Julian Arguelles trio formed in June 2004, and has toured in
the UK and the USA. Featuring Julian’s original compositions, this
new Cd Partita was recorded in June 2005 in New York City, and will be
released in October on Basho Records. To promote the album there will
be 10 date UK tour in October which will be a double bill with Basho artist
Liam Noble whose Romance Among the Fishes CD also features Tom Rainey.
The tour will be supported with a full PR and marketing campaign by Basho
Records. Both albums were recorded in New York and continue a constant
theme at Basho of collaborations between British and North American players.
Julian is highly regarded as a composer as well as an improviser and this
trio will again try to develop the relationship between the two. The music
is loosely inspired by the many nonchord saxophone trios to have emerged
in the history of jazz especially the Sonny Rollins’ trio, Ornette
Coleman Trio and an early Jan Garbarek trio. The music spans the possibilities
of improvisation/composition by using the many influences of Julian's
compositions and these three improvisers.
Michael Formanek – bassist
Michael Formanek is one of the most highly respected acoustic bassists in jazz, having played with such hall-of-famers as Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Joe Henderson, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, John Scofield, and many more. Formanek commands a rich tone, rhythmic approach, and melodic virtuosity that make him fit into any musical context, be it "inside" or "outside" of the mainstream tradition. Apparently, the great Charles Mingus was an influence not only to the bassist, but also to the composer-arranger: Formanek's tunes are always witty, surprising and challenging, with an ironic bow in the direction of older jazz styles. Formanek's 1994 release "Low Profile" (ENJ-8050 2) received acclaim from jazz reviewers worldwide: "Mingus meets Stravinsky meets the circus. One of the most expressive, unpredictable albums of the year" (Jazz Times). "He's a world-class bass player-composer, and 'Low Profile' ranks among the finest albums of the year" (Jazziz). "Formanek is clearly bursting with ideas, having the capacity to shape them into knife-edge jazz" (Jazz on CD).
Tom Rainey – percussionist
Percussionist Tom Rainey was born in Los Angeles, California in 1957. Since moving to New York City in 1979 he has performed at festivals and clubs throughout North America and Europe with a wide range of artists, including John Abercrombie, Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Ted Curson, Marc Ducret, George Gruntz, Mark Helias, Fred Hersch, Andy Laster, Joe Lovano, Carmen McRae, Mike Nock, Simon Nabatov, New and Used, Matthias Schubert, Tom Varner, WDR Big Band, Ken Werner and Denny Zeitlen. Rainey received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to compose and perform a concert of music for percussion and drums featuring Dave Samuels and Arto Tuncboyaci. Currently he is busy with the Fred Hersch Trio, Tim Berne's Paraphrase and numerous others.
John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars ****
Some pieces fizz, wriggle and stop dead like fast Ornette tunes; some are gently folksy; some feature overdubbed horns, alongside Formanek's rumbling basslines and Rainey's fierce polyrhythms. Eight short pieces (less than two minutes each) complete the set, moving from slow soprano swirls to ambient hums, blurted free-jazz tenor sax, and dreamily whistling flute ensembles. This is very sophisticated contemporary jazz.
Martin Longley, BBC website
His wiry, serpentine sense of composition often sounds like it's flecked by wild chance occurrences. Could this fierce character be a reaction against Highland tranquility, or perhaps the influence of his US cohorts, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey? Both of these players are normally found within an extreme setting, concerned with the outer limits of tune-rooted jazz.
In 2004, this trio toured on both sides of the Atlantic, recording in NYC a year later. Oddly, the pieces become shorter and shorter as this disc progresses. The first seven tracks average out at around five minutes, all penned by Argüelles, then the remaining eight are not much longer than a minute apiece, and invariably improvised. This has a very distinct effect on the pacing, framing the later pieces as miniatures, and imparting a sense of importance to their fleeting events.
Even the longer works have no loose moments, their themes driven fast, their solos pointed and punchy. The trio is governed by an extreme sense of purpose, but there are also a few instances of suspended reflection, as Julian overdubs his own creamy horn section. Otherwise, he's a bullish tenorman, attaining repeatedly high levels of expression, as Rainey finds new places to fit his light-wristed fills, whilst Formanek acts as a deeply resonant fulcrum.
Unlike much of his previous work (notably his sonorously beautiful with-strings Provocateur album As Above So Below), Partita focuses on the freer side of Argüelles's art, taking its cue from the non-chords-based trio music of Ornette Coleman or Sonny Rollins.
Joined by something of a dream team, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey, Argüelles first explores the hinterland between freedom and structure in seven originals ranging from scrabbling tenor-led trio workouts, through more tender-sounding soprano skirls to terse, fiercely interactive pieces triggered by simple but memorable phrases.
Continuing the programme with seven short (nothing over two minutes) freer pieces that run the textural gamut from harsh screams, to flurries and howls, all interwoven with superbly responsive, crisply assertive rhythm-section work, Argüelles then concludes the album with a sweetly harmonised overdubbed horn chorale, 'Tempus'.
(with John Hebert replacing Formanek) will be touring the UK in October
2006 with the Liam Noble Quartet (featuring Phil Robson, with the same
rhythm section); on this showing, this should provide a series of memorable