Recorded on December 6th, 2009. Recorded and mixed by Tedd Orr at Sertso Studio, Woodstock, New York. Special thanks to Karl Berger. Photo by Ben Stimler. Art, typography and layout by Marek Wajda.
Tracklist: 1. Bemsha Swing, Thelonious Monk / arr. Kenny Wessel 2. Ask Me Now, Thelonious Monk / arr. Stephen Gauci 3. Let’s Cool One, Thelonious Monk / arr. Michael Bisio 4. Monks Mood, Thelonious Monk / arr. Stephen Gauci 5. Nutty Thelonious Monk / arr. Stephen Gauci 6. Ruby My Dear, Thelonious Monk 7. Off minor, Thelonious Monk / arr. Stephen Gauci 8. Well You Needn’t, Thelonious Monk / arr. Michael Bisio
is recognized as one of the leading saxophonists on the New York City improvised music scene. Musicians he’s performed with include William Parker, George Garzone, Sabir Mateen, Tony Malaby, James Emory, Karl Berger, Kenny Wessel, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Herb Robertson, Ben Allison, Marc Helias, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Mike Bisio, Jay Rosen, Lou Grassi, Whit Dickey, Kirk Knuffke, Kenny Wollesen, and Graham Haynes.
In the past six years Stephen has released twelve records as a leader, as well as appearing as a prominant side man on three “Mike Bisio Quartet” releases. Gauci has performed at the Creative Improvised Music Festival (Austria), Rochester International Jazz Festival (New York), High Seirra Festival (California), Bumbershoot Festival, Folk Life Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle, WA), and the Vision Festival (NYC). He has toured throughout Europe including Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, and Portugal.
StephenGauci | Photo by Rodrigo Amado
is a versatile, sensitive and soulful guitarist and composer. A vital and personal voice on the jazz guitar, Wessel has been involved in projects playing jazz, ranging from straight-ahead to free music. Ken is also very interested in creating and investigating points of intersection between jazz and Indian music and has performed and recorded with musicians from various parts of the globe. He has performed in 26 countries at major jazz festivals, concert halls and in radio and television appearances.
Wessel worked with revolutionary jazz artist Ornette Coleman for over 12 years (1988-2000), touring the world as a member of Prime Time, Ornette’s groundbreaking ensemble. Ken can be heard on Ornette Coleman’s critically acclaimed Polygram/Verve CD, Tone Dialing. Performing “Skies of America,” Ornette Coleman’s seminal work for symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble, Ken has appeared with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. He has worked with artists from different shades of the jazz spectrum, including John Abercrombie, David Liebman, Gloria Lynne, Arthur and Red Prysock, Karl Berger, Steve Gorn, Adam Rudolph, Hamid Drake, Donald Fagen, Steve Turre and Johnny Hartmann.
Ken has a strong interest in world music, particulary with North Indian music, and he has performed with Debashish Bhattacharya, Karaikudi Mani, V.M. Bhatt, Samir Chatterjee and others. Wessel co-leads a trio with jazz tabla master Badal Roy and bassist Stomu Takeishi. Their CD, Daybreak, was included in JAZZIZ magazine’s Top 10 Critic’s Picks of 1998. They have performed together extensively throughout North America. In 1995, Ken and Badal toured India and the U.S. with their composition, “Testimony,” which was commissioned by the Battery Dance Company. As a U.S. Jazz Ambassador, Ken has toured South Asia and South America, visiting India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bengladesh and Venezuela in 2002-03.
He is an active composer (he has received numerous “Meet the Composer” grants) and his original music has an organic and evocative quality. Ken’s quartet with Joel Frahm (sax), Brad Jones (bass) and Kenny Wolleson (drums) has a CD in the works which will be released soon. His recent trio recording, Jawboning (CIMP), with bassist, Ken Filiano and drummer, Lou Grassi investigates the boundaries between freedom and structure.
A dedicated jazz educator, Ken is currently on the faculties of the Music Conservatory of Westchester and Rutgers University. He has given clinics and Master classes at numerous institutions in the U.S. and overseas, including Yale University, Manhattan School of Music, Mahaidol University in Thailand, Music Academy in Oslo, and Columbia University.
Kenny Wessel | Photo by Ken Weiss
invariably astounds audiences with the beauty of his tone and the intensity of his very personal musical language. His music has received 4 1/2 stars from DownBeat, Jazz Times states his music “resonates with intelligence, emotional depth and probing virtuosity.” Journalist Paul DeBarros in Signal to Noise notes; “For years free improvisers have explored the tactile aspect of performance, in which the nature of the encounter between the player and the instrument becomes the subject of the music itself. Bisio is one of the few musicians that has managed to meld this high-concept sense of physicality with the soulful charge of jazz. His fiddle-high, scraped overtones create a tangled choir that is impossible to resist; his expressiveness with the bow is unmatched. Having whirled the listener into a transportive state, he gently shows them the way out…”
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)