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Jon Hardy & the Public to release 'A Hard Year'

Acclaimed purveyors of resonating Americana, Jon Hardy & the Public prepare for the January 25 release of a new stand-out EPA Hard Year - continuing their tradition of being St. Louis' "best kept secret" and announce a very special hometown show to celebrate!

Jon Hardy’s voice is deep and true, expressing yearning, pain, and triumph all at the same time. The St. Louis singer/songwriter and his band, The Public, make music that has bowled over critics at outlets like NPR, No Depression and hometown weekly Riverfront Times. “I asked fellow music writer Roy Kasten to name a better song than Hardy’s ‘Cassius Clay’ to come out of St. Louis since Uncle Tupelo’s ‘Gun,’” wrote that paper’s Christian Schaefer. “He couldn’t.”

Indeed, the group’s Americana-rooted sound often draws comparisons to Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar’s early work, though it also incorporates horn-driven soul and stomping, anthemic rock a la Bruce Springsteen. Also featuring Glenn Labarre on lead guitar, Johnny Kidd on keyboards, Greg Shadwick on bass and Mike Schurk on drums, The Public are also influenced by Randy Newman, and released a four song cover EP of his tracks called Little Criminals. “There’s something in his voice that gives me the impression that he’s on the outside looking in, that he’s not invited to the party,” says Hardy. “His songs are comforting and troubling all at the same time.”

This uneasy combination was recently featured as NPR’s Song of the Day with the single “Worst I Ever Had”. “Brilliantly capturing that desperate feeling lying somewhere between lust and fear,” wrote NPR’s Ben Westhoff, “the group shows why they probably won’t be simply regional favorites for much longer.”

The two EPs followed the group’s 2005 debut Make Me Like Gold, which No Depression writer Ed Ward said was “about as original as any grass-roots recording by a guitar-based band is going to get at this late date” and their 2007 disc Working In Love. That album featured the show-stopping “Cassius Clay” and songs concerning Hardy’s recent divorce; in many ways the album was a letter to his ex-wife. “That was the best way I knew to tell her what I was thinking and feeling,” he says.
In recent years, Jon Hardy & The Public have performed with acclaimed acts including Okkervil River, The Avett Brothers, White Denim, John Vanderslice, Pernice Brothers and White Rabbits and drawn comparisons to Spoon. Their music has been played on college and community radio stations from coast to coast.
Hardy was raised in Webster Groves, just outside of St. Louis, by a Presbyterian preacher father and a mother whose work included substitute teaching. “It was a strange mix of liberal and conservative,” Hardy says. “My dad would always spend time reading to us about the civil rights movement. At the same time, TV was not smiled upon and music was carefully reviewed.” Having grown up on his parents’ classic rock and pop records, he taught himself guitar largely from listening to blues players like Lightnin’ Hopkins and B.B. King on local radio.
His first band was a power pop outfit called Shelby. “I remember I was very afraid of being in front of people and performing,” he says. “I don’t know that I’ve completely gotten over it.” An odd thing to say, as Jon Hardy & The Public’s shows have the inspirational quality of a revival meeting worthy of his father. Often featuring a full horns section and a faithful cover of Springsteen’s “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” they are largely responsible for the band’s considerable grassroots following in the Midwest.
Shadwick joined the group not long before he and Hardy were laid off from their jobs. He joined Labarre (a former fan of the band who came aboard shortly after Make Me Like Gold), Kidd (who brought a soul and pop aesthetic to the group) and Schurk, who answered a craigslist ad and bested other potential stickmen in a try-out. All five members collaborate on their albums’ stunning production, which highlights each member’s considerable musicianship without sacrificing their raw power.
Hardy makes it clear that he and The Public are dedicated to making quality tracks that stand the test of time. “We all still have to work other jobs to pay the bills, and in the meantime we’re trying to create good music,” he says. He’s also firmly rooted in his community, penning songs largely for himself and his friends. It just so happens that these tunes -- in all their rumbling power -- resonate with folks he’s never met. A sound as big as theirs, it turns out, has a hard time being contained.

FRANK SINATRA: BEST OF VEGAS

In the span of a few years, Las Vegas refueled Frank Sinatra’s career and Sinatra in turn became the lead figure in the city’s ascendance. It was a synergistic relationship that has since become legendary in the annals of 20th century entertainment.

