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Evangelista, Karl (feat. Alex Hawkins / Tatsu Aoki / Michael Zerang): What Else Is There? (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Meeting in the studio in Chicago, the quartet of Oakland guitarist Karl Evangelista, UK pianist Alexander Hawkins, midwestern bassist Tatsu Aoki and Chicago drummer Michael Zerang combine Evangelista's open-ended compositions with a series of dialogic free improvisations around the concepts of music and family, instrumentally answering the question posed by the album's title.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Karl Evangelista-guitar

Alexander Hawkins-piano

Tatsu Aoki-bass

Michael Zerang-drums


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UPC: 5904441617351

Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: 11/2023
Squidco Product Code: 33496

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at FAB Recording Studio in Chicago, Illinois, on December 11th, 2021, by Caleb Wilitz.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In late winter of 2021, four improvisers convened in a Chicago studio. This rare event united UK pianist Alexander Hawkins, midwestern bassist Tatsu Aoki, stalwart drummer Michael Zerang, and me, sleepless Oakland guitarist Karl Evangelista (who had arrived in O'Hare mere hours before downbeat). During breaks, the conversation turned to music and family, two threads that seemed to dominate the waking lives of the musicians involved. Pondering this notion, Aoki asked, "What else is there?"

"What Else is There" combines my open-ended compositions with a series of dialogic free improvisations, each piece essayed with joy, intensity, and spontaneity. This record constitutes some of the best of what I have to offer, marrying spur-of-the-moment intimacy with moments of unexpected gravity."-FSR



"Evangelista ranks among a new wave of musicians pushing the traditions of jazz and experimental music 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.

This project combines Evangelista's raging, jazz-inflected compositions with ruminative free improvisations, each piece essayed with joy, intensity, and spontaneity."


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)
2/26/2024

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

"Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is 'unlike anything else in modern creative music' (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a 'dazzling new apex' (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure. In 2012, he was chosen as a member of the first edition of the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Soundhub' scheme for young composers. He also received a major BBC commission in late 2012 for a fifty minute composition: One Tree Found was first performed and broadcast in March 2013, and was subsequently performed and broadcast for the WDR in Cologne (2014). He has also twice been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival (once as composer, once as an arranger), and by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2016).

An in-demand sideman, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Harris Eisenstadt, amongst many others. He has also been noted in recent years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo. Concert appearances have taken him to club, concert and festival stages worldwide."

-Alexander Hawkins Website (http://www.alexanderhawkinsmusic.com/biographyimages.html)
2/26/2024

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

"Tatsu Aoki is a prolific artist, composer, musician, educator and a consummate bassist and Shamisen Lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental and creative music.

Aoki was born in 1957 in Tokyo, Japan into an artisan family called TOYOAKI MOTO, traditionally categorized as OKIYA, meaning a booking and training agent for Geisha ladies in downtown Tokyo's designated area. While the economy and social environment forced many of those traditional artisan family business to close down in the 60's , Aoki was luckily able to receive some of the important essence of traditional Tokyo Geisha cultural training and studies at age 4, and became a part of the performing crew in early childhood. After his grand mother passed away, he had kept the Tokyo music training until early teen, and shifted his musical focus to American pop music and experimental music. Since his biological father was a movie producer at Shin Toho Studio, he had also began working in small gage films and started to produce experimental films.Aoki was active performer during the early 70's in the mist of Tokyo Underground Arts movement. Became a member of Japanese Experimental Music ensemble, GINTENKAI presenting mixture of traditional music and new western music. After coming to U.S. in 1977, Aoki studied experimental filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an adjunct Full Professor at the Film, Video and New Media Department, and teaches film production and history courses. During the late 80's, Aoki has become a leading advocate for Chicago's Asian American community and one of Chicago's most in-demand musicians on both contrabass, taiko (Japanese drums) and shamisen (Japanese lute). Working in film and music.

Under those environments of his childhood, Aoki has inherited historical and traditional essence of Tokyo Entertainment district's musical concepts, basics and value of flexible creations and applications. With the fall of these special districts in the late 60's and early 70's, the Tokyo's regional Entertainment musical concepts also disappears and as many other art form did, Tokyo Geisha music had institutionalized.

For Aoki, one of the most important goal is to preserve the original essence of fluidity and flexibility and perform rawness of REAL sound. He has adopted this idea to newer works as well.

To this date, Aoki has produced and appears in more than 90 recording projects and over 30 experimental films and working internationally. He is one of the most recorded artists in Chicago music scene. Among many of recordings, he has worked with musical masters and legends and produced remarkable duets works with bassist, Malachi Favors, multi instrumentalists such as Roscoe Mitchell, Don Moye and world renowned Pipa virtuoso, Wu Man and another Chicago legend, late Fred Anderson.

Using Taiko drumming as a signature, Aoki's solo bass performances project BASSE LIVE and recordings are known for one of the most innovative approaches to the instrument internationally.

Aoki's one of the most important ensemble works, ROOTED: Origins of Now, a 50 minute 4 movement suite, was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival in September 2001. Because of this work, the Chicago Tribute recognized Tatsu Aoki as "Chicagoans of the Year.", one of the group of Chicagoans who has contributed to the vitality and culture of Chicago by the Chicago Tribune or the City. The Chicago Tribune stated that Rooted had "come into its own as an eloquent, often dramatic merger of ancient Japanese music and experimental American jazz." JAZZIZ, magazine, recognized Aoki one of one of many artists who has changed jazz since 1980." For his contribution to Chicago area arts, Asian American Institute has given Mile Stone Award in 2007, and Japan America Society of Chicago has given Cultural Achievement Award for his cultural activities in arts in Chicago land in 2010. He is also a recipient of 2010 3Arts Artist Award.

As an Executive Director of AIRMW, Aoki has initiated and managed several programs to advance the understanding of Asian American culture and community through the arts, including the Annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival and the Tsukasa Taiko Legacy arts residency project. His work as an artist and educator in the cultural arts and as a leader in the Asian American community address as well as define the issues facing the community, including the need for quality artistic programs that reflect the Asian American experience."

-Tatsu Aoki Website (http://www.tatsuaoki.com/biography.html)
2/26/2024

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

"Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.

Michael has collaborated with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in collaboration with Redmoon Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

As a percussionist and composer, Michael has over eighty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 34 countries since 1981, and works with and ever-widening pool of collaborators.

Michael founded and was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series in Chicago from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. Michael has been a Board Member of Links Hall Since 1989. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005.

Michael has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer/Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House.

Michael currently tours and holds workshops in improvisational music, and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.

-Michael Zerang Website (http://www.michaelzerang.com/)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. The Jalopy 5:20

2. Breathe 12:20

3. Red Eye 8:31

4. Ai Too 8:18

5. Beauregard 6:38

6. Kapanganakan 7:27

7. What Else Is There? 7:50

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

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Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!).


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