Steve Coleman & the Council of Balance's: Synovial Joints

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Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
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kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: digipackowe etui
opis: - ocena: * * * * *
Twórca jednego z ważniejszych nurtów jazzu końca XX wieku, jakim bez wątpienia był M-Base nie zwalnia tempa. Nowojorska wytwórnia Pi Recordings, od kilku już lat wydająca jego płyty wydała właśnie najnowszy album tego cenionego saksofonisty - Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance 'Synovial Joints'.
21-osobowy zespół nowojorskich instrumentalistów z liderem na altowym saksofonie, z których trzon stanowią członkowie Five Elements (Jonathan Finlayson-trumpet, Anthony Tidd-electric bass, Marcus Gilmore-drums, and Miles Okazaki-guitar), przedstawiają najbardziej ambitny projekt w trzydziestoletniej karierze saksofonisty i zarazem band-leadera. Kunsztownie zaaranżowane, pulsujące skomplikowanymi polirytmicznymi fakturami perkusyjnymi utwory, przesycone współczesną klasyką, muzyką latynoską i oczywiście pełnokrwistym jazzem.

Steve Coleman to wielki erudyta jazzu, ale także muzyki klasycznej, jest dla wielu kreatywnych muzyków punktem odniesienia, wielu właśnie w nim widzi swojego mentora, wystarczy wspomnieć kilku: Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer. W świecie kreatywnego jazzu zajmuje miejsce szczególne, laureat wielu prestiżowych nagród, tzw. Genius Grant - MacArthur Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowships i Doris Duke Performing Artist. The New York Times

"Synovial Joints" szturmem zdobyła światowe media, wystarczy wspomnieć pięciogwiazdkową recenzję pióra Karla Ackermanna w All About Jazz, Wire Magazine, New York Times, Downbeat czy JazzWise.

Steve Coleman, jak przystało na prawdziwego wizjonera konsekwentnie wprowadza do swojej muzyki nowe elementy – charakterystyczne dla świata muzyki klasycznej instrumentarium, intrygujące partie wokalne, muzykę świata, a wreszcie szeroko rozumianą jazzową tradycję. "Synovial Joints" to wzorcowy przykład jego autorskiej koncepcji kompozytorskiej, którą nazywa 'kamuflażem orkiestracji'. 'Orkiestracja' zainspirowana została dźwiękami natury, których saksofonista poszukuje każdego roku w amazońskiej puszczy. Posługuje się nakładaniem na siebie rytmów, wzbogacanych stopniowo unikalną charakterystyką brzmieniową poszczególnych instrumentów, spośród których na pierwszym planie jest rytm ziemi, otoczony wieloma warstwami barwnych dźwięków, podobnie jak w przesycosnym wilgocią amazońskim lesie.

Po fenomenalnej płycie dużego składu Steve'a Lehmana 'Mise en Abime' to kolejna wielka płyta z Pi Recordings!
autor: Mariusz Zawiślak

Editor’s info:
2014 was a remarkable year for alto saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman. Already acclaimed in jazz circles, he won wider recognition as the recipient of three prestigious awards: a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship and Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. This comes at a time when Coleman is at his creative peak, incorporating a lifetime of learning in African diasporic culture, ancient religions, metaphysics, Eastern philosophy and patterns found in nature into his musical methods. His influence among young artists, particularly in his approach to rhythm and his willingness to look beyond music for sources of inspiration, has never been stronger.

Synovial Joints represents the most ambitious project of Coleman’s 30-year career as a bandleader. The work was composed for a group he calls the Council of Balance, a name he has used in the past for his large-scale projects, most significantly on his 1998 release Genesis & the Opening of the Way. The new recording features 21 musicians, including many who play in his working band Five Elements: Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Anthony Tidd (electric bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums), and Miles Okazaki (guitar). They are joined by other musicians who are also regularly in Coleman’s nexus: Jen Shyu (vocals), David Bryant (piano), Tim Albright (trombone) and Maria Grand (tenor saxophone) who are further augmented by Latin percussionists and musicians from contemporary classical circles on strings, woodwinds, horns and percussion.

