Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2023
więcej o wykonawcach
Immanuel Wilkins Quartet
- Immanuel Wilkins Quartet
Immanuel Wilkins – alto sax
Micah Thomas – piano
Tyrone Allen – bass
Kweku Sumbry – drums
The music of saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins is filled with empathy and conviction, bonding arcs of melody and lamentation to pluming gestures of space and breath. Listeners were introduced to this riveting sound with his acclaimed debut album Omega, which was named the #1 Jazz Album of 2020 by The New York Times. The album also introduced his remarkable quartet with Micah Thomas on piano, Daryl Johns on bass, and Kweku Sumbry on drums, a tight-knit unit that Wilkins features once again on his stunning sophomore album The 7th Hand.
The 7th Hand explores relationships between presence and nothingness across an hour-long suite comprised of seven movements. “I wanted to write a preparatory piece for my quartet to become vessels by the end of the piece, fully,” says the Brooklyn-based, Philadelphia-raised artist who Pitchfork said “composes ocean-deep jazz epics.”
Conceptually, the record evolves what Wilkins begins exploring on Omega, which included a four-part suite within the album. On The 7th Hand, all his compositions represent movements, played in succession. “They deal with cells and source material like a suite would,” says Wilkins, “but they function as songs, as well.”
While writing, Wilkins began viewing each movement as a gesture bringing his quartet closer to complete vesselhood, where the music would be entirely improvised, channeled collectively. “It’s the idea of being a conduit for the music as a higher power that actually influences what we’re playing,” he says. The 7th Hand derives its title from a question steeped in Biblical symbolism: If the number 6 represents the extent of human possibility, Wilkins wondered what it would mean — how it would sound — to invoke divine intervention and allow that seventh element to possess his quartet.
Wilkins often draws inspiration from critical thought. Even the striking album artwork challenges convention: “I wanted to remix the Southern Black baptism, and also provide critique on what is considered sanctified and who can be baptized.”
On “Emanation,” Wilkins’ hallmark conviction arrives in the first phrase. Imaginative and buoyant, he navigates layered interactivity before passing lead energy to a receptive Thomas. The movement finishes seemingly in the middle of a vamp — a reflection of Wilkins’ treatment of time. “In music, time is questionable,” he says. “It can challenge the notion of what time is and how you feel time.”
Wilkins sought to create an upside-down triangle of metric modulation through the recording. “Each piece is related to the next rhythmically by a triplet meter,” he says, “so it goes down by a triplet until the fourth movement, then it goes up by a triplet to the fifth movement, then to the sixth, and the seventh is free.” He crafted this concept in part for the feeling of seamless motion.
“Don’t Break” honors Wilkins’ friendship with Sumbry, and the influence they have on each other’s expressions. Featuring the Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble, with which Sumbry regularly performs, the composition provides cyclical elasticity and an explicit representation of Wilkins’ concept. “When I think about vesselhood, I think of African practices of spirit possession,” he says. “You see that in most of the African Diasporic spiritual practices; Yoruba, it’s on the drums to call down a deity, and then the dancer gets possessed by that deity. But it’s kind of universal, across all African practices — including in the Black Church where you catch the Holy Spirit — and it’s directly linked with the spiritual power that the drum carries and how it’s able to channel that power.”
Wilkins composed “Fugitive Ritual, Selah” as a hymn to Black spaces. He drew inspiration from the energy of places where Black people gather in celebration, praise and refuge, away from a pervading culture of surveillance. “Selah means pause — one definition is to give space for the Holy Spirit,” he says. “I was fascinated with the idea that generally there are no white people in Black churches. If you go to a Black church, there’s no white people there [laughs]. It’s not like they’re not welcome. But somehow, the Black church has proven to be a space where magical things can transpire, within the space, on a quantum level.” Johns’ tender treatment of an introductory melody channels that feeling. “Daryl takes really beautiful solos,” says Wilkins. “I’m always pretty intentional about giving him space to do that and tailor-make a moment for him.”
The middle point of the seven movements, “Shadow” serves as the lowest-metered piece. Wilkins offered his bandmates Wayne Shorter’s composition “Fall” from the Miles Davis album Nefertiti as a musical reference, modeling “Shadow” after its essence. “I wanted them to be almost minimalist in their approach,” he says. “I wanted it to be pretty stripped down to basic swing, basic walking, to allow me and Micah to be a little creative but still have the melody going at the same time. It’s really about the melody, but it lends itself to creativity.”
The introduction of lyrical and textural dimension from flutist Elena Pinderhughes proves intentional, as well. Appearing on “Lighthouse” and “Witness,” whose melody features blossoming half-notes, Pinderhughes serves as an element of activation. Combined with Thomas’ mellotron, her flute acts as a vehicle to invoke divine intervention: “I thought of subtly introducing two new voices that emanate from the source of the band. There’s this Bible verse: “When two or three are gathered here in my name, there am I in the midst.”
