PREDSTAVITEVPROGRAMNOVICELOST&FOUNDKONTAKTARHIVGALERIJA

sreda, 4. maj 2005

23:00 - Defonija
GERRY HEMINGWAY QUARTET (ZDA)

[b]Clarence "Herb" Robertson[eb] - trobenta
[b]Ellery Eskelin[eb] - tenorski saksofon
[b]Mark Helias[eb] - kontrabas in električen bas
[b]Gerry Hemingway[eb] - bobni, tolkala

[i]"Like the tightest of early jazz bands, this crew is tight enough to hang way loose. *****"[ei]
[b]--John Corbett, Down Beat[eb]

"It's an extraordinary band, one that seems to pick up the free jazz tradition and infuse it with a needed brilliance and vitality. There may be some irony that this group dominated by Braxton graduates plays a blend of hard bop and free with an authority unmatched by later members of the Blakey school. The intensity and invention never let up, but what dominated was a kind of absolute authority and devotion to the basics of swing."
--[b]Stuart Broomer (Victoriaville Festival '98), Coda Magazine, septembra 1998[eb]

[b]spletne naveze:[eb]

--robertson:
[L]http://www.gerryhemingway.com/robertson.html[EL]
--eskelin:
[L]http://home.earthlink.net/~eskelin/[EL]
--helias:
[L]http://www.markhelias.com/[EL]
--hemingway:
[L]http://www.gerryhemingway.com/[EL]


[b]CLARENCE "HERB" ROBERTSON[eb]

"Trumpeter Robertson looks at jazz the way a mad scientist looks at test tubes - very daffy with equal roots in Cage and Mingus. Louis Armstrong would be proud."
--[b]Option Magazine[eb]

"Robertson transforms his instrument into many things; makes it squeal, purr and chortle; plays beautiful soaring, almost classically contoured cries; and works out a Doppler shift effect, with fluffier notes approaching and receding, only to gradually skew out of equilibrium and become syncopated with ominous growls and squawks."
--[b]Joseph Milazzo, One Final Note[eb]

"An unsung hero of jazz brass playing."
--[b]Peter Lansdowne, Sunday Telegram[eb]

Prenekateri med njegovimi kolegi so postali slavnejši, toda ta hip ni boljšega free jazz trobentarja kakor je [b]Clarence "Herb" Robertson[eb]. V njegovi igri se združujejo tako "tradicionalne" kakor "razširjene" tehnike, njegova imaginacija je hvalevredna za vsak bend, ki da kaj nase: Ima izviren zven, morda celo preizviren, da bi mu to ne škodovalo - številni manj ambiciozni trobentarji njegove generacije so si tačas naredili bolj zveneča imena. Robertson hodi osamela pota, kreira pa zelo izzivalne godbe, ki so dostopnejše, kakor bi si kdo mislil na prvi posluh. Rojen je bil in odrasel v New Jerseyju. Med letoma 1969-72 je obiskoval Berklee School of Music v Bostonu in nekaj let zatem igral v raznih jazz in rock bendih. Leta 1981 se je pridružil saksofonistu Timu Bernu, nedolgo zatem se je že spoznal s svojim zvestim basistom Markom Heliasom, s katerim igra tudi topot. Leta 1985 je Robertson prvič snemal kot vodja - na albumu [i]Transparency[ei] so poleg njega in Berna se kitarist Bill Frisell, basist Lindsey Horner in bobnar Joey Baron (šlo je za prvega izmed petih odličnih albumov, ki jih je Robertson posnel za zalozbo JMT producenta Stefana Winterja). Herb Robertson je nadalje - in med drugim - snemal tudi za Leo in Cadence Jazz. Kot špilavec je igral z Anthonyjem Davisom, Bobbyjem Previtom, Davidom Sanbornom, Georgeom Gruntzem, Billom Frisellom in Paulom Motianom, naj jih omenimo le nekaj. Robertson je bil na več turnejah po Evropi in igral na vseh večjih festivalih. Poleg naštetega je znan tudi kot skladatelj za ples in gledališče.

Njegov izjemen album [i]Transparency[ei] so leta 2001 ponatisnili pri založbi Winter & Winter.


[b]ELLERY ESKELIN[eb]

"...Eskelin continues to be the most inventive American tenor player in creative music ..."
--[b]Down Beat, novembra 1996[eb]

a "Tenor original"
--[b]Pulse[eb]

"Tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin is without a doubt one of the most important figures in modern jazz improvisation."
--[b]www.allaboutjazz.com[eb]

Tenorsaksofonist [b]Ellery Eskelin[eb] je bil rojen v Wichita, Kanzas, leta 1959. Odrasel je v glasbenem domu v Baltimoru, Maryland - njegova mati Bobbie Lee je v šestdesetih igrala orgle Hammond B-3 in vodila svoje lastne jazzovske skupine. Eskelin je začel vaditi saksofon že pri desetih letih in se kar tedaj hipoma odločil za življenje jazzovskega muzičista. e na srednji šoli je igral profesionalno in se poleti 1973 udeležil tabora s Stanom Kentonom in njegovim orkestrom. To je bilo na Towson State University, kjer je bil pozneje, med letoma 1977-81 tudi študent. Leta 1983 se je Eskelin preselil v NYC, da bi tam študiral in igral. Prav tedaj in prav tam se je prvič resno seznanil s pesmimi svojega očeta Rodda Keitha, snovalca iz šestdesetih in sedemdesetih let. ?eprav je bil Keith s svojo muziko neke vrste kultna figura, ne moremo reči, da je - vsaj spočetka - kaj posebej vplival na Elleryja. Pozneje je bilo pač drugače, in to se lepo sliši štiri leta za poslušanji očeta, ko se Eskelin pojavi na svojem prvem albumu [i]Joint Venture[ei] (Enja) z Drewom Gressom in Paulom Smokerjem. Ellery Eskelin je skoz leta trdega dela razvil močno individualen pihalski pristop, v katerem se jazzovske korenine kombinirajo z raznimi neodvisnimi koncepti in vlogami, v katerih se sicer zmerom igra "freely", vsa pozornost pa se - kar je danes redko - namenja tudi harmoniji, timingu in formi. Leta 1994 je Eskelin osnoval trio z Andreo Parkins in Jimom Blackom in z njim posnel celo vrsto strukturno silovitih in užitka polnih albumov, boljkone vse za založbo Hatology.


