The New Jazz Expressionist Movement
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After the release of their all-original first CD, Angela Carole Brown's The Slow Club, this unique jazz quartet, now known as The Slow Club Quartet, established a kind of Expressionist Jazz Movement. Now, with EXPRESSIONISM, named for this specific turn in their artistic development, the SCQ has covered the songs of their favorite songwriters.
But true to a movement known for its "eruption of irrational and chaotic forces from beneath the surface of a mechanized world," The SCQ has forsaken the typical "standards" CD that jazz artists are usually known for, and instead has created a cross-genre experience, which dips neither into fusion nor smooth jazz, but something altogether otherly. Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, and Elliott Smith, to name a few, have been given The Slow Club Quartet's uniquely expressionistic stamp.
The Slow Club Quartet are:
Angela Carole Brown - vocals
Ed Czach - piano
Don Kasper - bass
Craig Pilo - drums
And with an amazing line-up of guest artists:
Roman Dudok - saxophone
Dave Scott - trumpet
Ira Nepus - trombone
Bill Esparza - flute
Brian Brock - percussion
Brandon Brigham - backing vocals
Brian Brigham - backing vocals
Jason Martinez - backing vocals
On the Beginnings of The Slow Club Quartet:
Singer/songwriter Angela Carole Brown wrote the title track, The Slow Club, before she'd ever been aware that there actually was a Slow Club in Paris. She had been under the impression that she was writing fiction. When a chance encounter revealed the remarkable phenomenon to her, that this place of her invention really did exist, she promptly boarded a plane and went to this place of her haunting, and discovered every detail that she speaks of in the song before her very eyes, from the winding staircase that takes one down into it, to the smoky blue ambience that invited secret rendezvous on the stairs. And as the song bids, Angela promptly ordered a sloe gin, indulged in a slow dance, grinned from ear to ecstatic ear at the wonders of her life, and couldn't help entertaining delirious notions that she might very well have been that Slow Club chanteuse in another lifetime, simply recalling pockets of memory from a long-dormant nether-plane.
That composition was only the beginning. A whole slew of songs poured out of Angela shortly following that phenomenon in an era of her life when she first began discovering the mesmerizing world of jazz, and uncovering the dense and challenging harmonic environment that is jazz, and which sounded great and weird and dissonant and exciting to her. She'd sit there and analyze what each chord, phrase, and cadence meant, and then break just as many rules as she'd learned, employing very early on the principles of the rebellious expressionist movement:
Expressionism: "extreme reaction against realism or naturalism, presenting a world distorted under the influence of intense personal moods, ideas, and emotions: image and language thus expressing feeling and imagination rather than representing external reality. A common agenda of expressionism is with the eruption of irrational and chaotic forces from beneath the surface of a mechanized modern world."
By her own admission, Angela was a wide-eyed yearling, stumbling, tripping, getting back up, inviting this new horizon that was filled with delicious discoveries, and slowly but surely getting her sea legs as a composer.
Next she needed musicians to make these songs come alive. After years of different incarnations and a period of musical hibernation, enter Ed Czach, Don Kasper, and Craig Pilo, all friends she had known over the years from being gigging L.A. musicians, and a remarkable trio of players whose widely differing musical personalities came to blend perfectly with each other and Angela's voice, to create their unique sound.
The Slow Club Quartet formed in 2003, to showcase the writing of Angela Carole Brown and, eventually, the arranging talents of Ed Czach, Don Kasper, and Craig Pilo.
They released The Slow Club in December of 2004, on Rue de la Harpe Records. It was released under Angela Carole Brown's name, but shortly thereafter, inspired by the title track and the mystic allure of its Parisian namesake, the musicians on the recording became known as The Slow Club Quartet.
And they were promptly invited to perform at the legendary Playboy Jazz Festival.
The Slow Club Quartet creates a music with a sort of dual personality that seems to be, at once, moody and irascible AND playful and lighthearted (this even extends to their versions of covers). It is the total reflection of the ecstasy of the new kids on the block, though they are hardly children. A euphoria fully backed and sponsored by the spooky allure of their first CD's title track, which was the beginning of it all, the catalyst for a jazz adventure, and the wonders that art simply begets.
The Slow Club Quartet has performed live at:
The Playboy Jazz Festival 2006
"Jazz Under the Stars" Catalina Island Summer Jazz Series
The Brand Library of Arts and Letters
And in clubs throughout Los Angeles
The Slow Club Quartet has been heard on:
Paris Live Radio with Don Foster
Chicago’s 90.9 WDCB
Tee-m’s “Unsigned Music Show”
WPMD’S “ROCK 50” with Mike Stark
“The Upper Room with Joe Kelley,”
Blossom's Vocal Jazz - Live 365, Florida
Attention Span Radio
Summertime Jazz Radio with Dennis Profant
The Slow Club Quartet has been reviewed by:
Douglas Norstrom for Hifi & Muzik Magazine, Sweden
John Stevenson for ejazznews, England
Karl Stober for Jazztrenzz and Jazzreview.com
Leonard Herring, Jr. of Clarion Jazz
Maurice Edwards for Evolution of Media
LeRoy Downs, The Jazz Cat
Steven Ivory, music and art journalist
Also please check out Angela's novel, TRADING FOURS, a story of four L.A. musicians whose lives collide in a single day. Available in most online bookstores.