Tyshawn Sorey

Tyshawn Sorey is an active composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across an extensive range of musical idioms. As a percussionist, trombonist, and pianist, Tyshawn has performed and/or recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with artists such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, Butch Morris, Peter Evans, Misha Mengelberg, John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lehman, and Tim Berne, among many others. Tyshawn’s work has been favorably reviewed in Traps, National Public Radio, JazzTimes, The Village Voice, The Wire, The New York Times, Modern Drummer, The Wall Street Journal, and Downbeat Magazine.

As a scholar, Tyshawn received his B.M. in Jazz Studies and Performance from William Paterson University in 2004, where he studied under John Riley, James Williams, and Kevin Norton, while concurrently studying composition with Anton Vishio and John Link, in addition to working in various settings under Peter Jarvis, director of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. In 2009, Tyshawn began his studies with composer-performers Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, which culminated in earning his M.A. in Composition from Wesleyan University. He is currently a Faculty Fellow in Columbia University’s Doctor of Musical Arts program with a concentration in Composition, studying primarily under George Lewis. Sorey has also conducted and participated in various lectures, panel discussions, and master classes on improvisation, composition, and critical theory at venues such as the Chamber Music America conference in New York City, International Realtime Music Symposium in Norway, Hochschule für Musik Köln, School of Improvisational Music, Musikhochschule Nürnberg, Berklee College of Music, Birmingham Conservatory of Music in England, The Stone in New York City, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and Cité de la Musique in Paris.

As a composer, Tyshawn has composed over 160 works of all genres to date and received commissions from Van Lier Fellowship, Roulette, and most recently the International Contemporary Ensemble, whose large-scale work will premiere in its entirety in November 2012. Tyshawn is currently a private instructor in composition and improvisation for The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Improvisational Music.

 
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Nice review of the recent Fieldwork in the Brooklyn Rail. “There is a class of composers and musicians today, however, who specialize in virtuosity—the virtuosity of improvisational collaboration, insightful innovation, and instrumental mastery without synthetic alteration. Among this rarefied group, Fieldwork—the trio of Vijay Iyer on piano, Steve Lehman on saxophone, and Tyshawn Sorey on percussion—stands out.” So true.

posted on March 1, 2012 by Yulun

 

As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to recognize some of the great press our newest releases have received:

Inana - Amir ElSaffar

“The music deftly combines jazz and Middle Eastern music in a unique way, finding common ground in improvisation… ElSaffar’s studies in both jazz and ethnic music have placed him in good stead to carve out a unique place in the current improvised music. His music and musicial concept is clearly evolving, and this is a very exciting development.”
— Jazz and Blues

“Gracefully poised between two worlds, Inana builds upon ElSaffar's previous accomplishments, establishing an impressive precedent for the creative possibilities of a new global jazz aesthetic.”
— AllAboutJazz

Oblique-I - Tyshawn Sorrey

“One of five drummers whose time is Now…. A spectacular young drummer on jazz’s leading edge, Mr. Sorey has proved himself a serious new-music composer besides, sometimes to the point of cerebral severity. But “Oblique-I” just out on Pi, is a riveting album, with compositions custom designed for the same musicians found here.”
— New York Times

“Oblique — I, is mostly the kind of rollicking band album you’d expect from a powerhouse drummer. His melodies are complex and full of surprises, but often light on their feet. Leading by example, Sorey is helping to heal an old rift in contemporary jazz, between musicians for whom swinging is everything and those also interested in other kinds of rhythmic subtleties and complications…. His quintet/quartet plays twisty, turny rhythms that surge ahead and then fall back, typical of jazz’s left flank. But under those zigzag lines, Sorey’s drums barrel along like a runaway tractor trailer. He makes those tricky patterns move.”
— NPR

The Mancy of Sound - Steve Coleman

“A vivacious group effort brimming with intricate cross-hatched melodies, oblique harmonies and kaleidoscopic rhythms, The Mancy of Sound follows Harvesting Semblances and Affinities as the strongest albums of Coleman’s career, reinforcing his significance in the development of contemporary jazz.”
— Point of Departure

“Of all the musicians who followed Coltrane, Ornette and the AACM, Coleman has done the most work and sustained the highest level of innovation and creativity of output and impact.”
— Downbeat

posted on November 10, 2011 by Seth

 

Tyshawn Sorey’s Oblique-I has been released to great acclaim. Fresh Air’s Kevin Whitehead reviewed it last week, describing it as “… mostly the kind of rollicking band album you’d expect from a powerhouse drummer. His melodies are complex and full of surprises, but often light on their feet.” Listen to the review HERE.