[b]MARK HELIAS[eb]

"Helias pilots the group with a selfless spirit; his compositions walk a fine line between structure and freedom and any of the three instruments can take the lead or recede into the background at any time."
--[b]David Adler, AMG Rating ****[eb]

"One of New York's finest composers, thinkers, and instrumentalists"
--[b]New York Times[eb]

"Mark Helias is at the same an experimental leader and unclassifiable ground breaker."
--[b]Jazzman Magazine, Pariz[eb]

[b]Mark Helias[eb], spreten basist s posebno senzibilnostjo za tkim. avantgardne prijeme je tudi izrazito podcenjen skladatelj. Helias je bil rojen v Brunswicku, New Jersey, leta 1950, in za bas ni vedel do svojega dvajsetega leta starosti. Kljub temu se mu je posrečilo, da se je vpisal na univerzo Yale in tam je leta 1976 tudi diplomiral. e leto dni zatem je s trombonistom Rayjem Andersonom in tolkalcem Gerryjem Hemingwayjem osnoval trio BassDrumBone in se začel pojavljati kot mocna opora na albumih, ki so jih podpisovali Anthony Braxton, Dewey Redman, Barry Altschul in Anthony Davis. Helias in Anderson sta pozneje ustanovila free funk ansambel Slickaphonics in zanj prispevala znatno število kompozicij. Prvi album kot vodja skupine ([i]Split Image[ei]) je Helias izdal za založbo Enja. Leta 1985 je Mark Helias soustanovil world-fusion skupino Nu, v kateri so igrali še Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Carlos Ward in Nana Vasconcelos. Skupina je razpadla že 1987., prav ko je Helias posnel svoj drugi avtorski album [i]The Current Set[ei] - dve leti zatem mu je sledil še [i]Desert Blue[ei]. Za nameček je Helias igral še v zasedbah, ki so jih vodili, med drugim: Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, Oliver Lake, Mose Allison in, kar je vredno posebne pozornosti, J.B. Horns. Leta 1992 je posnel "svoj" kvartetno/kvintetni album [i]Attack the Future[ei], njegovo kompozicijo "Upside the Downside" pa je tedaj premierno izvedel String Trio of New York. Leto 1994 Helias porodi [i]Loopin' the Cool[ei], kar je bil tudi njegov zadnji studijski projekt za mnoga leta. V devetdesetih je Helias ustanovil trio z imenom Open Loose, v katerem sta izvirno nastopala bobnar Tom Rainey in tenorist Ellery Eskelin - njihov prvenec iz leta 1998 se imenuje [i]Come Ahead Back[ei] in pomeni Heliasov prvi projekt, ki ni izšel pri založbi Enja. V novem triu je leta 1999 Tony Malaby zamenjal Eskelina (slišimo ga že na "živem" albumu [i]New School[ei], 2000), Gerald Cleaver pa je sporadično zasedal Raineyjevo mesto. Mark Helias od časa do časa igra tudi v duu s svojim soimenjakom, prav tako basistom Markom Dresserjem.


[b]GERRY HEMINGWAY[eb]

"The percussionist's expressionism keeps an astute perspective on dimension. He can make you think that hyperactivity is accomplished with a hush. His foursome recently did what only a handful of indie jazzers do: barnstormed the U.S., druming up business for emotional abstraction and elaborate interplay. That's something Ellery Eskelin, Mark Dresser and Ray Anderson know all about."
--[b]Jim Macnie, Village Voice (10/98)[eb]

"The Quartet played the compositions, stuffed with polyrhythms and counterpoints, with a swinging elegance and intensity, which left nothing more to desire."
--[b]Willy Taub, Die Tageszeitung (12/91)[eb]

"Hemigway's compositions and improvisations have a strong sense of melody and while there is a degree of abstraction, the music seems more emotional than cerebral."
--[b]Parry Gettelman, Orlando Sentinel (5/98)[eb]

[b]Gerry Hemingway[eb] je pred več ko 10 leti formiral svoje enkratne kvintete (v raznih bodisi stalnejših ali pa občasnejših zasedbah so se v njih zvrstili naslednji mačkoni: David Mott, Ray Anderson, Mark Dresser, Ernst Reijseger, Mark Helias, Don Byron, Wolter Wierbos, Ed Schuller, Michael Moore, Per "Texas" Johansson, Amit Sen, Palle Danielsson, Frank Gratkowski in Kermit Driscoll), v zadnjih šestih letih pa se je skoncentriral predvsem na formacijo kvarteta. Pričujoča banda (poleg nje Hemingway vodi še predrugačen kvartet, v katerem z njim in Eskelinom igrata trombonist Ray Anderson in basist Mark Dresser; v dodatni različici kvarteta pa zgolj Dresser menja Heliasa) je nastala leta 1997, redno je igrala po Evropi in ZDA; 1998. je imel kvartet zelo odmevno turnejo po ZDA z več ko 40 špili. Pred nami je torej dodobra uigrana jazzovska zasedba: sproščena, svingajoča, udarna. Pospremimo jo kar z besedami, ki jih je Gerry zapisal po dolgi ameriški turneji:

"What I experienced night after night while touring the US was that there was a very diverse audience interested in uncompromising jazz, from young teenagers with hard core leanings who were drawn to the musics energy and edge, to an older generation who could relate to the rhythmic power, clearly shaped melodies and the spirit of musical creation central to jazz's tradition that informs the majority of what we perform."

