Friday, June 17, 2011

Matana Roberts

The alto sax player Matana Roberts just released "Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Coleur Libres" (Constellation 2011). This is an edited version of a live recording of a concert played in front of a small audience (30 persons!) in Montreal.
The music is based on a piece Roberts has been working on for several years, using  storytelling, songs, video and jazz in various forms. She is cited like this in the press info: "I have deep interest in old, antique objects of of human existence, mostly because of the variety of story that can be created, factual or not, from the possibility of their being. This project is a combination of those interests as well as my delight in musical communication, ritual adornment, and the genealogical 20th century of Africans in America".

The music is heartbreakingly intense (sorry if my English is too flowering  now), being part blues, part free jazz, improv, hymns and what have you!  In an interview with "Burning Ambulance" Matana Roberts says she wrote the words by: "..imaginging myself as a slave woman telling this story". On  "Libation for Mr. Brown: Bid em in..." we are at a slave auction, and the fantastic last track is called "How much would you cost?". This is strong stuff, and recommended listening!

I shopped at eMusic, but the music is possible to get on a double 10" too, sounding a bit cooler.

A follow-up will probably be released, sounding something like what you now may hear over at  "A blog supreme".

A list of musicians, taken from Constellation's site:
Matana Roberts: reeds/voice
Gitanjali Jain: voice
David Ryshpan: piano/organ
Nicolas Caloia: cello
Ellwood Epps: trumpet
Brian Lipson: bass trumpet
Fred Bazil: tenor sax
Jason Sharp: baritone sax
Hraïr Hratchian: doudouk
Xarah Dion: prepared guitar
Marie Davidson: violin
Josh Zubot: violin
Lisa Gamble: musical saw
Thierry Amar: bass
Jonah Fortune: bass
David Payant: drums/vibes


Elliot Knapp said...

Awesome blog--just came across this one and didn't even know it existed! Definitely going on my blogroll--I write a blog that includes eclectic reviews (a healthy dose of Canterbury and Wyatt so far!) and I'm a singer/songwriter heavily influenced by both. If you've got room in your blog list or artist links for a link to my blog, I'd be eternally grateful! Keep on Wyatting!

Svenn said...

Thanks! Will be checking your blog.