The Wall Street Journal’s Larry Blumenfeld interviewed Tyshawn for the Journal. Read the interview HERE. Larry says about Tyshawn, “…his strongest impact is as a composer of radical and seemingly boundless ideas.” and describes Oblique-I as “… more like jazz yet still utterly original.”.

posted on October 17, 2011 by Seth

 

Pi Recordings is proud to be curating the next two weeks at The Stone performance space in New York City. We kick off on Wednesday, August 17th with Fieldwork, which received a Star preview in the New York Times. We hope to see you.

★ Fieldwork - This collaborative threesome is rightly revered for its way with discursive melody and asymmetrical rhythmic forms; the heart of its sound is an ever-shifting rapport between the pianist Vijay Iyer, the saxophonist Steve Lehman and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey, all of whom compose material for the group.

posted on August 15, 2011 by Yulun

 

The new release from Steve Coleman: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities has been receiving some incredible press. The Wall Street Journal’s Larry Blumenfeld calls the CD “dazzling” in his fine profile on Steve.

In a great review of the Undead Jazz Festival in The New York Times, Ben Ratliff wrote of Steve Coleman: “But it was hard for anything to top Mr. Coleman’s set… Whatever this festival represents, he’s one of the regents of it; his recombinant ideas about rhythm and form and his eagerness to mentor musicians and …build a new vernacular have had a profound effect on American jazz. Playing new music from a fascinating new record, “Harvesting Semblances and Affinities” (Pi), his sextet made Sullivan Hall, unbearably hot, a kind of pure-art pressure chamber… Above all, the band was an amazing system. Sweating through my clothes, I heard couple of good musicians behind me — there was almost always one within arm’s reach — reacting with kind of sickened wonder. “What is going on up there?” one asked, sounding almost worried. Exactly.”

Finally, the June issue of Jazz Times asks on the cover “Steve Coleman: The most influential figure since Coltrane?” Well, we certainly think so.

posted on June 22, 2010 by Yulun

 

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posted on January 1, 2010 by Nick

 

Special thanks to Jazz Times and the New York Times for their support:

New York Times Year End Best of List
Nat Chinen
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #1
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, #3
Ben Ratliff
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #5

Jazz Times Top 50 Releases of 2009
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, # 4
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #11

PopMatters.com Best of Jazz 2009
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #6
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, #7

posted on December 21, 2009 by Intern

 

Year end polls are starting to come in. We would like to thank the following critics for their support:

Bill Milkowski
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 1

Steve Feeney
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, # 3

Jason Crane
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow, # 9

Michael J. West
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow, # 7

Howard Mandel
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 1
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail, Transformation, and Flow, # 5

Hank Shteamer
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Volume 1, # 6

David R. Adler
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail Transformation & Flow, # 5

Christian Broecking Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 2
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail, Transformation, and Flow, # 3

We would also like the thank Nate Chinen for choosing Travail, Transformation, and Flow, and This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 as his number one and two picks. Click here to check out the ongoing conversation.

Finally, a special thanks to Seth Colter Walls for citing Travail, Transformation, and Flow in his Newsweek article, Jazz Is Dead. Long Live Jazz.

posted on December 14, 2009 by Intern

 

Steve Lehman’s Travail, Transformation, and Flow was featured in an enthusiastic review on NPR’s Fresh Air today. Critic Kevin Whitehead said “In Jazz like any art form, there are historical moments when it seems like all the angles have been covered and there’s nothing left to explore. And then someone comes with a new idea or a new influence that points out a fresh direction.” Thanks, Steve for paving a new way for the music!

Now back to our Henry Threadgill sale. Make sure you pick up a copy of Travail while you’re at it! (See below for details)

posted on September 23, 2009 by Yulun

 

The 56th Annual Down Beat Critic’s Poll results are in and we are pleased to say that a number of Pi Recording’s artists have been recognized for their work over the past year.

  • Muhal Richard Abrams received 32 votes towards Hall of Fame consideration.

