Louie Belogenis, tenor saxophone
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, bass and bells
Kenny Wollesen, drums and bells
Unbroken is a modern reworking of the classic pianoless jazz trio. In this album of refreshing honesty and passionate intensity, Louie Belogenis, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and Kenny Wollesen imaginatively recombine elements of classical, downtown, and world music. These three improvisers play with the immediacy and intimacy of family. Leaving styles and trends behind, they strive for direct expression, and the transcendence of musical boundaries. A highlight of this trio’s debut album is two tracks, dedicated to Albert Ayler and Maria Callas, respectively, where Belogenis’ tenor sings songs of mystic yearning and longing, accompanied only by gongs, bells and chimes.
January 2006 All About Jazz -- New York Editor’s Pick (Laurence Donohue-Greene)
"Belogenis has been a sideman for too long: his outstanding trio proves they can play in a tradition established by rarified company."
(Jeff Stockton, January 2006 All About Jazz -- New York)
from DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2nd, 2005:
LOUIE BELOGENIS/SHANIR EZRA BLUMENKRANZ/KENNY WOLLESEN - Unbroken (Tick Tock 001) An outstanding and truly spirited trio effort from one of downtown's best new trios. Featuring Louie Belogenis on tenor sax, Shanir Blumenkranz on acoustic bass & bells and Kenny Wollesen on drums & bells. Louie is one of my and Zorn's oldest friends, often coming to visit our shop a few times a week and always bringing his gracious spirit. What I like most about him as a musician, is that he works on each project, record date or live set, one at a time, so that each one is special in its own way. Each of his discs, which include three with Prima Materia (an incredible quintet with Rashied Ali covering Trane & Ayler), a duo & trio disc also with Rashied Ali, as well as three different quartet dates (Exuberance & Twice Told Tales) from the past few years. His current duo with young bass great Shanir Blumenkranz has played here at DMG a couple of times, blown minds each time and will be here again on February 19th, 2006. Kenny Wollesen remains as one of the most creative, diverse and inspired drummers to emerge since moving here from the bay area more than a decade ago.
I caught this trio at The Stone a couple of months ago and was again knocked out. On this fantastic studio date, they have done a phenomenal job of capturing that cosmic spirit, that their elders (Trane & Ayler) unleashed on the world some forty years ago. Most of the nine pieces are dedicated to those who have inspired them like Sonny Rollins, John Zorn, Federico Garcia Lorca, Rashied Ali, Maria Callas, Shanir and Bokar Rinpoche. Right from the opening piece, "Transmission". we know we are in store for a treat, with Shanir's hypnotic repeating bass line, Kenny's superb waves of mallets and Louie's probing tenor playing and haunting tone. Robert Musso has done an equally impressive job of recording this trio with perfect balance and superior sound. That unique cry, the way that Louie bends and twists his notes will reach all who will listen closely. "Fat Tongue" (for Sonny Rollins) has one of those most memorable bass lines that you can't get out of your head, once you hear it, as well as splendid drum solo from Kenny. On "Bells Canto" (for Albert Ayler), Louie digs in deep and spews those sheets of notes over the ghost-like sounds of bells. "Rashied" (for Mr. Ali) does sound inspired by those 'Interstellar Space' sessions that Rashied Ali did with John Coltrane, then Shanir comes blazing in and kicks it up another notch. "Hymn for the Forgotten" is an aptly titled solemn prayer-like work with Shanir bowing his bass majestically as Louie simmers with that slow-burning fire on tenor ad Kenny playing dream-inducing percussion. "Oasis of Dreams" (for Mr. Zorn) is a colossal work, completely mesmerizing and it has some of that middle-eastern vibe that Masada does so well. Although Shanir's hypnotic bass playing is at the center of this piece, it is Kenny's magnificent drums that truly swirl in waves cryptic beauty, dancing around and supporting Louie as he reaches for the heavens and into outer space. All one can say is Omm-men. '" Bruce Lee Gallanter