August 19th, 2011

Frode Gjerstad Trio at the Carousel Lounge August 24

Epistrophy Arts is proud to present the return appearance of Norwegian improvised music heavyweights Frode Gjerstad Trio on Wednesday August 24.

Carousel Lounge (1110 East 52nd Street, Austin, Texas 78723-3007)  map

Frode Gjerstad, alto sax, clarinets

Jon Rune Strom, bass

Paal Nilssen Love, drums

Drawing heavily upon the energy of the free-jazz continuum as defined by Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Frode Gjerstad is a pioneer of Norwegian improvised music. His various ensembles have served as a training ground for the current (and most vital) generation of Norwegian experimental musicians. Gjerstad first came to prominence with British percussionist John Stevens’ group in the 1980s, and later played in a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. His career has spanned over 30 years and has included collaborations with many of the leading lights of improvised and experimental music including Peter Brötzmann, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and noise musician Lasse Marhaug. Powerhouse drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is no stranger to adventurous Austin music audiences. He has taken part in some of Epistrophy Arts’ most noted presentations including sold out performances by The Thing, The Peter Brotzmann Tentet, and Atomic. Nilssen-Love has established himself as a powerful and dynamic musician through his wide ranging collaborations with leading improvisors Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee and left-field rock artists like Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke,the Ex’s Andy and Terrie, and Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto.

February 11th, 2011

April is Jazz appreciation month!

The world-renowned Amsterdam-based Instant Composers Pool (ICPOrchestra - “Arguably the most dynamic, unpredictable and just-plain-fun jazz ensemble on any continent. iq option New Zealand (Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe) - brings the cream of the crop of the Dutch jazz scene to Austin to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month on April 7.

Thursday, April 7
doors 7:30 - music 8:00PM
Austin Art + Music Partnership (AAMP),
411 Monroe St. West   map
Austin, TX 78704
advance tickets: $16, available at End of An Ear, Waterloo Records, Trailer Space records. $20 @ door.
ICP Orchestra group photo
The 10-piece, Instant Composers Pool (ICPOrchestra has earned worldwide acclaim for its inventiveness, musical genius, and unpredictable stage antics. A collective of Dutch improvisers and composers, ICP was formed in 1967 by Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, and Willem Breuker to further the cause of experimental, category-bending music. The current line-up consists of 10 of the most inventive artists from around the globe, truly exemplifying the cosmopolitan and relentlessly creative drive that has animated the collective since its founding. ICP features Michael Moore, alto saxophone + clarinet; Ab Baars, tenor saxophone + clarinet; Tobias Delius, tenor saxophone + clarinet; Thomas Heberer, trumpet; Woller Wierbos, trombone; Misha Mengelberg, piano; Mary Oliver, violin; Tristan Honsinger, cello; Ernst Glerum, bass; Han Bennink, drums.

The group’s most recent album ICP 049 earned the number one spot on Francis Davis’ “Best Jazz Albums of 2010” list for The Village Voice. “The latest, typically superb effort from this 10-member Dutch outfit … [is] as swank and precise as it is rollicking, and knowingly evocative of both Ellington and the wildest and woolliest free jazz,” commented Davis. As their recent video for STEIGERPIJP (2010) proves, ICP Orchestracontinues to combine their robust playfulness with rigorous musical exploration. “Improvising is like everyday life, it’s like crossing the street,” proclaims ICP drummer Han Bennink.

Instant Composers Pool Orchestra blurs the lines between improvisation and composition with their distinctive, and oftentimes theatrical, practice of “instant composing,” while juxtaposing historically disparate music styles with wit and brilliance. From ragtime to swing, composed pieces to improvisation, bop to free jazz, classical to carnivalesque, the ICP Orchestra continues to be at the forefront of the creative music scene that they have been so influential in founding, proliferating, and supporting over the last four decades.

Misha Mengelberg is one of the music world’s true originals.  A key figure within Amsterdam’s jazz and improvised music scene, Mengelberg has been a pianist, composer and bandleader for over four decades. “Of the Dutch jazz improvisers who emerged 30 years ago, Mr. Mengelberg is one of the greatest, and his career has embodied the eccentric humor and structural experimentation associated with Dutch jazz.” - Ben Ratliff,New York Times.

Percussionist Han Bennink is one of the central figures of modern jazz in Europe. Combining drama and wit with iconoclastic virtuosity and rhythmic imagination, Bennink’s performances are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.  Over the years, he has collaborated with everyone from Eric Dolphy and Johnny Griffin to Myra Melford, Dave Douglas and Eugene Chadbourne. “Han Bennink explodes every drummer cliché, rambunctiously devouring free-jazz bombast and subtle trad swing.” - Ken Micallef, Modern Drummer.