Perhaps the most compelling movement develops over the course of 26 minutes. When they’d perform “Lift” live, the quartet never quite knew how the music would manifest. Sometimes the gesture would conclude after 10 minutes, sometimes 45. “We had no idea of how long it would be,” says Wilkins, “but in the studio we were like, ‘Let’s just go until it’s right to stop.’” The Pentecostal character of “Lift” tasks the listener with practicing radical empathy, according to Wilkins; the ritual of speaking in tongues emanates across arcs and cycles. “To an outsider, it’s gibberish or meaningless,” says Wilkins. “But those tongues send codes to the Creator. To the slave owner, Aunt Hester’s screams were just screams. But to the other slaves, those screams carried messages to flee, to sing, to run, to keep working — a host of things. So, I was fascinated with that, too — stream of consciousness or speaking in tongues carrying messages that listeners may not understand.”
Whether The 7th Hand reaches full vesselhood matters less than the attempt itself. Wilkins and his bandmates reveal their collective truth by peeling themselves back, layer by layer, movement by movement. “Each movement chips away at the band until the last movement — just one written note,” says Wilkins. “The goal of what we’re all trying to get to is nothingness, where the music can flow freely through us.”
- Immanuel Wilkins Quartet
Linda May Han Oh Quintet
- Linda May Han O
Linda Oh – double bass
Sara Serpa – vocals
Mark Turner – sax
Fabian Almazan – piano
Obed Calvaire – drums
Based in New York City, Linda May Han Oh is a bassist/composer who has performed and recorded with artists such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen and Vijay Iyer.
Originally born in Malaysia and raised in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, she has received many awards such as a 2022 Deutscher Jazz Preis and the 2020 APRA award for Best New Jazz Work. She was voted the Bassist of the Year for 2018-2021 by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and in 2019 by Hothouse Magazine as well as 2022 Bassist of the Year by Jazztimes.
She has had five releases as a leader which have received critical acclaim. Her most recent release “Aventurine” is a double quartet album, featuring string quartet and vocal group Invenio.
Linda has written for large and small ensembles as well as for film, participating in the BMI Film Composers Workshop, Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch and composing for Sabrina McCormick’s short films, “A Good Egg” and “FracKtured.” Linda also composed and produced music for a collaborative film project with non-profit, “Hoperaisers” based in Korogocho, Kenya by film-maker Kizito Gamba and contributed music to his latest documentary “Calling the Shots” co-directed by Kore Abong about aspiring African women in the film-industry.
Linda is currently Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music in the bass department and is also part of the Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice led by Terri Lyne Carrington.
She was recently featured in a quartet in the Pixar movie “Soul” playing bass under the musical direction of Jon Batiste (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) alongside drummer Roy Haynes.
“her innovative range and stellar improvisations have made [her] one of the most dynamic rising stars in jazz today.” The Wall Street Journal
“A major bass voice arrives” – JazzTimes
• “On Walk Against Wind…[Oh] takes a long stride forward as a bandleader and composer. The writing is intricate but flowing, tailored to the articulate grace of her band.” – WBGO Take Five
• “Linda May Han Oh is a planetary force and these compositions, so brilliantly crafted, are her gravitational waves.” – Nextbop
• “One of the most fluid and instinctive bass players in New York City.” – SomethingElse Reviews
- Linda May Han O
New York United
- New York United
Daniel Carter – Saxophones, Clarinet, Flute, Trumpet
Tobias Wilner – Sound manipulation, Field recordings, Synthesizers, Percussion, Vocals, Bass synthesizer, Piano & Guitar
Djibril Toure – Bass
Federico Ughi – Drums
Legendary downtown music master Daniel Carter meets Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic band Blue Foundation. Featuring Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure & drum wiz Federico Ughi. As a band, they have played a number of concerts in NYC, including the Forward Festival 2016 and 2018, and are currently promoting their debut album. This group is the ultimate mix between the classic New York sound of the avant-garde (i.e., John Coltrane & Albert Ayler) combined with electronic manipulation and production.
Although this is the first album they have released as a group, the four musicians have collaborated on different projects for years. The group was first formed when drummer Federico Ughi envisioned an ensemble comprised of some of his favorite super talented people. This includes Daniel Carter, who Federico first met in 2001. The two quickly developed a strong playing partnership, going on to create many albums and tours around the world and eventually founding 577 Records and the Forward Festival together. Federico plays drums in Tobias Wilner’s group Blue Foundation, renowned for its Hollywood movie soundtracks such as the vampire series Twilight in addition to Miami Vice and a busy world tour schedule. Federico also plays with Djibril Toure in the group Major Taylor, one of the best punk rock bands to come out of Bedstuy, Brooklyn in the last 10 years. Djibril plays regularly with GZA, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan and he’s the bass player featured on a selection of Wu-Tangs legendary albums.
To make this recording, New York United entered the studio without any preconceived plans or written music. They improvised brand new sounds on the spot that were later produced and molded by Tobias Wilner. The result is four strong and dreamy tracks that showcase the rich sound of the acoustic instruments alongside the power of the electronic beats. This project is being released as a limited edition 12’’ vinyl album plus one bonus track for the digital version.
- New York United
Pozostałe koncerty biletowane
Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2023 – Dofinansowano ze Środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
Zrealizowano we współpracy z Narodowym Centrum Kultury
Projekt współfinansowany przez m.st. Warszawa