Del señor Bob Belden se podría decir que no forma parte exactamente del mainstream jazzístico, aunque su nombre se asocie a las reediciones históricas de Miles Davis y Herbie Hancock -entre muchos otros-, productor y erudito del jazz, es también una leyenda de la música que, insobornable, ha decidido caminar por otras vías sin perder sus fundamentos.
Su último proyecto es una reencarnación de su banda ANIMATION, cuatro jóvenes que junto con él son una
tremenda banda que interpreta un sentido homenaje a Manhattan con Transparent Heart, publicado, claro, por una discográfica que no es como las otras, Rare Noise Records.
Señor Bob Belden: usted, ay, no forma parte exactamente del mainstream jazzístico. Díganos unas frases que hagan que el público pueda interesarse por usted. «Estamos tan arruinados como vosotros.” Caray. ¿Otra? «Era hacer este bolo o ir a la cárcel.” Ya ven: Bob Belden, un nombre detrás de las reediciones históricas de Miles Davis y Herbie Hancock -entre muchos otros-, productor y erudito del jazz, es también una leyenda de la música que, insobornable, ha decidido caminar por otras vías sin perder el humor y el sarcasmo. Su último proyecto es una reencarnación de su banda ANIMATION, cuatro jóvenes que junto con él – «somos una banda de verdad” – interpretan un sentido homenaje a Manhattan con Transparent Heart, un disco emocionante publicado, claro, por una discográfica que no es como las otras, Rare Noise Records.
Bob Belden, saxo soprano y flauta
Pete Clagett, trompeta
Roberto Verastegui, teclados
Jacob Smith, baix eléctrico
Matt Young, batería
Animation, a.k.a. Bob Belden on Sax/flute, Pete Clagett on trumpet, Jacob Smith on bass, Roberto Verastegui on keyboards and Matt Young on drums, are about to release their first studio album in a decade, “Transparent Heart”. Pre-Orders will start on the 25th of September or shortly before that date
AVAILABLE FROM / FROM WHAT DATE/ IN WHAT FORMATS:
www.rarenoisestore.com / pre-order from 25 th September / CD Digipack 4 panel with booklet, digital .FLAC and digital .mp3
All Digital Stores (Itunes/Emusic/Spotify/etc) / 25th September / digital .mp3
Online Stores (Amazon/HMV/etc) worldwide via CARGO, DARLA, GOODFELLAS etc / 1st October 2012 / CD Digipack and digital .mp3
This is the wonderful cover by Petulia Mattioli
and here a track from “Transparent Heart”, “Provocatism”
For the time being we would like to share some of the press the recording has generated until now – here on JAZZWISE MAGAZINE, who has run a very large feature on Bob and Animation this month! (and on MOLE too!!!)
and finally the 4 STAR review!
Here is a video of their recent AMBISONIC SURROUND performance at the Tabernacle in London
Bob Belden Unveils a Dark Narrative of Manhattan on Second Animation Project, Transparent Heart, Available on RareNoise Records, September 25
Following on the heels of Animation’s 2010 RareNoiseRecords debut, Asiento, and 2011′s Agemo, saxophonist-composer-bandleader Bob Belden tells his own story on Transparent Heart. With his new Animation lineup consisting of young musicians hired from his alma mater, the University of North Texas (23-year-old keyboardist Roberto Verastegui, 24-year-old bassist Jacob Smith, 29-year-old trumpeter Pete Clagett and 20-year-old drummer Matt Young), Belden unveils a dark narrative as heard through the musical diary he has composed over 29 years of living in Manhattan.
An imposing electronic noir masterwork, Transparent Heart travels from Belden’s initial awestruck impressions of New York City (“Terra Incognito”) to his feelings of foreboding (“Urbanoia”) and hope (“Cry in the Wind”) as a city dweller on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to the pervasive angst of post-9/11 Manhattan (“Seven Towers,” “Provocatism”). He also addresses the mass exodus of artists from the city (“Vanishment”) and concludes his musical memoir with the clash of the social classes manifested in the Occupy Wall Street movement (“Occupy!”). Belden has concocted a powerful, provocative suite of music that is charged by the intensely driving, highly intuitive playing of his young energetic Animation band mates.