For the first 10 minutes of the ICP Orchestra’s early set at Tonic on Tuesday night, the pianist Misha Mengelberg and the drummer Han Bennink indulged in an improvised duet, something they have been doing together for roughly 40 years. Their styles were complementary, if a bit bizarrely so. Mr. Mengelberg gave the impression of a man groping for the doorknob in a darkened room. Mr. Bennink occupied the same room, but with a different temperament, impatiently and heedlessly knocking things around. __That somewhat comedic contrast has always characterized Mr. Mengelberg’s rapport with Mr. BenninkŠ transported the song from crisp Ellingtonian swing (circa 1930’s) into cacophonous group improvisation (late 60’s). In that moment, and on an equally immersive rumba, ICP lived up to its name; not just the first two letters, but also P, for ‘pool.’”- Nate Chinen, New York Times

“If there was a facet of jazz expression that the ICP Orchestra didn’t address Wednesday night at HotHouse, it probably wasn’t worth mentioning. Practically every twist on the music - from 19th Century ragtime to 21st Century free-form experimentation - eventually came to the fore, and considering that this magnificent Dutch band has been swinging for decades, the sheer vitality of its explorations into American and European jazz vocabularies may have caught some listeners by surprise. Jazz organizations that last this long don’t typically convey as much intellectual curiosity, stylistic reach and technical daring as the ICP (Instant Composers Pool) band did in every piece on its first set. Each of the evening’s many miniatures, in fact, bristled with strange and provocative juxtapositions of style and musical language, a blues lament giving way to a series of fierce dissonances, an easy swing tempo abruptly interrupted by passages of seeming rhythmic anarchy…Long may they thunder.”- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

and follow us on Facebook or Twitter for up to the minute information.  ICP Orchestra STEIGERPIJP (music video)

This project is funded in part by the City of Austin Through the Cultural Arts Division and Individual Contributions.

June 18th, 2010

Thing with Joe McPhee

Epistrophy Arts is proud to present one of the most thrilling and exhilirating bands in any genre as we bring our 2010 season to a close on Sunday June 27 with the heavy-hitting Scandinavian group THE THING joined by special guest elder statesman JOE MCPHEE for their “Smoked Meat & BBQ Tour” that finds the band visiting their favorite Southern eating environs - the Smoked Meat Festival in Ville Platte, LA and Ruby’s BBQ in Austin, TX - all while burning up southern stages with their take-no-prisoners punk-rock approach to free-jazz.

What:  The Thing with Joe McPhee
Where:  Space12 3121 E 12th Street  Austin, TX 78702
When:  Sunday June 27. 7:30 PM.  doors 7PM
$15 tickets available at the door.  or via Paypal to pg@epistrophyarts.org
a portion of proceeds benefit Inside Books Project. Discounted admission in exchange for book donation to Inside Books.

PDF copy of Thing flyer


“Tapping into rock’s most primal forces with a fire and fury that’s something to behold” MOJO

“The Thing Convert nouveau punk and vintage garage-rock into a roaring scream up, but the sheer energy and love of the music     keep gimmickry at bay” UNCUT

“The sheer power they can generate from wood, metal, breath and muscle is stunning” BBC

“Absurdly cool.” DJ Magazine

Joe McPhee - reeds, trumpet
Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten - bass
Paal Nilssen-Love - drums
* saxophonist Mats Gustafsson will not be joining the group on this tour because of a family emergency.

about The Thing:

Free Jazz ecstasy meets Garage Rock Intensity. Scandinavian power trio The Thing blends the spontaneity and imagination of classic free jazz with the emotional immediacy of underground garage rock. With acoustic traditional jazz instrumentation, the three young Scandinavians can match the power of the fiercest rock band. The Thing’s repertoire consists of 60’s era new-jazz (Don Cherry, Ayler, James Blood Ulmer, David Murray) and reinterpretations of underground rock classics (PJ Harvey, White Stripes, Sonics, Lighting Bolt). This is no watered down jazz-rock. The Thing take the most uncompromising aspects of both genres and turn up the heat..

Individually and collectively, The Thing’s genre defying spirit has led to collaborations with a wide range of today’s most creative musicians including Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore, Otomo Yoshihide, Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzmann and many others.  In 2009 they released the critically acclaimed ‘Bag It!’ on Smalltown Supersounds recorded by veteran indie rock engineer Steve Albini.

