Arkana Music | Hyprovisation

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CANADA - Ontario

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Jazz: Free Jazz Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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Hyprovisation

by Arkana Music

Improvisation meets architecture. Original acoustic jazz; burning swing and free playing in a quartet setting.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Drive
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7:10 $0.99
2. Monkey News
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6:28 $0.99
3. Brooding
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11:16 $0.99
4. In Stitches
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4:22 $0.99
5. Give
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8:15 $0.99
6. Either Or
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3:30 $0.99
7. Through Sacco's Eyes (for Joe Sacco)
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6:54 $0.99
8. Our Man In Cleveland (for Harvey Pekar)
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7:58 $0.99
9. Re-Stitched
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4:12 $0.99
10. Ontology (Keep Thinking)
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7:15 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Arkana Music
players Ali Berkok, Mark Laver, Gord Mowat, Jake Oelrichs

Arkana Music is noted for its creative risk taking and virtuosity. Russ Cooper of Panpot.ca described their debut album, Hyprovisation as "a truly gorgeous discovery packed with remarkable musicianship," and John Book of da bookman's blog said "these guys know how to play with the kind of tenacity which comes from not only knowing your instrument, but knowing how to play music."

Arkana Music is a Toronto based modern jazz quartet focused on improvisation and creative music. All compositions are by Ali Berkok and each piece is written in order to create a different environment, without relying on existing jazz vehicles and devices.

Since its inception, Arkana has performed in many of Toronto's established venues such as the Rex Hotel, Cameron House, Tranzac and the Trane Studio, and newer clubs like the Central and Concord Cafe. Arkana has received airplay on international radio and podcasts, reaching as high as #1 on Calgary's CJSW jazz chart. As well, the band was recently featured as the soundtrack to Deartoronto.com coverage of Toronto's "Nights of Fire" event.

The beginnings of the band date back to collaborations between Ali and saxophonist Mark Laver, which took place at the Banff Centre For The Arts in 2005. Here, Ali and Mark were introduced to a world of techniques outside of the mainstream. Shortly thereafter, while working in Hong Kong, Ali started working on the initial pieces for the band. Arkana Music first appeared in May 2006 at the Concord Cafe in Toronto.


Reviews


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John Book. Music For America

A fantastic jazz album with the honor of yesterday, the energy of today, and a p
Arkana Music's brand of jazz cherishes the bop of the early and mid-60's, where it stays true to the form of the music while taking improvisation to any and all creative heights. In jazz, fans and afficionados enjoying flocking to their favorite albums because of the great music, the fantastic musicianship, the way all of this sounds in the right room taken in by the right microphones, many reasons are given for why an album becomes someone's personal favorite, and I feel that Hyprovisation (self-released) will be one of those albums.

The band (Ali Berkok-drums; Gord Mowat-bass; Mark Laver-saxophone, Jake Oelrichs-drums) take on an approach of embracing the theme of each song, and then moving behind the door, underneath it, within the keyhole, and sometimes hanging on the multi-locks. In other words, these guys know how to play with the kind of tenacity which comes from not only knowing your instrument, but knowing how to play music. All of the musicians stand-out, but Laver's sax work leans a bit to the ways of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman. Berkok's playing is something you could listen to all day, whether it's that gentle wordplay that helps move the song along, or the kind of spacing Monk fans wille eat up like crazy. A track like "Brooding" could easily be a song of observation, looking at the sleekness of a rainy downtown street from the window of a limousine, or watching snow fall in reverse. Berkok's solo in "Brooding" is beautiful, one can only wonder what was in his mind as he was playing it. Also a standout in this recording is drummer Oelrichs, who dedicates himself to adding color within the main themes and solos, but knows how to say "I'M HERE" with a few flashy hits. While very different from drummers such as Brian Blade and Ben Perowsky, each of them know their position in the band and the music but each have the attitude of a drummer which will tell fellow drummers "how ya like me now?"

I enjoy jazz albums that sound good, and Hyprovisation very much has that healthy Hi-Pro Glow. The cover art is also very cool, nice to see an illustrated cover for a jazz album that isn't abstract, and has a sense of humor.