Friday, March 10, 2017

Keith Karns Big Band (feat. Rich Perry) - An Eye on the Future (SUMMIT RECORDS 2017)

“We are concerned with the future through the past.” Mel Lewis used those words to summarize his vision for the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (previously the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra), and their 1983 record Make Me Smile & Other New Works by Bob Brookmeyer. The title of our record An Eye on the Future alludes to Lewis’s quote. This sentiment summarizes the mission statement of our band and the music contained here: we celebrate creativity and innovation while also remembering our roots in the jazz tradition.

One of the ways we are able to maintain our roots in jazz is by standing on the shoulders of some of the great jazz arrangers of all time. Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, and Jim McNeely have all had a profound influence on this music. We hope that this tradition can be heard alongside our own voice.

This project also celebrates the voice of one of today’s most important saxophonists, Rich Perry. Rich is perhaps best known for his work in the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, but he has also been a longstanding member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and is one of the most prolific soloists in the last three decades. In my opinion, Rich Perry is one of the most expressive saxophone soloists of our time. In writing for Rich, I wanted to showcase his distinctive voice while also giving him and the band the opportunity to interact in new and interesting ways. The result was five saxophone concertos, each showcasing a different aspect of both Rich’s playing and the band. The last two tracks feature the band exclusively.

“Two or Three Birds With One Bird” – I am fascinated by “happy melodies.” Happy melodies are often considered to be naïve or un-hip. One of my favorite arranging techniques is to take a melody we would normally consider as un-hip and set it in a way that challenges those expectations. This is the case here. In this instanced I used a dense chromatic harmony and through-composed form to set the melody. The through-composed structure helps to facilitate interaction between Rich and the band.

“An Eye on the Future” – I wrote this lullaby for my son the day I found out that my wife and I were going to be having a baby. Rich’s beautiful sound perfectly captures the hopes and fears any new parent has.

“The Thursday Club” – I have always been a fan of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. This is our homage to the great Jazz Messengers tunes like Moanin’, One By One, and Dat Dere.

“Like Someone In Love” – When you consider the lyrics, we assume this to be a happy song. Love is not always a happy emotion; it is complex and ever-changing. Here we tap into the more complex aspects of love. This can be heard in my reharminazation of the melody and Rich’s understated yet sophisticated melodic interpretation.

“The Law of Contagion” – Unlike the previous four tunes, this piece integrates Rich with the band. The first theme is based on the half/whole diminished scale, and alludes to Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. The form follows a theme and variation approach, but is broken up by solo statements, collective improvisation, shout choruses, episodes of boogaloo, and most notably, a four voice fugue.

“Without a Song” – This arrangement is about the ideals of freedom, love, and justice. The original lyrics to this song featured the racist line “A darkie’s born, but he’s no good no how, without a song.” This line was changed by Billie Eckstein in his famous 1946 version where “A darkie’s born” was changed to “A man is born.” This transformed the meaning of the song to signify concepts of racial justice and freedom. The new meaning was carried on in interpretations by many black artists including John Coltrane and Joe Henderson. My arrangement uses this meaning as a way of commenting on modern social, political, economic, and racial injustice. Today when we face so much division in our country, these issues are more urgent than ever. This can be heard in the deconstruction of the melody of “Without a Song,” and how I set it using textures borrowed from Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. The arrangement ends on a message of hope tinged with sadness and uncertainty.

“Crowd Control” – Last year a colleague bet me that I could not write in a modern big band style while conforming to the constraints of composers from the 1920s (Due to the limits of 1920s recording technology, arrangers had to be pretty sophisticated in their approach to form in order to incorporate complete melodic statements and multiple solo statements in under four minutes). This piece is based on Don Redman’s 1926 composition “The Stampede.” The form is almost exactly the same as “The Stampede” (I added a two measure piano intro to the melody, and an eight measure coda), but the style and texture are decidedly modern. Rather than break up solo statements between three soloists as was done in the Redman arrangement, I solo throughout.