The Thing are joined for this concert by living legend Joe McPhee. The infinitely versaitile American multi-instrumentalist is a veteran of the 60’s New York “Fire Music” that is at the heart of The Thing. In his lyrical and soulful playing lies the true cry of the blues. McPhee is one of the most in-demand artists in Jazz and an authentic and vital messenger of its radical avant-garde.

audio track from Bag It!

assorted links.

http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/band_thething.html

http://matsgus.com/archives/category/groups/the-thing

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=32902

http://thequietus.com/articles/02327-field-day-preview-mats-gustafsson-of-the-thing-interviewed

http://consequenceofsound.net/2009/06/30/album-review-the-thing-bag-it/

April 16th, 2010

Jazz appreciation month celebration Austin

Epistrophy Arts presents 2 explosive evenings of international, adventurous jazz at Austin’s Historic Victory Grill.
screen print poster brotzmann/drake and Kidd Jordan trio concert at Victory Grillposter design Noel Waggener

When: April 28, 29.  8PM
Where: Victory Grill (1104. E. 11th)

April 28:   Peter Brötzmann / Hamid Drake Duo
April 29:   Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Trio

$16 advance tickets available at End of An Ear, Waterloo Records and Trailer Space Records. $20 Door

Each night
April is Jazz Appreciation month and Epistrophy Arts is bringing 2 explosive nights of world-class, international,adventurous improvised music to East Austin’s original home for blues and jazz.  Kicking off this mini-festival is a duo performance by one of the landmark collaborations in free music, German saxophone legend Peter Brötzmann with Chicago powerhouse drummer Hamid Drake.  The sparks will continue to fly the following night when we convene a trio performance with New Orleans jazz patriarch and master Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake and Austin’s own (via Oslo) Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten.

Brotzmann / Drake
This very special engagement will mark the first time that Peter and Hamid have worked together extensively in over five years, and it has been nearly a decade since they toured as a Duo. Their unique bond was at the root of some of the Nineties and early 2000s finest improvised music through projects such as the original line up of the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, the Albert Ayler tribute project Die Like A Dog, and numerous trios featuring the likes of the legendary Moroccan guembri player Mahmoud Gania, and bassists William Parker and the late Fred Hopkins. Their sole duo release, 1995’s The Dried Rat-Dog on Okka Disk, received four stars in both the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD and The All Music Guide, and is widely regarded as a cornerstone of the Chicago improvised-music resurgence that has garnished the city worldwide attention since the mid-nineties. Simply put, these two masters have affected an entire generation of improvisers all over the world through the unique language that they share, and they are long overdue to re-investigate that dialog.

Jordan / Drake / Håker-Flaten Trio
Epistrophy Arts is proud to present the debut performance of the collaborative trio of Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake and Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten. Nate Chinen of the New York Times says the legendary Kidd Jordan is “one of a handful of saxophonists of his generation to absorb the breakthroughs of his contemporaries Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, not just as a shock but also as a spur. His technique has the capacity to astonish, especially in the altissimo range. But he works to ensure that the technical takes a backseat to the soulful. ”  Kidd Jordan’s mighty saxophone will soar over the elemental and potent rhythm section of Drake and Håker-Flaten.


Some  information on the artists:


PETER BRÖTZMANN - Over the course of his forty-plus year career, German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann has never compromised his distinct aesthetics. As one of the true founders of what has become known as European Improvised Music, and through his revolutionary trio of the seventies with Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove, right up to the present day and his continued work with his large ensemble: The Brötzmann Chicago Tentet; he continues to reinvent himself, his music, and the approaches of every artist around him every time he takes the stage. Possessing an instantly recognizable sound that has almost certainly affected every reedist that has ever encountered it, Brötzmann is legendary for reaching climactic heights on whatever instrument he picks up, but he is also the rare improviser equally capable of an original, introspective and near-blues sound. Throughout his storied career, Brötzmann has appeared on well over 150 recordings, and performed all over the world in a myriad of settings with such legendary musicians as Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Sharrock, Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, and Alexander von Schlippenbach, to name a select few.

HAMID DRAKE - Chicago’s Hamid Drake is one of the most active percussionists working in the field of jazz, world, reggae, and improvised musics today. His unique style on the drum kit, frame drum, and tablas is simultaneously powerful, funky, and emotional; and has been heard all over the world with such singular talents as Don Cherry, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Fred Anderson, David Murray, Henry Grimes, and Ken Vandermark, to name a very few. He is featured on dozens of recordings, many of which find him in the rhythm section with his most consistent and revelatory partner, bassist William Parker of New York. Although he calls the Windy City home, Drake spends most of his time on the road touring with many of the finest ensembles working in jazz and improvised music today.


KIDD JORDAN
The list of bands and artists legendary New Orleans tenor saxophonist and educator Edward ‘Kidd’ Jordan has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program–from Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin and the Supremes. And the list of jazz musicians he has performed with is even longer. Today, this innovative, boundary-smashing artist has performed with Sun Ra, William Parker, Alvin Fielder, Hamiet Bluiett, Reggie Workman, David Murray, Alan Silva, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Peter Kowald, Louis Moholo, Sunny Murray, Hamid Drake, Ed Blackwell, and Andrew Cyrille. amassed a discography of over 30 recordings of his own music, and has performed in jazz and music festivals around the world, including France, where he has received the title of Chevalier of Arts and Letters for his contribution to European performing arts. Americans seem to be catching up. Jordan was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2008 at the Vision Festival in New York. ‘Kidd’ Jordan was born in Crowley, Louisiana, in 1935 and has spent his entire life in the New Orleans area, resisting the urge to move to a larger metropolis better suited to his avant-garde leanings. He recently relocated to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina devastated his 9th Ward home.
Jordan’s view of innovation, based on discipline and introspection, situates itself squarely in the tradition of black American music. As he himself modestly puts it, “Styles are born out of people’s technique. When people have enough technique then they can do some things.”



