“Looms in the Mist” by Johannes Wallmann
The Coasts (Self Produced) by Johannes Wallmann
Johannes Wallmann, piano, composer; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Josh Roseman, trombone; Marcus Rojas, tuba; Sean Conly, bass; Fred Kennedy, drums
Johannes Wallmanns fourth album as a leader features his NYC-based Brasstet East, an innovative ensemble comprised of trumpet, trombone, and tuba, together with Wallmanns working piano trio. The groups instrumentation is nimble enough to allow for highly interactive ensemble play (such as the New Orleans-inspired collective improvisation of "The Sweet Minute"), yet rich enough in timbre to suggest a much larger brass choir ("Looms in the Mist").
Following two prior suites composed for the Brasstet, the America Suite (2001), which explored the tradition of American Spirituals, and the Imperial Suite (2003), a more aggressively avant-garde anti-war statement (both of which were commissioned by the North River Music, a series of new music presented at Renee Weiler Recital Hall in NYC), Wallmanns third suite for the Brasstet was inspired by his impressions of coastal communities. The Coasts was composed shortly after Wallmann, who grew up on Canadas Vancouver Island moved back to the West Coast (San Francisco Bay Area) after 15 years on the East Coast (Boston and New York).
Coastal life, both rural and urban, is shaped by rhythms imposed by the ebb and flow of the oceans and by the human connection to the oceans as a source of food, transportation, employment, adventure, and identity. In a world of rising oceans and drying land, Wallmanns music finds inspiration in elements both timeless and current. While the personnel of the Brasstet has changed over the years, the group has always featured some of the finest creative improvisers in New York. The current edition draws heavily on some of the downtown jazz scenes most accomplished performers, who navigate even the more complex odd- meter compositions of The Coasts with ease and playfulness.
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