1. Two or Three Birds With One Bird (Keith Karns)
Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone

2. An Eye on the Future (Keith Karns)
Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone

3. The Thursday Club (Keith Karns)
Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone

4. Like Someone in Love (Jimmy Van Heusen, arr. Keith Karns)
Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone

5. The Law of Contagion (Keith Karns)
Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone; Daniel Matthews, Trumpet; Connor Eisenmenger, Trombone; Connor Kent, Drums

6. Without a Song (Vincent Youmans, arr. Keith Karns)
Keith Karns, Flugelhorn; Devin Eddleman, Alto Saxophone; Garrett Wingfield, guest conductor

7. Crowd Control (Keith Karns)
Keith Karns, Flugelhorn

Devin Eddleman
Alex Fraile
Aaron Hedenstrom
Brian Horton
Spenser Liszt

Jake Boldman
Michael Campagna
Kevin Swaim
Daniel Matthews
Stuart Mack

Carl Lundgren
Conner Eisenmenger
Matt Corrigan
Chris Sharpe
Kenny Davis

Horace Bray - guitar
Colin Campbell - piano
Jack Helsley - bass
Connor Kent - drums

Featured Soloist: Rich Perry, Tenor Saxophone

Producer and Director: Keith Karns
Producer and Manager: Craig Marshall
Producer: Rich DeRosa
Recording Engineer: Kent Stump
Studio Photography: Jokobo Sopon Suwannakit
Recorded on December 14-15 2015 at Crystal Clear Sound Studio, Dallas, TX.
Mixed by Kent Stump at Crystal Clear Sound Studio, Dallas, TX.
Mastered by Nolan Brett at Crystal Clear Sound Studio, Dallas, TX

The Angelica Sanchez Trio - Float the Edge (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

In her piano playing as well as her compositions Angelica Sanchez seeks out the lyrical heartbeat within any avant-garde storm.
                              - The New York Times

Sanchez's provocative writing - full of evocative harmonies and open-ended forms showcases her flair for counterpoint and marks her as a formidable talent...
                                       - JazzTimes Magazine

Sanchez is involved with free jazz that has structure, if that isn't too much of a contradiction; it has a loose, cantankerous energy, but it's given shape by some smart writing.
                 -The New York Times

Pianist/Composer/Educator Angelica Sanchez moved to New York from Arizona in 1994. Since moving to the East Coast  Sanchez has played with such players as: Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, Richard Davis, Chad Taylor, Chris Lightcap, Rob Mazurek, Vincent Chancey, Susie Ibarra, Tim Berne, Mario Pavone, Mark Dresser, Ben Monder and many more. Sanchez leads many groups including her own quintet featuring Marc Ducret, Tony Malaby, Drew Gress, and Tom Rainey. Her music has been recognized in international publications like, " Jazz Times Magazine", The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many more.

She was also the 2008 recipient of the French/American Chamber Music America grant and the 2011 Rockefellers Brothers Pocantico artist residency. Her CD “Life Between” was chosen as one of years best recording 2009 in "The New York City Jazz Record (formerly AllAboutJazz-New York)."  Her debut solo CD “A Little House” was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition in May 2011. Her latest CD “Wires & Moss” featuring her Quintet was chosen as one of best Releases of 2012 in “The New York City Jazz Record (formerly AllAboutJazz-New York).” Her Duo CD “Twine Forest” with Wadada Leo Smith received Honorable Mention as a best release in 2013 in "The New York City Jazz Record."

Angelica has a Master's in Arranging from William Paterson University.

1 Shapishico
2 Float the Edge
3 Pyramid
4 Sowf (Substance of We Feeling)
5 Hypnagogia
6 What the Birds Tell Me
7 The Traveler
8 Black Flutter

Michael Formanek - double bass
Tyshawn Sorey - drums

Joey DeFrancesco & The People - Project Freedom (MACK AVENUE RECORDS 2017)

“At 45, he has dominated the instrument and the field
as no one of his generation has.” – Chicago Tribune

“To me, this record sits at a new intersection of jazz and blues 
without losing the integrity of the classic songs…” – Quincy Jones 

“Mr. DeFrancesco is a deeply authoritative musician, a master of
rhythmic pocket, and of the custom of stomping bass lines
beneath chords and riffs.” – The New York Times

When jazz aficionados think of Joey DeFrancesco and they often do they ponder his matchless talents as a modern-day avatar of the Hammond B3 organ and the Philadelphia history he shares with his principle instrument. Organ-based blues and jazz started in Philly and DeFrancesco is the first to tell you so.