Ingebrigt Håker Flaten

Ingebrigt studied Jazz at the Music Consevatory in Trondheim, Norway, from 1992-95 with bassplayer Odd Magne Gridseth. Since ‘95 he has been a professional musician, refining his sound by touring extensively all over the world with some of the most diverse and important improvisers on the international circuit today. He has participated on more than 100 recordings.  Ingebrigt is currently focusing on his work in the Scandanavian ensembles Atomic and The Thing, both of which have energized Austin audiences in recent yearas. He also leads his own quintet and is a member of the bands Free Fall, The Electrics, The Outskirts, Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet, Scorch Trio, Trinity, IPA, Daniel Levin Trio and Atomic Schooldays. Ingebrigt also have ongoing projects with musicians from the undergrounds of Mexico City, New York, Chicago, Austin and Houston.  Håker-Flaten represents a special era in Norwegian bass tradition. Inspired by Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis and William Parker, as well as European bassists such as Barry Guy, Dave Holland and Peter Kowald, he provides an historical continuity of the instrument’s tradition, and as such, improvisation. Ingebrigt’s bass playing also draws inspiration and energy from his deep roots in the bustling Norwegian jazz scene. This can be summarized by placing him and his contemporaries in the great lineage of Norwegian progressive jazz musicians that include the famed Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Terje Rypdal, as well as the less well-known pianist, Svein Finnerud, and bassist, Bjørnar Andresen, all of whom were key figures in shaping Norwegian avant garde jazz into the sound we have today.

Today, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is living in Austin and is one of the great ambassadors of the Norwegian sound, carrying this strong tradition further, both musically and geographically. He is constantly pushing and challenging himself, seeking out collaborations that hold a promise to lead to new and unheard territories.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/arts/music/13flat.html


This is a sponsored project of the Vortex Repertory Company and is funded and supported by individual contributions and by the City of Austin Through the Cultural Arts Division.

April 9th, 2010

Br*tzmann/Drake April 28. Victory Grill

PETER BRÖTZMANN HAMID DRAKE duo at the Victory Grill

Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th St.)
April 28, 8pm

PETER BRÖTZMANN (Germany) reeds
HAMID DRAKE (Chicago) drums, percussion

Advance tickets available April 12 at End of An Ear, Waterloo Records, Trailer Space Records and www.epistrophyarts.org
$16 advance, $20 door

Epistrophy Arts is proud to present one of the landmark collaborations in free music in Austin’s historic home of blues and jazz.

This very special engagement will mark the first time that Peter and Hamid have worked together extensively in over five years, and it has been nearly a decade since they toured as a Duo. Their unique bond was at the root of some of the Nineties and early 2000s finest improvised music through projects such as the original line up of the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, the Albert Ayler tribute project Die Like A Dog, and numerous trios featuring the likes of the legendary Moroccan guembri player Mahmoud Gania, and bassists William Parker and the late Fred Hopkins. The one record that they released as a Duo, 1995’s The Dried Rat-Dog on Okka Disk, received four stars in both the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD and The All Music Guide, and is widely regarded as a cornerstone of the Chicago improvised-music resurgence that has garnished the city worldwide attention since the mid-nineties. Simply put, these two masters have affected an entire generation of improvisers all over the world through the unique language that they share, and they are long overdue to re-investigate that dialog.

Some additional information on the artists:
PETER BRÖTZMANN - Over the course of his forty-plus year career, German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann has never compromised his distinct aesthetics. As one of the true founders of what has become known as European Improvised Music, and through his revolutionary trio of the seventies with Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove, right up to the present day and his continued work with his large ensemble: The Brötzmann Chicago Tentet; he continues to reinvent himself, his music, and the approaches of every artist around him every time he takes the stage. Possessing an instantly recognizable sound that has almost certainly affected every reedist that has ever encountered it, Brötzmann is legendary for reaching climactic heights on whatever instrument he picks up, but he is also the rare improviser equally capable of an original, introspective and near-blues sound. Throughout his storied career, Brötzmann has appeared on well over 150 recordings, and performed all over the world in a myriad of settings with such legendary musicians as Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Sharrock, Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, and Alexander von Schlippenbach, to name a select few.

