“He swam toward reggae and away from it; he played patterns between snare and high-hat that distantly suggested drum-and-bass rhythm, but didn’t stick around long enough to be identified; he sped through disco and parade rhythms in five-second stretches; he used his sticks to add extra hits to the bass drum; with mind over matter, he played a melodic solo on the rims of his drums.” -The New York Times
For his fifth album ‘Lines of Oppression’ (May 10th), drummer, composer and bandleader Ari Hoenig was sparked by the hip hop and jazz from his hometown of Philly, American folk music performed by his parents, and his recent years studying and performing in Morocco and Haiti. “This is a dream band of mine,” says Ari, who is joined by Tigran Hamayan (piano, beat box), Gilad Hekselman (guitar) and bassists Orlando Le Fleming and Chris Tordini. “There’s a profound connection – the interplay is off the hook!”
Hoenig “attacks his kit like a child does pots and pans, with limbs flailing, face contorted in delight. From his physical mayhem comes music of unsurpassed depth and control” (Philadelphia Weekly). He also proves to be a very melodic drummer, treating the instrument as a means for melody and harmony. It’s mesmerizing to hear him organically transform the drums to a chromatic instrument, by manipulating the drumheads. “Hoenig’s penchant for melody took center stage when he introduced “’Anthropology’ on his drum set,” writes Downbeat. “…he closed out the set by leading the crowd in an unaccompanied sing-along of ‘This Little Light of Mine.’”
The title ‘Lines of Oppression’ came to Ari while on tour in Haiti, in 2007. “During the morning hours in Port au Prince there were longs lines of people looking for work. Contractors would hire people on the spot if they needed laborers that day. Within the lines there was always a lot of arguing and fighting. Sometimes people started standing in line right after work, to have a better chance of being chosen the next day.”
“Loves Feathered Nails” is a simple, haunting piano response to the theme from Eyes Wide Shut, and “Higher to Hayastan,” is the band’s break-beat take on Armenian music. “Arrows and Loops” is in eleven and rooted in Bulgarian dance rhythms, “Ephemeral Eyes” inspired Ari’s time spent with a Playstation game, and “Moanin’” by Art Blakey is one of the first songs Hoenig ever learned to play. “I heard the melody so strongly and wanted to make it sing on the drums,” says Ari. “If you think it sounds a little weird, trust me it’s better that than me actually singing it.”
A native of the historic jazz city of Philadelphia, Hoenig, in addition to his work a bandleader, is one of the most sought-after sidemen of his generation. He has appeared on nearly one hundred recordings and worked with a diverse spectrum of artists, including guitarists Mike Stern, Pat Martino, Wayne Krantz and Kurt Rosenwinkel, saxophonists Joshua Redman and Chris Potter, harpist Edmar Castaneda, bassist / vocalist Richard Bona and many more. He’s developed deep musical relationships with pianists representing three generations of boundless jazz creativity: Kenny Werner, Jean-Michel Pilc and recent Monk competition winner, Tigran Hamasyan. With the release of ‘Lines of Oppression,’ Hoenig takes another important step in his creative journey and advances the language of jazz in the process.
www.arihoenig.com / Contact: Carla Parisi at Kid Logic, firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-563-8204