A Noise From The Deep Podcast Episode 36: Soweto Kinch

Posted by: russell on August 24, 2016 @ 11:50 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Podcast

Soweto14Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic – including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003. In October 2007, he won his second MOBO Award, at the O2 Arena, London where he was announced as the winner in the Best Jazz Act category- fending off stiff competition from the likes of Wynton Marsalis.

His skills as a hip hop MC and producer have also garnered him recognition in the urban music world: having supported the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele and TY, and being championed by the likes of Mos Def, Rodney P and BBC 1-Xtra’s Twin B.

Kinch’s projects also extend beyond recorded albums. Writing the score for Jonzi D’s Hip Hop Theatre production Markus the Sadist (2010), and Sampad’s In The Further Soil (2010), a dance-theatre. Kinch also wrote and acted in the latter piece, which toured throughout India for a month.

Most recently, he has collaborated with the BBC and Drum and Bass producer Goldie. By Royal Appointment is 3-part prime time reality music show, following Goldie, Soweto, Guy Chamber and Ms Dynamite as they discover and coach a group of 12 vulnerable young mentees towards their first live performance before HM Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace. Kinch, describe how the programme (due for transmission on the 23rd February, 2011) really allowed him to extended his work as an curator and mentor, “it was a radically fresh approach to discovering and nurturing new talent, and an antedote to the usual pop formulae and manufactured music.”

The Flyover Show is Soweto’s flagship project. Currently in its 5th year, this groundbreaking daylong, music and arts festival takes place in its unusual setting beneath a motorway flyover in Birmingham. 2011’s years event continued a theme from 2010, celebrating black male icons who’ve been influential in successful in redefining Britishness. Featuring artists as divergent as Goldie, Akala and Omar the festival continues to build on its reputation, bringing world class rostra to an often neglected corner of inner city Birmingham – its previous guests having included Bashy, Ms Dynamite, Janet Kay, Ty, Speech Debelle and Jonzi D to name a few.

Following on from links made during his time in India and South Africa, Soweto is preparing to extend the The Flyover Show concept, globally: taking breakout performances abroad and working with artists from the Dharavi slum of Mumbai and in Johannesburg. The vision and impact of this idea continues to grow, transforming derelict and abandoned spaces into exciting creative spaces, and presenting a new model of urban renewal.

Kinch also continues to curate seasons of The Live Box, a Birmingham based jam session and showcase that has been run from venues across Birmingham for over 9 years. Moreover, he was invited as a special guest curator at the Harrogate Festival 2011.

Soweto’s 2010 release The New Emancipation drew its inspiration from 19th century work songs and early blues, exploring the modern resonances of the emancipation story. From debt/wage slavery, to creative oppression in the music industry and ideas of race in a post-Obama age it combined this rich musical inheritance and revisited it with stellar jazz ensemble and modern hip hop production. Number one on the Rise Best Albums of 2010, the album featured a prestigious international lineup, including Byron Wallen, Justin Brown (US), Eska Mtungwazi, Femi Temowo, Shabaka Hutchings and Harry Brown among others.

The ‘Legend of Mike Smith’ tour sees Soweto Kinch presenting all new material in anticipation of a new album of the same name. The performance draws on Dante and The Seven Deadly sins, telling the tale of a young MC caught in a very modern world of temptation. Featuring a core trio including Karl Rasheed Abel on bass and Shaney Forbes on Drums the subject matter allows Kinch to explore the full breadth of human emotion in Hip Hop and jazz form. It will be touring extensively from February 2013 onwards.

‘I’m really excited about these shows, the stripped trio format allows me more harmonic freedom and space to deliver lyrics. Moreover, I’m excited about integrating new things into the show, such as tenor sax and live looping’ – Soweto Kinch

‘A real tour de force – a contemporary take on The Seven Deadly Sins’. John Fordham – The Guardian ****

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New Sanctuary | Agosto

Posted by: russell on August 12, 2016 @ 1:07 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Subscriber Downloads

 

Agosto. Maybe the most “straight ahead” piece in the batch drives us to mutability on all levels. Listen to the way Susie shifts subtly between tempos and feels. Listen to the way Ribot hints at chord comping and walking bass. Listen to the way the cup mute gives off some 1930s steam. I stole that mute from my middle school. I still use it. I’ve never told anyone. Sorry.