“This record is not a jazz record, it’s about my life in Manhattan,” says the Grammy® Award-winning composer-arranger-producer. “In essence, the music on Transparent Heart is a reflection of the lingering tension since 9/11. It’s an honest look at Manhattan through music.”
The concept for Transparent Heart has been in the making for more than 30 years. “I first visited Manhattan in 1979 when I was with Woody Herman’s band. I’ll never forget seeing the dark shadows, steam rising from the streets, crowds of strange people lingering in Times Square well past midnight, all the tall buildings and how they created a post-gothic canyon effect. That’s ‘Terra Incognito,’ a term used by local residents to describe Central Park above 96th street. Darwinistic Urban Gentrification. The uncertain outcome of riding the subway late at night. Alphabet City. Bonfire of the Vanities. AIDS. Subway Gunman. Guardian Angels. Central Park jogger. Preppie murder. Sparks Steakhouse. That’s ‘Urbanoia.’”
“Cry in the Wind,” with Clagett’s muted trumpet carrying the melancholy theme reflects another Manhattan experience, “One night from inside my ground-floor studio apartment I heard the voice of a woman crying for help faintly mixed with the sound of the wind and rustling tree leaves. Bringing my phone outside, I saw this woman who had just been stabbed, and called 911. She reached up, grabbed my hand, and didn’t let go until the ambulance got there. I helped this woman live because I cared. This tune is about hearing the cries in the wind of extreme loneliness and helplessness that are heard all the time throughout the city.”
The darkly propulsive title track echoes the hard-hitting production that Bill Laswell brought to Herbie Hancock’s 1983 hit single “Rock It.” To listen to Transparent Heart is to think about Manhattan’s self-reflective nature exemplified by extreme conflicts between physical/corporatist and social/humanist structures and the perpetual sense of energy that is created and dissipated illogically in light and shadow.
“Seven Towers” is Belden’s reaction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. As Belden reflects, “9/11 is a reaction to the power and influence that capital, centered in Manhattan and symbolically the World Trade Center, has on parts of the world, in the form of abject terrorism. I watched it happen from Chambers street in Lower Manhattan. This tune recreates my own autobiographical timeline of 9/11. It starts with the NORAD radio broadcast finding out a plane hit the North Tower; followed by the NYPD and NYFD responding. It’s very haunting. I believe that this moment has defined the course of history for Manhattan as well as the world at large. This album is offered in deep respect to those who lost their lives that morning of September 11, 2001 and to the families that have to live with this loss forever.”
“Provocatism” reflects the immediate aftermath of 9/11. “People fled the city as companies anticipated an economic downturn, laying off thousands upon thousands of workers. For years there were constant alerts, color-coded like a crayon book. Many small business, dependent on the World Trade Center complex, died after 9/11-replaced by the ubiquitous chain store, coffee shop, and branch-bank. The intense build up of the New York Police Department to the point of having one of the largest standing armies in the world, placing citizens under surveillance on the streets and in the subways-’stop and frisk’ developed from this Quasi-military policing initiative.”
“”Vanishment” refers to the exodus of artists and musicians who couldn’t afford to live in Manhattan anymore to a point where the localized creative culture is now gone. Musicians work here in the clubs, but don’t live here. And you have this influx of college student musicians who have no real attachment to the city-it becomes a line on a resume. Thus, Manhattan post-9/11 is very different from the Manhattan that existed when I moved here in 1983.”
The final track, “Occupy!” is the most intense and harrowing of Belden’s musical memoir. His turbulent ode to the Occupy Wall Street movement is imbued with the sounds of screams and violence in the streets during clashes between protesters and police. “The Occupy movement is based on a psychological philosophy rather than political or industrial. These people are angry and frustrated with nowhere else to address their grievances, so they take to the streets-essentially declaring a philosophical war on Manhattan.”
The musicians on Transparent Heart are the most talented of their generation, performing complex operatic improvisations, sounds, and textures. They are serious musicians deep into the subtle and not-so-subtle nature of this music. That they are virtually unknown to the jazz public is a blessing, as you will hear them tabula rasa, with no conditions on what to expect. From this point on you will expect greatness from each one of them.
