The Squid's Ear Magazine

Marks, Hannah: Outsider, Outlier (Out Of Your Head Records)

Merging jazz and rock forms, NY bassist Hannah Marks composes and provides the lyrics for 10 inspired songs of incisive, quirky and expressive topics, performed with a sextet of solid players from the genre-mashing NY scene: Sarah Rossy (lead vocals), Lee Meadvin (guitar), Lex Korten (piano), Nathan Reising (alto saxophone), and Connor Parks (drums).

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Hannah Marks-electric bass, double bass, background vocals, compositions

Sarah Rossy-lead vocals

Nathan Reising-alto saxophone

Lee Meadvin-guitar

Lex Korten-piano

Connor Parks-drums

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UPC: 198025365676

Label: Out Of Your Head Records
Catalog ID: OOYH 024
Squidco Product Code: 34071

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold w/ booklet
Recorded at Bunker Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, on September 9th, 2022, by Todd Carder.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Hannah Marks' Outsider, Outlier consists of ten compositions performed by a unique ensemble that hybridizes jazz and rock. All music and lyrics were written by Marks, whose influences span a wide range of artists including Sonic Youth, Becca Stevens, Ornette Coleman, Esperanza Spalding, and Deerhoof. Like Marks, these artists prioritize storytelling, but also utilize an array of sonic textures, and rely heavily on improvisation at the core of their music. Marks is already well known as a rising bassist on the NYC jazz scene, having performed with luminaries like Geoffrey Keezer, Nasheet Waits, Terri Lyne Carrington, Anna Webber, Miles Okazaki, Ingrid Jensen, Kalia Vandever, Matt Wilson, among others. However, Outsider, Outlier showcases a different side of her expansive musical personality, influenced by her love for punk, noise, and free improvisation, with lyrics at the forefront. The songs are mostly through-composed, with carefully constructed improvisational sections that illustrate raw energy, passion, anger, and sadness throughout the project. But make no mistake, her formidable talent on both the electric and double bass is on full display throughout the recording.

Outsider, Outlier documents Marks' search for belonging, love, and empowerment through examining key relationships in her life. Musically, radical tempo and stylistic changes represent the tumultuous nature of unhealthy relationships and ensuing bouts of anxiety. Marks uses elements of campy musical cliches and musical theater-like melodies to poke fun at her emotions, treat them with playful energy, and create a safe yet cathartic space to process her feelings. The album documents her struggle to trust in herself and others - ultimately ending on a hopeful note with the lyric "what scares you first will help you grow."

Marks composed the music for Outsider, Outlier over a four year period, at first dabbling with lyrics but not making them a focus. With the forced break in touring and live performance that the pandemic caused, she decided it was the right time to hone that element of her compositions. She began classes with GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Becca Stevens, and it was Stevens that first remarked that the budding compositions sounded more rock oriented than jazz. Through touring the East Coast, she cultivated musical and personal relationships with her bandmates, many of whom she first met at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in 2018. Featured on Outsider, Outlier are Hannah Marks (electric bass/double bass, compositions, background vocals), Sarah Rossy (lead vocals), Lee Meadvin (guitar), Lex Korten (piano), Nathan Reising (alto saxophone), and Connor Parks (drums). The recording is a testament to her resilience during a tumultuous time, during which she took a deep creative dive into her artistic mission and purpose. Marks' hope with Outsider, Outlier is that her compositional style may render improvisatory jazz and grunge rock elements to be more accessible to audiences both inside and outside the jazz realm."-Out of Your Head

Artist Biographies

"Hannah Marks is a bassist, composer, and educator living in New York City. Marks' debut album, Outsider, Outlier, is an explosive rendering of her search for belonging and empowerment. A nod to her love for punk, noise and free improvisation, Outsider, Outlier releases on Out Of Your Head Records on October 20, 2023.

She has performed at festivals like the Detroit Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, 80-35 Music Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival and Indy Jazz Festival. In addition to her experimental rock project Outsider, Outlier, Marks also leads a jazz group, Hannah Marks Quartet.

As a side-woman, Marks has been described as having "a fresh, modern, and original approach to playing the bass" by Marcus Printup. Marks has played bass for Geoffrey Keezer, Nasheet Waits, Terri Lyne Carrington, Anna Webber, Miles Okazaki, Ingrid Jensen, Kalia Vandever, Matt Wilson, Ted Nash, Morgan Guerin and Marcus Printup. Marks' discography includes playing on Geoffrey Keezer's Grammy award winning composition "Refuge", Kristen Lee Sergeant's Falling with saxophonist Ted Nash, and Heartland Trio's debut album Year One."

-Hannah Marks Website (

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"Performer, composer, producer, and educator Sarah Rossy is based in Tio'tia:ke/Montréal. Sarah combines influences of jazz, live-processed electronics, and visual projections into autobiographical, ethereal, and socially-outspoken soundscapes for a truly unique result. Having performed hundreds of live shows of original music in under a decade and being the first Canadian finalist of the Ella Fitzgerald International Voice Competition, Sarah Rossy is an ever-expanding curious artist.

