Selcouth Quartet (Joe Russo, Stuart Bogie, Jonathan Goldberger, Jon Shaw) Announce Debut Album; Share New Track

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Sunday, September 3, 2023

Selcouth Quartet – the dynamic new improvisational group comprising drummer Joe Russo, guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Stuart Bogie, and bassist Jon Shaw – has announced the release of its self-titled debut album, arriving via Flóki Studios Records on October 20. Recorded in just five days at Iceland’s Flóki Studios, Selcouth Quartet is heralded by the new meditative and moody single,  “Smaller Horses,” available everywhere now.


Selcouth Quartet came together as the result of some long-gestating schemes and happy accidents. Tasked with putting together a group to open for a last-minute show, drummer Joe Russo called up three old associates: guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Stuart Bogie, and bassist Jon Shaw. While the gig was canceled, a new opportunity opened up when Russo was invited to record at the world-class Flóki Studios in Haganesvik, Iceland. He convinced his fellow musicians to decamp to the sparsely populated northern reaches of Iceland to see what kind of music they could make together.

“We birthed the band in the studio,” Joe Russo says.

“Not having any predetermined material was definitely a benefit,” Jon Shaw says. “We could do anything, no limitations.”

Produced and engineered by D. James Goodwin (Tim Berne, David Torn, Bonny Light Horseman), Selcouth Quartet is informed by Russo, Goldberger, Bogie, and Shaw’s various travels through wildly different genres and musical approaches yet also unlike anything previously heard by them. Citing shared inspirations like ‘90s Thrill Jockey and the attendant Chicago scene, the experimental Knitting Factory circles of ‘80s and ‘90s New York, and the open-ended jazz label ECM Records, Selcouth Quartet located a sound that thrived on contrasts. From the anchor of Shaw’s bass and Russo’s drums to the unspooling explorations of Goldberger’s guitar and Bogie’s woodwinds alternating between sheer beauty and unnerving specters, tracks like the album-opening epic “100 Words For Wind” are the product of four men who have the sort of deep understanding of their instruments that allows them to toggle from simmering drama to unfettered chaos at will.

“I was confident that we’d make a good record,” says Jonathan Goldberger, “but a little surprised that it turned out to be so uniquely singular and complete. It absolutely captures our spirit and the moments that transpired.”

“If we had made a record for the first time in Woodstock in the spring, it wouldn’t have sounded like this,” Russo says. “This album was completely dictated and formed by its surroundings. It sounds like how we felt.”

After returning to the States, Selcouth Quartet reconvened for proper rehearsals and writing sessions. Though all involved well-known bands can be temporary, fleeting concepts, the chemistry between Russo, Goldberger, Bogie, and Shaw is immediate and now they’re all in. Selcouth Quartet may have already stumbled onto something surprising and transfixing, but it’s also just the beginning.

“It feels like we’ve only scratched the surface of what this band can be,” Shaw says

“What is this thing?,” says Russo. “It’s fun to be scared again.”