New Red Toucan Releases: "Iro Iro" and "Nad / Reed"


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Two brand new releases from Red Toucan Records, a lost gem and a large ensemble to be discovered.

Iro Iro Steve Cohn: piano, shakuhachi, perc.
Masahiko Kono: Trombone
Tomas Ulrich: Cello
Kevin Norton: Drums, vibes & perc.

“The Iro Iro band was formed during a period when I wished to bring some new ensembles together and used the Knitting Factory in New York to do it. I was currently still working with my chamber unit formed for the 1993 Miller Theater concert with Bass, french horn, violin and piano, shakuhachi etc. I think my work with Thurman Barker was still in my mind. I've always loved the sound of vibes or marimba together with piano. But I was searching for new members. I became aware of Kevin Norton and checked him out at one of his gigs. I always reflect on the vibration of the person not just their music. Kevin had a nice spiritual side and I felt he would lend himself well to the shakuhachi and other ethnic and percussion instruments I use and also he played the orchestral percussion, drums and vibes like Thurman Barker.

The cello was exploring without bass and Kono had a Japanese simplicity to his playing and beautiful tone. His electronics were another avenue. Tomas had a good relationship with Kevin as they had also played many times together. Truly this ensembles in my opinion became magical almost immediately. The hichiriki and cello, the shakuhachi and trombone vibes cello. The playful exploring and the power of the blues and jazz feel."

“Nad / Reed"

Szilard Mezei Ensemble

Five compositions for a 14 piece ensemble written by Szilard Mezei

“The expression Nd (Reed) comes from a Hungarian riddle about a child who heals the broken leg of a stork with “whistle, drum and reed fiddle". The material for this album is the third part of the trilogy whose CDs are titled as Whistle, Drum and Reed. The complete material tries to open a wide perspective which embraces contemporary classical music (Hep 1, Stairs of Cassavetes) , Eastern and Hungarian traditional and folk music (Wooden Sword, Circle Saw, Flat Ground, Rain Horses, Petition) and afro American traditions(Jungle Cat, Circle Saw, Hep2, Flat Ground). Naturally, these inspirations are not separated within the music. As far as the musical aspect of the material is concerned, I can say that it is a summary of the traditions that were defining for me, without the intention of being a comprehensive statement or retrospection. I was inspired by the opportunity of working with a larger band."

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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