202

Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Saxophonist Colin Stetson's New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges evokes the quote by cowboy philosopher and former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

First question, how does he do this? Recorded without loops or overdubs (except for one track, where he plays multiple French horns), Stetson applies a certain logic and order to the physically demanding act of playing a saxophone by way of circular breathing. Stetson's use of continuous sounds—on alto, tenor, or gigantic bass saxophone—without pause, include the rhythmic tapping of the keys, breathes, fingerings, vocalizations, overblown sounds, echoes and reverberations. Stetson is a one-man band, maybe even a one-man studio.

All of his orchestration was captured in the studio, using 20 microphones. The effect is one that mimics a small band or overdubbed tour de force.

Stetson's extraordinary technique has been heard in the bands Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery, on recordings by Tom Waits, and the pop bands Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio, and, currently, with Bon Iver.

He released Volume 1 (Aagoo Records, 2007) a few years back, but with this second volume he has enlarged and strengthened his palate. From the opening, ocean liner horn blasts of "Awake On Foreign Shores" to the danceable (in your head) "Red Horse (Judges III)," he presents an extremely accessible sound. He can spin out Steve Reich-like minimal passages like "The Stars In His Head Dark Lights Remix)" or Philip Glass-inspired repetition on "From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice." Stetson is inspired as much by Evan Parker as he is Jimi Hendrix. With the help of spoken word goddess Laurie Anderson on four tracks, he opens the sonic panorama into even something larger and more imaginative. With vocalist Shara Worden, the pair delivers a simmering blues on "Lord I Just Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes," counterbalancing the gospel with the rattle and hum of Stetson's vocalized horn. It is pure revelation.

Track Listing

Awake On Foreign Shores; Judges; The Stars In His Head (Dark Lights Remix); All The Days I've Missed You (ILAIJ I); From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice; A Dream Of Water; Home; Lord I Just Can''t Keep From Crying Sometimes; Clothed In The Skin Of The Dead; All The Colors Bleached To White (ILAIJ II); Red Horse (Judges ll); The Righteous Wrath Of An Honorable Man; Fear Of The Unknown And The Blazing Sun; In Love And In Justice.

Personnel

Colin Stetson: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass saxophones; french horn (4); Laurie Anderson: vocals (2, 6, 10, 13); Shara Worden: vocals (8, 13).

Album information

Title: New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Constellation

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.