Fourteen - Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance

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About Pi Recordings

Pi Recordings is a New York-based record label dedicated to releasing innovative music by artists with unique and defining voices. Founded in 2001 with the release of two recordings of new music by Henry Threadgill, we have since been fortunate to work with some of the most influential composers and musicians in American music such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, James Blood Ulmer and Marc Ribot. At the same time, we are helping to nurture the voice of the best of this century’s young musicians. Artists like Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Amir ElSaffar, and Corey Wilkes have all released CDs on Pi Recordings that document their growth as composers, improvisers and bandleaders.

We spotlight composers, improvisers and bandleaders who are pushing music in new, groundbreaking ways. Jazz artists have never had a wider musical palette at their disposal than now, and they are using it to create music that is more varied, profound and vibrant than ever before. Pi Recordings is here to capture what we recognize as the high points of these developments. The best of the best.

–Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang

Read a New York Times interview with Pi Recordings’ producers Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang here: Despite the Odds, a Jazz Label Finds a Way to Thrive.

Latest News

Recent Press for Jen Shyu, Liberty Ellman and Amir ElSaffar

Another excellent review of Jen Shyu’s latest recording, “Sounds and Cries of the World”, this time from Larry Blumenfeld of the Wall Street Journal:

“Ms. Shyu makes a statement of cultural preservation with her Jade Tongue ensemble, yet it arrives embedded gracefully within a quite natural, if startlingly distinctive, form of musical expression. …Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion”.

Read the full review Here

The latest edition of DownBeat magazine features an engaging interview with Liberty Ellman. Ellman talks about his work with Pi, including his latest recording, “Radiate”, while also sharing his approach to composition and the expansion of the Jazz language.

Read the full piece Here

Amir ElSaffar’s latest recording, “Crisis”, received a great review from Bill Beuttler of JazzTimes:

“…among the most notable releases of 2015. …ElSaffar’s ensemble is first rate. But it is ElSaffar’s composing for the seven-part Crisis Suite, a commentary on recent Iraqi and Middle Eastern history, that shines brightest here”.

Read the full review Here

Matt Mitchell's new Double CD "Vista Accumulation" is out today, October 16th!

The CD premiers his new work for quartet, featuring Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Chris Tordini on bass and Dan Weiss on drums.

Check out this great review by Nate Chinen of the New York Times: “Even in its quieter stretches, the music simmers with deep intensity. … Mr. Mitchell’s playbook leans on long thematic arcs, slithery polytonality, rhythmic caginess and a chamber-like internal logic that carries over to the practice of group improvisation. Even when the action gets prickly, it doesn’t feel arbitrary.”

Read the full review Here

Latest Press & Upcoming Performances

Jen Shyu and Liberty Ellman continue to receive great reviews and recognition for their latest releases!

Shyu’s “Sounds and Cries of the World” was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, with a review by Kevin Whitehead: “…Shyu’s music is intensely personal. Nothing sounds quite like it. …blurring lines between folk song and art song, the traditional and the avant-garde, Western and Eastern, between waking consciousness and dream logic.”

Listen to/read the full review Here

Ellman’s “Radiate” was recently featured on Dusted Magazine: “Ellman straddles the center shifting from angular rhythmic accents to craggy, saw-toothed leads, the variable amplification and effects that envelope his strings often proving just a pertinent to what he plays.”

Read the full review Here

Steve Coleman and Five Elements are currently in Philadelphia for a two week residency, performing new music, curating workshops, open rehearsals and outreach programs for the community. For more info, updates and ticket purchases, click Here

Coleman also has an upcoming residency at the Village Vanguard, November 10-15. Following Coleman at the Vanguard is the Tyshawn Sorey Trio, performing November 17-22. We are proud to be working with all of these unique artists and are looking forward to two great weeks of music in November!

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