Releases His Third Album, Music is Emotion (Alternate Side Records) February 19th, 2013
Featuring Michael Rodriguez (trumpet), Jorge Roeder (bass) and Eric Doob (drums) Plus Special Guest Scott Robinson (tenor sax).
Pre-Release at the Jazz Gallery Thursday, December 6th 9:00 and 10:30PM sets
Thirteen years after arriving in New York City, trombonist/composer Ryan Keberle has performed with a jaw-dropping roster of legendary musicians across a vast array of styles. At 32, his resume is more eclectic and impressive than that of many musicians twice his age.
Keberle has performed with jazz greats including Maria Schneider and Wynton Marsalis as well as being an original member of up-and-comer Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society; hip-hop and R&B superstars like Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys; Latin jazz leaders like Pedro Giraudo and Ivan Lins; contemporary disco band Escort; played in the house band at Saturday Night Live, on soundtracks of films by Woody Allen, and in the pit for the Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights; and most recently toured with indie rock ground-breaker Sufjan Stevens, ushering him into a new arena of fresh, emotionally charged music.
For a musician with such a stunning range of ability and experience, it can seem daunting to find a common thread running throughout the entire range of inspiration and influence. The shared influence that Keberle found as he studied all of the music he most responded to was the direct emotional connection with listeners stemming from a shared root in the blues. So he set out to forge just such a bond with his own music, assembling an incredible new group in the process.
On his third CD, Music Is Emotion, Keberle combines that wealth of influence and experience into a bold group sound with the debut of his pianoless quartet, Catharsis. The band comprises some of the most compelling up-and-coming voices in jazz – trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Eric Doob – for a vigorous set of melodic invention, heavy groove, and a subtle indie rock sensibility.
“When you boil down everything else that you love about music, it really comes down to the emotional connection that people make with it,” Keberle says. “Good popular music has this inherent emotional connection because of the history of the blues in our musical society. With all the social media and technology these days, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find that interaction on a personal level. So I’ve been trying to capture that more consciously in my own music.”
The title Music Is Emotion starkly states Keberle’s intentions, but they are equally evident in the music itself. With the absence of a chordal instrument, Keberle was driven to focus more keenly on melodic and rhythmic aspects, resulting in an album full of memorable tunes and intensely driving grooves.
The disc kicks immediately into gear with “Big Kick Blues,” a showcase for the ensemble that leads directly from a blues head into a bout of collective improvisation over a jaunty syncopated groove. It closes in much the same spirit, with the straightahead rave-up of “Blueport.” In between, the band explores territory from Latin rhythms to tender ballads to evocative atmospheres.
Time, in all its aspects, is a definite concern throughout the album. It comes to the fore on the meditative stroll of “Nowhere To Go, Nothing To See” and on “Need Some Time,” where complex rhythms stress the urgency of modern life. “I’m always reminding myself to try and make sure to stop and appreciate the time that I do have, regardless of how busy or crazy life may be,” Keberle explains.
One of the pressures that impinges on modern life is the environment, a subject Keberle broaches on the tense, cinematic “Carbon Neutral.” The piece was inspired by his own growing consciousness of ecological concerns, prompted by his wife’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy. “As the piece took shape it started to remind me of the times we’re in,” Keberle says. “There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but something has to be done. I’m still optimistic about our future, and I feel like the tune goes to a more optimistic place, but it ends on that sense of questioning because we’re obviously far from a solution.”
Keberle’s choice of material by other composers is revealing of his eclectic tastes and experiences. Lennon and McCartney stand directly beside Duke Ellington, as a moving rendition of The Beatles’ “Julia” is followed by “Blues in Orbit,” a lesser-known mood piece penned by Billy Strayhorn for the legendary composer and bandleader. Indie rock great Sufjan Stevens, who Keberle has toured extensively with, is represented by “Djohariah.” That tune is preceded by “The Show Must Go On,” a song by singer/songwriter Nedelle Torrisi of the band Cryptacize, who Keberle met on the Stevens tour.
Born and raised by music educator parents in Spokane, Washington, Keberle started out playing classical violin and piano before adopting the trombone. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of renowned trombonist Steve Turre and became a member of Jazz at Juilliard’s first graduating class in 2003.
Keberle’s first two releases featured his Double Quartet, a malleable, brass-heavy octet that showcased his deft composing and arranging skills. Catharsis was formed in late 2010 after much experimenting with different line-ups. The four musicians gelled immediately and gave Keberle an opportunity to expand his compositional horizons.
“I’m very much piano-centric when it comes to arranging and composing,” he explains. “Catharsis pushed me out of that box and forced me to come at the music from more of a contrapuntal perspective. It’s really incredible how versatile these guys are; it was a meeting of the minds from the start.”
CLICK HERE TO READ KEBERLE’S OWN LINER NOTES TO MUSIC IS EMOTION
Ryan Keberle and Catharsis – “Big Kick Blues” – Live at Sycamore in Brooklyn
CLICK HERE to Watch Video on YouTube!
Release Date: February 19th, 2013
Upcoming Performances by Ryan Keberle:
Dec. 6 – Ryan Keberle and Catharsis, 9pm & 10:30pm, Jazz Gallery
Dec. 17-21 – Maria Schneider Orchestra, Blue Note TOKYO
Jan. 16 – Ryan Keberle and Catharsis, 7pm, The Falcon
Mar, 3 – Ryan Keberle and Catharsis, 7pm, Barbes
May 11 – Ryan Keberle guest soloist, Spokane Jazz Orchestra
::: SOURCE: Fully Altered Media :::