DeFrancesco is adored for his buoyant, moody sense of swing and balladry as a composer and as a player. That’s a bluesy, blustery sensibility shared with the men in his family: saxophonist/grandfather Joseph DeFrancesco, and his father – organist “Papa” John DeFrancesco. Jazz lovers also dig DeFrancesco’s second instrument, the trumpet, and the inspiration gleaned from his first big boss, Miles Davis – with whom DeFrancesco gigged when the organist was in his late teens.

“All that – that’s what’s been expected of me, all of which makes me proud, but there’s so much more,” says DeFrancesco on the day he flew back to Philadelphia from his current home base of Phoenix. DeFrancesco stopped by the City of Brotherly Love to receive a star on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame alongside local giants such as Coltrane, Dizzy and Nina Simone.

So for Joey DeFrancesco’s upcoming album, Project Freedom—his debut for the Mack Avenue Records label–DeFrancesco adds several feathers to his cap including those of world traveling storyteller, quartet leader, freedom fighter, peace maker, spiritual healer and genre-busting composer and cover artist. “All of my albums mean a lot to me,” he says. “Project Freedom though – this one means just a little bit more.”

Quick to mention the influence of Philadelphia in every note that he plays–“that’s where all my initial inspiration comes from,” he explains–DeFrancesco looks beyond worshipping at the altar of Hammond B3 priests such as Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff on Project Freedom. “It was never JUST organ and it was never JUST jazz for me,” says DeFrancesco of a personal past that figures into new songs, such as the space-funk of the title track or what he calls the “free soul” of Sam Cooke’s emotional “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Stylistically, DeFrancesco has long believed that his approach to playing and composing comes from the saxophone. “It’s that sense of breathing that affects everything,” explains DeFrancesco.

 An homage to John Lennon opens Project Freedom with a gorgeous snippet of “Imagine” (Prelude)” with a soaring tribute to J. Rosamond Johnson’s uplifting composition, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” rounding out the purifying package. Mostly though, it’s DeFrancesco’s existence as a spiritual being–walking in the footsteps of humanity’s inherent goodness–that is at the heart of Project Freedom. “There are notes and rhythms, sure, but it is how you live your life that is most crucial,” he says. “It’s how you play AND present yourself.”

Being a frequent flyer with a globe-hopping world touring schedule has given DeFrancesco insight into differing–but not opposing–viewpoints that he longed to espouse through music. “I always thought that as touring musicians, we were spreading peace. No matter what happens in the world, we keep playing. In a lot of the so-called forbidden places too. When we’re there, through war and conflict, problems melt away through music. We’re playing for these people, hanging out with them, and we all come together and we’re grooving with each other because of the music. That is true freedom. Music is true freedom.”

With 41 years as a professional musician behind him and organ being his mainstay, DeFrancesco has been longing to change up the game: “I’ve exhausted the instrument–it’s like breathing to me–I’ve wanted more from what I’ve already done musically. I find myself asking, how do I expand?” The swirling soul of “The Unifier” gives listeners an idea as to how to make the organ purr anew with just the addition of a wah-wah pedal. “It makes the organ sound like a Moog and gives it this rich, weird vibrato,” DeFrancesco says.

Then there is his expansion of his work on the trumpet. The organist was toying with the horn throughout his start in the ’80s when he hooked-up with Miles Davis (“who hated his music being labeled, he believed in the same genre-jumping idea that I do,” he explains).

DeFrancesco is not surprised that songs such as the slow, twinkly “One” and the uptown-funky “So Near, So Far” (the latter penned by trombonist Benny Green, from Davis’ Seven Steps To Heaven) carry on in the Miles tradition. “The sound that comes out of me is something that surely Miles inspired. But it’s natural for me; no longer a second instrument, but as much an extension of me as the organ.”

DeFrancesco’s new Project Freedom band, The People–a unit he’ll bring out on his next world tour starting in 2017–helps him to see and feel things in a radically different manner than the past.

There’s in-the-pocket drummer Jason Brown who nearly got pigeonholed playing “straight Philly Joe Jones style; nothing wrong with that,” until DeFrancesco helped set him free. There’s guitarist Dan Wilson who has that “George Benson-Wes Montgomery-Grant Green thing down cold, and he comes out of the church, so that’s part of his thing too.” DeFrancesco wanted to add a good solid saxophonist to the band for some time, and he found one in Troy Roberts, the man behind the tenor and soprano saxophones on tunes such as the alluringly intuitive “Better Than Yesterday.” DeFrancesco sought out a “chameleon who could go from the walk-the-bar-blues to free flying” and got one in Roberts.

