New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Kristo Rodzevski Releases 'The Rabbit And The Fallen Sycamore' W/Halvorson, Davis, Laubrock, Drye, Blanco, Fujiwara, the third album in a trilogy by singer-songwriter Kristo Rodzevski and his group of jazz progressives, will be released by Much Prefer Records on May 25, 2018.
Mixed by celebrated producer Bill Laswell, "The Rabbit..." represents the fulfillment of a musically adventurous idea: Assemble seven world-class improvisers in a studio, establish an environment for pure music-making, and capture all on tape. Such is the essence - and beauty - of "The Rabbit…"
By partnering with core collaborators Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Michael Blanco (bass), then inviting contributions from Kris Davis (piano), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Brian Drye (trombone), Kristo fermented an intoxicating brew. The bubbling inventions are spontaneous performances without overdubs.
Once the group selected the best material, Laswell was called in to shape all. In a great sense, Laswell's touch (and ears) provide the sonic and musical template for the album. He is celebrated as a lover of musical hybrids and cross-pollinations. His legendary work with Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop, John Zorn and Motörhead, among others, attests to his wide-angle views.
"The Rabbit…" boasts a melding of seemingly disparate influences, all living together sweetly - Eastern European folk, free jazz, punk and song-form narrative. Heard, too, is Kristo's affinity for the music of Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach and Jim O'Rourke. Critic Chris Brazier calls it "collision music."
Thematically, the album continues themes established in Kristo's earlier efforts, Batania (2015) and Bitter Almonds (2017). While those trilogy installments examined the deep feelings for his Macedonian grandmother and mother, "The Rabbit…" explores a transition - the fading significance of his past to his life in the USA.
Kristo's songs resonate in that gray area between nostalgia and expectation. There is passion here, tapping the most human of emotions, desire and suffering. The cover design by Ikue Mori (DNA) provides a visual analog to this provocative music.
01) Polyester Suit
02) Bucharest, 1913
03) Your Name
06) Meet Me Online
07) Out Of Key
10) The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore
Lyrics and Music
by Kristo Rodzevski (BMI)
Recorded February 27th & 28th, 2017 at The Bunker, Brooklyn, NY
Engineered by Aaron
Nevezie & James
Mixed by Bill Laswell at Orange Music
Sound Studio, West Orange, NJ
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studios, New York, NY
Produced by Kristo Rodzevski and Tomas Fujiwara
Album Cover by Ikue Mori
Kristo Rodzevski is Macedonian-born vocalist, guitarist, and composer, based in New York City since 1999. He began as a street musician in Europe
in the early 1990s. He was a founding member of an influential group of Macedonian musicians who would go on to form the bands Foltin and Ljubojna and perform at festivals throughout Europe.
Kristo's debut album, Batania, received positive reviews by the Wire, All About Jazz, Jazz Right Now, etc., and won plaudits as the best single of 2015, and was voted the second best album of that year by the Macedonian Kanal 103.
His second album, Bitter Almonds, features two songs soon to appear on Bikini Moon, a feature film by
Academy-Award-nominated (director, writer, and visual artist Milcho Manchevski.
Kristo has appeared on other film soundtracks, including Shadows
(by Milcho Manchevski), To the Hilt (by Academy Award nominated director Stole Popov) and The War is Over (by Mitko Panov, a Palme d 'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival).
He has had solo performances at Joe's Pub and Merkin Hall, and has performed as soloist with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, New York City's Carnegie Hall.
Kristo's singing style has been described as "effortless," "velvety," and with "a masterful control of vocal micro-dynamics and access to emotional depth.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
"Mary Halvorson is the most future-seeking guitarist working right now" National
"The most critically acclaimed jazz guitarist to emerge in the last 12 years...an unflinching original who has revealed new possibilities within the music." —The New York Times
...Her sonic outbursts are tempered by compositions that are highly intelligent and harmonically sophisticated, full of nuance, beauty and the sound of surprise…" Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
"A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism, and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold."
Jason Moran - for the Art Forum
"Over the last couple of years in New York one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis."
New York Times
"The bussed-about pianist is expert at bringing beauty to abstraction."
Jim Macnie - Village Voice
"Ms. Laubrock is a saxophonist and composer with a taste for sonic provocation." — Nate Chinen, The New York Times
His debut as a leader, Bizingas was hailed as "one of the best introductions to a new band" by The New York Times.
"Michael Blanco is a resourceful young bassist with two albums to his name, and a reputation confirmed by the caliber of his partners." Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Bassist Michael Blanco understands the meaning of originality—tastefully rolling out your creative vision while keeping the customer satisfied." Marc Meyers, JazzWax.com
"…A damn fine bassist" Fred Hersch
"…works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting…A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in it's scope."
Nate Chinen, The New York Times