Threadgill, Henry - This Brings Us To, Volume, One

SKU 32-PI31
"This Brings Us To is the first release from Threadgill since 2001. He has spent those eight years, the longest time between releases in his career, creating and perfecting a new system of improvisation in a group setting. A zooid is a cell that is able to move independently of the larger organism to which it belongs, an apt description of the musical language that Threadgill has developed for this band. The compositions are organized along a series of interval blocks comprised of three notes, each of which is assigned to a musician, who is free to move around within these intervals, improvising melodies and creating counterpoint to one another. The system provides the framework for open dialogue within the group while encouraging the musicians to seek new ways to improvise, away from a reliance on chord changes, scales or any of the clichés of certain “free” jazz. The music is coupled with complex rhythms, another distinctive aspect of all of Threadgill’s music. He was among the first in jazz to use constantly shifting meters, which creates a layered rhythmic effect, while maintaining a steady pulse. Despite its rhythmic intricacy, his music maintains a grooving, funky vibe, even though there is rarely a “1” to be found anywhere. Threadgill has always understood the importance of bringing together musicians who are willing to dedicate themselves to his vision. Each member of Zooid – Threadgill on flute and alto saxophone, Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar, Jose Davila on trombone and tuba, Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums – has worked to gain a thorough mastery of Threadgill’s singular musical language. The core of the band has now been together for almost ten years. The one recent addition, Stomu Takeishi, was a member of Threadgill’s earlier band Make a Move, so he is no stranger to his music..."

"Two of the most innovative figures of the 1970s have emerged with some of their strongest music ever. That's good news if you enjoy the challenge of something new, and it's heartening to know that these artists still have the ability to surprise and inform anyone who's willing to listen deeply. Saxophonist/flutist Henry Threadgill has disappeared from recording since 2001, working out his system of improvisation in relative privacy. He returns energetically with his band Zooid on "This Brings Us To (Volume 1)"(Pi), which lunges at the listener with enigmatic twists and his unmistakable wailing alto sound. The music propels forward with unusual instrumental voicings, gnarled grooves and ideas that come from the American jazz tradition (I'm referring to Jose Davila's tuba), as well as from various global influences. The titles, like "White Wednesday off the wall" and "Mirror mirror the verb," read like lines of abstract poetry, and chief soloists Threadgill and guitarist Liberty Ellman artfully put these words to music. I could complain about less than 40 minutes of music after eight years of study, but there's more to consider here than most artists pack into 80 minutes."-Bret Saunders/Denver Post

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