Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble | Jive At 5:05

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Classical: Contemporary Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Jive At 5:05

by Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble

Improvised Contemporary Art Music seasoned with Avant Garde Jazz
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Audio Logo
0:09 $0.99
2. Jive At 5:05
5:00 $0.99
3. Dogma of Dogmas
4:33 $0.99
4. Low Grade Anxiety
6:23 $0.99
5. Blue Lou
5:27 $0.99
6. Huff and Puff
5:49 $0.99
7. The Real Deal
7:31 $0.99
8. Rhythmic Interplay
4:03 $0.99
9. Call Waiting
6:11 $0.99
10. Force Field
6:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Like a cold slap upside the head, improvised contemporary art music meets free form jazz. After years of faux interaction between art music and jazz, the reality has been achieved. Not the reality of a new hybrid genre but rather a new expression of improvised music through the interaction of two long established genres. Indeed, each piece in this program suggests a different solution to the problem of meaningful expression through improvised music.

The central issue on this CD seems to be whether or not to keep time. “Jive At 5:05,” “Blue Lou” and “Rhythmic Interplay” are definitely keeping time, but are they what they appear to be or is there some ulterior purpose lurking in the background? Is Schumacher playing with us again? That leaves the remaining pieces which are not involved with time keeping. They run the gamut from the very atmospheric “Low Grade Anxiety,” which sounds like a score submitted by a contemporary composer, to the thoughtful (and demented) “instructive lecture” by Professor Musikmacher on “Dogma Of Dogmas.” There are the breathy whistles of “Huff And Puff,” and what is that cell phone at the end of “Call Waiting” about? “Force Field” finds the percussionist in an eerie and threatening sonic environment which he must very carefully play his way out of, while “The Real Deal” is definitely not a raw deal!

Yes, Jive At 5:05 demonstrates to us what we may have suspected was possible all along; namely, that art music and jazz could stimulate each other into a new expressiveness. I would, however, like to suggest an even simpler possibility: that the “cold slap upside the head” I referred to is nothing more than the sudden awareness that classically trained musicians can improvise and that jazz musicians have enough musicianship to keep up with their classically trained counterparts. Who knew? Old stereotypes die hard!

----- Steven Eversole

MUSIC NOW ENSEMBLE: This ensemble is a collective of improvisers and composers of exceptional musicianship and imagination. The members of the collective perform in various combinations of players in order to offer a kaleidoscope of instrumentations consistent with the philosophy of free improvisation. Stanley Schumacher founded the ensemble in 2003 to present performances in both acoustical and electroacoustical formats and to promote the diversity and spontaneity of contemporary art music.

STANLEY SCHUMACHER: Trombonist, vocalist, and composer Stanley Schumacher is director of the Music Now Ensemble and president of Musikmacher Productions. He has an established resume in improvised music, having performed with Ricardo Arias, Gary Hassay, Rosi Hertlein, David Hofstra, Evan Lipson, Hans Tammen, Todd Whitman, Nate Wooley, and many others. In addition, Stanley composes contemporary art music. A number of his compositions employ narrative texts, which often exhibit a humorous theatrical element. This humorous theatrical element also appears in some of the improvised pieces on this CD such as “Dogma Of Dogmas” and “Rhythmic Interplay”. His improvisation can be heard on the previous release from Musikmacher Productions, Don’t Abandon Your Baby (MM003).

SABIR MATEEN: Fluent on alto and tenor saxophones, Bb and alto clarinets and flute, Sabir Mateen began his musical career in Philadelphia and has lived in New York City since 1989. He began playing rhythm and blues in the early 1970’s and has since expanded his musical horizons into the world of jazz. He has played with Horace Tapscott, Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, William Parker, Butch Morris, Steve Swell, Mark Whitecage, and Jemeel Moondoc.

EVAN LIPSON: Bassist Evan Lipson performs in a variety of alternative ensembles. His improvisation credentials include performing with Stuart Dempster, Andy Hayleck, Katt Hernandez, Rosi Hertlein, Matthias Kaul, Lukas Ligeti, Toshi Makihara, Sabir Mateen, Tatsuya Nakatani, Pauline Oliveros, Mike Pride, Stanley Schumacher, Birgit Ulher, Nate Wooley, Todd Whitman, and Jack Wright. Evan has received both the Composers Forum SUBITO grant and Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections grant. He studied string bass with Michael Formanek and Robert Kesselman.

LUKAS LIGETI: Born in Vienna, Austria, percussionist Lukas Ligeti studied composition at the Vienna Music Academy. As an improviser, he has performed with Raoul Bjurkenheim, Eugene Chadbourne, Jonas Hellborg, Henry Kaiser, Jim O’Rourke, John Oswald, and John Zorn among others. Lukas has received composition commissions from Bang on a Can, the Kronos Quartet, and Vienna Festwochen. He frequently works in various parts of Africa and co-leads the band Burkina Electric, based in Burkina Faso.

PROFESSOR MUSIKMACHER: A long-time associate of the State Mental Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Professor Musikmacher performs exclusively with Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble, which provides a platform for his “instructive lectures.” He was educated in Berlin at the Moravian Academy and at the St. Ursula School for Delinquent Girls where he completed his theoretical studies. Professor Musikmacher is well known for his essay “Oral Arts and the Negative Space Continuum.” Included in the venerable Journal of Oral Arts, this essay explores the metaphysical relationship of sound and reality. His recent book, Altered States: A Comprehensive Investigation of Reality, published by Didactic Press, has received high critical acclaim.



to write a review

Andrew Weathers, WUAG, Greensboro, NC

Jive At 5:05 at WUAG
I've enjoyed the record, and I've played it on the show, and plan on doing it more!

