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Stewart, Luke Silt Trio (w/ Settles / Crudup or Taylor): Unknown Rivers (Pi Recordings)

The long-running Silt Trio led by DC bassist and composer Luke Stewart, with Brian Settles on tenor sax and either drummer Trae Crudup or Chad Taylor, in their debut for Pi Recordings with seven Stewart compositions founded around his deep grooves; playful and sophisticated work that leave room for tremendous soloing and support from each trio configuration.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Luke Stewart-bass, compositions

Brian Settles-tenor saxophone

Warren Trae Crudup III-drums

Chad Taylor-drums


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UPC: 808713010121

Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: Pi 101
Squidco Product Code: 34800

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Tracks 1-4 recorded at Tempo House, in Baltimore, Maryland, by Craig Bowen.

Tracks 5-7 recorded Live at Trinosophes, in Detroit, Michigan, by Joel Peterson.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Unknown Rivers is bassist Luke Stewart's debut for Pi Recordings. An omnipresent and galvanizing force on the music scene, Stewart is a leader or co-leader of such bands as Irreversible Entanglements - whose new release Protect Your Light DownBeat called "a fascinating work of art whose existence is exactly what it's supposed to be, perfectly in place on the great curve of the universe" - along with his Exposure Quintet, Blacks' Myths, Heart of the Ghost, and Remembrance Quintet. Also named by DownBeat as one of "Twenty-Five Performers Who Could Shape Jazz for Decades," he is also among the most in-demand collaborators, having performed with the likes of David Murray, Archie Shepp, Wadada Leo Smith, Nicole Mitchell, Moor Mother, Jaimie Branch, Nate Wooley, William Hooker, Ken Vandermark, Marshall Allen, Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, Shabaka, Hamid Drake, Douglas Ewart, and countless others. Stewart is also a curator and presenter of multiple concert series in Washington, D.C. (he is a co-founder of Capital Bop, which is dedicated to promoting, presenting and preserving jazz in that city) and New York, a writer, activist, producer and D.J.

Stewart's new release features his long-running Silt Trio, with Brian Settles on tenor sax, and drummers Warren "Trae" Crudup III on four studio tracks and Chad Taylor on three live ones. The band's name is inspired by Stewart's upbringing along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and the rivers that flow through it. It's also a metaphor for the indeterminate current of ideas and experiences that settle and filter through the rivers' rich sediment that end up informing the music. In a subtle tilt from their two prior releases (No Treaspassing (with Crudup) and The Bottom (with Taylor)), Unknown Rivers sees the band pushing away from open improvisation towards compositional form with greater emphasis on rhythmic acuity. As Stewart states in the album's liner notes: "It is in the rhythm where the Spirit is defined, where the Mystery is revealed."

It was Stewart's intention to feature both versions for the trio on the album to highlight the distinct approaches that the two drummers bring to the music. Chad Taylor is a bandleader and also one of the most in-demand musicians on the scene, originally establishing his reputation in Chicago co-leading the various Chicago Underground configurations with Rob Mazurek and playing with Fred Anderson, Jeff Parker and Matana Roberts. After moving to the East Coast, he's been active with Marc Ribot, James Brandon Lewis, and with Jaimie Branch's Fly or Die, to name a few. D.C.-based Trae Crudup, who performs in the duo Blacks' Myths with Stewart, brings a different aesthetic based on his wide-ranging experience playing gospel and go-go, in addition to jazz with such musicians as James Brandon Lewis and in Heroes are Gang Leaders.

A stalwart of the fertile Washington DC jazz scene, Brian Settles performs in groups led by Tomas Fujiwara, Michael Formanek, Mary Halvorson, and Jonathan Finlayson, in addition to being a bandleader in his own right. A true, under-sung original, he plays with a quiet intensity, possessing a distinctive sound that reminds of players from a distant past set against a modernist's vocabulary. His playing is filled with patience and understatement, with power in reserve that is used with musical intention rather than to bludgeon. Stewart is the master of a deep, wide groove that cushions and propels, making every musical situation he finds himself in sound good. Even as a titular leader, his playing is always at service to the group. His is a deeply intuitive sound, hard-earned from playing with the music's elders and his peers on thousands of live performances - he estimates that he plays over 200 gigs a year - rather than from an academic setting.

The Quietus has called the Silt Trio "gripping... relying on subtlety and insinuation to register its uncanny power." Their playing is loosely conversational, with an obvious shared reverence for music that Stewart says is "rooted in the spirit, with respect for African rhythms, and always shooting for that natural feeling." Unknown Rivers is that magical juxtaposition of playing with raw spontaneity while maintaining the music's intent and purpose."-Pi Recordings


Artist Biographies

"Luke has pursued a vast number of creative projects over the years. He plays bass and saxophone with DC-based indie rock band Laughing Man, who has performed at historic venues in the city including the Black Cat and St. Stephen's Church, opening for national acts such as The Evens, Wavves, Junkyard Band, and Wale. He has also played saxophone with his own experimental group Ziggurat, as well as various special collaborative performances throughout the East Coast.

As an electronic artist, he has been showcased in local exhibitions alongside legendary hip hop artist Grap Luva, and DC beatmaker Damu the Fudgemunk. He has also been a participant of Sonic Circuits' Festival of Experimental Music, performing on the same bill as cellist Okkyung Lee, as well as performing in other venues alongside instrument builder Layne Garrett and saxophonist Sam Hillmer (Diamond Terrifier). He is also a member of experimental electronic trio Mind Over Matter, Music Over Mind, which has participated in numerous festival performances, including Sonic Circuits' Festival and Noise Fest at George Mason University.

