Posts Tagged ‘Abraxas’

New Videos This Week

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Greetings Everyone,

As always, I hope you are reading this in both good spirits and good health. I wanted to share with you my latest drum video, a solo that I captured while testing out a few lights in the studio and after a rather lengthy and long-overdue practice session. Initially, I wanted to share this video this past Friday, but some of the recent events both abroad and domestically, as well as the subsequent public reactions, weighed heavily on my conscious and I felt it best to let what took place be, choosing instead to take time to reflect. Some of my writings can be found on my personal Facebook account, while the other writings shall remain in my journal. For now though, please enjoy this video as it does truly come from the heart, and if anything, be good to one another.

 




Cheers,


Kenny

PS: There will be a bigger update soon!

A Taste of Imperial Triumphant In Spring

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Greetings All,

I will keep today’s posting both short and sweet. Below are a few videos captured of Imperial Triumphant while we were on tour with Witchaven and Uada, as well as our return show at NYC’s Saint Vitus Bar, where we once again had the honor of sharing the stage with Absu, as well as Bastard Sapling. Please enjoy these videos and expect another update very soon concerning the upcoming Andy Milne & Dapp Theory shows, the release of Rez Abbasi & Junction’s debut full length, as well as  Misha Piatigorsky’s Sketchy Orkestra debut at Le Poisson Rouge, and finally the upcoming Abraxas: BoA19 EU Spring tour!

With all that being said, on to the videos!

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Interview For CrashBangBoom!

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Greetings Everyone,

I hope you are all well these days. I wanted to share with you a recent interview I did with drummer Jody Smith of Beast Modulus for his music podcast entitled, “CrashBangBoom!”, where I talk about the forming of Abraxas, Simulacrum, working with Secret Chiefs 3 & Zorn, plus a bit of my personal history. For those of you into that sort of thing, take a listen below!

 

New Year, New Music

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I hope this message finds you all well and and at ease. Now that January is in full swing and my schedule has lightened, I will come back to updating this site and keeping you all abreast as to what is going on. As it is, I do have some rather happy news to tell you, so on with the info.

Earl Maneein-violinist and founder of the bands Resolution 15 & Seven)Suns– and I have been working on a new project together that we call, “Black Heart Sutra”, a group that exists well within the bounds of Metal, but is a place where Earl and I can explore our writing and improvisatory impulses, a medium for us to keep composing together. As of this week, we begun reworking one of the first songs that we wrote together under the new moniker titled, “The Transitioning”. I made a quick behind the scenes video of our session earlier this week documenting our new ideas for the song and making plenty of adolescent jokes.

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Getting Caught Up

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Hey All,

As always, I hope this message finds you in the best of spirits and moods. Lately, it seems as though there is much turmoil in the world and let’s be frank about it; The world is not doing so well these days. But, I believe it can still be better and that ultimately, one way or another, it shall. Perhaps it could be that as I write this I’m watching South Park, a show that always tends to put me at ease in ever so strange as that may seem. It works wonders.

I wanted to take some time to update this site since it’s been quite a while, but it feels grossly inappropriate to be talking about what’s been happening the last few weeks and the in the weeks to come, but I can say that at least on a personal level, it has been wonderful. Dapp Theory had a wonderful little stint in the north east, performing in New York City’s Cornelia Street Cafe, Montreal’s Resonance Cafe, and New Haven’s Firehouse 12, which was followed by a very special show of John Zorn’s Simulacrum at The Village Vanguard. To be honestly cliched, it went by in a blur of a whirlwind, one that I will never forget. Many thanks to those of you who came out to support us. Immediately following this show, Simulacrum returned to Eastside Recording Studios to record the fourth studio album, featuring Kenny Wollesen on Vibes. It took us two day’s to track and a little over a day to mix, once we all was said and done with this we went out for our very first run as a band. It truly was a fun and spectacular run, another milestone for the band and for us personally. It will have been only a year this coming December that this band has existed, and already it’s been a dream come true. All in all, it’s been wonderfully fun.

As I’ve finally updated the calendar- not completely, but soon it will all be sorted- There are some exciting shows coming up this very week, starting Thursday with Felix Pastorius & Hipster Assassins at one of our favorite haunts, The 55 Bar. We will also be playing this coming Sunday along side Mass Mental at the premier of Rob Trujillo’s Jaco: A Documentary Film , at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Before that, Braindance will once again be performingin NYC at Santos Party House. Pretty soon I will have a couple of videos up from one of our practices, once again in the crude, guerrilla-style, spiderman-angeled way that I seem to take videos. While we are on the subject of videos…
Abraxas, Live in Bogota

Dapp Theory, Live at Cornelia Street Cafe

Simulacrum, Live in Philly

I will leave this post here for now, but as always be well and I hope you enjoy yourselves! till next time…

