And, he has a new recording. "Verisimilitude" is his sixth album as a leader and fourth for Pi Recordings. The program features his longtime "working trio" of Corey Smythe (piano, toy piano, electronics) and Chris Tordini (bass) playing its way through five Sorey originals, only one of which is under 10 minutes. These pieces cha;lunge the listener to hear a trio in different aspects, to understand that the role of each musician is not to impress with technique or speed but to advance the narrative of the music. The impressionistic quality of the music and the overwhelming softness can lull the listener. Yet, there are moments of power, both melodic and percussive, as if great gust of wind came through the window.
|photo by John Rogers|
The elegiac quality of "Flowers for Prashant", a musical tribute to the late filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, is a wonderful place to enter the music yet, since the songs all flow into one another, you should start at the beginning. Have patience with this music - so many of us listen to music to be constantly stimulated, go from high to high, but "Verisimilitude" asks you to slow down, to appreciate every sound, to engage the silence between notes, to stop judging and just listen. This music is not for everyone and for every minute of the day. It is contemplative and powerful. Be open and you'll be rewarded and more so, refreshed.
To find out more, go to pirecordings.com/artist/Tyshawn_Sorey. Here's a link to a recent NYTimes article by Giovanni Russonello that will give you even more historical perspective - click here.
Here's a track to explore:
here). I especially was impressed by his compositional and arranging skills. All that and more is on display on his sophomore effort, "Clean" (Inside Out Music). With the exception of pianist Glenn Zaleski, he employs the same sextet (alto saxophonist Alex LoRe, guitarist Matt Davis, bassist Johannes Felscher, and drummer Jimmy Macbride) but also adds the SNAP Saxophone Quartet (Nicholas Biello, Andrew Gould, Sam Dillon, and Jay Rattan), the Righteous Girls (flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi) plus Mark Dover (clarinet), Ellen Hindson (oboe), Nanci Belmont (bassoon), and Susan Mandel (cello) on numerous tracks.
The jaunty melody of "I Am an American", introduced by bass and piano, creates an easygoing feel. Bassist Felscher gets the first solo, o long and melodic solo, before Jones steps in. Ms. Belmont and Ms. Mandel join the sextet for "Buckley Vs. Vidal", a lengthy conversation (but not a debate) with a bounce to its beat and colors provided by the guest "voices". The guests enliven "Centre In The Woods", a handsome melody played over a tango rhythm. One can visualize dancers whirling around the floor as the saxophone solo rises over the slowly intensifying background.
As artists take control of their music (or are given free rein by labels), listeners are being blessed by a panoply of engaging projects. "Clean" is one of those albums that grows stronger each time you dig into it. You notice interactions, the fine melodies, the smart arrangements both for the sextet and for the wind octet, and solos that have arrives and are not just technical displays. If you dig around online, you'll find alternate versions of some of the pieces on the album. Check those out too. In his liner notes, Paul Jones writes that while working on the material for this album, he was listening to Kendrick Lamar ("To Pimp a Butterfly"), Philip Glass ("Glassworks"), and Steve Reich ("Music for 18 Musicians") as well as the immediacy of contemporary hip hop. Check this out, spend time inside the songs, and you should be pleased. To find more, go to www.paulthejones.com.
In the meantime, enjoy the title track: