As 2020 winds down we wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who reached out to see how we were doing, supported the artists and their releases with their purchases and let us know what an important role music plays in their life. During these times particularly.
Our release schedule for 2020 was greatly curtailed unfortunately. February saw the release of Liberty Ellman’s Last Desert and September Dan Weiss’ Natural Selection. In between those two releases we began our digital only series, This is Now: Love in the Time of Covid via BandCamp. This Is Now saw releases by Steve Lehman, David Virelles, Liberty Ellman, Vijay Iyer and Miles Okazaki.
As we approach the end of the year we wanted to leave everyone with this note. 2021 promises to be better and we look forward to sound tracking it. Releases by Hafez Modirzadeh, Jen Shyu, Henry Threadgill, Matt Mitchell and Kate Gentile have kept us hopeful and excited to for what’s to come.
Best to all and have a safe and healthy end of the year.
March 27th, guitarist Liberty Ellman’s sextet returns with Last Desert, the follow up to his critically-acclaimed 2015 release Radiate, which the Wall Street Journal described as “bristling with energy and innovation” and Downbeat praised as “unique, indelible and fully human.” Named #1 Rising Star Guitarist in the 2016 Downbeat Critics Poll, Ellman is perhaps best known as a trusted associate of jazz legend Henry Threadgill, with whom he has played for almost 20 years, including on the Pulitzer Prize-winning release In for a Penny, In for a Pound. His unorthodox playing style is also key to collaborations with the likes of Myra Melford, Joe Lovano, and JD Allen. Pianist and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer calls him “my favorite living guitarist.”
Ellman’s new work is inspired by a foot race that takes place in Antarctica, the final leg in a series of ultramarathons called Four Deserts that take place in some of the harshest environments on earth. Last Desert celebrates the juxtaposition of the austere beauty of the landscape with the grueling nature of the event, and the clarity of focus that the competition requires. His compositions employ a complex melodic weave, but are always lyrical and percolate with groove. Ellman is rejoined by all the musicians from Radiate: Steve Lehman on alto sax, Jonathan Finlayson on trumpet, Jose Davila on tuba, Stephan Crump on bass and Damion Reid on drums. Together, they conjure Ellman’s panoramic musical vista to brilliant effect.