Monday, July 2, 2012

This is Josh's Music!

Received an email the other day from publicist Scott Menhinick (of Improvised Communications and JazzDIY) about an upcoming  project from baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton (that's him on the left.)  The text follows below:

Brooklyn-based baritone saxophonist/composer Josh Sinton is trying something new to get his latest recording noticed and heard. He will make its 11 tracks available online in serialized form via five weekly blog posts (July 16th through August 13th), accompanied by detailed personal essays and corresponding artwork he commissioned from Brooklyn artist Elizabeth Daggar. These digital-only elements will be available to preview online at both Sinton's own site and the site of the label releasing the complete project, Prom Night Records, which will sell the tracks as downloads.

The record in question is called "Pine Barren", the second and final release from his now-defunct quintet, holus-bolus, featuring saxophonist Jon Irabagon, guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, bassist Peter Bitenc and drummer Mike Pride. Sinton disbanded the group last year in response to the kind of industry-related obstacles he's challenging with this alternative approach, many of which he details in his essays, resulting in this insightful multimedia document of his own motivations and the realities facing an independent bandleader in today's jazz industry.

"For the first time," Sinton explains, "I made something without any regard for my musical training. I made something with no thought about how it might fit into the current musical landscape. I wrote it in the hope that something positive could be created from something negative. When I finished this record (about a year in the making), I went through the normal channels for capturing ears and interest—label owners, colleagues, 'star' musicians, critics, publicists, etc., anyone I remotely thought could help me get the record out to an audience of listeners. At a time when it is so much easier to record, to publish, to document, it has become so much harder to get anyone to pay attention."

"A few individuals responded with encouragement, and about the same small number replied with disinterest," he continues. "But, for the most part I was met by a large, stony wall of silent indifference. I'd like to think this is mostly because people are either a.) too busy to listen to the record, or b.) they're confused by it. Confused because, I will admit, Pine Barren doesn't really sound like any record I've heard or own. So in the interest of attracting more listeners, I'm going to do what I'm terrified of doing: I'm going to explain Pine Barren. I hope all these words and images make the sounds of Pine Barren a little bit less opaque. But mainly I hope people will give the project just a little bit of their time and listen."
Active in projects ranging from his own solo performances to trumpeter Nate Wooley's quintet to such large ensembles as the Andrew D'Angelo Big Band and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Sinton has been one of New York's premier low-end reed specialists since 2004. A former member of the Chicago and Boston creative music scenes, he was raised in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, an area that has provided inspiration for many of his compositions and ensembles. In addition to holus-bolus, his other projects include Ideal Bread, which celebrates the legacy of his former teacher, Steve Lacy, and multiple small-group collaborations with other musicians around New York.

Learn more about Josh Sinton and his various projects at

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