of tradition and innovation."

-Francis Wong Website (https://www.franciswong.net/biography)
9/27/2023

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

Rei Scampavia is a pianist, a member of Karl Evangelista's Apura and the duo Grex with Karl Evangelista.

-Squidco 9/27/2023

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

"Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, bandleader, composer, curator and producer. An active collaborator in the Bay Area music community for more than a dozen years, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch, the Interlopers, Nightshade, Eartheaters and the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio, and co-leads the ensembles BODABODA, duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her music on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, NotTwo, Evander, Odd Shaped Case and Edgetone record labels, and has recorded as a sideperson for the Tzadik, Kadima and Porto Franco labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art.

As curator, she programs the annual JazzPOP concert seres at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, now in its 10th year; and a live cinema series, Mission Eye and Ear, at Artists' Television Access. She founded the Monday Makeout creative music series in the Mission District of San Francisco, and programs the Best Coast Jazz Composers series as a member of the artistic committee San Francisco's Center for New Music. In 2012 she started the "Festival-of-Us," a semi-annual festival celebrating Bay Area creative jazz and improvised music. Recent projects include an avant-folk string band, the Interlopers; Eartheaters, a trio with Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor; and BODABODA, a cross-planetary collaboration with Venice reed player/composer Piero Bittolo Bon. In fall 2015 she premieres Glorious Ravage, a multi-media song cycle for large ensemble with commissioned films, inspired by the writings of Victorian lady adventurers.

Lisa has been artist-in-residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2008, 2013), Headlands Center for the Arts (2006, 2015), the Banff International Jazz Workshop (2000), and the Painted Bride Arts Center (2000). She holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley (2003), and a BA in music from the University of Virginia (1997). She has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi's, the Jazzschool, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; the Montreal Jazz Festival and Victoriaville Festival de Musique Actuelle, Canada; the Monterey Jazz Festival, CA; Moers Festival, Germany; and Novara Jazz Festival, Italy.

Lisa has been awarded grants by the MAP Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, American Composers Forum, the City of Oakland, Meet the Composer and Southern Exposure/the Andy Warhol Foundation. She performs as a sideperson in original jazz, improv and chamber ensembles led by estemmed bandleaders and West Coast musical visionaries, like Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Randy McKean, Marco Eneidi, Vijay Anderson, Aaron Bennett, Myles Boisen, Steve Adams, Graham Connah, Jon Raskin, Cory Wright and Ross Hammond, and collaborates often with Darren Johnston, Vinny Golia, Katy Stephan, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, Murray Campbell, Jason Levis, Dina Maccabee, Noah Phillips, Rob Ewing, Kasey Knudsen, Myles Boisen, Sam Ospovat, John Hanes, and many many others."

-Lisa Mezzacappa Website (http://www.lisamezzacappa.com/bio.html)
9/27/2023

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

"Andrew Charles Cyrille (born November 10, 1939) is an American avant-garde jazz drummer. Throughout his career, he has performed both as a leader and a sideman in the bands of Walt Dickerson and Cecil Taylor, among others.

Cyrille was born on November 10, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York into a Haitian family. He began studying science at St. John's University, but was already playing jazz in the evenings and switched his studies to the Juilliard School. His first drum teachers were fellow Brooklyn-based drummers Willie Jones and Lenny McBrowne; through them, Cyrille met Max Roach. Nonetheless, Cyrille became a disciple of Philly Joe Jones, who in some performances such as Time Waits used Cyrille's drum kit.

His first professional engagement was as an accompanist of singer Nellie Lutcher, and he had an early recording session with Coleman Hawkins. Trumpeter Ted Curson introduced him to pianist Cecil Taylor when Cyrille was 18.

He joined the Cecil Taylor unit in 1964, and stayed for about 10 years, eventually performing drum duos with Milford Graves. In addition to recording as a bandleader, he has recorded and/or performed with musicians such as David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley, Butch Morris and Reggie Workman among others. Cyrille is currently a member of the group, Trio 3, with Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Cyrille)
9/27/2023

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


Track Listing:



1. Ngayon, Kahapon 14:09

2. Sige Na, Bukas 8:31

3. Isang Bagsak 8:51

4. Santo 5:42

5. Sinabi Mo Pa 9:43

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Quintet Recordings
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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