Bobnar-tolkalec Hemingway je postal zelo znan spričo svojega dela v Anthony Braxton Quartetu (+ Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser). Z njim je že bil tudi pri nas, in to na nepozabnem nastopu v okviru Jazz festivala v ljubljanskih Križankah, 1985. To je bila precej izzivalna, revolucionarna zasedba, ki so jo številni resni kritiki primerjali s pomenom, kakršnega so imeli klasični modernistični kvarteti, kot sta jih vodila John Coltrane in Ornette Coleman. Gerry Hemingway se je Braxtonovemu kvartetu pridružil leta 1983 in v njem zasedal bobnarski stolček celih 12 let, z njim snemal za razne založbe in podal brez števila klubskih in festivalskih nastopov po vsem svetu. (Turneja po Angliji je dobro in poučno dokumentirana v knjigi [i]Forces in Motion[ei] Grahama Locka, 1988.)

Hemingway je bil že za časa naprezanj pri prof. Braxtonu aktiven tudi v svojih lastnih skupinah. Z "evropskim" in "ameriškim" kvintetom je posnel celo vrsto - danes žal razprodanih - albumov, tako na primer: [i]Special Detail[ei] (1991), [i]Demon Chaser[ei] (1994) in [i]The Marmalade King[ei] (1995), vse za založbo Hat Art, za nemško Random Acoustics pa še [i]Slamadam[ei] (1995) in [i]Perfect World[ei] (1996). Leta 1993 je izdal tudi kvartetno različico: [i]Down to the Wire[ei]. Za Hat Art.

Po 12 letih dela je Hemingway razpustil svoj "evropski" kvintet, saj so potni stroški, kadar so hoteli imeti turnejo po ZDA in Kanadi, naraščali do neverjetnih višin. [i]Waltzes, Two-Steps and Other Matters of the Heart[ei] je kvintetov zadnji uraden CD album z "živih" nastopov po Evropi 1996 - izšlo pri GM Recordings, 1999.

Na New York Jazz Festivalu leta 1997 je Hemingway predstavil svoj nov kvartet, sestavljen iz prominentnih ameriških muzičistov: trombon sta poslej igrala Ray Anderson ali Robin Eubanks, na tenorsaksu je bil Ellery Eskelin, v vlogi kontrabasistov pa sta se menjavala Mark Dresser in Michael Formanek. Novi "ameriški kvartet" je novembra 1997 posnel evropsko turnejo in izdal CD album [i]Johnny's Corner Song[ei] (Auricle Records, 1998). Gerry se je torej uspešno izognil stroškom z letalskimi kartami za evropske muzičiste in novi kvartet večkrat popeljal na turnejo po ZDA (1998-9). Rezultat (z Andersonom na trombonu in Dresserjem na basu) je izjemen studijski album spotoma nabranih kompozicij: [i]Devil's Paradise[ei] (2003), eden izmed najboljših, kar jih je kdaj posnel Hemingway.

Gerry Hemingway je napravil tudi korak v svet tkim. sodobne klasične glasbe. Prejel je naročili za kompoziciji "Contigualis" za godalni kvartet in "The Visiting Tank" za godalni kvartet in elektroniko v živo. Tedve kompoziciji sta bili posneti februarja 1999 v Merkin Hallu, NYC, in sta skupaj z dvema drugima deloma ("Aurora" za sekstet in "Circus" za kvintet) pravzaprav reviziji zgodnjejših del. Hemingwayjev klasičen spored je v celoti izšel pri založbi Tzadik Johna Zorna (CD [i]Chamber Works[ei], 1999). Hemingway je, med drugim, dobil tudi naročila za pisanje koncerta za tolkalca in orkester, za delo koncertantnih razsežnosti, ki vključuje magnetofonski trak in tolkala, za kvadrofonsko elektrofonsko kompozicijo in za skladbo, ki zahteva multiplicirano diaprojekcijo, magnetofonski trak in tolkala.

Dobršen del Hemingwayjevih zvočnih raziskav v zadnjih 20 letih je namenjen tudi izvajanju in snemanju del iz razmerja med solističnimi tolkali in elektrofonijo. Leta 1996 so tako pri Random Acoustics izdali njegova [i]Electro-Acoustic Solo Works (1984-95)[ei] in [i]Acoustic Solo Works (1983-94)[ei], dvojico CDjev, ki dokumentirata ta del njegove glasbene kariere.