Join us if you haven’t and get the rest of the New Sanctuary tracks as they come out.

Best,

Dave

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Greg Ward to play Hyde Park Jazz Festival Sept. 24

Posted by: mark on August 4, 2016 @ 11:39 am
Filed under: Artists, Greg Ward

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In support of their new release, Touch My Beloved’s Thought, Greg Ward & 10 Tongues will play the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago on September 24th. For more information on the event, go here.

You can pick up the new record at Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon.

Details:

Greg Ward & 10 Tongues
Saturday, September 24, 4:45-5:45pmWest Stage

Personnel:

Greg Ward – saxophone
Tim Halderman – saxophone
Keefe Jackson – saxophone
Norman Palm – trombone
Christopher Davis – trombone
Ben LaMar – cornet
Russ Johnson – trumpet
Dennis Luxion – piano
Matt Ulery – bass
Marcus Evans – drums

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Press Roundup for Dark Territory

Posted by: mark on July 20, 2016 @ 10:28 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Releases

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Dark Territory, the new album by Dave Douglas & High Risk, has been receiving some great press. As the band begins their European tour today, check out these quotes on the record.

NYTimes

“Mr. Douglas, the trumpeter and composer, renewed his smartly probing engagement with electronic music on “High Risk,” an album featuring Shigeto, a beat-minded producer, along with Jonathan Maron on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. The same coalition just released an engaging sequel, “Dark Territory,” … expanding on its designs with spontaneous interplay.”
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

NewYorker

“…Douglas fearlessly follows his muse farther down the rabbit hole, to a place where jazz improvisation collides with contemporary sonics.”
– Steve Futterman, The New Yorker

Billboard

“Prolific jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas has always been an experimentalist—he’s collaborated with everyone from the Trisha Brown Dance Company to Tom Waits—but his most recent project, High Risk, might just be his most eclectic yet.”
Billboard

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“By trade, Dave Douglas is a trumpeter, composer, and fearless explorer of jazz and other types of music that can be both composed and improvised (they often lie somewhere in between).  The group’s individual talents allow the band to put itself in ‘high risk’ situations that ultimately pay dividends in equally high rewards.”
EARMILK

AllAboutJazz

“Dave Douglas’s second release with his electronic group ‘High Risk’ is true to form of the trumpeter’s modus operandi to avoid repeating the same thing twice. From art-noise to spastic dub tempos curious themes run the gamut with each track presenting something unique.”
AllAboutJazz.com

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“His volume of output and clarity of vision is highly impressive.”
Simon Rentner, WBGO

irish-times

“Dave Douglas and his ‘High Risk’ quartet are doing is what jazz musicians do best: taking the sounds and influences around them, personalising them, adapting them and moulding them into an expressive language.”
The Irish Times

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“Dark Territory is a terrific album—dark, moody, virtuosic in a manner both combustible and streamlined.”
Stereophile

The album is available via Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon.

The High Risk European tour takes place July 20-29. Details here.

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High Risk Tours Europe July 20-29

Posted by: mark on July 18, 2016 @ 4:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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In support of the new record Dark Territory, Dave Douglas & High Risk will tour Europe July 20-29, with shows in France, Spain, Germany, England and Italy.


The group will feature electronic artist Shigeto, bassist Jonathan Maron and special guest Ian Chang from Son Lux on drums.

Check out the complete schedule:

Dave Douglas & High Risk – European Tour July 2016

07.20 Narbonne, France | Palais Des Archevêques
07.21 San Sebastian, Spain | 51 Heineken Jazzaldia
07.22 Souillac, France | Place Pierre Betz
07.23 Munich, Germany | Unterfahrt Jazzclub
07.24 Madrid, Spain | Terraza Teatro Galileo
07.25 London, England | Pizza Express Jazz Club
07.26 London, England | Pizza Express Jazz Club
07.27 Rome, Italy | Casa del Jazz
07.29 Marciac, France | L’Astrada

Read some of the great press about the new record here.