From 2013-17, Sarah led the chamber-pop group Shyre, playing 300+ live shows of original music on tours across Quebec and Eastern Canada. In 2017, Sarah's practice expanded to include interdisciplinary movement and visual projections. Mentorship with Meredith Monk, voice and movement research in Berlin, explorations of ethnic heritage at the Arabic Music Retreat, and multiple residencies at Banff Centre were all formative experiences which enticed discipline hybridization.

In 2019, Sarah joined Diasporakidz Interdisciplinary Collective and began an ancestral research journey with Diane Roberts' Arrivals Legacy Project. This meaningful work is now an active part of Sarah's creative process, and inspired WOVEN (2021), an interdisciplinary solo work exploring ancestral stories with music, movement, and visual projections.

Recent residencies include: LEÑA Residency (Galiano Island, BC), Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and Banff Centre for the Arts. Recent workshops and study include: Voice as Practice with Meredith Monk, pursuing voice/movement research at The World is Sound (Berlin), composing for the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and explorations of ethnic heritage at the Arabic Music Retreat.

Sarah's long list of recording collaborations include: Patrick Watson, Thanya Iyer, NO COSMOS, Rae Spoon, Rafael Zaldivar, Aaron Dolman, Jack Broza, and many more. In 2021, Sarah was appointed Artistic Director of Chœur Maha, a feminist community choir, and accepted a position as a Professor of Music at Dawson College. The interdisciplinary nature of Sarah's artistic practice now includes education as a tool for social justice, empowerment and transformation.

Sarah holds both a B.Mus and M.Mus from McGill University, where she was mentored by composers John Hollenbeck and Christine Jensen. Sarah's research has been graciously supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the SOCAN Foundation."

-Sarah Ro Website (

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"Nathan Reising is an award winning pianist, saxophonist, and music educator from Baltimore, MD. After receiving his Master's degree in music from the New England Conservatory in 2018, Nathan moved to Brooklyn to continue his career as a performer and educator. His original music draws from a range of influences and seeks to blur the lines between jazz, folk, and indie rock. He regularly performs in venues throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan."

-Nathan Reising Instagram (

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

Lee Meadvin is a musician [guitarist, singer, songwriter] who lives in New York.

-Lee Meadvin Website (

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

"Lex Korten is an award winning pianist and composer from New York City who has become an integral voice in the contemporary Jazz and improvised music scene in his home city and a rising star in the worldwide Jazz community. Korten's name has appeared in the New York Times and Vogue magazine, and he's established a resilient presence in the projects of artists such as MacArthur Fellow/Pulitzer Prize finalist Tyshawn Sorey, and Thelonious Monk Competition winner/Blue Note recording artist Melissa Aldana. Korten has otherwise found himself in demand by great musical luminaries including Jaleel Shaw, Mike Moreno, Joel Ross, Caroline Davis, Robert Hurst, Ari Hoenig, Jonathan Kreisberg, Joe Farnsworth, John Ellis, Dayna Stephens and Clarence Penn, as well as a near-comprehensive list of his own generation's most prominent bandleaders in Jazz and Black American Music.

Lex Korten has had ample opportunity to learn from some of the most dedicated and loving mentors in the piano pantheon, most formatively with Geri Allen and Benny Green. To help represent America's great original art form, a music with social purpose and irrevocable partnership with African-American heritage, is a privilege and responsibility Korten strives to fulfill every day. He has been fortunate enough to perform in service of this ideal at an extensive list of the most illustrious festivals and clubs on 5 continents.

In 2020, Lex Korten won the UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition and released his solo piano debut "Foreword" the following year, and continues to cultivate longstanding relationships with NYC venues like The Jazz Gallery, Mezzrow and Ornithology as a regular bandleader.

Lex has taught pianists from all over the world privately and through The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music."

-Lex Korten Website (

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

"Connor Parks is from Orlando, FL, where he began studying drums & percussion with Beth and Danny Gottlieb. He performed often in the Jazz and Improvised Music community, being mentored by local hero Benoit Glazer.

Connor received a BFA in Jazz studies from the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City, where he was instructed by Jane Ira Bloom, Reggie Workman, & Dave Douglas, and privately studied with Matt Wilson, Johnathan Blake, Aaron Parks, Matt Brewer, Harish Raghavan, Amir Ziv, Ben Street, Gilad Hekselman, and Dayna Stephens.

Connor has performed with Rodney Jones, Vic Juris, Darius Jones, Linda Briceño, Dave Glasser, JD Allen, Ingrid Jensen, Aaron Parks, Mcklopedia, and Kandace Springs, among many others, and currently plays with the NYC band Cafuné. He has appeared at venues ranging from the Blue Note to Madison Square Garden, and often performs at Music Festivals both internationally and in the United States.

As a composer, Connor has written music for ensembles ranging from solo performers to nonets with strings, and has collaborated with Cameron McKinney (Kizuna Dance) & the Joffrey School of Ballet."

-Connor Parks Website (

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Track Listing:

1. (I Wanna B Ur) 90s Dreamgirl 5:02

2. Graduation 3:49

3. Outsider, Outlier 3:59

4. Shadow Woman 3:07

5. Fairytale 3:11

6. No Way Out 5:11

7. Weary Woman 5:21

8. I'll Ask Anyway 4:04

9. Disappearing Act 3:03

10. Jessie's Lullaby 3:40

Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Improvised Music
Improvised Rock
Song Based Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Sextet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Rock Forms

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Out Of Your Head Records.

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