Poleg omenjenih avtorskih projektov je bil Gerry Hemingway včasih tudi član zasedb, ki sta jih vodila kontrabasist Reggie Workman in pianist Anthony Davis. Danes sodeluje v raznih kombinacijah in kolektivih, med katerimi gre vsekakor omeniti duo Tom & Gerry (Thomas Lehn na analognem sintiju + GH), občasen duo s pianistom Cecilom Taylorjem, duo s pihalcem Johnom Butcherjem, Brew (Miya Masaoka/Reggie Workman/GH), WHO Trio (Michel Wintsch/GH/Baenz Oester), BassDrumBone z Rayjem Andersonom in basistom Markom Heliasom, trio z violončelistom Ernstom Reijsegerjem in pianistom Georgom Graewejem. Za navrh se Hemingway občasno pojavlja tudi v duu s svojo kolegico izza časov Braxtonovega kvarteta Marilyn Crispell, nastopa v triu s Crispellovo in basistom Barryjem Guyjem, v bendu Tambastics z Markom Dresserjem, flavtistom Robertom Dickom in pianistom Denmanom Maroneyjem in v Iliad Quartetu s kitaristom Jamesom Emeryjem. Gerry Hemingway je tudi član ene izmed najiritantnejših zasedb nasega časa, to je zdaj "enojni" zdaj "dvojni" kvartet Franka Gratkowskega (+ Dieter Manderscheid, Wolter Wierbos, Tobias Delius, Wilbert de Joode, Herb Robertson, Michael Vatcher, GH). Drugi muzičisti, s katerimi je GH snemal ali nastopal, so: Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Conrad Bauer, John Cale, Hank Roberts ...

[b]ENGLISH[eb]

"Trumpeter Robertson looks at jazz the way a mad scientist looks at test tubes -- very daffy with equal roots in Cage and Mingus. Louis Armstrong would be proud."
--[b]Option Magazine[eb]

[b]Clarence "Herb" Robertson[eb] is internationally renowned as an innovative instrumentalist, composer and arranger in both traditional and avant-garde jazz idioms and new music. In 1981, Robertson became one of the original members of Tim Berne's ensemble and shortly after joined Mark Helias' band. It is with these two artists that Robertson first began receiving enormous critical acclaim on tour throughout the United States and Europe and on subsequent recordings documenting his original brass concept incorporating extended mute technique.

From 1985 to 1992, Robertson recorded as a leader with JMT musical productions in Munich, Germany, producing five albums under his own name. On various other labels, he has recorded with many of the leading lights of the New York Downtown Scene including Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, Bobby Previte among others (selected discography included). After his debut album, [i]Transparency[ei], Herb Robertson formed his own quintet and opened the Greenwich Village Jazz Festival in 1986 to high critical acclaim. This was the first time an avant garde band opened a major jazz festival in the United States. Soon after, the quintet toured Europe.Robertson has been leading groups ever since, and now records as a leader for Leo, Splasc(h), Cadence, and the CIMP record labels. Robertson has been invited as a soloist and guest artist for many important European Jazz and New Music productions. He was invited to the important "October Meeting" in Amsterdam in 1987 and 1992, along with Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Gerry Hemingway, Steve Lacy, Paul Bley, Horace Tapscott et al, and is a frequent performer at the Berlin, Saalfelden, Willisau and Nickelsdorf music festivals. He toured with the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra at major jazz festivals in Italy, England, Scotland, Switzerland and Austria.

Since the 1990's Robertson has recorded and performed internationally with Tim Berne, the Mark Helias Band, The Fonda / Stevens Group, the Simon Nabatov Quintet, Andy LasterA­s Hydra and Barry Guy's New Orchestra along with many others. He has since performed/recorded with Anthony Davis, Bobby Previte, Elliott Sharp, David Sanborn, The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, the Klaus Konig Orchestra, Rashied Ali, Ray Anderson, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian and Dewey Redman, among many others. Currently Robertson's own ensembles include The Double Infinitives, the Herb Robertson Brass Ensemble, and his improvising trios with Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen, Paul Smoker and Phil Haynes. Among Robertson's performances and recordings for theatrical and dance productions are the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation with composer, David Behrman and the Public Theater production of [i]Track and Field[ei] with composer, John Zorn.

Some Highlights:

"Robertson transforms his instrument into many things; makes it squeal, purr and chortle; plays beautiful soaring, almost classically contoured cries; and works out a Doppler shift effect, with fluffier notes approaching and receding, only to gradually skew out of equilibrium and become syncopated with ominous growls and squawks."
--[b]Joseph Milazzo, One Final Note[eb]

"An unsung hero of jazz brass playing."
[b]--Peter Lansdowne, Sunday Telegram[eb]

"Robertson forces runs of super-human length, power and density from his horn, yet his tone is amazingly clear and crisp. He uses a range of half-valves, split tones, and mutes to introduce a breadth of tonal colorations to his performance."
--[b]Wire Magazine[eb]

"Robertson's composing and arranging is as ingeniously unpredictable as his sputtering, vocalizing
trumpet".
--[b]Pulse[eb]

"Power chops, sneaky lyricism and dexterity with mutes."
--[b]Downbeat Magazine[eb]

"Robertson has always been a virtuoso of plunger and mutes -no anemic Bubber Miley imitations here ... the full range of brass sound with startling elasticity."
--[b]Windplayer Magazine[eb]

SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY:

As Leader:

[i]The Legend Of The Missing Link[ei] [Splasc(h) H827.2]
[i]Music For Long Attention Spans[ei] [Leo LR315]
[i]Knudstock 2000[ei] [Cadence CJR 1117]
[i]Rituals[ei] [CIMP 222]
[i]Brooklyn-Berlin[ei] [CIMP 218]
[i]Sound Implosion[ei] [CIMP 110]
[i]Falling In Flat Space[ei] [Cadence CJR1065]
[i]Certified*[ei] [JMT 849-150-2]
[i]Shades of Bud Powell*[ei] [JMT 834-420-2]
[i]"X"Cerpts: Live at Willisau*[ei] [JMT 872013]
[i]The Little Trumpet*[ei] [JMT 860007]
[i]Transparency*[ei] [JMT 850002]