From self-penned titles such as “Karma” and “Peace Bridge,” DeFrancesco is telling a story of love, humanity and positivity at a time of overwhelming negativity, to spread goodness when the news runs rampant with stories of brutality, violence and prejudice. One song that’s become a centerpiece within the ideology of Project Freedom is the quartet’s lustrous cover of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song DeFrancesco began improvising as an encore for his 2003 appearance at the Detroit Jazz Festival. “The crowd was perfect, the weather was perfect, the song just came out of me and the next thing you know the crowd is swaying, men took their hats off and women began to cry. Me too. It was a truly sanctified experience where we all became one, transcending music and melody. I wanted to relive that story, that feeling, on Project Freedom.”

DeFrancesco is also pleased to be able to tell such a rich, spiritual story through his new label, Mack Avenue Records. “I have had a history with Mack Avenue as I’ve been a guest artist on some of their records, and with this label, the proof is in the pudding. They’re not only getting jazz out there – they’re very aggressive and proactive about being heard. I like that.”

Being aggressive and proactive about hearing Joey DeFrancesco’s new story, Project Freedom, makes sense. It’s a tale of love and peace worth hearing again and again.

01. Imagine
02. Project Freedom
03. The Unifier
04. Better Than Yesterday
05. Lift Every Voice and Sing
06. One
07. So Near, So Far
08. Peace Bridge
09. Karma
10. A Change Is Gonna Come
11. Stand Up

JOEY DeFRANCESCO, organ, keyboards, trumpet
TROY ROBERTS, tenor & soprano sax
DAN WILSON, guitar

Matija Dedic - Dedicated (EARS & EYES RECORDS 2017)

Dedic’s piano jazz can be thought of somewhere between the styles of Robert Glasper and Brad Mehldau, with an overall sound historically reminiscent of Bill Evans.” - Dustin Garlitz, JazzTalent 

“...superb flow with dramatic moments that bracket lithe progressions. Sometimes it feels like a classic ECM piano trio recording and other times Chick Corea. Regardless of what it evokes, it’s clear that Dedic has chops.” - S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

Dedicated features: 

Matija Dedic - piano/compositions 
Chris Cheek - tenor sax (Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, Brian Blade, Lee Konitz, Carla Bley, Tom Harrell, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel) 
Noah Hoffeld - cello (Philip Glass, Bebel Gilberto, Brad Mehldau) 
Johannes Weidenmueller - acoustic bass (John Abercrombie, Joe Lovano, Brad Mehldau, John Scofield, Dewey Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman) 

Bonus track, ‘Afmazur’, is: 
Jure Pukl - soprano saxophone (Maceo Parker, Esperanza Spalding, Vijay Iyer) 
Matt Brewer - acoustic bass (Greg Osby, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Lee Konitz, David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard, Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman, Tain Watts) 
Johnathan Blake - drums (Tom Harrell, Kenny Barron, Avishai Cohen) 

Story: For many professional musicians, often a moment in time or an influential person that sets the path for one to take a leap into the long desire and urge to take their craft as serious as need to be to become that musician they so desire. For Croatian pianist Matija Dedic, that moment, that person was his father, Arsen Dedic. It was Arsen’s influence and encouragement that made Matija take that step and it was his gift of a recording of Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert that put Matija on the path to creative and jazz music. And so it makes perfect sense that after the passing of Arsen, Matija would set out to dedicate a very special set of tunes to the memory of his father. This album, Dedicated, is just that; a dedication to Matija’s father who had recently passed and in turn, inspired this collection of music to remember his father and the importance he played in his life, career, and motivation to be here now-in the now as displayed by his mastery of the piano and the music created in his body and soul.

Though, not necessarily a common jazz-household name in the United States, Matija Dedic has been a dominating figure in the jazz and popular music scene in Croatia and throughout Europe for over 20 years. He has shared the stage and/or recorded with an array of current trendsetters in the world of jazz and creative music including folks like John Hollenbeck, Buster Williams, Alvin Queen, and Martin Drew to name a few. On his last three trio records, he was supported by powerhouse rhythm sections of Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, Kendrick Scott and Vicente Archer, and Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez. A short list of engagements had him in Turkey, Spain, Austria, Sweden, England, Brasil, USA, and more. As a leader, he has released records on Blue Bamboo, Origin, Dallas and Workin’ labels. Most recently he was featured at the Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival where ears&eyes Records director Matthew Golombisky and Matija grabbed a couple cups of coffee and rapped the jazz scenes in Eastern Europe, Buenos Aires and various cities in the US while also getting really excited about this current release. 

