A 5 Year Collaboration Brings Forth A Collective Experience Towards the Center Street Date: October 7, 2016
Alex Levine Quartet Alex Levine (Luh-veen) - guitar Marcus Elliot - tenor saxophone Ben Rolston (Rawl-stun) - bass Stephen Boegehold (Bay-Ga-Hold) - drums
CD DESCRIPTION The body of work represented on Towards The Center was first developed during my time at the University of Michigan School of Music. The earliest composition on the album, “Ritual Dance”, was inspired in part by contemplative practices introduced to me by Professor Martha Travers. “Ritual Dance” refers not only to physical movement, but also the merging of individual minds into a group consciousness. Creating, practicing, and performing music is a ritual that transforms and transcends boundaries between individuals, musicians and listeners. Towards The Center is a process by which each musician, and listener alike, relates to the mysterious gravity that exists at the center of a group interaction, and improvises with a focus on the total group dynamic. At the core of each performance is a collection of ideas, compositional and formal frameworks, and shared practices and strategies that each of us draws upon to intuitively realize a collective musical statement.
It was essential to me that the music presented on this album be created through an intuitive and unhurried process. So, rather than presenting the music in a written form, with specific pre-determined arrangements, all of the music captured on this album was communicated and developed aurally. This process required each musician to engage deeply with the material and to fully internalize each element of the compositions, and enables a greater fluidity and flexibility in our execution of the music. I am eternally grateful to saxophonist Marcus Elliot, bassist Ben Rolston, and drummer Stephen Boegehold for their creativity, musicianship, and commitment to this project. As a quartet, we have been collaborating for almost five years, and our individual relationships go back even further. Much of the work preparing for Towards The Center occurred during a three-week period of intense composition, practice, and group development in Poschiavo, Switzerland, as a part of the UNCOOL Artists in Residence program sponsored by Cornelia Mueller.
Towards The Center is dedicated to the visionary musician, poet, and artist, Henry Grimes. Since moving to New York in 2012, Henry has provided me with immeasurable creative wisdom and guidance during many hours of private lessons, playing, and conversation. Henry’s brilliance as a musician is equalled by his profound poetic statements. The newest composition on the album is a suite of music entitled “Adama,” inspired by Henry’s poem “Adama and Porquory” (2006 Signs Along The Road). The poem, and the suite, is a spiritual history of human beings, beginning with total Harmony, unity of purpose and understanding, to disorder and conflict, and disparate human mythologies created to define the inexplicable forces that have shaped our universe. It is a cycle from togetherness to apartness, and could be heard from any starting point.
UPCOMING APPEARANCES October 7, 2016 – Radiobean – Burlington, VE – Alex Levine Quartet October 8, 2016 – Café Résonance – Montreal, QC – Alex Levine Quartet October 9, 2016 – Lovin Cup – Rochester, NY – Alex Levine Quartet October 15, 2016 – Trinosophes – Detroit, MI – Alex Levine Quartet November 26, 2016 – Virgil Carr Center – Detroit, MI – Towards The Center CD Release January 6, 2017 – Cliff Bell’s – Detroit, MI – Alex Levine Quartet January 7, 2017 – Cliff Bell’s – Detroit, MI – Alex Levine Quartet
ENEMY, the trio led by British pianist and composer Kit Downes and featuring bassist, Petter Eldh & drummer James Maddren sign to Edition for debut album.
"Rip-roaring groove, mind-boggling polyrhythmic drumming, snapping physicality and sweeping piano runs from brittle street grooves". John Fordham, The Guardian 2015
We’re very happy to announce the signing of ENEMY to Edition Records and the release of their debut album due in the Summer of 2017
Led by acclaimed pianist & composer Kit Downes, ENEMY is the new piano trio featuring bassist Petter Eldh and Downes’ long term friend and collaborator, drummer James Maddren.
Described as ‘fiercely intense’ and ‘beautifully intricate’, ENEMY spotlights three brilliant and creative musical minds committed to the exploration of new worlds of performance and music: total music, with each musician contributing equally in an authentic aesthetic display. Each member of ENEMY has achieved personal recognition in the jazz and wider music world (including, between them, a Mercury Music Award Nomination, multiple Downbeat Critics Poll nominations and a BBC Jazz Award) and will be familiar to those of you au fait with our back catalogue. We all wait with anticipation for the new recording, but for Kit Downes this project has been a long time coming.
As Kit Downes explains: ‘ENEMY was formed for a few reasons - to play with Berlin-based bassist Petter Eldh, who's playing compositions and uncompromising general approach I admire, and to match it with my longstanding playing relationship with James Maddren - but also as a reaction to how I think about complexity, and how liberating it can be, as well as how important it is to acknowledge the things you don't like - and to be confrontational sometimes. I want this music to be fierce, vital and to have and give energy - and to do so whilst never sacrificing its intricacy and its integrity'.
This is one ENEMY you are going to want to get to know! The debut album will be released in Summer 2017.
CATCH THEM LIVE THIS AUTUMN:
14th October - Crypt, Camberwell, UK 15th October - CBSO, Birmingham, UK 16th November - Vortex, London Jazz Festival, UK 19th October - Late show at Ronnies, UK 20th October - Jazzclub, Karlsruhe, GERMANY 21st October - Jazzfest, Munich (with guest Wanja Slavin), GERMANY 22nd October - AMR, Geneva, SWITZERLAND 23rd October - NoVilla Cafe, Berlin, GERMANY 24th October - The Loft, Cologne, GERMANY 25th October - Kammerlichtspiele, Klagenfurt, GERMANY 26th October - Die Kadenz, Brixen, GERMANY