Some of the finest moments in that legendary symbiosis are captured in Frank Sinatra: Best of Vegas, a series of live recordings set for release on Concord Records on February 15, 2011. The 14-song set, under license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), captures Sinatra in concert at the Sands, Caesars Palace and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas between 1961 and 1987. The collection is a distillation of highlights from Sinatra: Vegas, the five-disc boxed set (4 CD/1 DVD) of live recordings released by Reprise Records in 2006.

“From his debut at the Desert Inn in September 1951, no entertainer was ever more synonymous with the city of Las Vegas than Frank Sinatra,” says Charles Pignone, author of The Sinatra Treasures, in his comprehensive liner notes to the Best of Vegas CD. “It has been said that next to legalized gambling, nothing has been more beneficial and profitable to Las Vegas than Frank Sinatra.”

All the Sinatra classics are here, performed live before adoring crowds at some of the most prestigious venues in the history of Vegas. “The Lady Is a Tramp” (The Sands, 1961); “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (The Sands, 1966); “All or Nothing at All” (Caesars Palace, 1982); “Pennies From Heaven” (The Golden Nugget, 1987); and of course, the “Theme From New York, New York” (Caesars Palace, 1982) are just some of the gems in the Best of Vegas collection.

“If you were in Las Vegas at the same time as Sinatra, there was nothing else that could compare,” says Pignone. “Even when the entertainment in town was changing from headliners to magic and production shows, Sinatra was still the ‘main event.’”

Or in the words of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, Sinatra was “the destination’s most enduring icon, an inimitable original who was influential in shaping Las Vegas’ image and entertainment scene.”

Sinatra returned to Vegas in December with the opening of Sinatra Dance With Me, at the Wynn Las Vegas. Conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, Sinatra Dance With Me features original recorded masters of Frank Sinatra with a big band and 14 of the world’s finest dancers.


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TRACK LIST
Introduction
The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else
Moonlight in Vermont
The Lady Is a Tramp
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Street Of Dreams
Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
Monologue
Luck Be a Lady
I Can’t Get Started
Without a Song
All or Nothing at All
Witchcraft
Pennies From Heaven
Angel Eyes
Theme From New York, New York
Bows

Old 97's @ Boulder Theater | 1/27/11

Since the Old 97's roared out of Dallas more than fifteen years ago, they have blazed a trail through alt-country and power-pop, led by the piercingly observant lyrics of lead singer Rhett Miller. Each new Old 97's record is hotly anticipated, and rightfully so: "Blame It On Gravity," from 2008, contained some of the band's most deeply felt and passionately played songs. But in a career full of high-water marks, "The Grand Theatre Volume 1″ is perhaps the most ambitious and accomplished set of recordings yet.

The album, the band's eighth, began to come together last year, when Miller was on a solo tour of Europe with Steve Earle. "When I started in this band, I wrote on the road constantly," Miller says. "But I was 23 then, so everything was new to me. Over the years, those strange and wonderful things have begun to feel more commonplace. On the familiar highways, in familiar hotels, it's pretty easy to turn into a zombie. But on this tour, I was in England and Ireland and Scandinavia, places where I haven't spent very much time in, and because of that things seemed somehow fresh. I felt recharged."

The result was a set of songs rooted in specific locations. "The title track, which I wrote in Leeds, is like a series of postcards that try to capture the moment of falling in love; it begins in the Grand Theatre, which is a historic venue there, on the elevator. There's another song, "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)," that I wrote, or at least started to write, while I was walking around in Soho. And a song like "The Dance Class" wouldn't have happened if I wasn't in Birmingham, trapped in a hotel, looking out at streets that were bleak and gray except for a dance studio across the way. I imagined an agoraphobic who sees a beautiful girl in that studio and fantasizes about being freed by her." Miller's portraits of love and loneliness are paired with some of the sharpest music the band has ever produced, from the propulsive celebration of "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)" to the manic (and almost panicked) energy of "The Dance Class."

More Info / Buy Tickets

Billy Taylor - July 24, 1921 - December 28, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010.  He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.

The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

After many years of recording for leading record labels, in 1989, Taylor started his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music, releasing four albums, and in the late 90s, "Soundpost Records," releasing his two final recordings.

Dr. Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several  award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Dr. Billy Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts, and also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series, and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education.

Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife, Theodora and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.  A son, Duane, passed away in 1988.

