“Exciting” —THE NEW YORKER
“LOVE IT” —NEWSWEEK
“A dynamic collective” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A brash, buoyant combo” —TIME OUT NEW YORK
“A group that has created one of the most compelling recordings of the year….[Respect] plays with a stellar blend of precision and humor.” —THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“[Respect] challenges and instigates. It delightfully confounds. This is world-class American jazz at its finest and freest. It’s pure truth. Respect the truth.” —CITY NEWSPAPER
“Nothing is good, I see, without Respect. Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day!” —William Shakespeare, MERCHANT OF VENICE
FORMED IN 2001, The Respect Sextet is a powerhouse ensemble dedicated to performing a wide variety of improvisational musics. Relying on their explosive energy, rare telepathy, outstanding musicianship, and a deep friendship, Respect pieces together free improvisations, original compositions, free jazz classics, television commercial jingles, text pieces, jazz standards, game pieces and more into “a whirling collage,” shouts Exclaim! Magazine, “that ransacks and reshapes the entire jazz tradition, from New Orleans march to Misha Mengelberg, Sun Ra to Charlie Parker.” Named “one of the best and most ambitious new ensembles in jazz” by Signal to Noise, The Respect Sextet continues—after nearly a decade as a collective—to fearlessly push the envelope.
Respect’s 2009 release, Sirius Respect: The Respect Sextet play the music of Sun Ra & Stockhausen, (Mode/Avant), was called “one of the most compelling recordings of the year” by the Wall Street Journal and filed under “Love It” in Newsweek Magazine (“an out-of-this-world pairing”). Sirius Respect brings together the music of Sun Ra and Karlheinz Stockhausen and views them through Respect-colored glasses. Pieces ranging from Stockhausen’s “Tierkreis” (inspired by the Zodiac) to Sun Ra’s “Saturn” are juxtaposed, layered, deconstructed and re-assembled. “It’s neither jazz nor classical,” says John Schaefer of WNYC’s Soundcheck, “but something cosmically both.”
The group comprises Eli Asher (trumpet, toys), James Hirschfeld (trombone, jamespectronics, toys), Malcolm Kirby (bass), Ted Poor (drums), Josh Rutner (reeds, radio, toys), and Red Wierenga (piano, keyboard, accordion, redspectronics).
Through its eclecticism, humor, devotion to improvisation, predilection towards swing, and its use of toys and “little instruments,” The Respect Sextet has drawn comparisons both to New Dutch Swing and the AACM. Many dialectics are at work (and play) in Respect’s world, in which the serious, heady, and intellectual mingle with the light, comic, and absurd, where compositions alternate and mesh with improvisations, and where tight ensemble work coexists with loose, empathic interplay.