Hailing from the fertile scene of Portland, Oregon, the Blue Cranes create music that is as invigorating as it is disarming. Working a thin line between improvisation and catchiness, Blue Cranes arrive at a unique place. They have found a way to make exploration seem like the most enjoyable process around.
The group, composed of Reed Wallsmith (alto saxophone), Joe “Sly Pig” Cunningham (tenor saxophone), Rebecca Sanborn (keyboards), Keith Brush (acoustic bass), and Ji Tanzer (drums), began working together as a quintet in 2007 (originally recording as a quartet in 2006). Over the past three years, the band has begun to reap the rewards of a collective articulation: a truly individual sound that depends on the contributions of each member.
Blue Cranes have performed at rock, punk and jazz festivals down the West Coast. They have shared the stage with John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, Wayne Horvitz’s Sweeter Than The Day, Michael White, The Youngs, Thruster!, Cuong Vu, Portland Cello Project, The Tiptons, Mi Ami, Priestbird and Horse Feathers. Clubs regularly showcase the Blue Cranes on tour, and the band has played in-studio sessions at the region’s top radio stations for creative music, including Seattle’s KEXP and Portland’s KOPB.
Blue Cranes' newest album, Observatories, will be released nationally on September 14, 2010, with a California sneak preview tour August 18-26, and a Portland album release show on August 28. It features seven original compositions and a cover of Wayne Horvitz's 'Love, Love, Love.' The band is joined on this album by the dynamic Los Angeles-based guitarist Timothy Young (Wayne Horvitz, Thruster), Kyleen King on viola, Anna Fritz on cello (Portland Cello Project), Marilee Hord on violin and the Paxselin horns (Mary Sue Tobin - alto sax, Chad Hensel - bass clarinet).
"Consider the band a brainier kinfolk to the indie rock scene, and with influences from rock and other areas, but with a solid foundation in the vocabulary of jazz." - JOSEF WOODARD, Santa Barbara News-Press