Davis, Caroline / Rob Clearfield / Persona - Anthems

SKU 28-SYS1538.2
Caroline Davis - alto saxophone
Rob Clearfield - piano, Fender Rhodes, Moog synthesizer
Sam Weber - acoustic & electric bass
Jay Sawyer - drums

Rob Clearfield may be familiar to some of you as the former keyboardist and composer with District 97 & Matt Ullery!

“The name of saxophonist Caroline Davis and pianist Rob Clearfield’s new ensemble comes from the title of Ingmar Bergman’s watershed film, Persona. In the movie, an actress plagued by muteness is put in the care of a nurse, who begins to take on the characteristics of her charge. The underlying narrative of the film raises the questions of whether there are two separate characters or one character with two personalities. Or perhaps these two characters share one common consciousness.
The band Persona’s sound is the melding of Davis and Clearfield’s unique musical identities. The ensemble’s new recording, Anthems, is their declaration of purpose, akin to that of Ornette Coleman’s landscape changing This Is Our Music. While Coleman’s music pursued the path of musical freedom, Persona’s revolution is more in line with creating pieces with strong personal statements, whether they are declarative melodies of urgent lyricism or innovative cyclical rhythmic concepts.
The books of each composer complement each other nicely. Initially, Davis’s pieces leaned toward more melodically driven tunes while Clearfield had a penchant for rhythmic designs. As their collaboration continued to blossom, these tendencies began to switch from one composer to the other, as Davis found herself more and more concerned with rhythmic development and Clearfield with more lyrical realms, creating a perfect allusion to their cinematic namesake. The personnel of Persona was rounded out with bassist Sam Weber and drummer Jay Sawyer, two Midwesterners from Michigan who Davis had met and performed with regularly in New York. The flexibility and dedication of the musicians allowed the group to pursue musical experiments, from compositional to aural with the addition of Fender Rhodes and electric bass. Clearfield had long been comfortable with electronic keyboards and synthesizers, while Davis began to utilize electronics in her compositions and explore the relativity of attack and decay of synthesized instruments on her saxophone.
The imaginative partnership of Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield in their new ensemble Persona and the group’s diverse collection of pieces on Anthems are strong representations of the brilliance that can be achieved when two minds work as one.”
  • LabelSunnyside
  • UPC016728153829
Your Price $17.00

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