Iris Ornig is a gifted instrumentalist, a talented composer and a charismatic performer. Her compositions are swinging, stormy, melodic, sensitive, playful, angular and straight-ahead with plenty of twists and surprises.
Featuring Rebecca Martin (vocals), Nunga Babu (vocals), Yoshiro Okazaki (trumpet & flugel horn), Danny Grissett (piano), Daisuke Abe (guitars) and Tony Jefferson (drums).
The release of New Ground, the recording debut as a leader of bassist Iris Ornig, announces with authority the arrival of a gifted instrumentalist, composer and arranger. A native of Germany who studied jazz and popular music in St. Gallen, Switzerland and at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, Ornig has been living in New York City since 2003 and has established herself there as a respected player and educator. All the music on the CD was penned by Ornig except for standards by Ellington and Cole Porter, a German lullaby and a hymn from 1871 that was a hit for Johnny Cash and is sung here by Rebecca Martin. Ornig arranged these and singer Sachal Vasandani provided the lyrics to two of the three vocals. Joining Ornig on the CD are pianist Danny Grissett (currently in the Tom Harrell Quintet); trumpeter Yoshiro Ozakazi (Terumasa Hino, Junko Onishi Quartet, Motohiko Hino Makoto Ozone, Mingus Dynasty, Don Friedman); guitarist Daisuke Abe (Rodney Green, Aaron Parks, Matt Brewer, Gretchen Parlato) and drummer Tony Jefferson (Kenny Drew, Jr., Frank Wess, Eddie Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Lonnie Smith, Lou Donaldson). The end result is a confident musical statement from an artist one can expect to hear much more original music from in the years ahead.
“On her new CD, Iris demonstrates the attributes which are necessary for the modern bassist. Her grasp of harmony, sound, and rhythm place her in a select group of musicians who are ready to tackle whatever comes her way. I am always happy to hear a young bassist who has studied the tradition but has moved on to make her own form of contemporary music. Iris is such a musician.” -Larry Grenadier, Bassist
CMJ Jazz Chart from May 26, 2009
List CD as 'Top Debut"
- #1 Jazz add at college radio during its add week
- #2 Jazz add the following week
- Debuting Jazz CD at #11 at college radio the week of June 1, 2009
"I absolutely love this CD. It has intelligent, creative arrangements with a diversity that provides interests for a wide spectrum of jazz fans. It is so great to discover someone new to bring a freshness to the sound of radioIO. The tracks of "New Ground" will be on the front burner of radioIO REAL Jazz for a long time.”
-Michael Matheny, Program Director & Host
radioIO REAL Jazz
-Bob Cochran, Jazz Director
WMPG - Portland, ME
This album is a nice surprise. It's good to hear a contemporary group that's not just out to peel the paint off the walls. This is a very tasty set.
-Terry MacDonald, Jazz Director
WSCA - Portsmouth, NH
I love the bass and female bass players even more and she’s got chops!
-Elizabeth Farriss, Program Director
KEWU – Spokane, Washington