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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo via Firehouse 12

Paradoxical Frog is a collectively-led trio consisting of the reedist Ingrid Laubrock, the pianist Kris Davis, and the multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey.

Ingrid writes:

This group started at a session Kris Davis called. We played for about and hour and Tyshawn Sorey suggested we turn it into collaboration with each one of us contributing compositions. We have developed an almost telepathic way of interacting…[we] really deconstruct and improvise with sometimes long and involved compositions. Everything is possible and each one of us is kept on his/her toes all the time. It reminds me of being on a (sophisticated) playground.

The bands’ eponymous debut album for Clean Feed was described by Nate Chinen in The New York Times as, “frequently stunning,” and “so far one of this year’s best.” NPR agreed: in an article entitled “The Best New Jazz of 2010 (so far),” they explained, “All three share a similar approach to abstract jazz composition and execution: loose and unfolding like a flowering tea, yet full of unexpected color.”

Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock moved to London at age 19 and joined the F-IRE (Fellowship for Integrated Rhythmic Expression) Collective. During her tenure with F-RE, she won the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, was among the nominees for the BBC Jazz Award for ‘Rising Star’ in 2005 and won a Fellowship in Jazz Composition from the Arts Foundation in 2006. After spending nineteen years in London, the reedist relocated to Brooklyn. She has performed and recorded with a host of creative musicians including Anthony BraxtonDave DouglasKenny WheelerTim BerneEvan Parker, and many others. Her multitude of exciting ensembles, a few of which feature different combinations of the same personnel, are listed here.

In an article entitled “New Pilots at The Keyboard,“ Ben Ratliff of The New York Times writes, “Over the last couple of years in New York one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down pianist Kris Davis.” The Canadian-born pianist had an exceptionally strong year in 2011, which was her tenth year here in New York. Her work was featured on two head-turning releases on Clean FeedAeriol Piano, her own solo album, and Novela, the eponymous release by a band led by Tony Malaby for which she also did the arrangements (they performed here recently). Aeriol Piano received several year-end accolades. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times listed the release as one of the Best Albums of 2011, and also profiled Kris in the aforementioned article. Read a guest post from Kris on Jazz Speaks here.

Speaking about the multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, the pianist Vijay Iyer says, “Tyshawn is an artist who thinks for himself, creating deeply innovative, resonant, and personal work. Simply put, he is poised to become one of this century’s most significant American musicians. What has consistently struck me about his work, above and beyond its level of technical accomplishment, is a deeply felt resonance with the materials. Even the most austere forms are brought into profound relief by the passion and conviction with which he imbues them. His work keeps broadening and deepening as he expands his arsenal of compositional techniques and continues his restless experimentation.” Tyshawn has collaborated with Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, and countless others. His most recent album, Oblique-I (Pi) was a critical favorite, described as “riveting” by The New York Times and “a mild revelation” by NPR.

On Saturday, Paradoxical Frog returns to our stage to celebrate the release of a new album, Union (Clean Feed). Take an exclusive first listen to a stream of Tyshawn Sorey’s “An Intermittent Procession,” from Union, below: