Colin Stetson, the revered brass and woodwind player who has played and recorded with such greats as Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, TV on The Radio, Antibalas, Anthony Braxton, Medeski, Martin and Wood and Burning Spear has announced the forthcoming release of his latest solo full length album on Aagoo Records. Stetson’s thoughtcrafty experiments in sound on the album, titled New History Warfare: Volume 1 push the boundaries of genres and the sounds that can be expected from his vast assortment of instruments, including saxophones, clarinet, flute and French horn.
Colin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI, where he began to carve out his singular musical voice that channels John Coltrane’s sheets of sounds, as well as the post-modern beauty and angst of Sonic Youth and The Pixies. Studying with the likes of Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Sinta, Steve Adams and Henry Threadgill, Stetson earned a music degree from the University of Michigan in 1997. More importantly, extensive gigging with his band Transmission around Ann Arbor and Detroit earned him a reputation for being an exemplary improviser, composer and circular breather. Never one to cage himself into categories, Stetson joined forces with progressive jazz-rockers Larval, as well as DJ Recloose, which eventually led to Stetson’s appearance on the acclaimed Cardiology recording.
Along with the rest of Transmission, Stetson moved to San Francisco in 1998, befriending, playing and recording with the likes of Fred Frith, Kenny Wollesen, Beulah and the late Matthew Sperry. Stetson and his Transmission brothers anchored a musical community that garnered high praise in the Bay Area press, and eventually led to national and international attention when in 2002, Tom Waits recruited Stetson to record on the landmark albums Alice and Blood Money (which led to Stetson making an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman with Waits).
While it is true to say that Stetson makes an impression whenever he plays, his ability to become the music comes through best when he is the leader of a band, or a one-man show. Since relocating to New York City in 2004, Stetson has been able to balance high-exposure gigs with innovative solo performances in front of captivated audiences. According to the Village Voice, “Stetson’s solo work ranges from fireside-warm Hungarian folk tunes to bass squonking that jackhammers the mind.”
In 2002, Stetson recorded a solo, limited edition 3-inch CD release of a performance at the Artship in Oakland, and his full-length debut as a leader came in the summer of 2003 with the quintet recording Slow Descent. Approaching songs as narratives, a trick he learned from Waits, adds an emotional dynamic to Stetson’s playing that exceeds listeners’ expectations as to what sounds can issue forth from any of the instruments Stetson puts to his lips. No better is this virtuosic ability heard than on New History Warfare: Volume 1, Stetson’s first full-length solo recording from Aagoo Records. On this album, the vast musical experiences that Stetson has accumulated over a short period of time have been crafted into 12 songs that defy genres, establishing a sound that is Colin Stetson in full bloom.
New History Warfare: Volume 1 Tracklisting:
Release Date: March 4th, 2008
01. And It Fought To Escape
02. Stand, Walk
04. Time Is Advancng With Fitful Irre
05. Drown The Rats and Giants
06. As A Bird Or Branch
08. Quincy Had A Glandular Problem
09. Nobu Take
10. Tiger Tiger Crane
11. Letter To HST
12. Our Heartbreak Perfect
Colin Stetson Live:
02/28 Chicago, IL Elastic Arts
03/05 Ann Arbor, Michigan The Kerrytown Concert House
03/15 Philadelphia, PA Gershmann Y Borowsky Gallery (Bowerbird Series)
03/21 Brooklyn, NY Monkeytown CD Release Event
03/22 Brooklyn, NY Monkeytown CD Release Event
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