Anna Webber | Simple

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by Anna Webber

featuring Matt Mitchell and John Hollenbeck. Brooklyn jazz.
Genre: Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Carnophobia
9:58 album only
2. Emoticon
7:40 album only
3. 1994
10:45 album only
4. Simplify Simplify
7:17 album only
5. Washington
7:33 album only
6. I Don't Want to Be Happy
5:02 album only
7. Zigzag
7:28 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
SIMPLE, a new album by composer, saxophonist, and flutist Anna Webber
Featuring John Hollenbeck and Matt Mitchell
To be released on Skirl Records

NEW YORK, July 18th, 2014 – New York-based composer, saxophonist and flutist Anna Webber’s new release Simple, featuring Matt Mitchell on piano and John Hollenbeck on drums, will be released on Chris Speed’s Skirl Records on September 16, 2014. Simple was written over the summer of 2013 on Bowen Island, a rural spot off the coast of British Columbia.

“When one writes for trio, everything’s exposed. I titled it Simple not because the music isn’t difficult to play but because John and Matt are musicians with limitless ability and technique who play with ease and profound use of space. It perfectly suits the character of the compositions,” said Webber.

Knowing Mitchell and Hollenbeck as incredibly skilled musicians with musical sensibility like her own, it was easy for Webber to write the music for this trio. Simple is a departure from Webber’s last album, Percussive Mechanics, a collection of left-of-center compositions for septet that was described by The New York Times as “intricately plotted music.” With Simple, Webber wanted to pare it down. “Simplify, Simplify,” the fourth track on the record and an accidental Thoreau quote, became a catchphrase for her as she composed the music. On Bowen Island, away from her home in Brooklyn, Webber’s view changed from a constant stream of people and endless concrete to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. In complete solitude, her days were punctuated by the rhythm of the tide, the daily ferry schedules and passing boats. The isolation of Bowen Island allowed Webber to find a cohesive thread in her compositions that had eluded her in New York City. Given the space to breathe, themes emerged naturally in the writing.

Taken together, these tracks embrace and reflect the openness that surrounded Webber as she composed the music. The compositions expose a raw honesty that comes from seclusion and the daily confrontation with oneself. “Washington” was written in response to the barely visible mountains in Washington that Webber spotted to the south. The thought stirred an adolescent excitement and respect for facing the unknown. “Simplify, Simplify” was Webber’s attempt at writing a straight-forward piece; it turned complicated. The title comes from the song’s melodic rhythm. “Carnophobia” came out of Webber’s renewed enthusiasm for her vegetarian diet after encountering the remains of an animal on the side of the path during an afternoon run on the island. The surrounding sea inched its way into the compositions in subtle ways. Webber used Morse Code to derive the pitch material in “Carnophobia,” “Washington” and “1994.”

Lauded by critics for her inventive, ambitious compositions and deliberate playing that strike a delicate balance between complex and accessible, Simple further demonstrates Webber’s talent and breadth as a composer as well as her devotion to developing her craft. This makes her a perfect fit for Skirl, the adventurous independent label with artists that present challenging and thrilling perspectives on multiple genres. The label was founded in 2006 by saxophonist Chris Speed.

Simple, recorded at The Loove in Brooklyn, August 2013.
Musicians: Anna Webber (tenor sax, flute, alto flute); John Hollenbeck (drums); Matt Mitchell (piano).
Label: Skirl
Release date: September 16th, 2014

ANNA WEBBER is a musician who strives for the unexpected. An integral part of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene, she has established herself as a forward-thinking composer with her album Percussive Mechanics, featured in The New York Times and NPR.

Webber is a member of the collaborative band Jagged Spheres with Devin Gray and Elias Stemeseder and she plays with the Adam Hopkins Quartet; Noah Garabedian’s Big Butter and the Eggmen; the Erik Hove Large Ensemble; the Marike van Dijk Large Ensemble; the Martin Krümmling Quartet and Fabian Almazan’s Biophilia wind sextet, among many others. She also plays on Stefon Harris’ Grammy-nominated album Urbanus (Concord Records, 2009). Webber has toured throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe. She was nominated for the BMI’s Charlie Parker Award/Manny Alban Comission in 2013 and is the winner of the 2010 Prix François-Marcaurelle at the Montreal OFF Jazz Festival. Webber is originally from British Columbia.



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