Cheers,
Kenny

New Albums & New Bands

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Greetings,

As always, I hope that this message finds you all in good spirits and in good health. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, then you probably already are aware of what I’ve been up to, but for those of you who only follow me here the summer has been quite hectic. Between the near-release of the 2nd Simulacrum Trio, lead by John Zorn and entitled ‘The True Discovery of Witches and Demons‘ where we are joined by Trevor Dunn on Bass and Marc Ribot on Guitar, as well as the recording and completion of the 3rd Simulacrum Trio, entitled ‘Inferno‘, The Secret Chiefs 3 Residency at the Stone, the recent release of Jonathan Powell & Nu Sangha’s latest album, ‘Beacons of Light‘, and the more recent recordings of Nora McCarthy’s upcoming solo album which features members of Jorge Sylvester’s ACE Collective and lastly the completion of guitarist Rez Abbasi‘s upcoming album for his new band called Junction. To say the least, it has been quite a epic and time consuming-yet-rewarding summer.

Rez’ new group is in the vein of Modern Jazz Fusion and consists of Ben Stivers on Hammond Organ, Synths and Rhodes, as well as Mark Shim on Tenor Sax and MIDI Breath Controller. We had a blast recording the album, all of which took two days to track at Systems Two in Brooklyn, NY. For those of you who would like a sneak peak, or for those who are simply drum enthusiasts, I am in the process of editing and uploading some isolated drum videos to my YouTube page from the sessions entitled “In Studio With Rez Abbasi’s Junction“, of which two of the four have gone public. I am currently editing the 3rd video before my show tonight with Richard Padron Trio over at Bar Next Door so if you are free tonight and in NYC we play three sets starting at 7:30pm. The music for this new group is adventurous and enigmatic and I feel that the energy behind what we captured is powerful and should hopefully cause a few heads to turn. We shall see, but lets say that it was insanely fun to record this album ;).

Digressing, below are the two videos I’ve uploaded so far for the songs. I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed playing this material and although there are no more dates in the book currently, Junction will be playing out and touring in the very near future- Nearer would be the upcoming tours with Dapp Theory and Simulacrum both this fall, more news on that as the time nears- so once those dates go public I will post them here and everywhere that I can!

Until next time, be well and enjoy the music and if you haven’t already, find me on all my social media outlets where we can actually connect and communicate!

Cheers,

kenny

John Zorn’s ‘Simulacrum’ & Imperial Triumphant’s ‘Abyssal Gods’ Out Now!

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Greetings Everyone,

Thank you for joining again on what appears to be a slow transition into Spring and I must say that it is a welcome one at that! I’m beyond excited to announce that John Zorn’s ‘Simulacrum’ is now available via Tzadik! I don’t think I can accurately describe how happy I am that this record is now in the world, not to mention that this is only part of a whole series to come still. Thus far, we’ve tracked two albums with a third being composed as I write. There are a few more albums that I will be working on with Zorn in the very near future, some involving Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’ Abraxas, another project with John Medeski, and a few more things to come but for now here’s a brief description of the new album:

The most extreme organ trio ever, Simulacrum is yet another wild new direction from Downtown Alchemist John Zorn, who continues to explore new worlds and new ensembles into his sixth decade.

Dramatic through-composed pieces that unfold with a cinematic logic, this genre bending music defies classification, touching upon metal, jazz, minimalism, atonality, noise and more. Passionately performed by an unusual all-star trio of John Medeski (MMW), Matt Hollenberg (Cleric) andKenny Grohowski (Abraxas) this is powerful and fascinating music that highlights the MENTAL in experimental! Riveting!”

www.tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=8330

Also available now is the critically acclaimed release by Imperial Triumphant entitled ‘Abyssal Gods’ which is available now via Aural Music & Code666! This effort I’ve talked about several times in the past, but despite how tricky it is to find the link, here it is for all your digital downloading glory. This May we will be hitting the road with Thantifaxath for a brief US run throughout the midwest and East Coast- unfortunately sans Alex Cohen and Erik Malave– but I will be holding down the fort with bassist Steve Blanco for the outing. I will post tour dates on the site very soon.

Thank you for checking out the music and stay tuned as I will be posting a new video tonight. NO, it’s NOT the quintuplet lesson video part two, because all the raw footage for that is gone and needs to be re-shot and cut all over again, but instead tonight you will get to see and hear the raw files of selected takes on Richard Padron’s upcoming solo album. I’ve labeled it as ‘Episode 1’ and I will continue to post them as we go song by song over the next several months. Richard and I have been friends for almost 20 years and have been making music together for almost as long. He is basically the guitar equivolvent of my playing style, if that helps shape the perception of his musical prowess His writing is beautiful and rich mixture of Cuban Timba, Jazz, Folkloric musics, Electronica, and Classical all rolled into the manic expression of pure art. I cannot wait for this album to see the light of day.

