I am so excited about two new CD's that I am a part of soon to be released in 2012 on RedZenRecords Spirit Driven and Toward the Hill of Joy recently released May, 2011 - some music from which is available to listen here and to download and purchase on CD Baby.
Spirit Driven, is a long awaited project that was conceptualized by the great Jorge Sylvester. I am delighted to have contributed one of my original compositions and all the lyrical and poetic content to the project. It was an honor and a joy to work with these outstanding artists and the music is extremely rhythmically exciting and soulful. It has a strong and deeply spiritual message that speaks through us from the ancestors.
The ACE (Afro Caribbean Experimental) Collective is a group of improvising musicians created and led by saxophonist/composer/arranger Jorge Sylvester. An extension of the ACE Trio (alto saxophone, electric bass and drums), the ACE Collective includes three additional independent rhythmic and melodic elements: the voice, trumpet and piano expanding its harmonic colors, its scope of sound and its textural capacity. The music is original, new and experimental and draws from the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora, jazz and the free music art forms.
The Jorge Sylvester ACE ( Afro Caribbean Experimental) Collective
Jorge Sylvester – Alto Saxophone and Compositions
Nora McCarthy – Voice, Poetry and Compositions
Waldron Mahdi Ricks – Trumpet
Pablo Vergara – Piano
Donald Nicks – Electric Bass
Kenny Grohowski – Drums and Percussions
Afro-Caribbean rhythms and their relationship to the avant-garde music form have not been documented. Unlike the work of composers such as Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and others who used Afro-Caribbean rhythms in their works without experimenting with their rhythmic pulse, the compositional structure of the music of the ACE Collective goes beyond an absolute interpretation, and delves deeper into the core of the rhythms breaking them down and expanding the pulse into a myriad of complex configurations that tap into the original primal properties of the music itself, reflecting its history and its origin, unraveling its many transmutations and adaptations over time and discovering new possibilities and applications within the tradition itself that are related to the avant-garde.
The poetry reflects the message of the compositions by telling the story of each piece and its historic relevance to the music adding an important educational dimension. Other compositions that are significant to the history of jazz music are also occasionally introduced into the performance highlighting certain lesser known but meaningful composers from the Caribbean.
Toward the Hill of Joy.
Composer, Conductor, Arranger, Trombonist George Brandon and his Septet
George Brandon, trombone/compositions
Jorge Sylvester, alto saxophone
Nora McCarthy, voice
Josh Evans, trumpet
Neil Alexander, piano
Joshua Wolff, piano
Calvin Hill, bass
Rudy Walker and Emmanuel Herrold, drums
This is an extremely beautiful project created by George Brandon. All original music, extended intense compositions that are both personal and mystical. The CD has an air of mystery and an underlying spirituality at one end of it's broad spectrum and at the other, there is a playfulness and joy that balances ever so nicely the intense gravity of the other pieces. It is a blend of the contemporary with old school, bebop, straight ahead swinging jazz. I found the music on this project to be solely unique and masterful. George Brandon has emerged at this point in his life as an excellent composer of much depth and these compositions are a refreshing addition to the music that is being brought out today.