For Belden, Transparent Heart is a musical tool to get people to think about social issues. “Music must be returned to its place as a social engineer; provoking thought amongst society. This record is not about tunes, solos, and arrangements, it’s a way of telling a story that has something to do with my life, OUR lives, and for anyone who has ever landed with excitement, wonder, fear, and hope on this tiny island off of the coast of the United States. It’s not being a musician, but rather a citizen.”
as we mentioned in the fourth chapter of our Myopic Retrospective, we have now finally prepared the ground for a Hyperopic Per-Spective of 2012.
The first couple of months of 2012 will start, as one expects, where 2011 ended – with the releases in the US of Winter Garden and Animation’s Agemo, which will be followed by a spate of new releases. Please be aware that the release dates vary by country, and that excluding FREQUENT FLYER, most of the artwork is not final)
RNR023 – LORENZO FELICIATI – FREQUENT FLYER – End Of February/End of March 2012
Subtitled “Diary of A Travelling Musician”, Frequent Flyer is a celebration of the musical talents (travels…) of Italian bassist, music producer and founder of Naked Truth, Lorenzo Feliciati as he scours the lands of jazz and progressive rock with a very large cohort of musical conspirers – Bob Mintzer, Cuong Vu, Roy Powell, Phil Brown, Patrick Djivas, Lucrezio De Seta, DJ Skizo, Paulo La Rosa, Pat Mastelotto, Aidan Zammit, Roberto Gualdi, Stefano Bagnoli, Maxx Furian, Pier Paolo Ferroni, Andrea Di Cesare, Daniele Gottardo, Jose Fiorillo, Daniele Pomo and Guido Block. A multi-faceted record as broad in scope as it is deep in musical ideas, Frequent Flyer is both a voyage as it is a statement of intent, musical intelligence, spectacular taste and grand architectural vision.
and here as her performs a track from the Album, “Law & Order”
RNR024 – METALLIC TASTE OF BLOOD (Eraldo Bernocchi, Colin Edwin, Jamie Saft, Balazs Pandi) – End of March/End of June 2012
Very soon (probably early february) we will be able to share one or two tracks with you. For the time being head over to their website and read about it on Colin Edwin’s Blog.
RNR025 – DAVE FIUCZYNSKI’S PLANET MICROJAM (Dave Fiuczynski and musicians, with appearances by Jack DeJohnette and Kenwood Dennard – April/May 2012)
In an article appeared on Fusion Magazine (the literary and Multimedia voice of the Berklee School of Music and community) David Fiuczynski defines the notion of “MicroJam”, which is central to this revolutionary and spellbinding release on RareNoiseRecords, as follows :
“Drawing on unique elements of western classical microtonality and ethnic folk melodies organized in a jazz/groove context, unheard of harmonies and counterpoint are possible. What sets this microJam apart from other microtonal music is its method of organization. Unlike the microtonal chromaticism of Julian Carrillo, the athematicism of Alois Haba and the post-Scriabin style of Ivan Wyschnagradsky (all venerable microtonal pioneers in western classical music), this MicroJam is not so much MICROtonal as microTONAL. The emphasis is on microtonal harmony that has a jazz-based modal origin. New harmonic colors can be expressed vertically through the stacking of, for example, an Arabic maqam (a type of Arabic mode) into chords based on 3rds or 4ths over a tonal center – in other words, harmony derived from a microtonal chord scale. This is not done in eastern music traditions or modern classical music. Music from the Middle East and Asia rarely has chordal harmony and in the modern western classical tradition, either tonal centers are avoided or harmony is produced from counterpoint. In our ever-shrinking global village could Global MicroJam be a shape of Jamz to come?”
It is hard for us to describe the incredibly subtle and mesmerising, at times overwhelming beauty of compositions to be paraded in “Planet MicroJam”, which range from a microtonal re-writing of a fragment from Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto to microJam arrangements and performances of microtonal works by Juan Carrillo, Alois Haba and Sun Ra, exquisite arrangements of traditional songs and delightful original compositions by David Fiuczynski, all played by musicians of unbelievable caliber, from Fiuczynski himself to Evgeny Lebedev, David Radley, Takeru Yamazaki, Evan Marien, Jovol Bell, David Ginyard, and including two guest perfomances by drum masters Jack DeJohnette and Kenwood Dennard.