  • The Vijay Iyer Quartet received 33 votes in the Rising Star Jazz Group category. Additionally, Vijay received 47 votes in the Rising Star Composer category, 28 votes in the Rising Star Jazz Artist category and 60 votes in the Rising Star Piano category. Tyshawn Sorey also received Rising Star Jazz Artist consideration with 23 votes as well as 29 votes in the Rising Star Drums category.

  • Roscoe Mitchell received 38 votes in the Soprano Saxophone category.

  • Rudresh Mahanthappa received 23 votes in the Alto Saxophone category and 85 votes in the Rising Star Alto Saxophone category. Steve Lehman also received Rising Star Alto Saxophone with 48 votes.

  • Henry Threadgill received 39 votes in the Flute category.

  • Corey Wilkes received 35 votes in the Rising Star Trumpet category.

  • Marc Ribot received 26 votes and James “Blood” Ulmer received 25 votes in the Guitar category. Additionally, “Blood” received 50 votes in the Blues Artist/Group category.

Pi Recordings would like to thank all of the critics who recognize the work of our artists year after year.

posted on July 13, 2008 by Seth

 

WNYC is many things to New York radio, but one of them is hands down the outlet for music that needs to be heard. So it was exciting news when John Schaefer asked Fieldwork to join him on Soundcheck before their CD release show at Joe’s Pub. Listen to the segment here.

posted on June 6, 2008 by Seth

 

Pi Recordings is pleased to announce that the Jazz Journalists Association has released their list of finalists for this year’s awards and a number of Pi Recordings’ artists are prominently featured. Tyshawn Sorey has been nominated for Up & Coming Musician of the Year and Drummer of the Year, while Steve Lehman has been nominated for Alto Player of the Year. Congratulations to both Tyshawn and Steve. Harbingers of things to come for sure.

posted on May 7, 2008 by Seth

 

Wonderful feature article on the AACM by Nate Chinen in the New York Times on the occasion of the release of George Lewis’s “A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music.” It’s really heartening to be reminded how many of the key members of the AACM, some now gone, have recorded for Pi. Chinen goes on to name Fieldwork as an example of a band influenced by the AACM aesthetic. Thanks Nate for helping to draw attention to an organization whose recognition falls well short of it’s influence on the music.

posted on May 2, 2008 by Seth

 

Pi Recordings is very excited to announce that 2008 will see the release of Fieldwork’s new studio recordings Door. Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey recorded Door after their three nights of performances at the Stone in December of 2007.

Produced by the band and mixed by Scott Harding, Door is the bands third release and first with Tyshawn Sorey. 2 tracks from the CD can be previewed here. Look for the CD this Spring.

posted on January 13, 2008 by Seth

 

As stated in an earlier post, we are always excited by home grown love. It is with that in mind that Hank Shteamer and Steve Smith for including Muhal Richard Abrams’s Vision Towards Essence in their Time Out New York Best of 2007 lists.

Coincidently, or maybe not so coincidently as we are fans of his as well, they also both included Tyshawn Sorey’s that/not on there.

And because it is the end of the year and we don’t object to giving ourselves a little pat on the back every once in a while we thought we would close this post out with a quote from Hank’s list. “Local imprint Pi cements its position as one of the premier 21st-century jazz labels with a sumptuous solo recital from an avant-garde master.” Thank you Hank.

posted on December 27, 2007 by Seth

 

We never get tired of support from the New York Times, especially when it is as positive as Nate Chinen’s review of Steve Lehman’s On Meaning. From the most recent Critic’s Choice column Nate describes the results of the recording date as “The layered complexity of his music attests to some careful calibration, but the playing reflects something else: a spirit of lunging abandon constrained by collective purpose.” Regarding other label favorites, “The album’s chief relationship is between Mr. Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey, an impulsive yet exacting drummer; together they make up two-thirds of Fieldwork, a separate group that has made a science of rhythmic convolution.” Further wets our appetite for 2008, as Fieldwork goes into the studio this Friday to start work on their third recording.

From the pages of Jazz Times, Chris Kelsey’s review of Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers appropriately sums up Amir and the recording with these lines, “ElSaffar’s band (Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto sax; Nasheet Waits, drums; Carlo DeRosa, bass; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq and percussion; Zaafer Tawil, oud, violin, dumbek) has nary a weak link… There’s not the faintest hint of dabbling here; ElSaffar knows from whence he came, in every respect.”

posted on December 19, 2007 by Seth

 
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