Jordan Tice Trio | The Secret History

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Avant Garde: Modern Composition Jazz: Crossover Jazz Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Secret History

by Jordan Tice Trio

Creative "New acoustic music" original compositions with guitar, hammered dulcimer, and bass.
Genre: Avant Garde: Modern Composition
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Assumptionists
3:50 $0.99
2. Field Trip
5:05 $0.99
3. Mountainhead
7:20 $0.99
4. Forest Waltz
5:10 $0.99
5. Duet
6:58 $0.99
6. Death and Spiders
4:45 $0.99
7. Armadingo
4:57 $0.99
8. 1147
7:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

It begins with Jordan Tice, because he wrote the music, and hatched the plan, years ago. Jordan is one of those people for whom the ideas never stop flowing, and who seems to be animated entirely by this flood of mysterious convictions. You can see them moving his limbs, pulling him this way and that, causing his hair to curl, and spilling out through his fingers, the intentions and plans mapping themselves on the fretboard of his guitar. Jordan's plan, the one of which I speak, required specific musical (and other) qualities: thunderous lows, crystalline highs, percussive attacks, voluminous whomps, steady murmurs, driving rhythms, deft dynamics, a constant supply of sarcasm and the ability to bake a mean batch of muffins. So, naturally, he called on his good friends Paul Kowert and Simon Chrisman, who with double bass and hammer dulcimer round out the Jordan Tice Trio. Like all bands, they wanted to sound like one thing, not three. And while they had a head start on this, having known each other, and played together in different configurations, for years, they were excited to get a chance to focus on the trio… sounds rich and rambunctious, lyric and far reaching, headlong and heedful, these all had to be combined. Hours and days of rehearsal time, prized from unyielding calendars and made possible by tireless travel, brought them together in a new way.

And so it was that Jordan, Paul and Simon became a band. But where did they come from, and what else do they do with themselves? Ah. All three have been in the business of making sounds, plucking strings with picks, hitting them with sticks, and also throwing bows and fingers into the mix, for quite some time. Paul graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2009, relocated to New York, and has been touring with that five headed hydra of harmony, Punch Brothers (featuring Chris Thile), ever since. You can find his work on the records of artists such as Dierks Bentley, Fiona Apple and Sarah Jarosz. Jordan discovered the guitar at the age of 12, and music has been taking him all over the world ever since then, from Australia to Bulgaria, and to recording sessions and gigs with Mark Shatz, Darol Anger and Frank Wakefield. He now lives in Boston, where he plays, teaches, and writes music, working with groups as varied as the Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble and Lily Henley's world music band. Simon tours with The Bee Eaters and the Jeremy Kittel Band, has been said to have an unusual, rhythmic style on the hammer dulcimer, and has shared the stage with the likes of Darol Anger and Mike Marshall. Originally hailing from the northwest, he followed his Bee Eater bandmates to Boston four years ago, in his quest to further that strange style and immerse himself in music.



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Joe Ross

... and 1/2 ... tasteful, balanced, coherent, meaningful group sound
It’s been nearly seven years since I reviewed Jordan Tice’s “No Better Place” album (Patuxent CD-0126).
Is the young guitarist still presenting an enjoyable, highly-arranged instrumental elixir? Has he further refined his style? Has he become even more seasoned, mature, and exceptional than he was back then as a young high school grad? Or is he now experiencing a seven-year itch and moving on to other things? Happily, I can report that the sonic alchemist still conveys abundant character and individualism in his original music. His 2005 album included an illustrious cast of guests who were given plenty of opportunities to strut their stuff. I understand that his 2008 “Long Story” album also included an all-star cast.

Now, Jordan Tice Trio’s “The Secret History” project paints its musical canvas with only Tice’s guitar, Simon Chrisman’s hammered dulcimer, and Paul Kowert’s upright bass. All three new acoustic pioneers display technically impressive moxie throughout the eight tracks. I hear fewer direct influences from folk, bluegrass, and jazz idioms that Tice explored in his early days as a player with Gary Ferguson and Sally Love, and bluegrass bands like “Foxes on the Run” and “Blue Light Special.” Instead, the trio’s music now takes on a unique personality all its own. “The Secret History” ebbs and flows like the tide, with dynamics that advance and then recede. Will the 5-7 minute tunes be given their fair due with adequate radio airplay? I certainly hope so!

Jordan Tice received a full scholarship to attend Towson State University. A 2009 graduate with a degree in music composition, he now makes his home in Boston. His tone, timing, balance, rhythm and execution are extraordinary. He drives the original music with dynamic pronunciation, and the interplay of Chrisman and Kowert with him is phenomenal. On tunes like “Duet” and “Death and Spiders,” Kowert’s moaning low-end sounds almost ominous, and that may take a little getting used to. You might even adjust the equalization on your playing device. Yet he is always right on the money with his bass notes, whether plucked or bowed. A 2009 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Kowert lives in New York and tours with Punch Brothers (featuring Chris Thile). Simon Chrisman has followed his muse by relocating from the northwest to Boston. Making a name for himself as a distinctive, evocative dulcimer player, he also tours with The Bee Eaters and Jeremy Kittel Band.

Collaboratively, the Jordan Tice Trio members are very well-suited and supportive of each other. It takes skill to flawlessly execute one’s own unique style while still presenting a tasteful, balanced, coherent, meaningful group sound. Tice once said the best way to understand bluegrass is just to “listen to it.” Close listening, reflection and study are good advice for this instrumental release, as well. (Joe Ross, CD Insight)