August-9th-2012, 10:10 AM
Playscape Recordings To Release "Listen Both Ways" From George Schuller's Circle Wide
On November 13th, Playscape Recordings will release Listen Both Ways (PSR#053112), the third studio recording by New York-based drummer/composer George Schuller's longstanding quintet, Circle Wide. The 13 year-old group, which has been performing with its current line-up since 2009, features Peter Apfelbaum (tenor saxophone and melodica), Tom Beckham (vibraphone), Brad Shepik (guitar) and Dave Ambrosio (bass). Listen Both Ways follows the band's two previous Playscape releases, 2003's Round 'Bout Now and 2008's Like Before, Somewhat After, and is the first to concentrate on the leader's own music.
"Circle Wide's first two releases were tributes inspired by the music of Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett," Schuller explains. "This time, Iíve decided to let my hair down and contribute most of the compositions to further explore the broad range and colors of the individuals in my group. Six of the eight tracks here are original pieces we've been consistently re-working in concert over the past four years. The other two are Carla Bley's 'Jesus Maria,' first recorded by the Paul Bley-Steve Swallow version of the Jimmy Giuffre 3, and a piece by the severely under-recorded composer/lyricist Margo Guryan called 'Edwin,' which was composed in 1960 at The School of Jazz in Lenox."
Critics have noted Circle Wide's "vividly original sound" (The Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings, Ninth Edition) and "balanced, remarkably strong performances" (Aaron Steinberg, JazzTimes), and hailed its previous releases as "one of the most euphorically adventurous albums in recent memory" (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and "one of the more delightful recordings of modern jazz made in the 2000's" (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com). "They get past the notes on the page and into something deeper," added then Jazz.com editor Ted Gioia, "an elusive transcendence that defies even this glib critic."
Schuller himself is known as "a criminally under-appreciated drummer and bandleader" (James Hale, Jazz Chronicles), "a significant member of todayís progressive jazz scene" (Glenn Astarita, JazzReview.com) and "a master musician deserving wider acclaim" (Paul Blair, Hot House). "Since co-founding the 12-piece ensemble Orange Then Blue in 1984," writes the Hartford Courant's Owen McNally, "Schuller has always marched to the beat of his own drummer. Never a bender to trends or rigid ideology, he plays in the moment and looks to the future. At the same time, he's aware of the past as something to build on in new ways."
In addition to Circle Wide, he currently leads the George Schuller Trio and co-leads the groups Conference Call, Trio This, Whirrr! and Yard Byard. He is also a member of the Michael Musillami Trio, which celebrated its 10th anniversary, and released its sixth recording, Mettle, earlier this year.
Learn more about George Schuller and his musical endeavors at http://www.georgeschuller.net
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