Fire&Flux | Leavens For Rebellion

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Jazz: Free Jazz Jazz: Weird Jazz Moods: Type: Political
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Leavens For Rebellion

by Fire&Flux

Freejazz duo improvisations of alto saxophone, drums and percussion that traverses a sonic terrain from blistering, blowout cacophony to subtle, melodic calm. "Political-spiritual" music.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. I Think It's So We Can Look At Them Without Them Looking Back... Fire & Flux
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8:13 $0.99
2. Music Is The Silence That Interrupts The Noise Fire & Flux
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8:43 $0.99
3. Legitimation Crisis Fire & Flux
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8:41 $0.99
4. Recurring Lonely Fire & Flux
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16:19 $0.99
5. Unpolluted Water Fire & Flux
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7:52 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
FIRE&FLUX
Benjamin Kates / Alto Saxophone
Richard Gilman-Opalsky / Drums and Percussion

FIRE&FLUX is an improvising duo consisting of saxophone and drums that draws on various traditions in freejazz and improvisation, as well as on a variety of other music and genres outside of the mainstream that have inspired us. The two of us have been playing and practicing together for the past eight years.

FIRE&FLUX's improvisations are always accompanied with some text or imagery, both in performances and on record. At a performance, listeners may see a projection, an easel with imagery, or they may receive a program for the show. These measures are taken in order to anchor an otherwise extremely abstract music to particular ideas and arguments. Our improvisations, in other words, are a part of an effort to communicate particular things that we are thinking about, in addition to the experience of our sonic output. Our music is often accompanied with political reflections and critiques that address issues of social, economic and political inequalities, matters of foreign policy, and problems of political culture. This does NOT mean that we don't play pieces about love, music, happiness, and other more uplifting matters of the human spirit. We do. We try to express a broad range of feelings and thinking, to engage a diversity issues.

FIRE&FLUX generally utilizes four approaches to making music: 1) Some pieces are organized around written melodies-we play the melodies and improvise "outwards" from them, going "outside" of the melodies. 2) Some pieces are read off of a kind of "sheet music" on which tempo, volume, intensity, pauses, silences and solos are indicated, but where the actual notes and actual rhythms are wholly improvised under the guidance of the spirit or the meaning of the theme of the piece. 3) Some pieces could be called "game pieces." With these, each of us plays a predetermined role or "acts out" a predetermined relationship to/with the other player. 4) Finally, some pieces are entirely improvised, with no structural guidelines other than the meaning, the mood, and the spirit or the theme of the piece.

BENJAMIN KATES started playing saxophone in the 4th grade. He got serious in high school and started at NYU in 1996 as a music education major. But playing 2 to 4 to 6 hours a day burnt him out on the horn, so he put it down for a while and only picked up again for regular "woodshedding" when FIRE&FLUX began. Ben often plays fast and fiercely, but always with a penchant for melody, which he never abandons for long. Ben also teaches 8th grade English in Harlem, NY.

RICHARD GILMAN-OPALSKY started playing the drums somewhere between 8 and 10 years of age. One of his interests is in a method he calls "transitive resonance." With transitive resonance, the idea is to send vibrations from one part of the drum set through another part by laying a drum stick or other implement on the drums. Using this technique, Rich sometimes aims to resonate as many sounds as possible off of the drum set at one time. Other times, the idea is to generate sounds that are not normally acoustically produced with drums. "Improvisation, for me, is the most vital and living way to approach music, to engage other players with attentive listening and creative, sensible, responses. The ideals of freedom, communication, and provocation are in the forefront of my music and musical thinking."

The title of this CD, "Leavens for Rebellion", was derived from the following:

"Obviously, Anarchism, or any other social theory, making man a conscious social unit, will act as a leaven for rebellion... High strung, like a violin string, they weep and moan for life, so relentless, so cruel, so terribly inhuman. In a desperate moment the string breaks. Untuned ears hear nothing but discord. But those who feel the agonized cry understand its harmony; they hear in it the fulfillment of the most compelling moment of human nature." -Emma Goldman, 1917

NOW, CHECK OUT SOME VIDEO SHORTS OF FIRE&FLUX LIVE AT
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=fluxist


Reviews


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SEABSTIEN H


First bullet on their gun...Great record

mjy

Essential purchase for ANYONE, not just free jazz fans!
This is a phenomenal debut cd from this sax/drums duo that should appeal not only to fans of free jazz improv, but fans of passionate and creative music in general.
Although there is a vast amount of jazz with political undertones, Fire & Flux put political, spiritual (not to be confused with "religious") and social themes at the forefront of their music. The title of the cd is taken from an Emma Goldman essay, so that should be your first clue that these guys won't be opening for Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center anytime soon.... The liner notes detail the theme/inspiration for each piece, touching on topics like U.S. foreign policy, society's marginalization of the disabled, and the sheer joy of loving music. In fact, perusing the liner notes and the beautiful handmade packaging, you'd be forgiven for initially mistaking this for a punk album. One spin, however, and you will quickly realize that this is "fire music" of the highest order.
These guys display some near-telepathic interplay, and the cd is all the more impressive considering that it is comprised entirely of live performances. The alto playing is fantastic, shifting from manic fire-breathing to quiet, lyrical passages that, if I have to name drop to get you to buy this, could be compared to the likes of Oliver Lake or Daniel Carter- two other free players with a fine command of dynamics. The explosive passages convey a Brotzmannn-like intensity, with all sorts of inhuman sounds being coaxed from the alto. Both musicians seemlessly carry the music from screaming bombast to quiet melodicism without making either sound contrived. The drumming, as you'd expect, is nothing short of masterful, making this duo sound like twice it's actual size.
If you are a fan of free jazz and improvised music, you cannot afford to ignore this cd. Having said that, Fire & Flux's efforts to give context to their music through their liner notes, website, and performances go to show that this often maligned music can speak to anyone who lets it. Buy this cd and give it to someone creative you know who is not familiar with free jazz....an artist, writer, musician, political punker, etc...and watch them finally discover the wonders that this music contains.

Paul

Intriguing........
I'm not a huge expert on free from jazz.....but I loved this little album.

I'm a bit embarassed to say.....a big part of its appeal was the packaging! Worth a try!