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Sean Noonan Releases Pavees Dance 'Slide Gate': An Epic Journey Of Transformation And Conflict Through Experimental Jazz Rock

Sean Noonan Releases Pavees Dance 'Slide Gate': An Epic Journey Of Transformation And Conflict Through Experimental Jazz Rock

Courtesy Dirk Eusterbrock


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Sean Noonan
Drummer and composer Sean Noonan, celebrated as a “Rhythmic Storyteller,” unveils his latest release, Slide Gate, marking the third installment from the jazz-rock ensemble Pavees Dance. On the new album, Noonan is once again joined by the original Can vocalist, Malcolm Mooney, the legendary bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma (Ornette Coleman's Prime Time), and the guitarist Ava Mendoza (Unnatural Ways).

Comprised of ten tracks, Slide Gate embarks on a storytelling adventure which revolves around an android's quest to reclaim its humanity. Within a mystical, mysterious realm known as the Slide Gate, the android confronts an illusion of its human past, symbolizing a sanctuary of self-discovery.

The narrative reaches its climax as the android emerges from a portal, undergoing a profound transformation. It enters a secret valley, experiencing a rebirth that returns it to its human origins. Subsequently, the human embarks on a journey back to the Slide Gate, completing a full circle of self-discovery and transformation.

The album’s original concept was developed in Bavaria while Noonan was jamming with producer/songwriter Guenter Janovsky, who encouraged Noonan to create simpler, riff-oriented pieces that particularly would allow Mooney to express himself. “The album’s title, Slide Gate, originated from a song written by Guenter,” Noonan notes. “I further expanded upon it, developing new melodies and harmonies. Only when we felt confident that we’d locked it down did I introduce everything to Malcolm, who went on to compose and improvise his own lyrics, says Noonan.

He continues, “After previewing Tin Man’s Hat in 2022, I felt the urge to take Pavees Dance in a completely new direction than we’d taken with the two previous albums, There’s Always the Night and Tin Man’s Hat. I wanted to shift the focus away from the dominance of composition and place it on highlighting the incredible talents of the musicians involved,” explains Noonan. “On Slide Gate, I made the deliberate choice to return to the guitar trio format of the debut album, as it provides more room for musical expression, allowing more interactive group improvisations.”

These collaborations within Pavees Dance represent a bridge between generations, where experimental pioneers Mooney and Tacuma pass the torch to their innovative, younger counterparts. Slide Gate stands as the electrifying outcome of this convergence, co-produced with the Bavarian songwriter Guenter Janovsky, who also composed three songs with Noonan and is also credited for writing the lyrics on the two tracks sung by Noonan. Mooney wrote all the lyrics for the tracks on which he’s featured.

“I was fortunate to receive mentorship from Jamaaladeen, who helped me with harnessing the natural interactions that drummers and bass players have developed in the American jazz-rock tradition over the decades,” says Noonan. “He encouraged me to compose some ‘less cerebral’ music and to fully utilize the creative talents of the band. The tracks ‘Safe Space,’ ‘Accabadora,’ and ‘Slide Gate Part 2’ were intentionally written to showcase Jamaaladeen’s exceptional bass-playing abilities.”

On the album Noonan pays homage to his many musical influences, including Mooney’s CAN, infusing elements of krautrock specifically into the title track.

Slide Gate is available on all digital platforms and on seannoonanmusic.com. It will also be released on vinyl in a shortened version featuring only seven tracks.

The album masterfully weaves a captivating narrative of self-discovery, conflict, and ultimate transformation, all brought to life through the musical artistry of Sean Noonan and Guenter Janovsky.

About Sean Noonan

Sean Noonan, not just a drummer but a composer and “Rhythmic Storyteller," defies categorization through his unique musical expressions. His compositions merge voice and drum kit, providing a “fifth limb" to contemporary four-limbed drumming, blending the roles of the drummer and the narrator into one cohesive unit.

His musical journey began at Berklee College of Music. He went on to form The HUB, a punk-jazz trio described as “maniacally exhilarating by The Guardian. In 2006, he received a commission from the American Composers Forum, which led to the development of his “wandering folk” theory, in which he explored and adapted folklore from diverse cultural traditions. This period of travel and research resulted in five albums with Brewed by Noon, merging Bardic and Malian Griot traditions.

With a prolific career spanning over 30 albums, Noonan displays his versatility by venturing across diverse genres, from rock opera to jazz-rock. In 2016, he was commissioned for the Zappanation Rock Opera, and released “Tan Man's Hat" by Pavees Dance on Rarenoise Records. In 2022 we saw the release of “Knott Tones" and “Zappanation." In April 2022, Noonan embarked on a six-concert tour with the Ligeti Quartet for the UK premiere of “Bartalk," a cross-genre monodrama delving into the psychological effects of solitary confinement which will be released as a live double album this year.

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Track Listing

Android; Slide Gate; Safe Space; We Will Take Our Minds Back; Holy Goat; Accabadora; Illusion; Secret Valley; We're Younger Now; Slide Gate Part 2


Album information

Title: Slide Gate | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: SNMR1011


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