For the time being, here is “Drunken Longing” recently performed in NYC
Shards of light and guitar poke the thick, incessant, impenetrable mass of layered drum rhythms as maelströms of liquid organ notes form and dissolve, to embrace, fracture and propel this aural light. The incredible Roy Powell, who also plays organ and keyboards on Naked Truth, master drummer Jarle Vespestad and guitarist extraordinaire Jacob Young (the last two partners in repeated ECM releases) deliver their second recording (after their previous Anthem) as a trio, this time under their new name InterStatic.
(video by Neil Loughran)
Their music, again, knows no boundaries, as it flows often incessant, at times lunar and nordic, with over-archingly powerful melodic themes penetrating the dense, at times apparently chaotic but sharply contrasted, always slickly cut layers of sonic architecture. ChiaroScuro, for synaesthetes.
The recording is currently in the final mastering stage – we will soon share a couple of tracks with you all for you to fully appreciate its greatness.
RNR027 – MOLE – WHAT IS THE MEANING? (Mark Aanderud, Hernan Hecht, with David Gilmore and Jorge “Luri” Molina) – April/May 2012
MOLE (or MOLE Productions) is the Musical Juice Collector of the incredible Mexican pianist Mark Aanderud and Argentinian-born and mexican resident (and Brainkiller drummer) Hernan Hecht, here joined by the amazing David Gilmore on guitar and the wonderful Jorge “Luri” Molina on bass. Swinging, poly-rhythmic, incredibly melodic, the new album by MOLE is nourished by the movingly beautiful compositions and virtuosistic piano work of Mark Aanderud, whilst being propelled forward by the jazz/rock/drum’n bass drumming of Hecht and the scintillating guitar-work of Gilmore.
Soon we will be sharing one or two tracks from this beautiful album by a quartet which we think has the potential to follow in the steps of EST and Phronesis.
Here in 2009 in Mexico (audio quality is not exceptional, but you will get an idea of the energy of their live performances)
RNR028 – ANIMATION – TRANSPARENT HEART (Bob Belden, Peter Clagett, Jacob Smith, Roberto Verastegui, Matt Young) – September 11th 2012
After 2011′s Asiento and its Spin-Off Agemo (also here) comes the first work by Animation which was recorded wholly in-house (in Bill Laswell’s studio in West-Orange, New Jersey), under the watchful eye of James Dellatacoma. 2011 was a year of rebirth and intense transition for Animation, as it was brought back to life via the release of the 2006 re-make of Bitches Brew (Asiento), then played a number of gigs a hybrid formation, featuring Bob Belden on sax, Tim Hagans on trumpet, with the astonishingly young Jordan Gheen on keyboards, Jacob Smith on bass and Matt Young on drums.
The formation of Animation has now coalesced and stabilised around Bob Belden, Peter Clagett, Roberto Verastegui, Jacob Smith and Matt Young. Soon we will have one or more tracks to share with you all, as it is quite unmeasurably beautiful.
RNR029 – NAKED TRUTH (Lorenzo Feliciati, Graham Haynes, Roy Powell, Pat Mastelotto) – October 2012
2011 saw the release of Naked Truth’s first recording, Shizaru to good critical acclaim – witness Carole Banks’s recent review in TheExaminer “…in ambient, avant-garde jazz-fusion, the hardest thing to do is make the visionary, experimental music melodically easy to follow and impossible to forget. Naked Truth does exactly this in “Touching Corners.” Whoever came up with the fan- and serious musician-friendly melodic line strengthening throughout this rocking, haunting groove, is an off his rocker prophet. It’s easily the best single for a cross-over hit, combining hard-driving rock with an ethereal, ballet-like loveliness. The cascading, intensified piano amplifies an urgency of purpose.”
Naked Truth then performed in Genoa (with Brainkiller), at the Gezmataz Genoa Jazz Festival, as part of a RareNoiseRecords – themed night (about which we will talk in the near future) with the appearance of Nils Petter Molvaer
After Cuong Vu decided to focus on his own projects, Naked Truth found a new stable member in the incredible Graham Haynes, and headed to Bill Laswell’s studio in West Orange to record their second full length. Having had the honour of being there we assure you it takes a further step into the future of music. We can’t wait to share some of the results with you – shortly we will be publishing an EPK and diary of the recording days in New Jersey.
Before we leave you, let us say we have two/three more cards up our sleeve for 2012 – Brainkiller, for example, will tour Mexico in March 2012, appear at the Vive Latino festival and record their second album for RareNoiseRecords …