HAMID DRAKE - Chicago’s Hamid Drake is one of the most active percussionists working in the field of jazz, world, reggae, and improvised musics today. His unique style on the drum kit, frame drum, and tablas is simultaneously powerful, funky, and emotional; and has been heard all over the world with such singular talents as Don Cherry, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Fred Anderson, David Murray, Henry Grimes, and Ken Vandermark, to name a very few. He is featured on dozens of recordings, many of which find him in the rhythm section with his most consistent and revelatory partner, bassist William Parker of New York. Although he calls the Windy City home, Drake spends most of his time on the road touring with many of the finest ensembles working in jazz and improvised music today.

This is a sponsored project of the Vortex Repertory Company and is funded and supported by individual contributions and by the City of Austin Through the Cultural Arts Division.

February 11th, 2010

Free Fall - Friday March 12

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten in association with Epistrophy Arts present the Texas debut of internationally acclaimed jazz trio Free Fall on March 12.

FREE FALL
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Austin) – double bass
Håvard Wk (Oslo, Berlin) - piano
Ken Vandermark (Chicago) – clarinets

Friday March 12, 8PM doors 7:30
AAMP
411 West Monroe
Austin, TX 78704 (map)
advance tickets available Feb. 12 at End of An Ear and Waterloo Records
$12 advance, $15 door

Free Fall was organized by bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, reedist Ken Vandermark, and pianist Håvard Wk in 2001 as an opportunity to work together in a chamber music environment and without percussion. Inspired in part by Texas jazz legend Jimmy Giuffre’s classic group with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, the band quickly found its own voice, utilizing velocity, space, and sound by incorporating combinations of pulse-based and open time, distributing melodic responsibility through its fragmentation, and building expression through a dialectic between understatement and explosiveness.

For this Austin debut performance, the trio will be performing in support of the upcoming release ‘Gray Scale’ on the Norwegian label Smalltown Superjazz. Grey Scale features material that is completely improvised.

Ken Vandermark
Named as one of the 25 most significant improvising musicians under 40 by Downbeat magazine, Ken Vandermark has been a powerful and influential voice in contemporary jazz, both on and off the stage. He’s the leader of dozens of bands and a valued collaborator to some of the most exciting artists working today. He’s an important organizer of concerts and festivals. He also, at the age of 35, received the prestigious “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. All of the (well-deserved) credentials, accolades, and associations sometimes distract from the most notable thing about Ken Vandermark: he’s one of the most moving and powerful saxophone stylists working in the music today. His strong instrumental voice can shift from an oblique angularity to a comfortable and rocking back-beat. He is equally at home when swinging “in the pocket” or stretching the music to its outer limits. Though he has a distinctive style, the breadth of Vandermark’s projects is a testament to his vital creativity.

Håvard Wk
One of Norway’s most extraordinary artists, pianist/composer Håvard Wk first made his mark in Austin with the Scandinavian powerhouse quintet Atomic in 2008. His sensitive, lyrical playing and ability to traverse mainstream traditions while plying more open approaches has been a hit with audiences. Besides Atomic, Wk also works with Free Fall (Ken Vandermark, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten), Atomic Schooldays, a duo with Hakon Kornstad, and a new project with Axel Dorner and Fredrik Ljungqvist. He’s also collaborated with jazz giants Joe Lovano, Kenny Wheeler, and Lee Konitz.

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Ingebrigt, a recent Austin transplant, studied Jazz at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim, Norway, from 1992-95. Since 95 he has been a professional musician, shaping and refining his sound by touring extensively all over the world with a variety of international improvisors. Ingebrigt has ongoing transcontinental projects with musicians from the underground of New York, Chicago, Austin and Houston, and has participated on more than 100 recordings.
Ingebrigt’s primary projects are the acclaimed Scandinavian ensembles Atomic and The Thing, both of which have wowed Austin audiences in recent years. He also leads his own quintet and is a member of the bands, The Electrics, Townhouse Orchestra, The Outskirts, Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet, Scorch Trio, Trinity, IPA, Daniel Levin Trio and Atomic Schooldays. Håker Flaten represents a special era in the Norwegian bass tradition. Inspired by Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis and William Parker, as well as European bassists such as Barry Guy, Dave Holland and Peter Kowald, he provides an historical continuity of the instrument’s tradition. Ingebrigt’s bass playing also draws inspiration and energy from his deep roots in the bustling Norwegian jazz scene. This can be summarized by placing him and his contemporaries in the great lineage of Norwegian progressive jazz musicians that include the famed Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Terje Rypdal, as well as the less well-known pianist, Svein Finnerud, and bassist, Bjørnar Andresen, all of whom were key figures in shaping Norwegian avant-garde jazz into the sound we have today. Making his home in Austin, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is one of the great ambassadors of the Norwegian sound, carrying this strong tradition further, both musically and geographically. He is constantly pushing and challenging himself, seeking out collaborations that hold a promise to lead to new and unheard territories.