Charmaine Clamor Delivers Something Good to NYC

Celebrated by The New York Times as “a gifted vocalist” and by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the important and original new jazz singers of the decade,” Pinay Pride Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino, returns to New York for a special CD Release concert on JANUARY 8, Saturday, 7PM at the TRIAD THEATER on 72nd and Broadway. The Triad hosted last year’s successful New York City Fil-Am JazzFest, headlined by Ms. Clamor.

General Admission ($27) and a limited number of VIP Tickets are available online through BrownPaperTickets here.

Ms. Clamor, the 2009 Filipinas Magazine Entertainer of the Year, brings her 6-piece “Killin’ Sweehearts” band in support of their 4th U.S. album, Something Good. The album, heard locally on WKCR, WBAI, and WNYC is on the JazzWeek World Music radio chart – Clamor’s third straight album in the World Music Top-20.

Recognized by Jazz Times as the reigning Queen of Filipino Jazz, Ms. Clamor blends jazz with music of her beloved home country, the Philippines. She sings in both her adopted tongue of English and her native language, Tagalog, creating new (and swinging!) arrangements of beloved Filipino love songs such as “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” “Ikaw,” and “Dahil Sa Yo.”

Born in a developing country where accessible clean water is scarce, Charmaine has fostered a passion for the planet, focused on clean water conservation. In the 3-song Mother Nature Suite on Something Good, Charmaine pays respect to the planet. Charmaine’s devotion to a cleaner, healthier earth extends to her work with the Sierra Club Water Committee and Food & Water Watch. Clamor does not stop there, though. With the CD tray for Something Good manufactured from potato, the packaging for the album is 100% recyclable!

Finding harmonic similarities between the traditional spiritual song “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and the traditional Filipina Visayan folk lullaby “Ili-Ili,” Clamor combined the two to create the haunting and stirring “Motherless Ili-Ili.” She will unveil the song on January 8 and will be available for autograph signing and photographs immediately after the concert.

Charmaine’s musical journey began at age 3, entertaining passengers in the back of buses traveling to Manila, in her homeland of the Philippines. A licensed physical therapist for 6 years, performing music whenever she could, Clamor soon realized she had to follow her artistic calling. But creating, developing and mastering one musical genre has never been enough for the brilliantly eclectic Clamor. Her global recognition reached new heights in 2010 when Charmaine was the only Filipina to appear on the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim concept album, “Here Lies Love” (Nonesuch), about the life of Imelda Marcos, the eccentric former First Lady of the Phillipines.

Charmaine’s previous releases include Searching for the Soul, Flippin’ Out, and My Harana: A Filipino Serenade. Whether it’s jazz, world, soul, funk, pop, swing, blues, folk or jazzipino, Charmaine Clamor always delivers Something Good. In New York on January 8, she intends on proving it.

WHAT: Charmaine Clamor, Queen of Jazzipino in Concert
WHEN: January 8th (Saturday), 7PM sharp; Doors open at 6:30PM
WHERE: Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd Street (at Broadway)
TICKETS: $27 available at: www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/135499
MORE INFO: http://www.CharmaineClamor.com

Old 97's w/ Langhorne Slim @ Boulder Theater

Since the Old 97's roared out of Dallas more than fifteen years ago, they have blazed a trail through alt-country and power-pop, led by the piercingly observant lyrics of lead singer Rhett Miller. Each new Old 97's record is hotly anticipated, and rightfully so: "Blame It On Gravity," from 2008, contained some of the band's most deeply felt and passionately played songs. But in a career full of high-water marks, "The Grand Theatre Volume 1″ is perhaps the most ambitious and accomplished set of recordings yet.

The album, the band's eighth, began to come together last year, when Miller was on a solo tour of Europe with Steve Earle. "When I started in this band, I wrote on the road constantly," Miller says. "But I was 23 then, so everything was new to me. Over the years, those strange and wonderful things have begun to feel more commonplace. On the familiar highways, in familiar hotels, it's pretty easy to turn into a zombie. But on this tour, I was in England and Ireland and Scandinavia, places where I haven't spent very much time in, and because of that things seemed somehow fresh. I felt recharged."

The result was a set of songs rooted in specific locations. "The title track, which I wrote in Leeds, is like a series of postcards that try to capture the moment of falling in love; it begins in the Grand Theatre, which is a historic venue there, on the elevator. There's another song, "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)," that I wrote, or at least started to write, while I was walking around in Soho. And a song like "The Dance Class" wouldn't have happened if I wasn't in Birmingham, trapped in a hotel, looking out at streets that were bleak and gray except for a dance studio across the way. I imagined an agoraphobic who sees a beautiful girl in that studio and fantasizes about being freed by her." Miller's portraits of love and loneliness are paired with some of the sharpest music the band has ever produced, from the propulsive celebration of "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)" to the manic (and almost panicked) energy of "The Dance Class."

