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Lewis, James Brandon Quartet

Molecular Systematic Music: Live [2 CDs]

Lewis, James Brandon  Quartet: Molecular Systematic Music: Live [2 CDs] (Intakt)

The first live recordings from 2021 in Switzerland of NY saxophonist James Brandon Lewis' Molecular concept of composition, inspired by molecular biology and yielding lyrical and sophisticated structures for his players, heard in nine compositions performed with the exemplary quartet of Brad Jones on bass, Chad Taylor on drums, Aruán Ortiz on piano and Lewis on tenor sax.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Brad Jones-bass

Chad Taylor-drums

Aruan Ortiz-piano

James Brandon Lewis-tenor saxophone


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UPC: 7640120193898

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK389.2
Squidco Product Code: 34227

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at RoteFabrik, in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 15th, 2021, by Michael Brandli.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis possesses an inspiring energy. His deep curiosity and the thrill he gets from discovery are crucial facets of his personality, and qualities that guide his art. Over the last half-decade he's emerged as one of the most exciting figures in jazz and improvised music, a voracious listener who rejects stylistic hierarchies and one that has feverishly explored new ideas and embraced fresh motivations with every new project.

Inspired by molecular biology James Brandon develops a special system for a surprising and beautiful music with his Quartet with drummer Chad Taylor, pianist Aruán Ortiz, and bassist Brad Jones. He has taken the idea of a "Molecular Systematic Music" to heart in the formulation of the compositions featured on the stunning debut album by this quartet.

James Brandon Lewis says: "I wrote out everything, but the reason I feel like the music is still free is because the lines dictate the harmonic information. With this band the music is going to lift off the page." Listen to the recordings: The James Brandon Lewis Quartet takes off with an exuberant joy of playing and that rhythmic intensity and thematic beauty that is rooted in the jazz tradition."-Intakt



"James Brandon Lewis' molecular systematic music is an unfolding phenomenon. It begins with the tenor saxophonist's self-directed study of molecular biology, an investigation into the building blocks of life itself. That study has inspired an abstraction of structural concepts into a book of tunes, which he then hands over to his Quartet.

Molecular systemic music doesn't necessarily result in music that overtly follows double helix pathways, or manifests a Cecil Taylor-like cellular organization. Its processes are invisible to the casual listener, and it's entirely possible to relate to molecular systemic music at the more widely accessible levels of melody, rhythm, energy and emotion. Lewis' background includes lengthy stints playing church music; he knows all about fostering an affective connection with people who aren't concerned his with technique and methodology. But the quartet does use this system to make music that maintains a high level of cohesion while providing room for its musicians to manifest their dialogic and improvisational skills that delivers the interactive charge that draws listeners to jazz.

That charge pulses throughout MSM Live. Recorded after a COVID-imposed layoff in Zurich, Switzerland, it is the third album by Lewis, pianist Aruán Ortiz, bassist Brad Jones, and drummer Chad Taylor, following two studio recordings that were also released by Intakt Records (it seems that Lewis likes to find homes for certain of his projects, and then let them grow there). That means that the energy here is fueled by all the emotions stirred by an overdue reunion. Spread across two CDs, one gets to hear the musicians sparking ideas back and forth across chasms of open space in almost synaptic fashion. On "Cesaire," a tune named for a Haitian poet, Ortiz and Taylor toss dizzying keyboard runs and correspondingly intricate percussion sequences in each other's direction. The exchange is not so much a call and response as an overlapping conversation, enacted while Jones lucks pithy figures that seem to complete both their phrases. Lewis cuts through their turbulent stream of sound, channeling the density of sheets-of-sound era Coltrane.

A listener hearing this group for the first time will pick up certain antecedents. There's Coltrane, of course and a bit of the David S. Ware Quartet's layered wall of sound. But the musicians' individual characters soon come into play. Ortiz applies his conservatory-schooled facility with classical material to quicksilver dynamic shifts, and introduces judicious dashes of Cuban vernacular. Jones and Taylor have been part of his band, as well this quartet; as a unit, they toggle easily between dense, collective creation and conventionally supportive, figure-and-ground relationships, such as Jones' fluent extended solo on the ballad, "Loverly." They aren't just running their own show behind the boss's back, though. They're closely attuned to the requirements of Lewis's music, as evidenced by their playing on "Neosha," where they realize an exquisitely braided framework the saxophonist's bold, imploring melody, and the darting elaborations that follow."-Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine


Get additional information at Dusted Magazine

Artist Biographies

"New York born Brad Christopher Jones is a bassist, composer, and educator. He has recorded, performed, and toured around the world with a diverse array of artists that include Ornette Coleman, Elvis Costello, Elvin Jones, David Byrne, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sheryl Crow, Deborah Harry, Dave Douglas, Vernon Reid, John Zorn, Don Byron, Marc Ribot, and The Jazz Passengers.

Brad has released three recordings under his own leadership with two seperate projects:"UNCIVILIZED POISE" and "THE EMBODIMENT" with his band Aka Alias, and"POURING MY HEART IN" with the Brad Jones Quartet.

Brad is also an experienced educator who has taught workshops and master classes in France, Italy, Canada, and Mexico and is part of the music faculty at Columbia University in New York City."

-Brad Jones Website (http://bassjones.com)
6/12/2024

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

"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:

"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages." Allmusic.com

Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."

-Chad Taylor Website (http://www.chadtaylordrums.net/html/about.php)
6/12/2024

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

"Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation; and consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries. He has been called "the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States" by BET Jazz and "one of the most versatile and exciting pianists of his generation" by Downbeat Magazine.

He has received numerous accolades such as the Doris Duke Impact Award (2014); Composers Now Creative Residency Award at Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (2014); the Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant (2013); Latin Jazz Corner's Arranger of the Year (2011) for his contribution on the album, "El Cumbanchero" by flutist Mark Weinstein (Jazzheads, 2011); Fundación Autor, SGAE, and Generalitat de Catalunya Grant study grants (2002); Semifinalist, Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition, Montreux, Switzerland (2001); and Best Jazz Interpretation, Festival de Jazz in Vic, Spain (2000)."

-Aruan Ortiz Website (http://www.aruan-ortiz.com/)
6/12/2024

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

"James Brandon Lewis (b.1983 Buffalo NY) is a critically acclaimed saxophonist, composer, recording artist and educator . Lewis has received accolades from New York Times, Q Magazine and cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the "7 Young Players to Watch" in todays scene. Lewis has shared stages with Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett , Hamid Drake , Ravi Coltrane , Jimmy Heath Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman and many others. James Brandon Lewis Lewis has been endorsed by Jazz legend Saxophonist Sonny Rollins " Promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders". - Jazz Magazine (France). New York Times had this to say about Lewis " James Brandon Lewis , A Jazz Saxophonist in his 30's, Raw Toned But Measured, Doesn't sound steeped in current jazz academy values There's an Independence about him." James Brandon Lewis Leads numerous ensembles and is the Co- Founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts."

-James Brandon Lewis Website (http://www.jblewis.com/bio/)
6/12/2024

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


Track Listing:



CD1



1. A Lotus Speaks 11:13

2. Helix 12:29

3. Of First Importance 7:18

4. Molecular 12:09

CD2



1. An Anguish Departed 9:15

2. Cesaire 7:21

3. Neosho 10:17

4. Loverly 6:32

5. Breaking Code 13:14

Related Categories of Interest:


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

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