Free Fall, Point in a Line, 2007 smalltownsuperjazz

Free Fall takes its name, of course, from the final studio recording of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s trio with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, and The Point in a Line is their third disc together. This trio joins Vandermark’s Bb and bass clarinet with Norwegian pianist Havard Wk and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on a number of compositions and improvisations by members of the trio.

It is important to realize that this band is not entirely in homage to Giuffre—after all, his music retained a wide-open Texas swagger, even as they explored delicate counterpoint and microtonal extended techniques. Free Fall is classically poised in vignettes of contrast, often between the meatiness of bass and bass clarinet and Wk’s peerless piano mobiles, though Vandermark’s “Eulogy for a Typewriter” approaches the sparse canvas of Morton Feldman—surely an exploration of tonal space far from the group’s namesake. — Clifford Allen, April 6, 2008, AllAboutJazz.com.

Free Fall, Amsterdam Funk, 2005, smalltownsuperjazz

Given the group’s name and its instrumentation, the association with Jimmy Giuffre’s epochal chamber jazz trio is unavoidable. The homage is deliberate, but partial as Free Fall play nothing but original compositions. Amsterdam Funk comprises 13 pieces of stark, frequently dramatic music. The lack of percussion serves to cast a tightrope shadow upon proceedings, but the resulting tension is leavened by sudden, playful passages. An ominously deep piano chord marks the beginning of Accidents With Ladders, only to be succeeded by Vandermark’s jaunty clarinet. Four minutes later Vandermark’s solo climbs upwards and stops suddenly: the title of the piece is thus musically evoked with fine wit. Although their contributions are remarkable, Vandermark and Flaten should need no introduction, but the lesser-known Wk is a revelation, playing one moment with a vivid intensity, the next with the utmost delicacy. Each player’s solos are often conducted against a backdrop of silence. Accordingly, Amsterdam Funk feels like a deliberate exploration of space as much as of melody or time. It’s a bewitchingly beautiful album. Highly recommended. — Colin Buttimer, November, 2005, Jazzwise

Free Fall, Furnace, 2003, Wobbly Rail

The quirky swing of “Inside Out [for Paul Bley)” features Vandermark on clarinet and shows this trio’s obvious debt to the Jimmy Giuffre Trio as the reed man’s candid liner note makes plain: “Any listener with a solid knowledge of jazz history will realize that inspiration for the name of this group was taken from the brilliant album ‘Free Fair by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio.” This project features Vandermark exclusively on clarinet as he goes on a lyrical journey ranging from the dreamy split tones of “The Spell Of Introspection” and the probing counterpoint of “Half Past Soon” to the intensifying circular motifs of his bass clarinet during “Hopscotch” and the fierce energy of “Furnace.” For all their cool; the warm rapport between Flaten and Wiik brings this tribute into focus and provides the reed man with lucid and inspiring company. “Furnace” features a fierce and free solo pizzicato bass interlude by Flaten until Wk’s clotted piano lines inspire Vandermark to turn up the heat. In contrast, “Into The Air” offers a sequence of slow and meditative solo interludes, opening with Flaten’s poignant pizzicato that lasts almost two minutes before Wiik’s brooding piano ultimately ushers in Vandermark’s clarinet as the trio unfold a rich study in minimalist dynamics, reminding me why Giuffre’s Trio was one of the most unique and special delights of the free jazz era of the early 1960s. Informing the freedom here is the real economy of players who listen to one another and discover new possibilities and directions for creation within the discipline of thrift in a manner that helped to liberate the music for decades to come. Free Fall mines a rich seam here and the resulting music is an enthralling delight. Recommended. — David Lewis, July, 2004, Cadence

January 19th, 2010

Frode Gjerstad Trio 2/2/10

Epistrophy Arts presents

Frode Gjerstad Trio

Space 12 3121 E 12th St

Tuesday Feb. 2.  8pm.  doors 7:30

tickets available at the door $10-$15 sliding scale.

all ages admission

www.epistrophyarts.org

Frode Gjerstad - alto sax

Paal Nilssen Love - drums

Nick Stephens - bass

Epistrophy Arts is proud to kick of its 12th year of presenting cutting-edge improvised music in Austin with a special performance by three of Europe’s most prominent creative musicians - Frode Gjerstad, Paal Nilssen-Love and Nick Stephens.

Drawing heavily upon the energy of the free-jazz continuum as defined by Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Frode Gjerstad is a pioneer of Norwegian improvised music. His various ensembles have served as a training ground for the current (and most vital) generation of Norwegian experimental musicians. Gjerstad first came to prominence with British percussionist John Stevens’ group in the 1980s, and later played in a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. His career has spanned over 20 years and has included collaborations with many of the leading lights of improvised and experimental music including Peter Brötzmann, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and noise musician Lasse Marhaug.

