Back in 2014, trumpeter John Raymond, alto saxophonist Alex LoRe, bassist Noam Wiesenberg, and drummer Colin Stranahan gathered in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn to test out their chemistry and let the music flow. Four years later, after some more sporadic get-togethers and a bump or two in the road, we have their debut.
Opening with the buoyant and clear-headed Kenny Wheeler tune that serves as the name (and something of a directional beacon) for this collective quartet, these men immediately get down to the art of collaboration. While all four members of this band have received top-billing at various times and in different places in their respective careers, their willingness to fold themselves within a single, ego-less shape here is apparent from the start. It turns out to be one of the group's greatest strengths. Whether presenting a peaceable flow on Weisenberg's "Capricorn Lady," supportive sentiments and married (or twined) lines during LoRe's menacing "#14," an ethereal yet motile mindset in Stranahan's Paul Motian-indebted "Motian Sickness," or hip angularity through Raymond's swinging "Landmarks," these musicians move fluidly as one.
In addition to highlighting the rapport-of-four through original music (and the Wheeler opener), the kind folks of Kind Folk further the picture of musical friendship by presenting a few duo miniaturesa drum and trumpet tussle dubbed "Break," a pensive "Future Self" for two horns, and a searching "Silence" for alto and drumsand closing the program with Charlie Haden's poignant "Silence." Those extra touches of variety help to broaden the picture without ever distorting it.
Keeping a quartet like this together is no small feat, but musicians like this always seem to find a way when the music truly resonates with them. These men have a real affinity for one another, and it shows in their every interaction. Kind Folk's eponymous debut is truly a selfless statement of the highest order.
Track Listing: Kind Folk; Capricorn Lady; Break; #14; Landmarks; Future Self; Motian Sickness; Glimmer; Waiting For The Open Door; Silence.
Personnel: John Raymond: trumpet, flugelhorn; Alex LoRe: alto saxophone; Noam Wiesenberg: bass; Colin Stranahan: drums.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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