*Reissued as: [JMT Series Winter & Winter]

Through 2005 with Tim Berne:

[i]Open, Coma[ei] - Screwgun Caos Totale;
[i]Nice View[ei] - JMT
[i]Diminutive Mysteries[ei] - JMT
[i]Caos Totale, Pace Yourself[ei] - JMT
[i]Fractured Fairy Tales[ei] - JMT
[i]Sanctified Dreams[ei] - Columbia
[i]Mutant Variations[ei] - Soul Note
[i]The Ancestors[ei] - Soul Note

With Fonda / Stevens:

[i]The Healing[ei] - Leo
[i]Evolution[ei] - Leo
[i]Live From Brugge[ei] - De Werf
[i]Parallel Lines[ei] - Music & Arts
[i]The Wish[ei] - Music & Arts

With Mark Helias:

[i]Attack the Future[ei] - Enja
[i]Desert Blue[ei] - Enja
[i]The Current Set[ei] - Enja
[i]Split Image[ei] - Enja

Selected recordings with various other artists:

Anthony Davis, [i]X. The Life and Times of Malcolm X[ei] - Gramavision
Gerry Hemingway and Ernst Riejseger, [i]October Meeting[ei] - Bimhuis
Andy Laster, [i]Hydra and Twirler[ei] - Sound Aspects
Phil Haynes' 4 Horns and What?, [i]4 Horn Lore[ei] - Open Minds
David Sanborn, [i]Upfront[ei] - Electra
Marc Ducret, [i]News From the Front[ei] - JMT
Bobby Previte, [i]Music of the Moscow Circus[ei] - Gramavision
Klaus Konig, [i]The Song of Songs[ei] - Enja
The New York Composers Orchestra, [i]The New York Composers Orchestra[ei] - New World/Counter Currents
Guus Janssen, [i]Dancing Series[ei] - Geest Gronden
Lindsey Horner [i]Never No More[ei] - Open Minds;
Michael Moore [i]Home Game[ei] - Ramboy
The Walter Thompson Big Band, [i]Not For Rollo[ei] - Ottava
Lesli Dalaba [i]Core Samples[ei] - Ear-Rational
Sybille Pomorin and Terry Jenoure, [i]Auguries of Speed[ei] - ITM
Frans Vermeerssen, [i]All Ears[ei] - Swing Master
The Higher Primates (produced by Gunther Schuller), [i]Environmental Impressions[ei]; with Wyte Lyte, New York 5 A.M - Early Riser

Recording review highlights include:

"Herb Robertson has a voracious appetite for the jazz past, with an eye toward the future"
--[b]The New York Times[eb]

"Simultaneously forward and backward looking vision ..."
--[b]Cadence[eb]

"Robertson can mix it up ..."
--[b]Musician Magazine[eb]


[b]Ellery Eskelin[eb] was born in Wichita Kansas on August 16th, 1959 and was raised in Baltimore, Maryland since the age of two. In 1969 at age ten he began playing the tenor saxophone. His interest in music was sparked by his mother "Bobbie Lee" who played Hammond B3 organ professionally in Baltimore with her own groups in the early sixties. Throughout high school and college he began playing professionally around Baltimore in a variety of musical situations while concentrating heavily on jazz, sitting in at local venues and forming groups of his own.

In 1973 (at age 13) Eskelin attended the first of many annual summer weeklong residencies hosted by the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Towson State University. In 1977 he enrolled at that institution studying classical saxophone literature with Joseph Briscuso as well as woodwind literature for flute and clarinet with various players from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. His primary focus was jazz, playing in the Towson State Jazz Ensemble led by Hank Levy. This group performed Levy's original compositions exclusively. Levy is known for his use of odd time signatures in big band music having contributed to the books of Don Ellis and Stan Kenton. Upon graduation in 1981 (with a Bachelor of Science in Music Performance), Eskelin went on the road with trombonist Buddy Morrow, traveling the US in a series of one nighters that lasted for a year and and a half from 1981 until 1983, culminating in a tour of South America.

In 1983 he moved to New York City to devote himself to the pursuit of jazz and improvised music. Towards that end studies began with saxophonists George Coleman and David Liebman. The first few years in New York were spent apprenticing with a wide variety of musicians (see below) including a notable stint with organist Jack McDuff, in an attempt to widen his scope as a player and solidify the necessary skills required to eventually integrate traditional jazz elements with musical ideas from a variety of other sources. At the same time, Eskelin was a member of the Mikel Rouse Broken Consort, a quasi rock band/chamber group that explored intensely complex rhythmic structures in a music that has since come to be referred to in new music circles as "totalism". While this group utilized no improvisation whatsoever, it was a large catalyst in Eskelin's development of rhythmic independence and together with his more jazz oriented endeavors produced an epiphany of sorts which triggered the investigations of phrasing and timbre manipulation that continue to be a major focus in his work. His recorded output begins at this time with the first of three recordings by the cooperative group Joint Venture (with trumpeter Paul Smoker, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes) for Enja records in 1987. Eskelin was also a member of Phil Haynes' "4 Horns & What?" ensemble which toured Europe and recorded in the late 80s.

