Blue Cranes - Swim
"One of Portland's brightest lights."– Downbeat
"Says more than most singer-songwriters—without any words at all." – Willamette Week
"A truly unconventional approach to improvised music that puts other third-streamers to shame" – WNYC
"A strong focus on ensemble playing over individual virtusity" – Dave King (The Bad Plus)
"This is that album that you leave in your car stereo for a month on purpose." – Scott Borne, music director WWOZ
"The first time I saw Portland's Blue Cranes live, I walked away trying to compare what I'd seen to anything I'd encountered before. I couldn't do it, and I still can't - the band is a force of nature.... Call it "creative music" or "post-jazz" or whatever you like, but the Blue Cranes sound is steeped in the ideas and concepts of jazz....a beautifully improvised sonic experience." – NPR/A Blog Supreme
Since their formation in 2007, Blue Cranes have become a key player in the Portland, Oregon creative music/DIY scene and one of the most exciting groups to keep tabs on in the Northwest. They’ve developed a singular musical voice grounded in melody and explosive improvisations—marking off their unique microcosmic territory in “post-jazz/jazz-not jazz” circles, ala comparable bands like The Bad Plus, The Claudia Quintet, Happy Apple, Wayne Horvitz, Janel & Anthony, etc.
The members of the quintet –
Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone,
Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone,
Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards,
Keith Brush on double bass,
Ji Tanzer on drums –
bring a wide array of various musical experiences to their group-centered aesthetic. The band take an evolutionary step forward on their fourth full-length release.
Swim is a departure from Blue Cranes' previous, and in some ways simpler, albums. More than half of the album incorporates arrangements for a string trio, and other tracks include other musical guests - cementing the group's love affair with a lush sonic palette.
The sounds on Swim, both churning and calming, will please fans of adventurous jazz and avant-garde new music and mark the ripening moment of a band who have been working towards this moment for years.
Here is a video of the band working with Wayne Horvitz - rehearsing one of the tracks on the album