More Info / Buy Tickets

John Hartford Stringband Nominated Best Folk Album

MEMORIES OF JOHN (Red Clay/Compass Records), the 15-song tribute to the late, great John Hartford — the banjo wizard, guitar picker, vocalist, musical innovator and multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist who penned the megahit “Gentle on My Mind” — that was recorded by members of his former band and special guests, has been nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Folk Album.

The John Hartford Stringband, the same group of musicians who appeared on Hartford’s last five Rounder Records projects and were his final touring band — Chris Sharp on guitar, Bob Carlin on banjo, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Mark Schatz on bass — were joined by special guests Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown, Alan O’Bryant, George Buckner and Eileen Carson Schatz to make the album that commemorates Hartford.
The album features Hartford himself on several previously unreleased tracks recorded before his death in 2001 as well as voiced instructions to the band from previous rehearsal tapes. Renditions of hit original Hartford songs, traditional fiddle tunes (“Three Forks of Sandy,” the album’s opening track), country and bluegrass songs refashioned by Hartford (“The Girl I Left Behind Me,” “Love Grown Cold”), rarely heard Hartford originals (“You Don't Notice Me Ignoring You”) unreleased compositions (“Madison, Tennessee”), the story-poem “For John” and more fill the loving tribute to one of the most influential artists in American music. The album ends with Hartford’s own whistling song “Fade Out.”
“John Hartford is now in the clouds, but his spirit can rest easy,” says CountryChart.com. “His friends have honored his memory in the best possible way. They have created a remarkable album that breaks new ground while exploring the music of a legend.”
This fall, Hartford was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and in 2005, was awarded the Americana Music Association’s President’s Award. He received multiple GRAMMY awards and nominations throughout his career, including Album of the Year for the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack and Best Folk Performance for his song “Gentle on My Mind,” one of the most recorded songs of all time. He also appeared on TV in the 1960s and ’70s, on “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” “The Johnny Cash Show” and “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
The John Hartford Stringband will tour in 2011; scheduled concerts include the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis in February, Merle Fest in North Carolina in April, and CBA Music Camp and the 36th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in California in June.
The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be presented Feb. 13, 2011. The full list of GRAMMY nominees is available here.

Kristy Lee in the Bowery | 12/2/2010

Not to be confused with American Idol’s Kristy Lee Cook, Kristy Lee says she’s the real deal. Indeed, she is.

Asobi Seksu Announce 2011 North American Winter Tour

Polyvinyl recording artist Asobi Seksu has announced the release of their highly anticipated 4th album, Fluorescence, available February 14th in UK/Europe and 15th in North America on CD, LP (Gatefold Jacket, 180 gram pink vinyl limited edition of 1,500) and digital formats.  The album features the lead single, "Trails", which is available now as an MP3 download. There will also be a video for the track in early 2011.  The album features artwork from acclaimed designer Vaughan Oliver (Cocteau Twins, Pixies).  The album is available for pre-order now on the Polyvinyl website at www.polyvinylrecords.com/fluorescence.

The signs in Chris Zane’s studio couldn’t have been any clearer: “Don’t Overthink It” and one simple word—“BOLD.”

Or as Asobi Seksu guitarist/singer James Hanna puts it, “This time, our agenda was to not have one at all; to be mellow about the entire process instead of obsessing over everything.”

Maybe mellow isn’t the right word, unless he’s comparing the band’s fourth proper full-length (Fluorescence) to a coiled-up cobra or unconscious crocodile— temperamental types that are one false move away from striking. After all, “Coming Up” sets the scene by plowing into beehive-like synth lines and warp speed washes of dream-pop that leave you wondering just what the hell is going on.

Things don’t let up on “Trails” either, as singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sets her immaculate melodies against a barrage of battery-powered chords. Catchy and chaotic to the core, the sky-scraping song pays homage to the pitch-perfect songwriting of the ‘60s by chartering a yellow submarine to the moon.