After some time spent with these bands Eskelin began the first of many projects as a leader beginning with a trio comprised of Gress and Haynes, releasing [i]Setting The Standard[ei] (Cadence Jazz) in 1988 and [i]Forms[ei] (Open Minds) in 1990. This group endeavored to combine it's roots in the tradition of jazz with various concepts of independence and role changing in an attempt to play freely but with strict attention to harmony, time and form.

The years following were tentative work-wise but a grass-roots do it yourself work ethic slowly began to bear fruit in the community of musicians and also with record companies and music promoters in Europe. In 1992, an important and ongoing musical relationship with drummer Joey Baron began. Baron had heard Eskelin by chance years before at a studio rehearsing with the aforementioned Mikel Rouse Broken Consort and remembered the encounter when it came time to form Baron Down. The group "Baron Down" was formed opening Eskelin's ears to further possibilities concerning musical roles, independence and context. Joey Baron's "Baron Down" toured yearly in Europe and made three recordings between 1991 and 1995.

During this time Eskelin continued to form projects of his own, generally incorporating new and unusual instrumentations in an attempt to place the saxophone in unique contexts for improvising. More serious explorations and approaches to form and structure took place with a short lived group featuring Joe Daley on tuba and Arto Tuncboyaciyan on bakdav drums and percussion. This group recorded [i]Figure of Speech[ei] for Soul Note records in 1993.

In 1994 he formed his current working band including sampler and accordion player Andrea Parkins and drummer Jim Black. His conceptual efforts have been focused greatly with this ensemble resulting in a music that while containing some jazz elements may not be jazz in any strict sense. An amalgamated approach to playing and composing is employed drawing inspiration from many sources. This band appears regularly in the US, Canada and Europe . [i]Jazz Trash[ei] (Songlines) was the group's 1995 recording debut. [i]One Great Day ...[ei] was recorded during a fall '96 tour of Europe and was followed by [i]Kulak 29 & 30[ei] (1997), "Five Other Pieces (+2)[ei] (1998), [i]The Secret Museum[ei] (2000), [i]12 (+1) Imaginary Views[ei] (2001), and [i]Arcanum Moderne[ei] (2002) all for the Swiss hatOLOGY label. 2004 will mark the band's ten year anniversary which will be celebrated with a special release including guests Jessica Constable (voice), Marc Ribot (guitar) and Melvin Gibbs (bass) titled [i]TEN[ei] as well as a special DVD tour diary titled [i]On the road with ...[ei].

Eskelin has also performed in duo with Andrea Parkins (on sampler) having released [i]Green Bermudas[ei] (Eremite), a recording that utilizes various found sounds and prerecorded materials including recordings by his late father Rodd Keith. In a related project he has also curated an anthology of Rodd Keith's music for John Zorn's Tzadik label entitled [i]I Died Today - The Music of Rodd Keith[ei]. Keith has become a cult figure among record collectors for his work in the song-poem (send us your lyrics) industry in the late 60s and early 70s.

In the'90s Eskelin occasionally performed with a side-project based on music written by and associated with the great tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, featuring guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Kenny Wollesen. This group released [i]The Sun Died[ei] (Soul Note) in 1996 and in 1997 performed at a number of major festivals in Europe including Saalfelden (Austria), Willisau (Switzerland), La Batie (Geneva, Switzerland) and Vilshofen (Germany).

Other recent side projects include touring and recording with Dutch drummer Han Bennink (see [i]Dissonant Characters[ei] on hatOLOGY), a quintet project including Parkins and Black along with Erik Friedlander on cello and Joseph Daley on tuba which recorded [i]Ramifications[ei] (hatOLOGY) in 1999 and a new ensemble consisting of strings, vibraphone and saxophone performing completely improvised music documented on [i]Vanishing Point[ei] (hatOLOGY 577). Beyond these projects, he performs solo saxophone concerts having done so in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, France, Austria and Spain. He is currently a member of several other important bands, including groups led by bassist Mark Helias, a quartet led by drummer Gerry Hemingway, as a guest with drummer Daniel Humair's band and most recently a new project by cellist Vincent Courtois and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier.

Eskelin's recordings as a leader and co-leader (there are currently twenty) have been named in Best of the Year critics' polls ranging from the [i]New York Times, The Village Voice[ei], and major jazz magazines in the US and abroad. He also appears on over thirty recordings as a side person (see discography). [i]DownBeat Magazine[ei] named Eskelin as one of the 25 Rising Stars for the Future in its January 2000 issue ("... young players who not only insure the music's survival but promise to take it to the next level") as well as including him in the "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" category of their 46th Annual Critics Poll (August, '98), 49th Annual critics Poll (August 2001), 50th Annual Critics Poll (August 2002) as well as the "Rising Star" category of their 51st Annual Critics Poll (August 2003) and their 52nd Annual Critics Poll (August 2004). Eskelin was also a nominee for the prestigious 2003 Jazzpar award.

Mr. Eskelin performs solely on tenor saxophone, his first love.

