Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager | All at Onceness

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Jazz: Third Stream Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Improvisational
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All at Onceness

by Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager

This album is a soulful mash-up of jazz improvisation, classical compositions, and folk melodies from past and present.
Genre: Jazz: Third Stream
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Rite of Cherokee (feat. Danny Weller & Jay Sawyer)
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
6:30 album only
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2. Prelude in C# Minor, Op. 22 No. 2
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
4:33 $0.99
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3. The First Flowers (feat. Aubrey Johnson)
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
3:36 $0.99
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4. Cooking
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
0:49 $0.99
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5. La Poésie
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
5:27 $0.99
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6. Telekinesis (feat. Aubrey Johnson, Danny Weller & Jay Sawyer)
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
4:30 $0.99
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7. Heyr Himna Smiður (feat. Aubrey Johnson)
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
3:17 $0.99
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8. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
3:30 $0.99
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9. Sarabande
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
3:22 $0.99
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10. Bagatelle, Op. 6 No. 4 (feat. Aubrey Johnson, Danny Weller & Jay Sawyer)
Randal Despommier & Jason Yeager
6:11 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“...[Jason Yeager] always impressed me with his talent, his curiosity and his desire to create his own music while really investigating the jazz piano tradition.”
-Fred Hersch, Grammy-nominated pianist/composer and Doris Duke Fellow

“[Randal Despommier’s] Dance of Fury with Jason is multi-dimensional New Orleans hot….[Cherokee] is sensational, Randal’s masterpiece so far.”
-Ran Blake, pianist/composer and MacArthur Fellow

Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of saxophonist Randal Despommier and pianist Jason Yeager’s first collaborative album, All At Onceness, a soulful mix of improvisational arrangements of Baroque, Romantic, twentieth-century, and contemporary pieces. With source material ranging from Bach to Stravinsky, Scriabin to Messiaen, these intrepid composer-improvisers stake out their own territory in a diverse program that combines folk-like melodies, evocative harmonies, and infectious rhythms. Joining the duo are three of New York's most adventurous artists: vocalist Aubrey Johnson, bassist Danny Weller, and drummer Jay Sawyer.

When New Orleans-born jazz alto saxophonist and classical composer Randal Despommier moved to New York City in the summer of 2013, he teamed up an with award-winning jazz pianist/composer from Boston, Jason Yeager, to explore improvisational arrangements of classical repertoire. “Jason and I were both interested in building off of the jazz tradition by turning to the classical oeuvre and vice versa. During our jam sessions, we’d mess around with jazz standards, preludes by Scriabin, and folk songs; then we’d arrange, rearrange, and sometimes ‘de-range’ pieces, as Jason puts it; the result was what we felt to be a coming-together of various musical styles from the past and present. We decided to call this approach All At Onceness, a term coined by the Canadian media scholar, Marshall McLuhan.”

Some of these “derangements” include Despommier’s Cherokee-meets-Le Sacre du printemps (entitled “Rite of Cherokee”), described by the saxophonist as “something of a primal Bop dance.” Yeager’s version of “Danse de la fureur...” (or “Dance of Fury”) is a fiery, adventurous atonal saxophone and piano/rhodes duet that draws from the sixth movement of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. These high-octane fusion works are counterbalanced by two original compositions: Despommier’s “The First Flowers,” an ethereal, lyrical setting of a poem by Hermann Hesse, and Yeager’s “Telekinesis,” a playful, Kafkaesque jazz vocalise interpolated with collective improvisation from the ensemble.

Critical to the standout originals are the contributions of vocalist Aubrey Johnson, who has collaborated with top artists ranging from Fred Hersch to Bobby McFerrin. Despommier notes that, “Aubrey sings with such soul and warmth; she’s a real singer/poet who ‘breathes life into the words’ as the madrigalists would say.” Johnson’s moving vocal work is featured on several cuts, her exquisite tone and deep improvisational prowess particularly strong on the closing track, Despommier’s arrangement of Bartók’s “Bagatelle Op. 10 No. 4.” In this work, following a scintillating solo by Johnson, Despommier joins the fray as a vocalist, in the majestic choral section that closes out the album.

