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5+4, out on October 13

Hey everybody! I'm here for a little self-promotion, with some cool things you can get in addition.

For the last several years I've been working on a project I call 5+4 - I started writing music in 2019 for a "traditional" jazz quintet plus a string quartet, and I received a grant from the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium to complete that music and put on our first performance, but because of the pandemic that first performance was delayed over a year until October 2021.

Two years after that first performance, I'm pleased to announce that an album of that music will be released on Shifting Paradigm records (buy it on Bandcamp, or come hang out with me and get one from me). We recorded in January of this year, some of it at Shirk Studios in Chicago and the rest at Audio for the Arts in Madison. Joining me for this album are these wonderful musicians:

Dustin Laurenzi on tenor saxophone and clarinet

Jason Kutz on piano

Brian Courage on bass

Jon Deitemyer on drum set

Paran Amirinazari on violin

Wes Luke on violin

Kayla Patrick on viola

Lindsey Crabb on cello

I also would like to note that I'm also selling (for an extremely low price! Only $5!) a book of scores that accompanies the album, here on my website. You'll not only find sheet music for all eight tracks, but also a little bit of explanation/analysis to go with it.

You can read more about this in the score book, but here's a brief list of music that was especially inspirational as I learned to navigate this "modern jazz with strings" landscape:

Some of the "non-jazz" stuff first:

  • Steve Reich's Different Trains

  • Arvo Pärt's string music

  • Caroline Shaw's music, especially the Attaca Quartet's Orange

  • The film music of Thomas Newman, Shigeru Umebayashi, and Mica Levi

  • Beethoven's late string quartets

  • Saint-Saëns third symphony

  • Leonard Bernstein's On the Town

And some of the "jazz" albums:

  • Ambrose Akinmusire's the imagined savior is far easier to paint

  • Fabian Almazan's Alcanza and Rhizome

  • Terence Blanchard's A Tale of God's Will

  • Billy Childs' Map to the Treasure

  • Laura Jurd's Landing Ground

  • Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider

  • Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now (string arrangements by Vince Mendoza)

  • Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks

  • Matt Ulery's By A Little Light and In the Ivory

So much more, but those are the string sources I found most inspiring. Here's a little bit of the music:

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