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Richards, Steph (w/ White / Takeishi / Cleaver / Jaffee) : Power Vibe (Northern Spy)

Using a democratic compositional concept of cues that any of the musicians can employ to redirect all players into new structures, leading to exemplary improv from the core quintet of Steph Richards on trumpet & flugelhorn, Joshua White on piano, Stomu Takeishi on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drumset, plus Max Jaffe replacing Cleaver on drums & sensory electronics for one live track.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Steph Richards-trumpet, flugelhorn

Joshua White-piano

Stomu Takeishi-bass, electric bass

Gerald Cleaver-drumset

Max Jaffe-sensory electronics, drumset


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UPC: 309272739459

Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: CD-NS-164
Squidco Product Code: 34791

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Bunker Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, in July, 2019, by Andrew Munsey.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Trumpeter Steph Richards' latest full-length, Power Vibe marries avant garde and cinematic moods with an infectious and patently pleasing tunefulness. "Sensory electronics" -- subtle but compelling textures and tactile rhythms which are physically triggered by drum-mounted sensors -- compel fascination here, interweaving a kind of aural hyper-lucidity throughout the record.

Though boldly original, this music strides surefootedly alongside the work of contemporaries like Nicole Mitchell and the late Jaimie Branch. What's more, the record is built around a series of musical cues that, when played, redirect all the players to move into a new structure. The trick is that any of the players can play one of these cues at any time, ensuring that the music unfolds in an even more radically democratic way than in totally open-ended improvised music performance. While Richards' virtuosity and boundless creativity is clearly on display here, pianist Joshua White, whose playing sometimes veers into McCoy Tyner rapture, and drummers Gerald Cleaver and Max Jaffe do more than simply support -- instead, their playing proceeds from a sense of commitment and soulfulness that is born of that redistribution of power. And Stomu Takeishi's upright and electric bass guitar playing helps to push these tunes headlong into realms of groove and infectious kinesis that make it what it is: remarkable.

Certainly fans of Ron Miles', Wadada Leo Smith's or Don Cherry's adventurous and joyful playing and collaborating will find much to love in this work. But the vibe here belongs to Steph Richards."-Northern Spy



"Steph Richards has recorded for Relative Pitch and Northern Spy, worked with Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton and Ravi Coltrane and studied with Wadada Leo Smith. As co-producer of the FONT Music Festival, Richards worked for years alongside fellow trumpeter Dave Douglas. Her records have been praised for displaying her evident virtuosity and inventiveness, the New York Times calling Richards "boldly inventive." NPR's Nate Chinen says Richards is "ingenious" and Downbeat insisted that she is "the latest figure of note" in jazz while All About Jazz cuts to the chase, saying simply, that Richards "kicks ass." It's an impressive history and litany of praise for a young trumpeter, but with her latest full-length for Northern Spy, Power Vibe, Richards pushes even further, marrying avant garde and cinematic moods with a kind of infectious and patently pleasing tunefulness that is certain to expand her dedicated audience even further. The addition of "sensory electronics" -- subtle but compelling textures and tactile rhythms which are physically triggered by drum-mounted sensors -- compels fascination here, interweaving a kind of aural hyper-lucidity throughout the record. Though boldly original, this music strides surefootedly alongside the work of contemporaries like Nicole Mitchell and Rob Mazurek and the late Jaimie Branch."-Northern Spy


Artist Biographies

"Trumpeter and composer Steph Richards has steadily established herself in as an engaging experimentalist on the jazz and creative music scenes, working with pioneering artists ranging Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton to Laurie Anderson and David Byrne. Her work is driven by a curiosity of what sensory variables are open to experimentation- often resulting in interdisciplinary works that include scent, dance, and performed in unexpected spaces such as carousels or underwater. Her works have been featured stages as iconic and varied as Carnegie Hall, the Blue-note and Lincoln Center.

