Currently based in Oakland, California, alto saxophonist Aram Shelton initially rose to prominence as a member of the fertile Chicago jazz scene, where he resided from 1999-2005. His tenure in the Windy City resulted in a number of lasting relationships; one of the most notable is his Quartet with tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Tim Daisy. Featuring some of Chicago's finest young improvisers, Everything for Somebody is the group's sophomore release, following These Times, its 2010 ...read more
Alto saxophonist Aram Shelton cannot break his Chicago habit. We're not talking that monkey woman Joe Williams used to sing about, back in the day. Shelton, who left Chicago a few years back for the Bay area of California, returns to the windy city often, both physically and for its sound.His second quartet recording, like These Times (Singlespeed Music, 2010) lands smack-dab on the Midwestern map. The saxophonist recruited three Chicagoans--saxophonist Keefe Jackson (Jason Stein Quartet, Josh Berman, ...read more
The avant-garde schema is sort of an open-world platform where almost anything goes. But Incline is an album that sheds a radiant light on the sax-drums duo format, featuring an inordinate degree of textural components and a seamless integration of two like-minded artists, performing on similar planes. Here, Swedish drummer Kjell Nordeson and American alto saxophonist Aram Shelton opt for a reclusive setting, tucked away in the mountains at a cabin in Lake Tahoe, NV. Perhaps all or most distractions ...read more
It is astonishing to consider just how many differing ensembles in which a modern jazz musician might participate. Take, for instance, the players heard in alto saxophonist Aram Shelton's Arrive. Besides his own band Rolldown, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz can be heard in seven other bands, including those of Rob Mazurek, Mike Reed, and Nicole Mitchell. Likewise, Tim Daisy (Ken Vandermark's favorite drummer) lists thirteen active bands, and bassist Jason Roebke, a half dozen. For his part, Shelton (who splits his ...read more
A longtime fixture of the fertile Chicago jazz scene, Aram Shelton's relocation to Oakland, California has not diminished the alto saxophonist's presence among his peers in the Windy City. Courtesy of a rigorous touring schedule, Shelton maintains memberships in numerous ensembles, including Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown, the collective ensemble Fast Citizens, and Arrive, his quartet with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy--three of Chicago's finest improvisers.Recorded in 2008 after a two week tour of the ...read more
It is easy to admire the audacity of Aram Shelton's quartet. Not that the reedman writes insolent and defiant music; but given the attention-grab improvisers are facing today, he is so very loyal to the melody. This group is quartet subset of his Fast Citizens sextet, minus trumpet and cello, here, pairing things down to tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Marc Riordan. While melody plays a large part in his other projects--like Dragons 1976, ...read more
Fast Citizens may encapsulate a significant shift that's been occurring in creative improvised music over the last few decades, with the collective nature of music by a sextet of musicians who have been around long enough to qualify, more-or-less, as veterans.
This is such an integral aspect of what they do, they make the case that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example, on the opening title track, both Keefe Jackson, on tenor sax, and ...read more
The Fast Citizens was formed by Keefe Jackson in 2002, who led the band on its debut recording Ready Everyday (Delmark Records). The sextet rotates leaders, and this time around it's led by saxophonist/clarinetist Aram Shelton. Shelton is based in Oakland, California but also has an ongoing musical relationship with Chicago. Hence the title, Two Cities.
One of the core strengths of this group is its ability to transform the shape and texture of a composition, doing so with a ...read more