Lighting a creative fire under the front line is the top-notch rhythm team of drummer Jay Sawyer (Freddy Cole, Itamar Borochov) and bassist Danny Weller (Jason Palmer, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Orchestra), who contribute imaginative musical commentary to “Telekinesis,” “Bagatelle”, and “Rite of Cherokee.” “I’ve worked with Jay and Danny for quite some time, and they combine an intensity and energy with supreme listening and sensitivity, which is rare,” comments pianist Yeager. “I’ve performed with them in settings ranging from my trio to larger ensemble projects, and knew that they would be the perfect fit for what Randy and I had in mind for this recording.”

Another standout track is Despommier’s haunting arrangement of an ancient Icelandic religious text, “Heyr Himna Smiður,” or “Hear, Smith of the Heavens,” an early thirteenth-century poem by Icelandic chieftain/poet Kolbeinn Tumason, set to music in the twentieth century by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson. Accompanied only by Yeager on piano, Johnson’s superb vocal interpretation gives the track a truly celestial ethos, entrancing the listener with a captivating melodic statement.

More on Randal Despommier and Jason Yeager:

Randal Despommier is a New York-based composer, saxophonist, and educator from New Orleans, LA. His unique and extensive background in jazz, blues, and Western classical music results in a distinct twenty first-century compositional voice. Despommier's original music ranges from contemporary art songs to jazz adaptations of Medieval and Renaissance music. His debut album, an original song cycle entitled Circus of the Soul will be released on Albany Records later this year. He directs the music program at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan and has taught jazz history with the Bard Prison Initiative.

Jason Yeager is a New York-based pianist, composer, and educator, whose music is informed by jazz improvisation, contemporary chamber music, and Latin American folk rhythms. His most recent album, United, with violinist Jason Anick, was awarded 4.5 stars and named one of 2017’s top releases in Downbeat Magazine. His fourth recording as a leader, All At Onceness, with composer/saxophonist Randal Despommier, will be released on Red Piano Records in April 2018. Yeager has performed and recorded with such artists as Luciana Souza, Matt Wilson, Ayn Inserto, Linda Oh, Greg Osby, Sara Serpa, and George Garzone, and has performed across the US and abroad in Argentina, Panama, and South Africa. In addition to his performance and composition work, Yeager teaches piano at Berklee College of Music.

Please visit www.jasonyeager.com and www.RedPianoRecords.com for more information.

More about the music:

Randal Despommier - alto saxophone, voice (10)
Jason Yeager - piano, rhodes (6, 8)
Aubrey Johnson - voice (3, 6, 7, 10)
Danny Weller - bass (1, 6, 10)
Jay Sawyer - drums (1, 6, 10)

Rite of Cherokee, arranged by Randal Despommier, is a transatlantic mashup of the introduction to The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and the standard “Cherokee,” by Ray Noble.

Prelude in C# minor, Op. 22 No. 2 is a hauntingly romantic and contrapuntal work for piano by Alexander Scriabin, jointly arranged by Yeager and Despommier.

The First Flowers is an original song by Randal Despommier, setting the poetry of Hermann Hesse (in an English translation) specifically for Aubrey Johnson’s remarkable voice.

La cuisine (“Cooking”) and La poésie (“Poetry”) are the fifth and fourth movements, respectively, of Darius Milhaud’s La muse ménagère (The Household Muse), Op. 245 for piano, arranged by Despommier and Yeager.

Telekinesis is a high-energy composition by Jason Yeager, featuring all five members of the ensemble. The title is inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s immortal words: “Those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.”

Heyr Himna Smiður, or “Hear, Smith of the Heavens,” is an early thirteenth-century poem by Icelandic chieftain/poet Kolbeinn Tumason, set to music by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, and arranged by Randal Despommier.

Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes (“Dance of Fury, for the Seven Trumpets”) features excerpts from the sixth movement of Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time), and is arranged by Jason Yeager.

Sarabande is from J.S. Bach’s English Suite No. 2 in A minor (BWV 807) for keyboard, arranged for piano and saxophone by Randal Despommier.

Bagatelle Op. 6, No. 4 is Béla Bartók’s setting of an ancient Hungarian folk song, “Mikor gulyáslegény voltam” (“When I Was a Shepherd”), arranged here by Randal Despommier, Jason Yeager, and Aubrey Johnson.

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