ROZANNE LEVINE - alto clarinet, clarinet, compositions; MARK WHITECAGE - clarinet, soprano sax, electronics; PERRY ROBINSON - clarinet, sopranino clarinet; ROSI HERTLEIN - violin, voice
Critical praise for Only Moment………
“Rozanne Levine has done remarkable work with Mark Whitecage in various musical settings, but ‘Only Moment’ is a treasure even by their lofty standards. … Levine’s rich sonorous alto clarinet is palpable on songs like the opening ‘Blues Lullaby in F’ and the moody, brooding ‘Lost Freedoms’ … Free form interplay abounds … When the horns blend together, the harmonies are rich and thick … Winsome and winning, ‘Only Moment’ is another amazing gem from Whitecage and Levine.” George Harris, All About Jazz
“As soon as one spins ‘Only Moment’…the room is pervaded by presences resembling spirits of wellbeing. Right away, the clarity of every note played, the consistency of the amalgamation among the musicians and a sense of shared endeavor for the abolishment of narrow-mindedness contribute to a private feeling of enjoyment which is absolutely not based on something "easing the nerves", or plain silly. With each listen we find ourselves perseveringly intent in attempting a veritable penetration of every sound … The music comes out smoothly and extremely physically at once, influenced by so many things – natural occurrences, bird talking, native Indian chants, theatre – that the tracks might represent different segments of a being’s life cycle … Listening to these artists reveal their fundamental nature through the full command of the instruments is just amazing. All kinds of clarinets, saxophones, ocarinas, bird whistles and percussion are utilized by the nominal leader and her long-time male companions, while Hertlein - a mean violinist - also sings and handles additional percussive chores with the same nimbleness. The artists' technique might be admirable, and indeed it is. But what really wins for me is the sort of opposition to hopelessness that this gorgeous recording generates as early as the circulation of the first notes in the air.”
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
“This is a remarkable CD and music making of the highest order. I have been playing it on my show and will certainly continue to do so.”
John Hammel, host, “Mozart to Motorhead”, HomeGrownRadioNJ.com
“Rozanne Levine and her mates are pure musicians, using nature as a touchstone for their musical debate. …The three reedists, Levine, Mark Whitecage and Perry Robinson, sound a spirited interplay of voices that, along with violinist/percussionist Rosi Hertlein’s foggy mourn and branch-snapping alarms, pulls you deeper into the forest. The cacophony of life only grows in variety and wonder.”
Matt Marshall, Jazz Inside Magazine
“Rozanne Levine’s Chakra Tuning … is a ritualistic exploration of space, timbre and communication … this disc subsumes the clarinetist’s delicate weavings of breath, line, voice and gesture into the group’s fabric. Even when the foursome surge and pirouette, ‘Only Moment’ retains an extraordinarily meditative, almost therapeutic quality.”
Clifford Allen, Signal to Noise
“It is spiritual music in its essence, but also an adventurous journey into musical form and dialogue, intense at times, then more relaxed and probing, now full of unexpected turns and interactions. All four musicians are excellent instrumentalists and their open dialogue is really worth hearing … the real joy is in the intimate dialogue between the four musicians.”
Stef Gijssels, freejazz-stef.blogspot.com
“I love the record, and it has been sitting in my 'heavy rotation' pile … Congratulations on that.”
Brian Morton, editor, The Penguin Guide to Jazz
In Chakra Tuning, Rozanne Levine brings her love of improvisational spontaneity and organic, subtly shifting sounds to the fore. Sonic conversations emerge and develop as the group explores textures, sonorities and space. The music of Chakra Tuning weaves in and out of melodies, exploring rhythms, moods and inner space in a transforming, unfolding journey.
Ms. Levine performs on alto clarinet, clarinet and bamboo flute, and her long-time band mate Mark Whitecage joins her on clarinet, soprano saxophone and electronics. Adding their totally original voices to Chakra Tuning are clarinetist Perry Robinson and violinist/vocalist Rosi Hertlein.
Rozanne Levine’s compositions form the thematic material from which the musicians improvise. Electronic manipulation plays a part in the group sound, as do bird whistles, ocarinas, half horns, percussion and storytelling. Chakra Tuning recorded their debut CD, Only Moment, in January and April 2008, and Ms. Levine and Mr. Whitecage's label, Acoustics, is releasing their CD on June 1, 2009. The group plans to tour the U.S. and Europe during 2009-2010.
Chakra Tuning was featured at Roulette and at Tonic in New York City, and at the First Annual Hudson County Performing Artists’ Showcase in Union City, NJ. Her earlier groups, Clarinet Choir and Crystal Clarinets, performed at Context Performance Space in New York City during two seasons of Improvisors Collective concerts, and Crystal Clarinets appeared in New York at Roulette and at Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Festival as well as at The Buttonwood Tree in Middletown, Connecticut.
Rozanne Levine was introduced to jazz/new music fans as a performer with William Parker and Patricia Nicholson Parker's Centering Music/Dance Ensemble during the mid 1970’s. She appears on William Parker's Eremite CD, Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace/The Music of William Parker, a document of the early work of bassist Parker. In 1993 she rejoined the Parkers as a founding member of their New York-based Improvisors Collective and formed the Clarinet Choir and Crystal Clarinets to showcase her musical concepts. Throughout the1980’s and 1990’s she performed in Mark Whitecage's Glass House Ensemble, playing both clarinet and Whitecage's sound sculptures. In 1999 Levine and Whitecage formed a touring duo, RoMarkable. Some of their work together is documented on "Tres Gone Presents The Bi-Coastal Orchestra 'Live' at the Dunes" with Robert Mahaffay, Armen Halburian, Scott Steele, Eric Hausmann, Mark Whitecage and Rozanne Levine (Mahaffay Musical Archives).
Ms. Levine performs with Mark Whitecage and The Bi-Coastal Orchestra, a group of East and West Coast musicians that includes Scott Steele, Bill Larimer and Robert Mahaffay. In 2005 they released their debut CD, BushWacked – A Spoken Opera on the Acoustics label. She has performed with Anthony Braxton, The New Reed Quartet, Jason Kao Hwang, Jackson Krall, Theo Jorgensmann and Blaise Siwula, among others. She appeared in Johnny Reinhard's Microtonal Festival and appears annually in vocalist Nick Mathis' Many Colors of a Woman Jazz Festival, and she has been a staple of various Clarinet Choirs. Ms. Levine is also a noted photographer and has given several concerts where her photographs were integrated into her scores and exhibited. The Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania awarded her a commission grant for both her music and photographs. A gallery of her performance photographs is on the internet at www.erjn.it/gallery/levine.htm.
All the members of Chakra Tuning are acclaimed composers and bandleaders. Mark Whitecage is internationally known as an innovative instrumentalist and composer in the fields of jazz and new music. He has performed internationally and recorded with some of the leading artists of our time, including Jeanne Lee, Anthony Braxton, Jacques Coursil, The Nu Band, Lane / Grassi / Whitecage, Gunter Hampel, Mario Pavone, Joe McPhee, William Parker, Marshall Allen and Steve Swell. Perry Robinson is the sui generis master of the clarinet in jazz, folk and avant-garde music who has worked with everyone from Dave Brubeck and Bill Dixon to Pete Seeger, George Clinton, Badal Roy and Anthony Braxton; and Rosi Hertlein is a breathtaking improviser on both violin and voice who has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, Joe Giardullo, Ivo Perelman, Wendy Osserman Dance Company, and Howard Johnson, to name a few.