The Downtown Avengers | The Downtown Avengers

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United States - NY - New York City

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Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Instrumental
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The Downtown Avengers

by The Downtown Avengers

A burst of youthful free spirit, a shining cross section between spontaneous sonic creation and pop art.
Genre: Avant Garde: Free Improvisation
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Testing Waters
5:56 $0.99
2. Placing Dots
3:56 $0.99
3. Choosing the Next Leader
0:29 album only
4. Alejandro Muy Muy Grande
7:11 $0.99
5. Cosmic Drift
7:10 $0.99
6. Obey the Chief
7:13 $0.99
7. Deep Circle
5:09 $0.99
8. Rotation II
5:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Since the 1960s, free improvisation has been a controversial art form, a topic for debate between the musical traditionalists/conservatives (who believe music should be tonal, composed, "orderly") and the radical innovators. Often served as a social outcry, the art form has withstood many other musical genres, given its ever-changing characteristic and unpredictability --- the word "dated" never seems to be a word associated to it. Generations after Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman, there are still young players who sprung up to express their own understanding of this music and it is always fresh as ever.

Malaysian violinist Fung Chern Hwei is one of such young players. He fell in love with avant garde/free jazz/free improvisation (whatever you want to call it) since he moved to New York City in 2004, realizing that there are more than a few ways to approach improvisation. In August 2013, he started an ongoing performance series called "The Downtown Avengers", inviting completely different players --- who might not have met or play with each other --- to perform on stage spontaneously, while observing the radically varying results in every show. In the concerts, he would designate little games to determine who will be the next players, the decision making usually involves audience participation. Engaging the listeners is an important part of the series with hopes that there will be more people interested and stick with this genre.

Thus, when Fung was approached by Evolver Records founder and vocalist Lola Danza to make an album of The Downtown Avengers, he brought this exact concept into the studio --- without the audience, of course --- and recreated similar experience during the recording process. The result is a 42-minute outburst of youthful energy and creativity by young musicians such as himself, percussionist Sayun Chang, drummer George Spanos, clarinetist/saxophonist Vasko Dukovski, tubist Ben Stapp and Ms. Danza, lending her voice. Each player bringing in his/her unique cultural and musical background into the mix. Together with the beautiful "pop art" CD package designed by Wei Loon and the superhero cartoon characters of the musicians created by Lee Teng, this album is an avant garde recording like no other.



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