Dedicated is both a play on Matija’s last name, Dedic, but more importantly that the album is dedicated to his father. Arsen Dedic played an incredibly important and crucial part of Matija’s pursuit in music, piano and jazz and who in his own right Arsen was an accomplished composer, songwriter and poet. 

Arsen’s fame spreads throughout Croatian culture as the creator of Croatian chanson transforming his words and music to use as subtle commentary about political turmoil. Included in this musical family and upbringing is Matija’s mother, singer Gabi Novak who was born in Berlin during World War II and thereafter moved to the island Hvar where Matija spent his childhood summers and composed much of this current album. (Tune ‘Return from the Island’ is a direct reference.) At the Bled Jazz Festival in 1958, Gabi sang a duet with Louis Armstrong. In her youth, she also sang with Phil Woods, Gary Burton, and Joe Turner. In 2003, she received a Porin (Croatia’s most prestigious music award) for “Best Female Vocal Performance” for her performance on the album "The Song is My Life" and in 2006, for “Special Contribution to Croatian Pop Music”. The Dedic family though, on a whole, is among some of the most winning artists since the Porin’s inception in 1993. Arsen received 15 in total including “Album of the Year” and “Best Pop & Classical Music” in 2005, “Best Pop Album” in 2009 and 1998, “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1999. He also received Jacques Brel Award in France and the Premio Tenco Award in San Remi, Italy. Matija has received 25 Porins, so far, including last year’s “Album of the Year”. 

“I was [Arsen’s] personal pianist for 10 years and it was an unprecedented honor and level of happiness for me. Sharing the stage with such established legends and emerging artists is difficult to describe. But the honor came from being able to live, learn and experience this music with my father; my inspiration,” says Matija. 

Admittedly Matija’s ensemble of choice is the classic piano, bass, drums, but on Dedicated he explores more intimate textures. Other than the fierce track ‘Afmazur’ featuring Jure Pukl (s. sax), Matt Brewer (a.bass) and Johnathan Blake (drums), it’s a drummer-less album filled with soaring cello melodies. There are touches of both tenor and soprano saxes. ‘His Visit’ is a scaled down trio of piano, cello and bass and creates a mysterious pad of reflection. It’s definitely a “jazz record” with virtuosic solos with heads, piano intros, and complex harmony, but there’s a bigger sense of purpose and direction with this set of tunes. It’s decisive with a clear intention: the memory and thankfulness of a lost friend, mentor and father. 

‘His Visit’, which was the original album title documents a moment when Arsen’s health was on a brink of unknown and Matija was making decisions as to whether continue his busy schedule which included tour dates in Spain and Italy or to return home. It was a strange mixed-feeling of fear but also hope that Arsen’s health would turn for the better. 

Recorded in Astoria, New York’s famous Samurai Hotel Studio, it’s a clean, crisp sounding recording that allows the listener to feel like they were in the room during the recording sessions. Owner and recording engineer, David Stoller and his studio, are top-picks for many of the big-hitters of jazz including Nicholas Payton, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Turre, Chris Potter, Cedar Walton and a lot more. 

Though ears&eyes Records has found itself releasing mostly Chicago-based artists and groups where we were birthed some ten years ago, we are incredibly excited to welcome Matija to a family that may be based in Chicago but includes all artists with a global presence and self-awareness of connectedness. Join us in welcoming Matija, along with Chris Cheek, Juke Pukl, Johnathan Blake, Noah Hoffeld, Joannes Weidenmueller and Matt Brewer on what will be a record of reflection, not only of Arsen Dedic, but of our own lives and those dear to us, near or far. Enjoy.