You can purchase the new album via Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon.

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Linda Oh plays the 55 Bar July 18!

Posted by: mark on @ 11:08 am
Filed under: Artists, Linda Oh

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On a break from touring with the Pat Metheny Quartet, bassist Linda Oh brings her group into New York’s 55 Bar on Monday, July 18.

The band will feature saxophonist Troy Roberts, pianist Fabian Almazan and drummer Justin Brown.

Check out her Greenleaf releases Initial Here and Sun Pictures. And look for Linda’s new album in early 2017.

See you out there!

Linda Oh July 18 55bar

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Release Day for Greg Ward and Dave Douglas!

Posted by: mark on July 8, 2016 @ 1:52 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Greg Ward, Releases

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Today we’re releasing CDs by Greg Ward and Dave Douglas!

Greg, who was recently called “a strong narrative improviser with a keening tone” by the New York Times, presents his 10 Tongues ensemble on Touch My Beloved’s Thought. The album, inspired by Mingus’ Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and composed for musicians and dancers, and was recorded live in Chicago in 2015.

The album can be purchased on Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon.

You can hear this music live at release shows in New York on July 8 (tonight!) and in Chicago on July 29th and 30th.

Dark Territory, the second release from Dave’s electronic-inspired High Risk project featuring Shigeto, Jonathan Maron, and Mark Guiliana, was originally released on vinyl in April. This new album, which recieved a five star review in the Irish times, is also being premiered on Billboard for a limited time.

You can pick up a copy of the CD from Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon. Vinyl is also available from our store.

The group tours Europe July 20-22 featuring drummer Ian Chang from Son Lux,

Enjoy all this new music!

DarkTerritory_LP_CoverArt_LoRes

 

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Artist Update: Greg Ward

Posted by: mark on July 7, 2016 @ 12:40 pm
Filed under: Artist Update, Artists, Greg Ward, Releases

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Saxophonist and composer Greg Ward is set to release Touch My Beloved’s Thought, his debut album for Greenleaf Music. The record is receiving some great press and Greg is getting ready for a New York City album release show on July 8 at the Jazz Gallery.

For this artist update, Greg discusses the making of the album, Friday’s album release show, and lessons learned from band leading.

This is your third album as a leader and with a ten piece band and fifteen dancers, this project has been a large undertaking. How was the process of making this record different than previous albums?

There are two important factors that made this project different from other recordings I’ve made. First, Touch My Beloved’s Thought began as a commission from the city of Chicago’s Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz series, which was facilitated by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Mike Reed approached me with the idea of creating a piece that would be inspired by Mingus’ Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, which would incorporate dance. Second, I was paired with an amazing choreographer, Onye Ozuzu. Together we created an artistic voice that bridged dance and music equally. Throughout the entire process we had about six months to work through different ideas. Onye would make videos of herself and her colleagues dancing to excerpts of Mingus’ music or to my original music. This process continued and the piece came together quickly. Usually, composing is such a solitary thing and that’s why this was so exciting for me.

You’ve done performances with and without dancers. What does the dance element bring to the performances? And with those experiences, what do you notice when you perform the material without dancers?

Well, this will actually be the first performance without dancers, besides a radio performance we did in Chicago. The dancers become a part of the music and I feel that when you see their bodies moving with the different melodies and rhythms that something new is created. For example, in an orchestra, when two instruments play a melody in unison and blend their timbres perfectly, a new instrument is created. That was our goal from the beginning. We will miss the dancers on the performance but I’m confident that the music will still be very exciting.

Friday’s album release show will feature some of the musicians who played on the album, as well as some New York musicians. Can you tell us a bit about the musicians in this ensemble and what we can expect at the Jazz Gallery performance?

The band on the recording features a cast of super-creative musicians that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with for years. For example bassist Jason Roebke and tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman have been long-collaborators in Mike Reed’s People Places and Things. This is one of the rare playing situations that I’ve been in for over a decade and the rapport we have from all of the tours, recordings, and hangs is very special. Likewise, for drummer, Marcus Evans, and trombonist, Norman Palm. Both of these musicians have been in my early bands in Chicago and we’ve known each other for almost 20 years. In 2012, I had the pleasure of touring Africa with pianist Dennis Luxion, who is incredible in whatever situation you put him in.

