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Ergo: As subtle as tomorrow

Read "As subtle as tomorrow" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The premise for this album is based on a succinct Emily Dickenson poem, As Subtle as Tomorrow with the verse allocated to the individual track titles. Subtle is an adjective that parallels the trio's chief mode of operations. The band's muse is nestled somewhere within an existential progressive jazz format, layered with ambient-electronic treatments and hearty doses of improv. They also interlace minimalist sojourns, partly due to pianist's Sam Harris' harmonically driven ostinato phrasings. Thus, appealing melodies often serve as ...

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Ergo: If Not Inertia

Read "If Not Inertia" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

A few decades ago, it wasn't evident that computers could become an integral component to music, other than some experimental persuasions set forth by the likes of eminent modern jazz trombonist George Lewis, who helped pioneer live electronics. But trombonist Brett Sroka carries the torch, yet in a different or, perhaps, more subtle light. With first-call avant-garde guitarist Mary Halvorson injecting her sinewy, odd-tuned phrasings, and acoustic guitarist Sebastian Kruger appearing on one track of If Not Inertia, the band's ...

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Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Read "Multitude, Solitude" reviewed by Elliott Simon

During the past two decades, electronic music has solidified its initial uneasy alliance with acoustic jazz. Newer releases such as Ergo's Multitude, Solitude are able to get past that original awkward balance and meld electronics with jazz improvisation and instrumental technique. The result is a trio that interacts like one but also accesses the broader sound palette and ambience that electronics allow. On most tunes, trombonist Brett Sroka remains at the music's center and in only rare ...

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Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Read "Multitude, Solitude" reviewed by Nic Jones

This is a trio working the electro-acoustic margins, as the instrumental line-up might suggest; and whilst Ergo's music often flirts with ambient notions, there is equally a predominant air of unease about their work, as if by mutual consent they can only reach a kind of uneasy rapprochement with both silence and the moment.

The air of the unresolved--which is also sometimes symptomatic of their work--could similarly be the outcome of shared resolve. Indeed without that air the lengthy “Vessel" ...

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Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Read "Multitude, Solitude" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Keyboardist Carl Maguire is a multifaceted artiste, often-heralded for his work in various jazz-related formats for Between The Lines, MoonJune Records and other progressive record labels. On this trio's second CD, Maguire, trombonist/computer operator Brett Sroka and drummer Shawn Baltazor spawn an experimental muse, where rigid definitions or categorizations, justifiably fall flat. Essentially, the respective artists rely on synergy and intuition to get the job done. And that is a good thing, since the cutting-edge aspects translate into an endearing ...

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Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Read "Multitude, Solitude" reviewed by John Kelman

As jazz leans away from characteristics that so defined its earliest days, groups are emerging with unorthodox instrumental combinations, fleshed out by the vast potential of technological soundscaping. Ergo, at its core, seems as unconventional as they get--trombone, keyboards, drums--creating music that wouldn't have been possible before relatively recent innovations in sound processing and sampling/looping. Its 2005 indie debut, Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005, received significant critical acclaim, making its follow-up on the better-distributed Cuneiform label a sure bet for ...

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Ergo: Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005

Read "Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Ergo, lead by Brett Sroka, has been performing for about a year, and Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005 is a terrific album of sounds, moods and emotions. The trio is completed by Carl Maguire, who recently released the outstanding Floriculture (Between the Lines, 2005), on various electronic keyboards and synthesizers; and Damion Reid, a very fine drummer who had very close relationship with Billy Higgins and has appeared on Robert Glasper's Canvas (Blue Note, 2005). As you ...


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