Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kevin Norton - KN's Breakfast of Champignon​(​s) Live at Roulette: "Staten Island: All that is solid melts into air" (2017)

Kevin Norton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY. Studies at Hunter College introduced Kevin to Milt Hinton and after a short period, Kevin began to perform with Milt Hinton, eventually recording The Judge's Decision with a quartet led by Milt. After getting his Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music, he became very active as a percussionist in New York, especially taking part in the blossoming downtown New York City scene. This lead to him playing with Fred Frith's band Keep the Dog, which also included harpist Zeena Parkins and saxophonist John Zorn. However, he longed to return to his jazz roots and began to play with downtown outsiders Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester and their co-led band, the Microscopic Septet (and later Johnston's Big Trouble, with two CDs on Black Saint). In 2006 Mr. Norton premiered Water and Fire Suite, commissioned as part of the national series of works from Meet The Composer Commissioning Music/USA.

He has led and/or co-led about 20 critically acclaimed recordings, many of them making year-end "Best of" lists. His recording, Time-Space Modulator, integrates intricate, notated composition work with the deep improvisatory skills of Kevin, Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou and John Lindberg. Norton has also played with many highly esteemed European improvisers such as Paul Rogers, Joëlle Léandre, John Tilbury, Paul Dunmall and Frode Gjerstad. (Gjerstad and Norton formed TiPPLE with guitarist David Watson: a cooperative, free improvising trio that has released 3 CDs as of 2015) For about ten years, Mr. Norton was Anthony Braxton's main percussionist in both the "ghost trance" phase and the "standards" phase, plotting out the course for all percussionists who followed him. Other great American masters Kevin has performed and/or recorded with include John Lindberg, Connie Crothers, James Emery, Scott Robinson, Nick Didkovsky, Marshall Allen, Kazzrie Jaxen and Henry Grimes. In June of 2002, Kevin Norton was a resident composer at the prestigious MacDowell Colony.

Norton composed the original soundtrack for the movie Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words (2013). He has served on the faculty of several schools including the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of William Paterson University.

01.  All that is Solid ... 1:47
02.  Staten Island 1:36
03.  The Light 3:37
04.  The Faustian Bargain 2:58
05.  Potlatch 2:39
06.  Dorothy Day vs. Complacency 3:36
07.  Milt's Forward Looking Tradition 4:50
08.  No Compelling Moral Ballast 1:32
09.  Peacock (by Jenna Snyder) 2:40
10.  Deep Tanks 5:18
11.  Yeti or Radio Present 4:12
12.  Difficulty 5:05

Recorded live (no overdubs) at Roulette (NYC) as part of the Interpretations Series on September 22, 2016

All compositions (words & music) by Kevin Norton (except for "Peacock" by Jenna Snyder) and recorded live at Roulette (NYC) as part of the Interpretations Series on September 22, 2016. Totally live, no overdubs or edits. (Program notes in "bonus items")

Esther Noh - violin
Angelica Sanchez - piano
Julia Simoniello - vocals & electric guitar
Steve LaSpina - bass