I did get to include a few musicians that I haven’t played with but was eager to create a situation for us to make music together including trumpeter Russ Johnson, cornetist Ben LaMar Gay, bass trombonist Christopher Davis, and saxophonist Keefe Jackson. All of these folks have added so much to this project.

For the NYC show, tenor saxophonist Lucas Pino, trombonist Willie Applewhite, bass trombonist Max Seigel, and drummer Kenneth Salters, will join us. I’ve had the pleasure of making music with most all of these musicians in other settings during my stay in NYC and I’m looking forward to what happens on the stage on Friday.

You are busy with various projects as a performer and educator. How does your work as a leader impact your work in other situations?

When you lead a project it’s important to have the clearest idea of what you’re trying to create so you can relay this information to your collaborators easily. From this, I always try to understand what other bandleaders are trying to execute so that I can be the best teammate. The same goes for education; meeting students where they are and helping them reach their goals is very important to me.

You’ve recently made the move back to Chicago after spending some time living in New York City. What is like to be part of the thriving Chicago music scene?

Being back in Chicago is really amazing. Since I left in 2009, the scene has developed quite a bit. There are new clubs, a lot of new amazing musicians and new music. I’m excited to be apart of a scene that has so many interesting voices. Folks are trying things and this is inspiring!

Greg Ward & 10 Tongues play the Jazz Gallery on Friday, July 8th with sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Tickets can be reserved online in advance or purchased at the door.

You can pre-order the album at Bandcamp and iTunes.

The Chicago album release shows will take place on July 29 and 30 at the Green Mill. More details here.

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New Sanctuary | Luglio

Posted by: russell on July 1, 2016 @ 5:00 am
Filed under: Dave Douglas, Subscriber Downloads

 

All of these short ‘mini-compositions’ are meant to point the band in a direction. With improvisers like Susie and Marc a small hint is all you need. The short ‘head’ is played at the end of this track, following unaccompanied improvisations from each player. I remember this being really fun to play, and kind of mysterious—there is only one take—but I also remember looking forward to some live performances (coming in November and next year!) to open it up and explore it some more.

Thanks to those who’ve joined and are following this series. I hope you enjoy hearing each new piece as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. We’re truly grateful for your support and we look forward to the new projects coming up in the future.

Best,

Dave

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Press Roundup for Touch My Beloved’s Thought

Posted by: mark on June 30, 2016 @ 2:36 pm
Filed under: Greg Ward, Releases

The reviews for Greg Ward‘s Touch My Beloved ‘s Thought are starting to come in. Here’s a selection:

Ben Ratliff laud’s the album in his recent piece on the Chicago jazz scene:

NYTimes

“…Mr. Ward’s album, a six-part suite for 11 musicians, is a reckoning with Charles Mingus’s 1963 album “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady.” “Touch” was written to accompany a dance piece by the choreographer Onye Ozuzu, and it extrapolates from parts of the old work; Mr. Ward, a strong narrative improviser with a keening tone, leads the ensemble through sweeping melodies.”
-Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

NYC Jazz Record

Ward isn’t just inspired by the earlier work, he’s also created a piece imbued with the Mingus aesthetic, full of such tropes and gestures as dynamic and tempo acceleration; multiple lines creating polyphony; solos building and being supported by growingly insistent, muscular ensemble backgrounds; and the controlled cacophony of ‘free’ group improvisation.”
-George Kanzler, The New York City Jazz Record

Read the entire review here.

Step Tempest 1

One can marvel at the arrangements, how the composer/arranger shares the melody among the participants, how the solos naturally rise out of the music, how each musician’s voice counts, and how the ensemble gels in front of a live audience…”
-Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

Read the entire review here.

You can pre-order the album at Bandcamp and iTunes ahead of the July 8 release.

And don’t miss the album release shows in New York (July 8) and Chicago (July 29-30).

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