The Squid's Ear Magazine


Brew (Hemingway / Workman / Masaoko): Heat / Between Reflections [2 CDs] (Clean Feed)

Recorded two decades apart, first in 1998 as a combination of recordings in the studio and live @ The Knitting Factory, and then in 2019 in the studio, the trio of Miya Masaoka on Koto, dan bau & electronics, Reggie Workman on bass, percussion, musical saw & digeridoo and Gerry Hemingway on drums & electronics, show both their consistency and evolution as masterful, creative improvisers.
 

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UPC: 5609063006421

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF642CD
Squidco Product Code: 33473

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
CD1 tracks 1 and 2 recorded at Tedesco Studios, in Paramus, New Jersey, in Winter 1998, by Jon Rosenberg.

CD1 tracks 3 to 8 recorded at Knitting Factory,in Manhattan, New York, November, 10th + 12th, 1999, by Jon Rosenberg.

CD 2 recorded at Acoustic Recordings, in Brooklyn, New York, on November 2nd, 2019, by Michael Brorby.


Personnel:



Miya Masaoka-Koto, monochord (dan bau), percussion electronics

Reggie Workman-bass, percussion, musical saw, digeridoo

Gerry Hemingway-drums, electronics


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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This double recording offers two different experiences of the collective trio Brew with Miya Masaoka, Gerry Hemingway and Reggie Workman. These are two separate recording sessions, twenty years apart from each other, "Heat" from 1999, and "Between Reflections" from 2019. For listeners familiar with the music that Hemingway, Masaoka, and Workman have each recorded with other ensembles (BassDrumBone, MZM, or Trio 3, for instance), the interplay of Brew is unexpected and engrossing. At its core, Brew might be called an enterprise in the dynamics of mutual attunement: an astounding demonstration of sustained sensitivity to what percolates at the outer reaches of auditory perception as improvising musicians interact in real time. Moment by moment, their exchange constructs what Hemingway calls a "sanctuary" of sound, a "chance to be lured into a freedom in which our regulated lives are suspended" in a way that leaves us with a keener capacity for perception.

The trio dramatizes the subtle but stark differences between Masaoka's koto and Workman's bass, a matter not only of tuning but also of material (whether nickel-plated steel, nylon, or silk) and techniques of bowing and plucking (whether directly with the fingers or with tsume fingerpicks). The koto is a particularly labile instrument-it is capable of conveying the plaintive vulnerability of the human voice one moment and the sharp wail of an electric guitar the next, or even the wooden thud of a bamboo gamelan jegog-and its mutability somehow brings out and emphasizes the tonal breadth of the bass and drum set, too, in a way that might not come across as forcefully in a trio fronted by a horn or piano.

All three musicians deploy multiple instruments. Workman plays musical saw and percussion in addition to the bass, and in the 2019 session Masaoka switches to the Vietnamese monochord or dan bau (hooked up to a guitar amp) on a number of tunes including "Cutting by the Pound", "Cricket's Paradise", and "Tug". Hemingway and Masaoka also often make recourse to electronic sampling along with their acoustic instruments. As a result, it becomes difficult to identify each player as a single "voice" in the fabric. Instead the voices seem to proliferate-not three, but five, then four, then seven-as the sounds multiply and one can't always tell where they're coming from: is that metallic whine a bow against a saw or a dan bau, a drumstick scraped against the edge of a cymbal or a computer sample? The music rejects our inclination to reduce it to a set of individual statements; instead we are confronted with the elusive ebb and flow of a swarm or a cloud."-Brent Hayes Edward, from the liner notes


Artist Biographies

"Miya Masaoka, musician, composer, performance artist, has created works for koto, laser interfaces, laptop and video and written scores for ensembles, chamber orchestras and mixed choirs. In her performance pieces she has investigated the sound and movement of insects, as well as the physiological responses of plants, the human brain, and her own body. Within these varied contexts of sound, music and nature, her performance work emphasizes the interactive, live nature of improvisation, and reflects an individual, contemporary expression of Japanese gagaku aural gesturalism.

Masaoka's work has been presented in Japan, Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe and she has toured to India six times. Venues include V2 in Rotterdam, Cybertheater in Brussels, Elektronisch Festival in Groningen, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, The Electronik Body Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia, Radio Bremen, Germany, Festival of Lights, Hyberadad, India, and the London Musicians Collective.

Since forming and directing the San Francisco Gagaku Society, Masaoka has been creating new ways of thinking about and performing on the Japanese koto. She has developed a virtuosic and innovative approach, including improvisation and expanding the instrument into a virtual space using computer, lasers, live sampling, and real time processing.

Masaoka has been developing koto interfaces with midi controllers since the 1980's originally with Tom Zimmerman, co-inventor of the Body Glove. Since then, she has she has worked at STEIM, Amsterdam, CNMAT, and with Donald Swearingen to build interfaces with the computer and koto, at times using pedals, light sensors, motion sensors and ultrasound. With the koto connected directly to her laptop, she records her playing live, and processes the samples in real time. This new koto is able to respond dynamically and interactively in a variety of musical environments, and improvise with the processed sounds."

-Miya Masaoka Website (http://www.miyamasaoka.com/about/bio/)
9/27/2023

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

"Reginald "Reggie" Workman (born June 26, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American avant-garde jazz and hard bop double bassist, recognized for his work with both John Coltrane and Art Blakey.

Workman was a member of jazz groups led by Gigi Gryce, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter and Red Garland. In 1961, Workman joined the John Coltrane Quartet, replacing Steve Davis. He was present for the saxophonist's Live at the Village Vanguard sessions, and also recorded with a second bassist (Art Davis) on the 1961 album, Olé Coltrane. After a European tour, Workman left Coltrane's group at the end of the year. Workman also played with James Moody, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Mann and Thelonious Monk. He has recorded with Archie Shepp, Lee Morgan and David Murray.

He is currently a professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, and is a member of the group, Trio 3, with Oliver Lake and Andrew Cyrille."

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

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

"Gerry Hemingway has led a number of quartet and quintets since the mid 1980's. In addition he has been a member of a wide array of long standing collaborative groups including Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka, the GRH trio with Georg Graewe and Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Michel Wintsch and Bänz Oester, as well as numerous duo projects with Thomas Lehn, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Marilyn Crispell, and others. Mr. Hemingway is a Guggenheim fellow and has received numerous commissions for chamber and orchestral works as well as being noted for his innovative and multifaceted work as a solo performer which began in 1974. He was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet between 1983 and 1994 and is also well known for his collaborations with some of the world's most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith and many others. He currently lives in Switzerland having joined the faculty of the Hochschule Luzern in 2009."

-Gerry Hemingway Website (http://www.gerryhemingway.com)
9/27/2023

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


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Keffi's Journey 06:32

2. History 04:43

3. Glyph in Rainfall 05:05

4. Serenade (MM) 08:58

5. Heat 09:40

6. Message from Outside 06:51

7. Whirling 08:04

8. Recall (RW) 06:05

CD2



1. Between Reflections 10:12

2. Cutting by the Pound 04:09

3. Morning 02:48

4. Cricket's Paradise 07:40

5. One for Walt Dickerson 05:56

6. Sun Shadows 09:55

7. Tug 04:15

8. Evening 04:25

9. From Above and Below 06:16

10. Dreaming of Peace 03:37

Related Categories of Interest:


Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Electro-Acoustic
Trio Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Clean Feed.


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