 

As always, thank you for watching and check out my Itinerary for upcoming tour dates!

Cheers,

kenny

John Zorn’s ‘Psycho Magia’ Out Today!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

It is Official:

Abraxas has completed it’s first ever tour of Europe and without a doubt I can safely say it was a great success! As a band, we grew together musically and were able to take the music into all sorts of new directions and explorations of the Book of Angels album, as well as performing some of the newer Psycho Magia material. All in all, the audiences were incredible and the venues were wonderfully accommodating… We simply could not have asked for a better first tour! In light of all this, I am happy to announce the official release of our newest work, John Zorn’s ‘Psycho Magia’, a piece inspired by the works of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski. It is a much different album than the BoA:19 album, but one that I’m sure will please any fan of John Zorn’s work or that of our band’s work. If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s a sample of the song ‘The Four Rivers,’ with a video by our very own Aram Bajakian!


If you haven’t picked up a copy, you can do so at either the Tzadik website, or check it out online at Amazon/iTunes/etc…

I hope this message finds you all well, and I look forward to seeing you all very soon! Look for Abraxas at this year’s Zorn Marathon in Adelaide, Australia, as well as at Town Hall on March 19th for the premier of John Zorn’s Book 3!

Cheers,

kenny

ESPN & Abraxas’ First Ever EU Tour!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Greetings,

I know for many of you it is quite rare that I would post Twice in one week, but considering how busy it’s been and how fast everything has been moving, this was simply the only way to keep everyone informed (and to keep this site relevant!)


Though the Superbowl came and went, I actually got to be a part of this year’s big game in a indirect manner. I recently had the opportunity to once again to work with long-time colleague Daniel Roumain (also known as “DBR”), on a series of tv spots for the ESPN network. We recorded and taped several different commercials at several different New York City landmarks, all while performing Daniel’s arrangements of the ‘ESPN theme song,’ ‘The NFL theme,’ & Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil’s ‘On Broadway’. (Benson may have performed the song, but it was this writing duo that penned the hit song). Here’s one of the spots where you can see the full band that recorded (Including saxophonist Sharel Cassity, Resolution 15 violinist Earl Maneein, bassist Jim Robertson, and crossover flute duo Flutronix):



Also going on, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’s Book of Angels, Volume 19: Abraxas will be going on its first ever European Tour! It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to since the inception of this band, and for the first time we will get to share our enigmatic art with our EU audience. We will also be performing selections from our upcoming full length from Tzadik, ‘Psycho Magia’. The music was all composed and arranged by John Zorn himself, who also produced the session as well (one of the most nerve-wracking moments I’ve ever lived through in which perhaps one day I’ll write the tale of…) at Bill Laswell’s Orange Music Studios over in New Jersey. A brief synopsis of our album from the label itself:


Psychomagia is the new album by the fabulous quartet of Abraxas, the acclaimed tribal Rock arrangements for the Book of Angels series. Here they perform a complex new suite of music written expressly for them by Downtown alchemist John Zorn. Drawing inspiration from the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski and others, Zorn has written a bold collection of compositions that challenge the musicians to the breaking point. With a program ranging from some of the most intense ritualistic sounds you are likely to hear to tender minimalistic odes, this is a surprising new volume in Zorn’s mystic series that matches the inten- sity and power of Moon- child, PainKiller and Naked City. Recorded at Orange Music and mixed by Bill Laswell. Essential.


For dates on our upcoming tour, feel free to check out my Itinerary or take a visit to the Abraxas Facebook page and as always, I hope that this message finds you all well and in great spirits. For those of you in Europe, I look forward to seeing and hearing from you and to my friends back home, I’ll see you all again in late February!


Cheers,


Kenny

Live With Felix Pastorius & The Social Experiment

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Greetings, 

As the title would suggest, I’ve recently been video taped by photographer Max R Sequeira at a recent gig at Zinc Bar with Felix and the gang, (Chris Ward on Sax and William Tatge on Keys). Almost the entire set was captured (with the exception of one full tune and most of ‘Jazz Crimes,’ but still having about 100min of footage is pretty sweet, no? One caveat: I accidentally set the camera too low when placing it, so you rarely see my face in the video, just a lot of handwork, which is probably more beneficially anyhow.

The show took place on Jan 27th, 2014 and shown in the video are my Bosphorus Turk Series Special Dry Ride (modeled after my Zildjian 21″ Special Dry Ride, but with a more pronounced bell), 14″ Turk hats and my 20″ Special3 Ride (by the hi hat). Also using my Noble & Cooley snare with 24-strand brass Custom Pro set from Puresound, (Evans G1 on top, Hazy Resonant on the bottom.) That’s it for the gear count, now on to the video!