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Lena Bloch | Feathery

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Lee Konitz Warne Marsh

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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by Lena Bloch

From Russia with swing! Saxophonist Lena Bloch unites incendiary playing and cool aesthetics on this debut album with Cameron Brown, Dave Miller and Billy Mintz Audio + special PDF.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hi-Lee
4:26 album only
2. Rubato
7:15 $0.99
3. Baby Suite
11:33 album only
4. Starry-Eyed
7:05 $0.99
5. Marshmallow
7:54 album only
6. Farewell to Arms
7:48 $0.99
7. Featherbed
7:01 album only
8. Beautiful You
5:31 $0.99
9. Hi-Lee (Reprise)
0:55 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"It's a pleasure to hear a committed musician creating her own exciting sound while also digging deep into the less examined wellsprings of the jazz tradition."
— Steve Futterman, The New Yorker

The acclaimed tenor saxophonist Lena Bloch, a Russian émigré who currently resides in Brooklyn, grounds her music in the fertile soil of the present, while honoring significant, left-of-center innovations of jazz past. Committed to the essentials of swing, post-bop exploration and collective improvisation, as well as an avid interest in the still-visionary music of cool-school titans, Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, Bloch has created a distinctive instrumental and group approach that sets her apart from her peers.

Her debut album Feathery, to be released March 18, 2014 on Thirteenth Note Records, is a fitting testimony to Bloch’s brisk musical evolution and her commitment to productive freedom. Although contributing players Cameron Brown on bass, Billy Mintz on drums and Dave Miller on guitar were not a working unit, under Bloch’s supportive direction they melded indivisibly as a resourceful and consistently inspiring ensemble. Each member of the quartet contributed at least one piece to the album. In addition, the group recorded rarely performed pieces by two of the foremost of Lennie Tristano’s acolytes: “Marshmallow” by Warne Marsh and “Featherbed” by Ted Brown. Lena’s own “Hi Lee” is a tribute to her own mentor from the Tristano camp, Lee Konitz.
Veteran bassist Cameron Brown, a former member of the now legendary Don Pullen-George Adams Quartet and a current associate of Joe Lovano, brings his clear sonic presence, swinging lines, and melodic inventiveness to the group. Drummer Billy Mintz, a colleague of Brown’s for over 30 years, is a master of texture and dynamics whose orchestrations and subtle swing feel significantly contribute to the continuity of the project’s challenging material. Dave Miller, a guitarist from Chicago currently living in New York, combines intuition and precision at a level rarely heard among young players today.

“When I decided to record my first album, I had in mind a recording in which the focus would be on collective improvising, group interplay, spontaneity and unexpected turns rather than the usual ‘head - solo – head’ format,” Bloch has said, “The rapport and understanding among the four musicians was remarkable. We recorded in one day, in one room, without headphones, the album consists almost entirely of first takes. There were no pre-set arrangements."
The result is a recording that reflects an effortlessness, lightness and elegance as aptly described by the title Feathery.

Lena Bloch was born in Moscow and studied music in Israel, Germany and the United States, where she earned a Master’s of Music degree in composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since moving to the United States in 2003, Bloch has been a soloist with the Vermont Jazz Big Band, the Ambassadors of Light, the Vishnu Wood Quartet, and the Northampton Jazz Workshop. In 2008 she moved to Brooklyn and has since performed with, among others, Dan Tepfer, Roberta Piket, George Schuller, Frank Carlberg, Putter Smith, Mark Ferber, Sumi Tonooka, Kim Clarke, Vishnu Wood and Vladimir Shafranov as well as several musicians associated with the Lennie Tristano school (Ted Brown, Connie Crothers, Joe Solomon, Bob Arthurs). Bloch has also gained significant recognition in Europe, performing with such diverse musicians as “Embryo”, Keith Copeland, Alvin Queen, and Steve Reid



to write a review

Juerg Sommer, Switzerland

A CD recommendation from the Swiss Sunday Newspaper "Schweiz am Sonntag", April
Federleicht swingender Cooljazz – das Lena Bloch Quartett

Lee Konitz, der grosse alte Mann unter den Saxophonisten, verteilt sein Lob über Musikerkollegen in homöopathischen Dosen und ist für seine kompromisslose Ehrlichkeit so respektiert wie gefürchtet. Des Lobes voll ist Konitz über seine Kollegin Lena Bloch. Die russischstämmige Tenorsaxophonistin debütiert in ihrer CD „Feathery“ mit einer beachtlichen Hommage an ihr Vorbild Warne Marsh, dessen komplexer improvisatorischer Ansatz von Bloch aufdatiert und im aktuellen Jazz verankert wird. Mit dabei im hervorragenden Quartett finden sich der junge Gitarrist Dave Miller und die beiden altgedienten Stilisten Cameron Brown (Bass) und Billy Mintz (Drums).

English translation of the newspaper text in German:
Featherly swinging cool jazz - Lena Bloch Quartet

Lee Konitz, the great elder among saxophonists, gives praises to his colleagues in homeopathic doses and is both respected and feared for his uncompromising honesty.. Konitz is full of praise for his colleague, Lena Bloch.. The Russian-born tenor saxophonist debuts with her CD "Feathery" with a remarkable tribute to her model, Warne Marsh, whose complex improvisational approach is updated and anchored in today's jazz by Bloch. Joining in with this excellent quartet are the young guitarist Dave Miller and the two veteran stylists Cameron Brown (bass) and Billy Mintz (drums).