Powerhouse drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is no stranger to adventurous Austin music audiences. He has taken part in some of Epistrophy Arts’ most noted presentations including sold out performances by The Thing, The Peter Brotzmann Tentet, and Atomic. Nilssen-Love has established himself as a powerful and dynamic musician through his wide ranging collaborations with leading improvisors Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Brötzmann and left-field rock artists like Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke,the Ex’s Andy and Terrie, and Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto. In December he completed a tour of Ethiopia with Ken Vandermark, Ab Baars and members of The Ex.

Bassist Nick Stephens has been an active member of the fertile UK improvising community since the late 1970s. In the process, he has played with many of the major players on that scene including Evan Parker, John Stevens, and Lol Coxhill ”Stephens thrives in a trio where he can soak up space with booming long notes, slip in a sleek line between the splash of cymbals and the texture of a horn, and place otherworldly arco color in the foreground,” wrote jazz critic Bill Shoemaker in 2007. “The bassist is the fulcrum of two of the better albums by improvising trios this year”

photo: http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/Press/frode.jpg

“Gjerstad has a a crying alto tone that has a searing emotional directness… he skillfully builds extended improvisations out of fleet, leaping lines colored with a chilling, soulful directness. He plays with the command and authority of a mature musician who has honed a personal voice, while continuing to push in new directions.” -Michael Rosenstein, Cadence

“He (Paal Nilssen-Love) is simply one of the best new musicians I’ve heard during the latest years!” -Pat Metheny

“Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz!” Down Beat “Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love stormed the Norwegian jazz scene in the early ’90s and has been working relentlessly ever since in both traditional and avant-garde jazz. It wasn’t long before he jumped on the metaphorical freight train Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustaffson had established between Scandinavia and Chicago; the drummer appeared on Ken Vandermark’s School Days and has enjoyed growing exposure in the U.S. since 2000. His other engagements and collaborations include trios with Frode Gjerstad, Sten Sandell, and Raoul Björkenheim, plus the group Atomic. He released his first solo CD, Sticks & Stones, in 2001.” -All Music bio excerpt

About Epistrophy Arts:

Epistrophy Arts is a grass-roots cultural organization dedicated to presenting the finest adventurous and improvised music in Austin Texas. Since January of 1998 we have presented over 60 concerts with some of the major figures in international contemporary adventurous music.

We are funded and supported in part by individual contributions, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and the Vortex Repertory Theater Company.

April 14th, 2009

German free music legend joins forces with young American jazz superstars.

Epistrophy Arts Presents

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Peter Brötzmann, Nasheet Waits and Eric Revis Trio

Peter Brötzmann (Germany) - saxophones, clarinets
Nasheet Waits (New York) - drums
Eric Revis (San Antonio) - bass

Location:
Street:
1104 E.11th St.
City/Town:
Austin, TX

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Present at the very beginning of the European Free Improvisation scene, Peter Brötzmann began his career as a visual artist with connections to the Fluxus movement. After hearing a concert by jazz legend Sidney Bechet, Brötzmann rejected a career in the galleries. He taught himself saxophones and clarinets, played modern jazz influenced by Ornette Coleman, and worked with American greats like Don Cherry and Steve Lacy. Brötzmann developed a style similar to radical American saxophonist Albert Ayler (without much knowledge of Ayler), an uncompromising, screaming cry that challenged itself to greater heights of rage and energy. His landmark 1968 recording “Machine Gun” is a frightening and incendiary slab of sound that (with only acoustic instruments) can measure up to any guitar/electronic noise project happening today. Time has added subtlety and beauty to Brötzmann’s sound. Bluesy lyricism and timeless muezzin-like calls emerged in later years. His spools of dark-toned phrases emerge and unravel over pulsing tempos (these days Brötzmann seems to enjoy the heart-like beat of a masterful rhythm section). His music has all the sincerity, natural wisdom, and universal depth that a mature artist can possess. He remains one of the most inspiring and influential saxophone players in jazz and free improvisation.

In this exciting (landmark) collaboration, Peter Brötzmann is joined by two of the most important members of the current generation of mainstream jazz artists.

Drummer Nasheet Waits is a New York native. His interest in the drums was encouraged by his father, legendary percussionist, Frederick Waits. Waits received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Long Island University. He studied privately with renowned percussionist Michael Carvin. Carvin’s tutelage provided a vast foundation upon which Waits added influences from his father, as well as mentor Max Roach. It was Roach that first gave Waits’ formidable talent international spotlight, hiring him as a member of the famed percussion ensemble M’BOOM. Waits’ talent came to the attention of reedman Antonio Hart, who asked him to originate the percussion chair of his first quintet. More recently Waits has been a member of Andrew Hill’s bands, Jason Moran’s Bandwagon, and Fred Hersch’s trio. Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen, and Waits have been deemed, “the most exciting rhythm section in jazz” by JazzTimes. The 2001 recording “Black Stars” with the Bandwagon was named the “Best CD of 2001” in Jazz Times and The New York Times. Waits’ recording and performing discography is a veritable “who’s who” in jazz, boasting stints with such notables as Geri Allen, Mario Bauza, Hamiett Bluiett, Ron Carter, Steve Coleman, Stanley Cowell, Stefon Harris, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, The Mingus Big Band, Greg Osby, Joshua Redman, and Jacky Terrason.