And when the Brooklyn-based quartet (rounded out by bassist Billy Pavone and drummer Larry Gorman) finally hits the ground, their color-saturated soundscapes don’t get dull or cold. They get even brighter, as Fluorescence’s many shades shift with each passing song. That includes everything from the expansive/erratic—and yet, oh-so- poppy—prog movements of “Leave the Drummer Out There” to the weightless balladry of “Ocean,” a track that channels its title with swollen synths and beats that bob and weave through the murkiest waters around.

“James likes to get a lot more abstract with the music,” says Chikudate, “So Chris (Asobi Seksu’s longtime producer) will often try and reign him in.”

“I like to see how far we can take a song before pulling back a bit,” explains Hanna. “Like I’ll say that 100 vocal tracks would sound great in a spot where we only need 40.”

And since Asobi Seksu have spent the past decade refining their bombastic but beautiful blend of hailstorm hooks and fog-shrouded 4AD-isms (including last year’s special acoustic album, Rewolf), they knew exactly what to do with all of that restlessness: embrace it.

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ASOBI SEKSU North American Tour:

1/27/2011 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY*

2/17/2011 - Album Release Show at Mercury Lounge - New York, NY

2/25/2011 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA**

2/26/2011 - Casa Del Popolo - Montreal, QC**

2/27/2011 - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, ON**

2/28/2011 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL**

3/01/2011 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN**

3/03/2011 - The Badlander - Missoula, MT**

3/04/2011 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA**

3/05/2011 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC**

3/06/2011 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR**

3/08/2011 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA**

3/09/2011 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA**

3/10/2011 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA***

3/11/2011 - Casbah - San Diego, CA***

3/12/2011 - Neon Reverb Festival - Las Vegas, NV***

3/13/2011 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ***

3/14/2011 - Corazon - Santa Fe, NM***

3/22/2011 - The End - Nashville, TN****

3/23/2011 - Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN****

3/24/2011 - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA****

3/25/2011 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, D.C.****

3/26/2011 - Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA****

*w/ White Lies

**w/ BRAHMS

***w/ BRAIDS

w/ Cults

Colin Stetson To Release "New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges"

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity.  He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, conveying a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the playing of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz Fest.  His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, Antibalas and Bon Iver.  His live solo performances are absolutely stunning and uncategorisable and he conveys a commensurate intensity and iconoclasm on this new studio album of original material.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was recorded entirely live in the studio at Montréal's Hotel2Tango, with no overdubs or looping pedals, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room.  Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn suite ("All The Days I've Missed You") that was multi-tracked by Colin.

Stetson is able to weave an uninterrupted flow of arpeggiated swirls and chordal progressions while simultaneously singing yearning melodic lines through the reed of his horn - a technically powerful combination, exponentially intensified by Colin's innate sense of pace, phrasing and trajectory.  Stetson approaches his solo work with one foot firmly rooted in a pop sensibility, harmonically and in terms of overall song structure - a sensibility on fine display in longer pieces like "Judges", "The Stars In His Head (Dark Lights Remix)" , "Clothed In The Skin Of The Dead" and "Fear Of The Unknown And The Blazing Sun".  He can paint short, ecstatic spirals of rapid-fire ostinati that move through the entire range of the instrument, full of subtle rhythmic shifts and filigree, as with "The Righteous Wrath Of An Honourable Man", "From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice" and "A Dream Of Water", all of which clock in at the 2-3 minute range (and the last of which features a spoken word vocal by Laurie Anderson).  Colin can also shred, especially when rallying the full force of the bass saxophone, whether in the foghorn blasts that open the album or the gasping syncopated pulse of "Red Horse (Judges II)".  The seamless, steamy, multi-timbral drone that underpins Shara Worden's guest vocal on "Lord I Just Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" demonstrates another side of Colin's mastery and sensibility.

The sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik and mixed by Ben Frost, the critically acclaimed experimental electronic/ambient composer and producer whose shared influences of minimalism, noise and black metal made him the perfect choice for a bold and unconventional approach to the raw material.  Frost pushes and pans different mic signals to the fore from song to song (and within songs), eliciting a cornucopia of details and extremes in Colin's playing and highlighting the complexity of sounds generated by a single horn in Stetson's hands.  Rhythms are formed by clicking keys, minute textures are brought forward by running ambient mics extremely hot, and low end is at times pushed fully into the red to devastating effect.  Mastering by Mell Dettmer provides the final touch.

The result is a highly original, experimental and thrilling record that fires on all levels: as a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player, as a compositional tour-de-force, and as a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness: a challenging work that resists classification but remains accessible to music lovers of many stripes.