Atlas Maior | Riptide

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World: Middle East Contemporary Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Atlas Maior

A combination of Middle Eastern, & Progressive Jazz, featuring powerful riffs and deep cut grooves that illustrate the group's dynamic sound.
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Curse
5:36 $0.99
2. Riptide
6:06 $0.99
3. Nastaran
6:08 $0.99
4. Chamber of Mirrors
6:16 $0.99
5. Cumbia Raposa
5:07 $0.99
6. Oryx
1:48 $0.99
7. Trata
5:00 $0.99
8. Iddaa!!
5:20 $0.99
9. Huzzam Hive, Pt. I
4:09 $0.99
10. Huzzam Hive, Pt. II
3:07 $0.99
11. Osman Pehlivan
10:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Atlas Maior’s influences traverse American Jazz, Middle Eastern traditions and Latin American musical idioms, creating hypnotic, transportive soundscapes with powerful melodies and gripping passages. Riptide represents the group’s most dynamic and sophisticated effort to-date, and features several sonic and instrumental layers that make up Atlas Maior’s sound. Riptide is Atlas Maior’s follow up to their 2015 3-Track EP release Keyif, and 2014’s experimental double album Palindrome, which garnered positive reviews from both local and national media outlets.

Recorded in 2018 at Austin’s Bell Tree Studio, Riptide is the culmination of several years of the Atlas Maior compositional process by band members Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone), Charlie Lockwood (oud - Middle Eastern fretless lute), and Ted Camat (drums, percussion). The album is bolstered by several featured guest artists and regular contributors to Atlas Maior, including violin maestro Roberto Riggio (Atash, Youssou N’dour, Fayrouz), rhythm section talents Gary Calhoun James (double bass), Tarik Hassan (double bass), and Palestinian oud player Sari Andoni. Riptide was produced by Thomson and Lockwood, mixed by Gary Calhoun James, & mastered by Carl Saff.

“Chamber of Mirrors”, the first single release from Riptide, is a combination of Middle Eastern & Progressive Jazz, featuring powerful riffs and deep cut grooves that illustrate the group’s dynamic sound. Influenced by Arab, Bulgarian, Jazz, and Turkish music traditions, “Chamber of Mirrors” is a quintet release by the band featuring the sounds of oud, alto saxophone, and violin. Inquisitive melodies, and harmonic sensitivities engulf Atlas Maior’s asymmetrical rhythms taking the listener on an aural ride into the unknown.

“The Curse” is a driving, high-octane tune influenced by Balkan, & Flamenco traditions absorbed by the band during their time in Spain. The title track “Riptide” was a tune written partially while on the beach in Catalonia during an intense storm that conveys a feeling of solitude, introspection, and the healing quality of nature. Tunes “Cumbia Raposa” and “Huzzam Hive” are journeous pieces that demonstrate the band’s collaborative strength in adopting threads from diverse musical influences, such as Colombian cumbia rhythms and the Arab maqam (mode) sikah huzzam, while continuing to cultivate their own sonic identity.

Riptide also features original Atlas Maior arrangements of “Trata”, a folk song from the Thracian region of Greece, the Afghani composition“Nastaran” (Song of the Cricket) by Afghan rabab master Ustad Mohammad Omar, and a blistering dual-oud rendition of “Osman Pehlivan”, the psychedelic Turkish tanbur phenom Arif Sağ’s homage to Tamburacı Osman Pehlivan’s “Anadolu Kaşık Havası” (1928).

Atlas Maior creates original music that combines elements of Progressive Jazz, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Indian music traditions. Band members Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone, flutes), Josh Peters (oud), Charlie Lockwood (oud), and Ted Camat (drums, percussion) create a unique sound that balances intimate moments of sincerity with powerful melodies and incendiary rhythmic passages. Atlas Maior writes original melodies exploring maqamat (the Middle Eastern modal system) and harmonic progressions found in American jazz. The group composes with a wide variety of rhythms and traditional percussion instruments including the Indian tablas, Middle Eastern dumbek, Peruvian cajón, and Brazilian pandeiro.

Riptide is Atlas Maior’s 5th studio release, following Keyif (2015), Palindrome (2014), Four Shades (2012), Atlas Maior EP (2011), all receiving positive reviews and media placement from Public Radio International, KUTX, Austin’s National Public Radio affiliate network, All About Jazz, World Music Central, UTNE Reader, Midwest Record and more. Atlas Maior has toured internationally in France, Spain, and Turkey, and has received hometown recognition with the proclamation of “Atlas Maior Day” on March 27, 2014 by Austin’s City Council. On January 31st, Atlas Maior was named Creative Ambassadors to the City of Austin for 2019 by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and the ATX Music Division.

In the fall of 2018, Atlas Maior brought their talents to Europe where they completed their 3rd international tour (France and Spain). Most recently Atlas Maior was nominated for the 3rd consecutive year as a top 5 finalist in the category of jazz for the 2019 Austin Music Awards. They have opened for internationally acclaimed artists Vieux Farka Touré, Tal National, Josh T. Pearson, and have performed at music festivals including Austin Days (Angers, FR), Pueblos Blancos (Andalusia), Wobeonfest, Art Outside, SXSW, and the City of Austin’s F1 Fan Fest. The group has collaborated with a host of talented musicians in Angers, Austin, Barcelona, Istanbul, and from around the world, including Lou Lou Ghelichkhani of Thievery Corporation, Raquy Danziger, Atash, Fared Shafinury, Indrajit Banerjee, Alán Chehab Quartet, The University of Texas at Austin Middle East Ensemble Bereket, The Austin Global Orchestra and many more.

Joshua Thomson - alto saxophone
Charlie Lockwood - oud
Sari Andoni - oud (track 11)
Gary Calhoun James - double bass (tracks 1-5, 8, 11)
Tarik Hassan - double bass (tracks 6, 7, 9, 10)
Roberto Paolo Riggio - violin (track 4)
Ted Camat - drums, güiro (track 5)

Recorded & Mixed by Gary Calhoun James at Bell Tree Studio
Austin, Texas 2018
Mastered by Carl Saff
Produced by Charlie Lockwood & Joshua Thomson
Album design by Fumihito Sugawara

Atlas Maior would like to thank our families, friends, and fans for all of their love and support during the making of this album.



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