In addition to his own work, Eskelin has also recorded and/or performed with Rabih Abou-Khalil, Pheeroan Aklaff, Eddie Allen, Ray Anderson, Barry Altschul, Michael Attias, Dave Ballou, Epizo Bangoura, Harrison Bankhead, Dave Bargeron, Thurman Barker, Tim Barnes, Joey Baron, Han Bennink, Steve Beresford, Tim Berne, Joanne Brackeen, Delmar Brown, Jaki Byard's Apollo Stompers, Donald Byrd, Regina Carter, Eugene Chadbourne, Dennis Chambers, Bruno Chevillon, Gerald Cleaver, Anthony Coleman, Jessica Constable, Marc Copland, Vincent Courtois, Sylvie Courvoisier, Joe Daley, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser, Marc Ducret, Trevor Dunn, Bruce Eisenbeil, Robin Eubanks, Mark Feldman, Mike Formanek, Erik Friedlander, Satoko Fujii, Yuko Fujiyama, Melvin Gibbs, Michel Godard, Ben Goldburg, Dennis GonzA!lez, Hill Greene, Drew Gress, Tim Hagans, Mei Han, Antonio Hart, Billy Hart, Phil Haynes, Mark Helias, Gerry Hemingway, John Hollenbeck, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band (w/Elvin Jones), Terumasa Hino, Daniel Humair, Catherine Jauniaux, Brad Jones, Misako Kano, Frank Lacy, Pete Laroca, Andy Laster, David Liebman, Joe Lovano, Mat Maneri, Denman Maroney, Tony Martucci, Jack McDuff, Ron McClure, Sean Meehan, Gabriele Mirabassi, Paul Motian, Matt Moran, Buddy Morrow, Tim Mulvenna, the New York Composers Orchestra, Reggie Nicholson, NRBQ, William Parker, Paul Plimley, Jim Pugliese, Tom Rainey, Marc Ribot, Herb Robertson, Josh Roseman, Mikel Rouse, Bobby Sanabria, Marvin Sewell, Brian Smith, Paul Smoker, Lisa Soklolov, Leni Stern, Mike Stern, Steve Swell, Satoshi Takeishi, Stomu Takeishi, David Taylor, Mark Taylor, Michael Thompson, Gebhard Ullmann, Tom Varner, Jack Walrath, Carlos Ward, Kenny Werner, Fred Wesley, Wolter Wierbos, Larry Willis and Michael Wimberley among many others.

"...Eskelin continues to be the most inventive American tenor player in creative music..."
--[b]Down Beat, novembra 1996[eb]

"Together, the three have taken jazz to previously unexplored areas; their string of hatOLOGY releases is without question one of the signal oevres of '90s improv."
--[b]Time Out, New York, maja 2004[eb]

"In ten years he has built a catalogue of works of amazing quality which will probably soon be regarded as the most significant and original contribution to the jazz of the 1990s."
--[b]Coda Magazine, januarja 2001[eb]

"An imaginative, daring improvisor ... The tenor saxophonist favors long sinuous phrases with enough twists and turns to keep his solos in a state of surprise, and his edgy tone lets you know it's all animated by a cagey authority."
--[b]Village Voice, marca 1999[eb]

"He's managed to find his own unique space in the avant-jazz sphere ..."
--[b]Time Out, New York, 1.-8. novembra 2001[eb]

a "Tenor original"
--[b]Pulse[eb]

"One of the great emergent talents of our time."
--[b]Down Beat, junija 1996[eb]

"One of the important jazz figures of his generation"
--[b]The Villager, NYC, 13. julija 1994[eb]

"A major player in today's creative music"
--[b]Down Beat, septembra 1995[eb]

"...one foot firmly in the tradition, the other in the cosmos..."
--[b]Time Out, New York, avgusta 2000[eb]

"Tenor saxophonist, Ellery Eskelin is without a doubt one of the most important figures in modern jazz improvisation."
--[b]www.allaboutjazz.com[eb]

"... a range of technical / emotional / sonic vocabulary and a bounty of ideas equaling or exceeding anyone who's ever broken in a reed."
--[b]www.allaboutjazz.com[eb]


Bassist/Composer [b]Mark Helias[eb] has been making innovative music since beginning his career in the mid seventies. He has enjoyed long musical associations with Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Ray Anderson, Don Cherry and Gerry Hemingway.

Eight albums of his music have been released since 1984, including [i]Split Image, The Current Set[ei] (1987), [i]Desert Blue[ei] (1989) and [i]Attack The Future[ei] (1992), [i]Loopin’ the Cool[ei] (1995), [i]Fictionary[ei] (1998), [i]Come Ahead Back[ei] (1998) and [i]New School[ei] (2001), [i]Verbs of Will[ei] (2003).

Mr. Helias had a seventeen year association with the great drummer Edward Blackwell, with whom he recorded two CDs. He has also collaborated for 26 years with Ray Anderson and Gerry Hemingway in the ensemble BassDrumBone. A prolific composer of small ensemble music he has composed music for short films and two feature films by director Jay Anania.
Helias has worked with numerous bands including those of Oliver Lake, Slickaphonics, Julius Hemphill, Marilyn Crispell, Arthur Blythe, Abbey Lincoln, Karrin Allison, Cecil Taylor, Barry Altschul, Don Byron, Mose Alison and Marty Ehrlich’s Dark Woods Ensemble. In addition to his many performances on records and CDs, Mr. Helias has produced recordings for other artists on the Gramavision, Enja, New World, Arabesque, Sound Aspects, and Avant/DIW labels.
Presently, Mark is leading and collaborating on various projects: Open/Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey, Solo Bass performances, The Marks Brothers with fellow bassist Mark Dresser, MOI Project-a sextet with varying personnel, Attack the Future a quartet/quintet. Mr. Helias, a graduate of Rutgers University and Yale School of Music teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School and SIM (School for Improvised Music).