Recorded by David Stoller at Samurai Hotel Studio in Astoria Queens, NYC USA 
Mixed and mastered by Miro Vidovic at Morris Studio in Zagreb, Croatia 
Album artwork by Federico Maksimiuk 
Design layout by Matthew Golombisky


Ashley Summers - True North (EARS & EYES RECORDS March 24, 2017)

“True North,” is a sophisticated study of contrasts by Chicago-based, Canadian-born bassist and composer Ashley Summers. In her long-awaited debut album as a leader, Summers’s collection of originals crafts a love letter to icy air, shimmering city lights, and the capacious joys and tragedies of urban life. Above all, this is music about resiliency like the words of Albert Camus: the “invincible summer” found “deep within the midst of winter.” 

Ever the nomad, Summers is a self-proclaimed 'city girl' that has spent her career exploring many corners of the world in pursuit of music scholarship and performance. From her childhood home in Canada to the cobblestone streets of Paris and humbling hills of Kentucky, this collection of compositions serves as a tribute to the people, experiences and values that keep her grounded regardless of locale or circumstance. “I became a ‘wanderer’ the moment I discovered jazz and creative improvised music,” Summers says in reference to the many different cities she has called home. “It’s embedded in the spirit of the music; you go where it takes you. Each move has been prompted solely by music coupled with either restlessness or a dream I was chasing.” In 2015, when a close family member was in the midst of a battle with cancer and two of her musical heroes died suddenly, Summers says: “I started to examine the significant attachments in my life that keep me grounded, which are not geographical or physical at all." 

"Every one of my compositions is a tribute to or reflection of a person in my life or an experience I’m trying to narrate, but this was different. I was trying to define what it is that ultimately guides my journey as an artist and an individual, and I realized that what I was searching for was an ‘anthem’ of sorts that would tie my work together.” The result of this revelation is the spirited, exultant melody in True North, which Summers acknowledges as “certainly a propos in light of the tremendous pride I have for my country and the intensity of the yearning I feel for my homeland as I wander the world, which is all reflected in the shifting metres and moods of my composition.” Having crafted her anthem, and after spending a significant portion of her career supporting other artists in the studio, she finally felt ready to release an album of her own. The album contains stories of patriotism, resilience, heartache, injustice, mysticism, hope and heroism, all told from the perspective of an artist perpetually guided by her "True North". 

There is no better assemblage of musicians to help Summers in this storytelling endeavor than Seamus Blake, Daniel Bruce, Daniel Murphy and Chris Baker. While each have their own unique artistic voice, they have all had a profound presence in Summers's life for well over a decade. Saxophone powerhouse and fellow Vancouver native Seamus Blake has been a major influence on Summers from the moment she heard him in her teenaged years. His extraordinary sound and inimitable playing style has invariably inspired the sweeping melodies she writes. Here, his articulate improvisations charge the project with unbridled optimism and streetwise bravado. Pianist Daniel Murphy has been Summers's co-conspirator since a 2006 tour with Cleveland saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio that sparked their friendship and musical camaraderie.

His talents blend seamlessly with her compositional style and his incisive, front-edged technique contributes a certain suave elegance to the project. Similarly, the spirited guitar playing of Summers's close friend and longtime collaborator Daniel Bruce adds a layer of intrigue and momentum that he executes effortlessly. The album glitters with the elegant playing of Summers's drummer and husband, Chris Baker, who deftly balances ferocity with subtlety to make her compositions come alive here. 

Summers herself performs her eloquent compositions with stunning sincerity, balancing impetuous, razor-sharp rhythmic clarity with the introspection of an old soul who has stories to tell. Achingly long melodies drape gracefully over persistent rhythmic syncopations like walls of fog rolling over the clamoring streets of her native Vancouver. Summers’s world is one in which collaborators breezily finish each other’s musical sentences, and perpetually building intensity crests and falls as naturally as waves into foam. 

“My hope is that the album as a whole inspires a feeling of momentum”, Summers affirms. “It’s meant to stir and invigorate the listener, propelling them in whatever direction is true for them.”

1. King of Swords 6:18
2. True North 7:30
3. The Matriarch 6:26
4. Against the Grain 7:53
5. Raîson d’Être 7:19
6. Eli 3:46

Seamus Blake , tenor saxophone
Daniel Bruce , guitar
Daniel Murphy , piano
Chris Baker , drums

Recorded by Shane Hendrickson at IV Labs in Chicago, IL USA 
Mixed and Mastered by Brian Schwab in Chicago, IL USA 
Album artwork and design by Federico Maksimiuk