Grammy-winning bassist Eric Revis has been one of the most solid voices in jazz for over 15 years. The deep-running power of his beat and his potent tone keep him in demand among notable musicians such as Branford Marsalis and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Born in Los Angeles, Revis grew up listening to funk and rock. At 14 he taught himself electric bass. After attending Southern University, Revis relocated to San Antonio for a gig playing 6 nights per week. As Revis worked the gig, fellow band members introduced him to jazz. Discovering this music, Revis switched to acoustic bass. Revis moved to New Orleans to study under Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, and Victor Goines from 1991 to 1992. In 1994, he moved to New York to become the regular bassist for Betty Carter. It did not take long for New York musicians to take a notice. He worked regularly with Billy Harper, Louis Hays, and Lionel Hampton. In 1997, Branford Marsalis asked Revis to join him on his recording “Bug Shot”. Since then, Revis has been one of Marsalis’ most reliable allies. Rafi Zabor says “Eric Revis seems to me the finest rhythm partner yet to join a working Marsalis group: a terrific band bassist whose work evades casual notice. The lunging, deep-running power of his beat, acuity of accent, and his instinct for the right propulsive run of notes have given this band stronger legs to stand on, and an increased capacity for friendly earthquake.”

This project is funded in part by individual contributions, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra, The City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

March 31st, 2009

Epistrophy Arts presents “Amsterdam Meets Chicago”: The Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark
Ab Baars (Amsterdam) - tenor saxophone, clarinet, shakuhachi

Ken Vandermark (Chicago) - tenor saxophone, clarinet

Wilbert de Joode(Amsterdam) - bass
Martin van Duynhoven
(Amsterdam) - drums

Friday, April 10 2009
8pm
at Austin’s Historic Victory Grill
1104 E. 11th St.
Austin, Texas

$15 advance general admission
$18 at the door

tickets available at Waterloo Records, End of An Ear


A highly distinctive voice from the fertile Dutch jazz scene, Ab Baars brings an idiosyncratic creativity into combination with skill and knowledge of his music’s roots.  Though his music has been described as “joyfully obstinate”, it has an undeniable and colorful catchy-ness that stems from its stripped essence.  As an instrumentalist, Baars has been influenced by (among others) American Jazz greats like Roscoe Mitchell and John Carter (both of whom he has worked with).  As a composer/improvisor/band-leader Baars displays all of the musical characteristics that have come to define the Dutch creative music scene: open forms, varied improvisational strategies, wacky use of juxtaposition, and an unwillingness to treat jazz—or any music—as a fixed art form.  Ab Baars is an important member of The ICP Orchestra, the defining group of Dutch jazz.

Named as one of the 25 most significant improvising musicians under 40 by Downbeat magazine, Ken Vandermark has been a powerful and influential voice in contemporary jazz, both on and off the stage.  He’s the leader of dozens of bands and a valued collaborator to some of the most exciting artists working today.  He’s an important organizer of concerts and festivals.  He also, at the age of 35, received the prestigious “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation.  All of the (well-deserved) credentials, accolades, and associations sometimes distract from the most notable thing about Ken Vandermark: he’s one of the most moving and powerful saxophone stylists working in the music today.  His strong instrumental voice can shift from an oblique angularity to a comfortable and rocking back-beat.  He is equally at home when swinging “in the pocket” or stretching the music to its outer limits.  Though he has a distinctive style, the breadth of Vandermark’s projects is a testament to his vital creativity.

For more information about Ab Baars:
www.stichtingwig.com
For more information about Ken Vandermark:
www.kenvandermark.com
For more information about Wilbert de Joode:
www.wilbertdejoode.com

Also, :

Peter Brotzmann/Nasheet Waits/Eric Revis
Peter Brotzmann (Germany) - saxophones, clarinets
Nasheet Waits (New York) - drums
Eric Revis (San Antonio) - bass

Wednesday, April 30 2009
8pm
at Austin’s Historic Victory Grill
1104 E. 11th St.

This project is funded in part by individual contributions, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra, The City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

February 18th, 2009

2009 Epistrophy Arts series

Save the date…. Epistrophy Arts will be presenting 2 special events at Austin’s Historic Victory Grill in April.  Check back for more specific information about these events soon.

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark
Friday April 10
Austin’s Historic Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th St.)

Ab Baars Trio w/ Ken Vandermark


Peter
Brötzmann, Nasheet Waits, Eric Revis Trio
Thursday April 30
Austin’s Historic Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th St.)

Peter Brotzmann Cigar