Coleman’s main objective for Synovial Joints was to investigate two novel compositional ideas: exploring different connective principals to effect musical momentum and flow, and a concept he calls camouflage orchestration. In the first, he analyzed the movement of the various synovial joints of the human body – how they pivot, flex and bend, contract and relax – and applied those features so that the music flows not just in a linear fashion, but with cyclical spin or rotation. In camouflage orchestration, which is inspired by the sounds that Coleman recorded in the Amazon rainforest, he pays particular attention to how instrument sounds can be distributed so that they are perceived to be in the foreground, middleground and background, much as the layered sounds reveal themselves in the rainforest.

Coleman has increasingly come to rely on spontaneous composition in the creation of his music: It usually starts with him quieting his mind, approaching a near-trance state. He then improvises – either on the saxophone and/or singing as he simultaneously beats out rhythms – while sensing different memories, moods and images: shapes, appearances, energies, vibrations, movements, etc. The results are recorded and transcribed, and additional layers – often also spontaneously composed – are added and then orchestrated. The result is a music that he believes comes from a subconscious, less intentional, and perhaps, more sincere place.

The New York Times recently named Coleman “one of the most influential figures in the last half-century of improvised music” and, in awarding him the so-called “Genius Grant,” the MacArthur Foundation called him “Influential well beyond the scope of saxophone performance and composition, Coleman is redefining the vocabulary and vernaculars of contemporary music.” Always looking forward, Synovial Joints is further evidence that Coleman remains at the vanguard of expanding the possibilities for musical expression.

Acupuncture Openings is inspired by concepts found in traditional Chinese medicine. The melodies and improvisations represent the energy flowing through the various meridian channels – represented by the muted figures played by the brass instruments – as acupuncture needles are applied to specific points. Degrees of hard and soft dissonance represent the energy affecting the electrical flow of the nervous system.

The pastoral Celtic Cells imagines members of the three revered groups among the medieval Celtic Gauls: bards, diviners and druids as they journey across ancient lands.

Synovial Joints, the centerpiece of the album, is a four-part suite inspired by the different joints that bind the human musculoskeletal system. Although these concepts are used in many different aspects of the music, brief interludes in the music represent saddle joints (2:51 of part I), plane joints (8:06 of part I), ball and socket joints (3:41 of part II), and pivot joints (2:42 of part III), respectively. Camouflage orchestration is also utilized extensively in this suite.

Tempest is evocative of a storm. Alternating episodes wind and rain followed by periods of calm are reflected in the many tempo and mood changes, including the multi-colored rainbow that appears after squalls, i.e., the final chord at 2:37 and 5:39. The piece features a novel compositional form that alternates melodic statements played on saxophone with drum calls.

Harmattan is a dry dusty trade wind that blows through West Africa from the Sahara Desert, which Coleman personally encountered in northern Ghana. These winds produce a surreal, swirling camouflage effect, which he tried to capture in this composition, particularly in the layered orchestration and the way the swirling tonalities melt into each other in asymmetrical phrases. The laid-back ternary feel is reminiscent of the kind of dances in this part of the world.

Nomadic is a musical interpretation of another journey through distant lands, this one a passage through the vast regions of the southern trans-Sahara trade route. This piece re-imagines the horn ensembles of Chad during the time of the ancient Kanem-Bornu Empire with their dancing monophonic melodies.

One of the significant qualities of Heru, among the most important deity in ancient Egyptian religion, is that he takes on many forms. The amorphous compositional nature of Eye of Heru represents the various perspectives of Heru.

Steve Coleman: alto saxophone
Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet
Maria Grand: tenor saxophone
Tim Albright: trombone
Miles Okazaki: guitar
David Bryant: piano
Jen Shyu: vocals
Marcus Gilmore: drums
Anthony Tidd: bass
Greg Chudzik: contrabass
Alex Lipowski: percussion
Nei Sacramento: percussion
Ramón García Pérez: percussion
Mauricio Hererra: percussion
Barry Crawford: piccolo, flute
Rane Moore: clarinet,
bass clarinet
Jeff Missal: trumpet
David Nelson: bass trombone
Kristin Lee: violin
Chris Otto: viola
Jay Campbell: cello

1. Acupuncture Openings

2. Celtic Cells

Synovial Joints (suite):
3. Part I - Hand and Wrist
4. Part II - Hip and Shoulder
5. Part III - Torso
6. Part IV - Head and Neck

7. Tempest

8. Harmattan

9. Nomadic

10. Eye of Heru

total time - 62:03
wydano: 2015-04-21
more info:



Pi Recordings (USA)
Steve Coleman & the Council of Balance's
Synovial Joints
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