Darrell Katz and OddSong is presented by Jazz Composers Alliance, and in partnership with the Creative Music Series to occur on Thursday, April 6, 8pm. At the door: $15, $10 students/seniors. Lilypad Inman, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge 02139. For information: www.lilypadinman.com, www.jazzcomposersalliance.org, (781) 899-3130, email@example.com.
OddSong is a unique ensemble, put together by composer and director of the Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA) Darrell Katz. The group began as the JCA Sax Quartet, which has always had five members, including vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton, and eventually it was expanded to include violin and marimba.
OddSong’s bold and adventurous new music is primarily composed by Darrell Katz, with additional music by Helen Sherrah-Davies. The musical collaborators for OddSong’s Lilypad performance include:
Alto saxophones: Jim Hobbs and Rick Stone;
Tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophone: Phil Scarff;
Baritone Saxophone and bass clarinet: Melanie Howell Brooks;
Violin and piano: Helen Sherrah-Davies
Vibraphone and Marimba: Vessela Stoyanova
Voice: Rebecca Shrimpton
The evening at Lilypad Inman promises to be full of adventurous multi-stylistic music, with a wide range of influences and directions. Blues, contemporary chamber music, tango, collective improvisation, world music, and more will all be part of the experience.
Included in the evening’s repertoire will be one of OddSong’s and Katz’s more recent compositions, “Outta Horn,” which celebrates the unsettling night when John Coltrane essentially ran out of horn, a night described as “a live culmination of Coltrane’s musical journey.” (AllMusic)
OddSong’s first CD, the critically acclaimed “Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks,” was released in October 2016: “Darrell Katz and the various JCA groups have been quietly putting out excellent music for some time. This is one of their finest efforts.” (Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz)
Further background information:
The Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA) has been presenting adventurous, exciting new music since 1985. At the helm is musician / composer / bandleader / educator Darrell Katz, one of the original JCA founders, who was impressed by the musical results of other composers’ collective groups. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Katz has lived in the Boston area since 1975. One of Katz’s more recent recordings, “Why Do You Ride?,” was included in Downbeat’s list of best albums for 2015, and considered “polished and damn near perfect” by All About Jazz.
A sample of critical acclaim for Katz’s collaborative work:
— “…Darrell Katz has made a name as an imaginative and innovative composer, and this collection can only increase his reputation, such is his ability to create so many atmospheres and textures over the space of one record.” (Simon Scott, Downbeat);
— “…Singer Rebecca Shrimpton has a soprano voice that combines the intimacy of a jazz singer with the purity of tone one normally associates with trained sopranos…This is, without question, one of the most fascinating jazz albums of 2016…” (Lynn René Bayley, The Art Music Lounge);
— “This is music for mind and soul.” (Irwin Block, Montreal Gazette);
— “… one of Boston’s most ambitious and provocative jazz composers.” (The Boston Phoenix)
— “Over his career and small discography, bandleader Darrell Katz has forged an identity as a progressive and creative orchestrator of new music in a way that few can claim. Beyond the modern signatures of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, the style of Katz is best known not only for jagged edges and vast colors of the musical spectrum as much as direct correlations to tradition.” (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic);
— “… Why Do You Ride? shows off Katz’s deft ability to juggle off-kilter modernism with electrifying dynamic shifts and a tumult of jazz-history reference points in his vivid, smash-cut big band arrangements, all combined for this excursion with his love for cycling and a fascination with what Albert Einstein had to say about learning, knowledge, love and war…” (Leo Feigin);
— “Crazy, avant-garde, third-stream, god-knows-what big band composition that manages to stay in touch with what Julius Hemphill called “the hard blues.” (David R. Adler, Lerterland)
The Creative Music Series (CMS) was established in 2015 by producer Alex Lemski, initially to showcase the work of adventurous jazz musicians from out-of-state, presenting them in intimate venues in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area. Lemski’s endeavor was a reaction to the apparent lack of invitations being extended to talented unknown and accomplished known, even legendary, jazz players, who often hailed from NYC and beyond. Oftentimes these musicians, with contemporary repertoires that defy categorization, would only play in the local area either as an occasional soloist or in a duet format. CMS has also begun to zero in on locally based musicians, who are also taking these musical risks, offering to help subsidize their projects, in order for their work to gain a wider appreciation.