Originally from Canada, Richards has spent much of her career in Brooklyn, NY. Dedicated to experimental music without regard to genre, she is fluid in the contemporary music scene (she has performed alongside the Kronos Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble) as well as in the jazz and creative scenes, working with the many musicians such as Jason Moran, Ravi Coltrane and Sylvie Courvoisier.

As a soloist, Richards' solo records explore improvisation, spectral experimentation, groove and, in her more recent release, scent. Supersense (Northern Spy Records, 2020), is an inter-sensorial body of works by Steph Richards in collaboration with scent artist Sean Raspet. It is an exploration of the emotional dialogue between sound and scent, which evokes sensations that linger in the wordless space of sonic vibration and chemical reaction. "Supersense makes for high-grade experimental avant-garde and then some" (All About Jazz ****1/2).

Her debut record Fullmoon (Relative Pitch Records) was hailed as a "bold pronouncement" by the New York Times and voted on multiple "Best of 2018" year end lists, including as the #1 Record of the Year by Free Jazz Collective. An electronic exploration of trumpet/resonating percussion and sampler, the record featured the work of pioneering electronic artist J.A. Dino Deane. Steph immediately followed up with her 2019 release Take The Neon Lights, a quartet situated between experimental jazz, free funk and avant rock, It also received high praise from critics, with Downbeat calling Steph "a virtuoso of nonlinear trumpet playing" .

For years she co-produced the NYC-based FONT Music festival alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas and now produces FONT West on the West Coast. She is on faculty at the experimentally driven University of California San Diego and is a Yamaha artist."

-Steph Richards Website (https://www.stephrichards.com/)
5/23/2024

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

Pianist Joshua White (born August 17, 1985) had parallel musical training in both classical and gospel music traditions before encountering the music most commonly referred to as "jazz", at the University of California, San Diego summer camp in 2003. He began formal piano training at the age of seven with a private instructor, and was subsequently immersed into the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and others. After competing in several classical piano music competitions and also becoming the organist/pianist at his local Church, Joshua (at the age of 18) chose to focus his musical studies on "jazz" and improvised music traditions, drawing inspiration from its many innovators. He dove into the music head first with the help of world-renowned musicians like composer Anthony Davis, saxophonist David Borgo, flutist Holly Hofmann and piano master Mike Wofford. "Joshua was the most devoted student I've ever worked with by far," says Wofford. "Absolutely focused and with a great intuitive grasp of the music, even at that early stage."

In the years following, White made incredible strides through the Southern California jazz community, playing with virtuoso trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, alto saxophone legend Charles McPherson, bassist Marshall Hawkins, tenor saxophonist Daniel Jackson, and former Anthony Braxton sideman, Mark Dresser. Dresser hand- picked the young musician for his West Coast Quintet, which featured saxophonist Ben Schachter, virtuoso trombonist Michael Dessen and drummer Kjell Nordeson. "Josh is a super-bad young pianist," Dresser said. "I see him as a singular talent. He brings so much to the table." White's virtuosity is never about empty displays of technique. He has the uncanny ability to blend the overtly lyrical with passages of tumultuous tension without losing the listener in the process. He is, in short, a cultural improviser, taking his inheritance and venturing into possibility.

In 2011, White entered the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition in Washington D.C., ultimately placing second out of 160 competitors from around the world. Herbie Hancock was one the judges. "Joshua has immense talent," Hancock told music critic George Varga of the San Diego Union Tribune. "I was impressed by his daring and courageous approach to improvisation on the cutting edge of innovation. He is his own man. I believe that Thelonious Monk would have been proud of the performance of this great young artist..."

For the last several years, White has been in demand as one of Southern California's most creative and technically accomplished pianists. He performs regularly at Dizzy's (San Diego), Blue Whale (Los Angeles), The Loft (La Jolla), the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library (La Jolla), and numerous other venues on the West Coast. Formed in January 2014, the Joshua White Quartet is a bi-coastal group focused on interpreting original compositions, as well as exploring the boundaries of collective improvisation. The JWQ features David Binney (Alto Sax) Harish Raghavan, Hamilton Price (bass) Damion Reid, Mark Ferber (drums). Pianist Joshua White has also worked /recorded with Chrisitan McBride, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Tim Lefebvre, Joe LaBarbera, Hugh Ragin, Anthony Wilson, Derrick Hodge, and many more...

