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Earthsound | Movement

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Jazz: World Fusion World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Movement

by Earthsound

Eclectic and organic mix of flute-driven acoustic jazz and environmental sound, as well as beautiful music from Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ariane
3:44 $0.99
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2. El Plebeyo
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3. Summer Lake
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4. Os Cinco Companheiros
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5. Vagharchapati Par
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6. Monteverde Slow
2:18 $0.99
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7. Belladonna
5:29 $0.99
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8. Ms. JP
5:40 $0.99
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9. Hermit Thrush
2:03 $0.99
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10. New Shiftatelle
6:42 $0.99
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11. Misaka
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12. The Seals
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Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Earthsound is about breaking down barriers between genres and the human and natural worlds. Our repertoire mixes dynamic original jazz, music from countries such as Brazil, Peru, and Armenia, and improvisation to unique natural soundscapes. You will hear bowed acoustic bass alongside Weddell seals recorded underwater in Antarctica. You will hear belly-dancing music from Turkey played with the earthy rhythms of northeast Brazil. You will hear solo piano improvising to the haunting sounds of the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Underlying it all is a deep improvisational groove that will make you want to dance or put you in a state of deep meditation, or both at the same time. You’ll come away with a new understanding that nature is in us and we are in nature, even if we never set foot outside an urban environment.


From an article in the Boston Globe:

By Siddhartha Mitter
Globe Correspondent / February 1, 2008

Jazz and the great outdoors aren't commonly associated with each other, but for bassist and bandleader Jason Davis, they've been the twin poles of an emerging career that's as much - pardon the pun - about timber as it is about timbre.
That's because Davis is not just a classically trained bassist whose tastes range from Stravinsky to Brazilian music, but also an environmental researcher and former park ranger at places like the Cape Cod National Seashore. He has one Master's degree in classical performance, and another in ecology.

Now Davis, 31, who grew up in Lexington and is back on the Boston scene after time away for study in Florida and Costa Rica, is merging his fascinations in Earthsound. The new project allies straight-ahead jazz, Latin rhythms, and environmental noise - sounds harvested from nature by means of field recordings.

The group includes Davis and Brazilian flutist Fernando Brandão, Uruguayan pianist Nando Michelin, and Peruvian percussionist Jorge Perez-Albela. At a recent gig, they were joined by klezmer expert Hankus Netsky. Tracks from the CD Movement and live performances, available online, show a warm polyglot sensibility; they include a Brazilian choro and a Peruvian waltz. But another is more open-ended and edgy: It has Davis and Brandao improvising over a backdrop of crickets and frogs in full voice in a Midwestern field.

On the phone from his home in Lexington, Davis says he's still working out the issues involved in composing with environmental sounds, and he's aware of potential pitfalls.
"What I'm really conscious of trying to avoid is the cheese factor," he says. "I don't want this to be labeled New Age, light music. It's an intense music in that it draws from the pure jazz tradition. It's not watered-down music for meditation, not that there's anything wrong with that."
There's a high-art tradition of working with sounds from nature that predates the Aquarian age; Davis cites Olivier Messiaen's work with birdsong as the leading example. "He could go out with music paper and notate it right there in the field," he says.

Davis has noticed that working with natural sounds has pushed his playing. "I've been trying more unusual techniques with the bow and the very insect-like technique called sul pontecello that you can get by playing very close to the bridge of the bass."

"A lot of sounds in nature are high-pitched and very fast," he says. "But music has evolved to accommodate the sound of the human voice, which is much lower. I like experimenting with adjusting to different kinds of sounds. But I've not only driven toward that. I feel perfectly comfortable playing a walking bass line as well."

Davis is now working with sounds from the Monteverde region in Costa Rica; for the moment, he's using field recordings from other researchers but plans on soon harvesting his own. He knows the area well from having done his ecology thesis there, on the social history of the community's relationship to the local protected nature area.
Now, reaffirming the relationship between people and nature is at the heart of his music practice.

"There's a certain aspect of being present in the world that's harder to do today," he says. "We're not encouraged to be present to the sounds and sights around us. Not just in the wilderness - even just walking down Commonwealth Avenue - you can catch a rhythm of things, and hear things that are unique."

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Reviews


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Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team

Fabulous Jazz/Fusion
Primarily a traditional, straight-up jazz outfit, the multi-cultural Earthsound ensemble combine Duke Ellington’s rich sense of melody and Charles Mingus’ sophisticated exploration on their accomplished debut jazz and fusion CD, “Movement.” Citing such influences as Ellington, Jobim, and Paul Winter, the quartet’s (piano, bass, flute, and percussion) border-less compositions range from piano-led meditations that recall Bill Evans to flute-dominated improvisations reminiscent of masters like Yusef Lateef and Herbie Mann. Leader and bassist, Jason Davis, much like fellow bass-playing bandleader Mingus, works in tandem with his Peruvian percussionist, Jorge Perez-Albela, to provide the perfect framework for Brazilian flautist, Fernando Brandão’s flights of gravity-defying lyricism, even as pianist, Nando Michelin of Uruguay, fills the middle with chords as rich as they are light and dexterous. And like Mingus’ groundbreaking opus, “Cumbia & Jazz Fusion,” with its replication of nature sounds, Davis ably employs real nature samples less as affect than as an organic supplementation of the band’s interplay. “Movement,” Earthsound’s excellent debut CD, is a terrific introduction for a jazz combo of real talent and vision.
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