Monday, October 24, 2016

Sonus Inenarrabilis: Nine Live Plays the Music of John Clark November 22nd 7:00pm Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3

Sonus Inenarrabilis
Nine Live Plays the Music of John Clark
November 22nd 7:00pm
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3
196 Allen Street (between Houston St & Stanton St) NYC
 $10 plus 2-drink minimum

John Clark: French Horn
Dan Cooper: 7-string Electric Bass
Lynn Bechtold: Violin
Patricia Billings: Clarinet
Michael Rabinowitz: Bassoon
Cesare Papetti: Drums
Carlton Holmes: Piano
Jennifer DeVore: Cello
Earl Maneein: Viola

Sonus Inenarrabilis: Nine Live Plays the Music of John Clark
Though its name translates as “undefinable sound,” 
Sonus Inenarrabilis delivers an exciting and soulful blend of jazz, classical, funk and more.

Some music just won’t be pigeonholed, including the collection of compositions presented in Sonus Inenarrabilis. To do justice to this adventurous and haunting melding of diverse influences, you have to apply the immortal Duke Ellington’s highest compliment: It’s beyond category.

Sonus Inenarrabilis, soon to be released on Dave Soldier’s Mulatta Records label (, features six jazz-inflected compositions by John Clark, rendered by a nonet starring instruments more commonly associated with symphonic music, including French Horn, Bassoon, Viola, and Cello. Album highlights include:

“Die Kreuzotter,” a moody, noir-ish piece with a slightly dangerous 2 a.m. feel.

“Eviter les Contrefaçons,” which translates to the wise advice “avoid imitations.” With a sensuous Mediterranean vibe that occasionally evokes Moorish Spain, this is the real thing.

“Freedom's Delight” has a sweeping, almost pastoral beauty.

The stately, mysterious “Outage” features dramatic strings. Listen carefully, you won’t want to miss a note.

“Sibilia Colubri” delights with a beautiful, rich piano intro, great rhythm, and a graceful flow.

“Turbulence” takes the listener on a sonic adventure. Its deeply funky feel and great bass line contribute to the tune’s tons of swagger.

All of the music is written and arranged by French Horn master John Clark, who has released a series of jazz albums as a leader; his latest recording The Odd Couple Quintet +1 was pre-nominated for a 2015 Grammy.

Clark secured his jazz bona fides early on, playing with NEA Jazz Masters McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, George Russell, and Gil Evans: Clark was a mainstay of Evans’ renowned Monday Night Orchestra, which reigned supreme at Sweet Basil in the 1980s. He has played with luminaries including Joe Lovano, Julius Hemphill, Jaco Pastorius, the Mingus Orchestra, and has done extensive pop, Broadway, classical, and studio work.  Ensembles who have performed Clark’s compositions include the Gil Evans Orchestra, the McCoy Tyner Big Band, the Paul Winter Consort, Composers’ Concordance, Genghis Barbie, Imani Winds, and the Pugh-Taylor Project. Clark earned an advanced degree from the New England Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music.

Joining Clark in the versatile and adventurous Nine Live cohort, co-directed by Dan Cooper, are:
Violinist Lynn Bechtold: Equally at home onstage at the Blue Note, Alice Tully Hall, Joe’s Pub and Merkin Hall, Lynn plays with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, East Village Opera Company, the Absolute Ensemble and is concert master of the Composer’s Concordance orchestra. A contemporary music advocate, Bechtold holds degrees from NEC, Tufts, and Mannes College of Music.

Cellist Jen DeVore: Along with Lynn Bechtold, DeVore is a member of the Lumina Quartet and half of the duo Zentripetal. The duo’s repertoire ranges from Philip Glass to Adele, John Cage, Astor Piazzolla, and “Tico Tico.” DeVore holds degrees from Harvard and NEC, and worked with John Cage, Ornette Coleman, and John Zorn, plus records and performs with Il Divo, DJ Spooky, Josh Groban, and Suzanne Vega as well as the Jose Limon Dance Company, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Violist Stephanie Griffin: Principal violinist of the Princeton Symphony for 10 years, this skilled improviser worked closely with Butch Morris for more than a decade. She’s also played with Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra and the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. As a member of Tony Prabowo’s New Jakarta Ensemble she creates avant-garde compositions alongside traditional musicians from Sumatra. She has a doctorate from Juilliard, and has done residencies at Cornell, NYU, and Eastman School of Music.

Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh: Kinan has been lauded by The New York Times and New Yorker magazine and played in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Opera Bastille, the Kennedy Center, and Alice Tully Hall. Azmeh has appeared with Zakir Hussein, Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, and the Berlin Philharmonic; he’s artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble, and a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Azmeh has also appeared as a soloist with the NDR big band.

Bassoonist Michael Rabinowitz: Anyone who claims you can’t play bop on a bassoon hasn’t heard Rabinowitz in action. He’s appeared with the Mingus Orchestra, including playing the debut of Mingus’ symphony, “Epitaph,” and with Ryan Truesdell’s Grammy-winning Gil Evans Project, plus countless sideman gigs. As a leader, the bassoonist has released five jazz CDs with band mates such as jazz stalwarts John Hicks, Rufus Reid, and Victor Lewis.

Keyboardist Rob Stephens: This versatile musician is trained in both classical music and jazz. He brings to the table extensive experience in gospel and R&B, and a strong background in theater and choral work. The Virginia Symphony’s Chamber Ensemble has performed his arrangements, as have giants of gospel music such as Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel singers. A skilled educator, Stephens has taught in the New Jersey public school system and has numerous private students.

Bassist / Nine Live co-director Dan Cooper: This native New Yorker is a master of the seven-string electric bass; he’s been acclaimed by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Time Out New York and numerous other publications. Cooper studied at Columbia, NEC, Princeton, Conservatoire de Nice, and Fontainebleau. He also received an Aaron Copland composition fellowship to Tanglewood. Cooper has extensive international performance credentials, at venues such as CBGB, Town Hall, Massey Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Teatro Albeniz Madrid, Palau de la Música Catalana, Sydney Opera House, and Royal Albert Hall.

Drummer Cesare Papetti:  Since studying classical percussion at Purchase College in New York and Music Education at Hofstra University, Cesare has played orchestral percussion with Regina Opera, Camerata Orchestra, Staten Island Philharmonic, Centre Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, and the South Shore Symphony and is a founding member of Occasional Noise Trio, Just Music duo, and Firebird Art Rock.

The album’s title, Sonus Inenarrabilis, recognizes the diverse influences, expression and musical experiences that come together here. But Clark’s music practically requires the invention of new superlatives by those aiming to define it. Duke Ellington said there are only two kinds of music, good and bad. A single listen to this eclectic new offering from Nine Live confirms that it belongs firmly in the first category.

John Clark Sonus Inennarabilis (Mulatta Records MUL033) Street Date: October 7, 2016

Mulatta Records website:

John Clark website:


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