[b]Gerry Hemingway[eb], Composer/Percussionist, has been at the forefront of creative improvised music for over two decades. He was born in 1955 in New Haven, Conn., to a family with musical interests (his grandmother had been a concert pianist and his father studied composition with Paul Hindemith). He became interested in drums around the age of ten and by the age of seventeen was working as a professional musician primarily in the jazz and bebop domain. In the 1970's, New Haven was home for a number of interesting musicians. This was where Gerry met and first played with Anthony Davis, Leo Smith, George Lewis and Anthony Braxton. In the late 1970's, Hemingway, trombonist Ray Anderson, and bassist Mark Helias formed a collective trio which they eventually named BassDrumBone. The trio celebrated it's 25th anniversary in 2002 with the release of [i]March of Dimes[ei] on the Data label.

He joined and remained a member of the Anthony Braxton quartet for eleven years from 1983-94, and in the late eighties began performing with the Reggie Workman Ensemble which is ongoing and at different times has included Oliver Lake, Jeanne Lee, Marilyn Crispell, John Purcell and Don Byron among others. He is a core member of Anthony Davis' Episteme Ensemble, and has performed and recorded as a featured soloist on Mr. Davis' violin concerto "Maps" as well as the operas [i]Under the Double Moon[ei] and [i]Tania[ei] (released recently on Koch Classics). Hemingway also performed in duet with pianist Cecil Taylor in May of 1999 on the invitation of De Singel in Antwerp, Belgium.

A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Hemingway has become increasingly prominent as a composer and improvisor and a leader of several long standing quintets and quartets of international acclaim. In addition to receiving fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation on the Arts, he has also received four commissions through the Parabola Arts Foundation with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the latest of which (1998) was for "The Visiting Tank", which concludes his Tzadik release of [i]Chamber Works[ei]. In 1993, he premiered a commission from the Kansas City Symphony with funding from Meet the Composer for a concerto for percussionist and orchestra entitled "Terrains". In June of 1998 a co-composition with the Amsterdam based composer Guus Jannsen was commissioned by the NPS radio of the Netherlands and performed at the Holland Festival. Entitled "Cycles", the work used a unique computer controlled conducting system that allowed the ensemble to play in multiple tempos.

His current primary working band is a quartet with either Ray Anderson-trombone or Herb Robertson-trumpet, Ellery Eskelin-tenor sax and Mark Dresser or Mark Helias on bass. The band performed 40 concerts in the US in 1998 and it's first recording, [i]Johnny's Corner Song[ei] was released on the Auricle Record label in March of 1998. The quartet completed a studio recording entitled [i]Devil's Paradise[ei] which was released in May 2003 on Clean Feed records, and upcoming (3/05) is [i]The Whimbler[ei] with Herb Robertson, Ellery Eskelin and Mark Helias.

This follows nine years of performances and recordings with his European based quintet whose final cd was released on GM Recordings in the fall of 1999 entitled [i]Waltzes, Two-Steps and Other Matters of the Heart[ei]. Previous recordings include, [i]Special Detail[ei] (91), [i]Down to the Wire[ei] (93), [i]Demon Chaser[ei] (94) and [i]The Marmalade King[ei] (95) all on the Swiss Hat Art label (all currently out of print) and [i]Slamadam[ei] (95) and [i]Perfect World[ei] (96) on Random Acoustics. The quintet formation is in a process of reactivation with new personnel and instrumentation and performing and recording in Lisbon, Portugal in the fall of 2002. A release of that material [i]Double Blues Crossing[ei] will be released in early 2005 on Between the Lines (whom is merging with SunnyMoon Records).

A significant part of Mr. Hemingway's body of work is represented in his work as a solo percussionist which began in 1974. His interest in extending the vocabulary of the instrument for the purpose of creating richly textured, vibrant and cogent compositions for the drum set have been documented in four recordings including [i]Electro-Acoustic Solo Works (84-95)[ei] and [i]Acoustic Solo Works (83-94)[ei] on the Random Acoustics label as well as the previous vinyl editions [i]Solo Works[ei] on Auricle Records and [i]Tubworks[ei] (now re-released on cdr) on the Sound Aspects label. Mr. Hemingway has begun work on a new solo recording which will weave together some of his more recent solo works and some new as yet performed material in an audio and visual format for DVD. It promises to be an ambitous project.

His work as a composer and percussionist includes recordings, collaborations and performances with Derek Bailey, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Kenny Wheeler, Frank Gratkowski, George Lewis, John Cale and Hank Roberts among many others. Collaborative trios include the GRH trio with German pianist Georg Graewe and the Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch and bassist Baenz Oester, the CGH trio with pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Barry Guy recently heard at GuimarÄfes festival in Portugal, and Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka.

As well there are a number of ongoing duos including one with John Butcher and another with live electronics and saxophone virtuoso, Earl Howard. Tom & Gerry is another duo with Thomas Lehn who performs live analog electronics. In addition the duo with pianist Marilyn Crispell continues with a recent performance at the 2001 Guelph festival. Another duo project is with vocalist Andrea Goodman known for her work with Meredith Monk. They have released a recording on Ruby Throated Records entitled [i]Divine Doorways[ei]. His work for multimedia includes "Waterways", for multiple slide projectors, tape and percussion, as well as an ongoing collaboration with video artist/animator Beth Warshafsky.

The many facets of Hemingway's work as composer/soloist/collaborator/ensemble member can be heard on over 100 recordings from many different record labels, among them: Tzadik Records, Enja, Palmetto, Random Acoustics, Auricle Records, and Hat Art.

Pripravil [b]Miha Zadnikar[eb]


kontakt: miha.zadnikar@kinoteka.si
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