-Joshua White Website (http://joshuawhitemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/JOSHUA-WHITE-artist-biography-FEBRUARY-2014.pdf)
5/23/2024

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

"Stomu Takeishi (born 1964, in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese jazz bass player. He generally plays fretless five-string electric bass guitar, as well as a Klein five-string acoustic bass guitar. He often uses looping or other electronic techniques to enhance the sound of his instrument.

Takeishi began as a koto player. He came to the United States in 1983 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After completing his degree in 1986, he moved to Manhattan to continue his studies at The New School. He has lived in New York City ever since.

In the 1990s he began to achieve prominence as an innovative New York jazz bass player, and critics have noted both his adventurous playing and sensitivity to sound and timbre. He has played in many international jazz festivals and often performs at major venues in New York, the United States, and Europe.

He has performed and/or recorded with Don Cherry, Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Motian, Myra Melford, Cuong Vu, Badal Roy, David Tronzo, Erik Friedlander, Satoko Fujii, Laszlo Gardony, Ahmad Mansour and Andy Laster.

In Downbeat's 57th Critics Poll in 2009, Stomu was the poll winner in the category of Electric Bass, Rising Star.

He has been performing all over Mexico with MOLE (Hernan Hecht at drums, Mark Aanderud at piano.)"

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomu_Takeishi)
5/23/2024

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

"Gerald Cleaver (born May 4, 1963) is an African-American jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan. Cleaver's father is drummer John Cleaver Jr., originally from Springfield, Ohio, and his mother was from Greenwood, Mississippi. Gerald had six older siblings. Cleaver joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995. He has performed or recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Tomasz Sta ko, Franck Amsallem and others.

Under the name Veil of Names, Cleaver released an album called Adjust on the Fresh Sounds New Talent label in 2001. It featured Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn and Reid Anderson and was a Best Debut Recording Nominee by the Jazz Journalists Association. Cleaver currently leads the groups Uncle June, Black Host, Violet Hour and NiMbNl as well as working as a sideman with many different artists."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Cleaver_(musician))
5/23/2024

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

"Max Jaffe is a drummer and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a versatile musician with a particular dedication to the grey areas between established genres. Originally hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, he began learning how to play drums from his father by the age of 6 and was performing in the Bay Area by the time he was an adolescent. Jaffe descended upon New York City in 2007 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he studied with Amir Ziv, Gerry Hemingway, John Hollenbeck, Jane Ira Bloom, Reggie Workman, and Tyshawn Sorey. After earning his B.F.A., he committed himself to engaging with the thriving and creative musical community in Brooklyn. He is a founding member of JOBS, with whom he composes and sings, as well as plays drums. He has also been fortunate to collaborate and tour with Normal Love, Leverage Models, Unnatural Ways, The Dreebs, Man Forever, Vape Drip, In One Wind, David Wax Museum, Chives, and Steven Lugerner. In addition, he has shared the stage with many talented and respected musicians including Shahzad Ismaily, Aaron Roche, Amir Ziv, Jessica Pavone, Brandon Seabrook, Tim Dahl, Ava Mendoza, Kid Millions, Brandon Lopez, Jordan McLean (Antibalas/FELA! The Musical), Kenny Wollesen, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Steve Marion (Delicate Steve), Seth Olinsky (Akron/Family, Cy Dune), and Doug Wieselman, to name but a few. The biggest compliment he's ever received was when some kid told him after a show "That was the most soulful noise music I've ever heard". That was nice."

-Max Jaffe Tumblr Site (http://maxjhinjaffe.tumblr.com/about)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Prey 4:32

2. Power Vibe 7:00

3. October to July 5:51

4. Moutons 4:43

5. Reculez 5:52

6. Supersense [Live in Bolzano] 12:04

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Northern Spy.


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