Ron Pellegrino, composer and author

It's heartfelt!
I'm listening to you now and loving it. It makes me happy to imagine you creating this music. It's heartfelt and that means it's the best.

Steve Siegel, The Morning Call

Makes Contemporary Improvisational Music More Accessible
Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble are back, with a new recording weaving contemporary art music with freeform, straight-ahead jazz. “Jive At 5:05,” the ensemble’s fourth CD, is an imaginative improvisational trip, not nearly as threatening as its frightfully nihilistic previous release, “Don’t Abandon Your Baby.” In fact, some tracks even keep time. . . . . .Trombonist, composer, and vocalist Stanley Schumacher, who currently lives in Bethlehem, founded the Music Now Ensemble in 2003. Joining Schumacher on this jazz/expressionist hybrid are Sabir Mateen on sax, clarinet, and flute; Evan Lipson on acoustic bass; Lukas Ligeti on percussion; and the mysterious Professor Musikmacher (Schumacher’s alter-ego) providing vocal embellishment. . . . . .Writing serious music for today’s cultural climate often means shedding the exhausted European heritage of nearly a century ago for a new musical vocabulary. Yet there’s no reason why that language can’t contain some of the more accessible elements of jazz. By doing just that, “Jive At 5:05” succeeds in making contemporary improvisational music more accessible. . . . . .Having said that, be forewarned this is still cutting-edge stuff. The disc’s title track, while regulated by a riveting percussive beat, is wild freeform jazz, with a screaming sax and wailing trombone. “Blue Lou” swings to a pronounced bluesy bass line, occasionally accompanied by vocal sighs and groans. The spoken word is the highlight of “Rhythmic Interplay,” a hilarious satire where the speaker comments on the complex structural parameters and dynamics of musical form. . . . . .The disc is chock full of mood swings, from the exuberance of “Jive At 5:05” to the lugubrious “Low Grade Anxiety,” which delightfully wallows in a slow-motion lethargic world. A number of tracks are peppered by demented-sounding mumbles and growls, at once humorous and provocative, by Professor Musikmacher himself. Breathy whistles and whispers lurk everywhere, and in “Force Field” an electronic fuzz effect traps the musicians in a sonic maze from which they desperately try to escape.

Bruce Tychinski, International Trombone Association Journal

A unique blend of jazz, contemporary art music, and improvisation
Stanley Schumacher founded the Music Now Ensemble, a collection of contemporary performers and composers, in 2003. The ensemble performs a variety of music that includes contemporary art music, jazz, and improvisation. Members of the ensemble have performed or composed for some of the leading avant-garde performers including Kronos Quartet, Cecil Taylor, and trombonists Stuart Dempster and Steve Swell. . . . . .JIVE AT 5:05 is an interesting collection of works with improvisation at its core. Some tracks resemble avante-garde jazz with a steady groove from the rhythm section, while others use non-traditional sounds, vocalizations, and theatrics to create an art music free of time and space. In the liner notes, Steven Eversole writes that “each piece. . .suggests a different solution to the problem of meaningful expression through improvised music.”. . . . .”Jive at 5:05”, “Blue Lou”, and “Rhythmic Interplay” have traditional roles for bass and drums and give the listener a familiar basis to listen to the improvisations that coexist amongst the established grooves. Different atmospheric sounds are created on “Low Grade Anxiety”, “Huff and Puff”, and “Call Waiting”. Schumacher employs orations and humorous elements in some of his tracks such as “Dogma of Dogmas” and “Rhythmic Interplay”. “Force Field” uses electronic manipulation of the sounds to create an omnipresent background static. While the trombone is not front and center on this recording, Schumacher’s playing can be heard extensively on the tracks “Low Grade Anxiety” and “Blue Lou”. He uses as variety of mutes, growls, and vocalizations through the instrument during his improvisations. . . . . .This recording is a unique blend of jazz, contemporary art music, and improvisation. The ordering of the tracks keeps the listener on his toes with acute changes of stylistic direction that prevent one from settling in to create any definitive label for this music.

Massimo Ricci, Paris Transatlantic Magazine

a witty enough album!!
Active for years in an accurately demarcated area where free jazz, improvisation and theatrical vocalism meet, this American trombonist releases his music on the Musikmacher imprint, Jive At 5:05 being the label's fourth outing. This time he's helped by three fine practitioners of atonal hobnobbing: Sabir Mateen on saxophones, clarinets and flute, Evan Lipson on string bass and Lukas Ligeti on percussion…..The musicianship is high-calibre, capable of tackling material ranging from elegant chamber music ("Low Grade Anxiety") to the amusingly chaotic blowout of the title track . The final "Force Field" distorts the instrumentalists' tones into disconcertingly fuzzy infamy, and on "The Real Deal" (which lasts 7'27") the leader manages to carry on by reiterating a lone note throughout, while the rest of the guys do their best to pair incongruity and cultivation. Overall, it's a witty enough album with several remarkable moments…..perfectly in line with Schumacher's typical output.

Eleff, WRUV Radio

Sabir Mateen shines on reeds
Trombonist/composer leads quintet through an odd mix of “art music”, free-bop, blues & avant jazz. Sabir Mateen shines on reeds & plays off well against trombone.

Jon Worley, Aiding and Abetting

Many ideas presented with style and grace.
I've always liked the trombone as a jazz instrument. Stanley Schumacher doesn't stick strictly to jazz, as the name of his quartet might indicate. I'm not sure what's improvised and what is composed, but the collaborative nature of these songs tells me that there is a fair amount of the former. This album is billed as an attempt to fuse "art" music and jazz. At the edges, the line is very blurry--and this album tries to stick to those edges. Many ideas presented with style and grace