On the jazz side, Luke has performed at many of DC's historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57. He had the honor of studying and performing with saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett. Recently he lead a 12-member ensemble in an hour-long tribute to John Coltrane on his birthday at the legendary Bohemian Caverns. He is also a member of Trio OOO, a collaborative ensemble featuring saxophonist Aaron Martin, and drummer Sam Lohman.

More recently he has helped establish CapitalBop.com, a DC-based jazz website and 501c3 non-profit organization, as its Avant Music Editor. Through the site, he has helped launch a live jazz performance series dubbed the "DC Jazz Loft", presenting some talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his "Red Door Loft" series at the now-closed Goldleaf studios, as well as shows at CD Cellar in Arlington, VA, Bossa Bistro and Lounge, and DIY space the Paperhaus, where his performance curation was picked by Bob Boilen as one of the best shows of 2012.

He is also an Artist-In-Residence at the art space Union Arts and Manufacturing, in Washington, DC, where he regularly rehearses his numerous musical projects as well as hosts special performances and workshops.

During the day, he is the Production Coordinator for WPFW 89.3FM, as well as the host of THE VIBES edition of Overnight Jazz, weekly eclectic jazz program which showcases music from various sources in Luke's musical explorations. Through WPFW he has had the privilege of working with some seminal figures in music and social justice such as Chuck Brown, Yusef Lateef, Randy Weston, Muhal Richard Abrams, Juma Sultan, and Amiri Baraka. He has had the opportunity of producing many successful programs including a month-long commemoration of Black Music Month., featuring notably the reunion of trombonist Phil Ranelin and saxophonist Wendell Harrison from the Tribe organization of Detroit. He also co-produced a month-long tribute to pianist Horace Tapscott Los Angeles based community organization UGMAA (Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension). He also produced Washington, DC's first live radio appearance of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the program Jazz and Justice with Tom Porter."

-Luke Stewart Website (https://lukethings.wordpress.com/about/)
5/23/2024

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

"Saxophonist and composer Brian Settles has established himself as a rising force with a long-term artistic vision. Settles blends the outwardly engaging with the deeply personal, reconciling his intimate command of the jazz lineage with a commitment to his own experimental voice. He performs regularly with some of modern jazz's leading groups, including Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up, Michael Formanek's Cheating Heart and Big Band Kolossus, and bands led by Jonathan Finlayson. Settles has also accompanied the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Jason Moran and Marc Cary.

Settles' two albums as a leader feature entirely original music, highlighting his buoyant, pithy compositions: Secret Handshake (Engine, 2011) featured the five-piece Central Union, and was named the best jazz record of the year by both the Washington City Paper and CapitalBop.com. Settles followed up with Folk (Engine, 2013), a trio album acclaimed by Something Else Reviews and the NYC Jazz Record.

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Settles picked up the saxophone in the eighth grade and was immediately enamored. The next year he enrolled in the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he spent the next four years studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Davey Yarborough. During his time at Ellington, Settles began a ten-year mentorship with tenor saxophone legend Stanley Turrentine. This exposure to the life of a veteran performer and recording artist solidified his plans of becoming a jazz musician.

Settles went on to attend the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, where he was mentored by bass legend Reggie Workman and saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, the school's founder. After graduating from the New School, Settles joined forces with bassist, Tom Abbs and drummer, Chad Taylor. Under Abbs' leadership, the trio (Frequency Response) performed throughout New York City and in 2003 (with the addition of cellist, Okkyung Lee) recorded the album Conscription (CIMP - 288).

In 2008 Settles earned a master's degree in music from Howard University, where he studied with the great saxophonist Charlie Young. While at Howard, Settles joined drummer Tomas Fujiwara in The Hook Up. The quintet has since released three well-received albums, and has been celebrated by the New York Times as "a gathering of sharp young improvisers ... insightful [and] invigorating." And Settles has earned a growing chorus of acclaim on his own: In 2015 he was listed as a rising star on tenor saxophone, in Downbeat magazine's critics poll, and he earned an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. All the while he's worked with young musicians as a teacher and mentor at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, where he has served since 2002.

To anyone who's heard it, Settles' warbling, viscous tone is immediately recognizable, and his solos are never too quick with their emotional payoff. Inky and warm, his playing can seem to hover weightlessly while simultaneously boring down. Critic Michael J. West calls Settles "absolutely heart-stopping on the bandstand ... known for his versatility, expressiveness, and dizzying imagination" (Washington City Paper)."

-Brian Settles Website (http://briansettles.com/biography.html)
5/23/2024

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

Warren "Trae" Crudup III is a Washington, DC drummer and improviser, influenced by drummers Elvin Jones, Milford Graves, or Paul "Buggy" Edwards. He is known for his work with poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, saxophonists James Brandon Lewis, and Brian Settles.

-Squidco 5/23/2024

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)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Seek Whence 5:33

2. Baba Doo Way 5:41

3. You See? 7:49

4. The Slip 4:41

5. Amilcar 8:21

6. Dudu 12:50

7. Unknown Rivers 4:30

Related Categories of Interest:


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

Search for other titles on the label:
Pi Recordings.


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