Posts Tagged ‘DBR’

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):

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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

Abraxas in Marciac, Being Folked Up, & a Midsummer’s Recap

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Greetings,

Given that it’s been quite some time since the last update, I bring you an-all encompassing update as to what has been going on over in my new homestead known as Brooklyn!

Later this week, Abraxas will be making it’s live debut here in NYC at John Zorn’s The Stone. Earlier this year John Zorn commissioned bassist Shanir Blumenkranz to record an album of selected pieces from Zorn’s  Book of Angels V. 19 repertoire, giving him free reign to record and produce the album as Shanir saw fit. The end result was something very primordial, tribal, and visceral. Featuring some amazing guitar work from Aram Bajakian (of Lou Reed) and cutting edge experimental guitarist Eyal Maoz. At times, taking from Classic Rock to Moroccan rhythms, Jewish mysticism and an atavistic approach to music, this is an album that I think any fan of music will enjoy. You’ll be able to grab a copy at our upcoming show at  The Stone this Friday, August 3rd or at Zorn’s website. This will be our prep show for the next one, a brief hit at the Jazz In Marciac festival, playing along with John Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3! I’m super humbled and excited all at the same time to be sharing the stage with these insane musicians, as well as thrilled for this will be my first time in France and hopefully Without being detained at De Gaul International!

Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect on the album:

This past July I had the opportunity to record with composer and long time colleague Daniel Bernard Roumain and North Carolina artist and activist Laurelyn Dossett for an upcoming album that we will be touring briefly later this year. The details on our live shows will follow as they come, but what I can say about the recording session was that it was an absolute joy to work with Laurelyn and many of her various musical partners and band mates. All incredible musicians as well as being incredibly chill and wonderful people to be around and talk with. Many a late night patio talk was had at the end of our 10-hour days in Asheville, NC, and could possibly be one of my personal high points of the summer. Recording at Echo Mountain Studios, is easily the next highlight of the summer thus far. If you ever have the chance to record an album, do yourself a favor and make it happen at this place. Incredible gear with incredible sounding rooms, super pro and courteous staff, and the in house musical gear is killer. There’s also a nice, crunchy coffee shop near by and the tech owns an instrument/amp repair shop down the road. It’s perfect.

In more recording news, I’ve had a chance to hear a bit of the upcoming Dapp Theory album we recorded this past April, and I think old school fans and newer Dapp fans alike will really enjoy this offering. Between and Andy’s compositions and musical direction coupled with Jimmy Haslip leadership and expertise in the producer’s chair, will make for a rather nice album from start to finish. We’ll be making some live appearances this summer, including a quick gig at Harlem’s Ginny’s as well as a set at this year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. If you haven’t already, check out Andy’s music on the recently released documentary, The Captains, chronicling the personal lives and tribulations of All the Star Trek captains. It’s a must see for any Star Trek fan.

Resolution 15 is also just about finished with it’s newest album, the completion of Svaha. It has been a long time coming but I think our fans will be really pleased with the newer material and a fully realized album. We’ve already written enough new material to record the next two albums, so though we are eager to put that material out there, for you now you all can enjoy the entirety of this album. We should have physical copies fairly soon, along with a very special engagement that we will be letting the world know of in the upcoming months, so stay tuned either here or at Res15’s various media outlets.

As always, thank you for checking in with me and please stay tuned for more updates as they occur. I will have much to report in the upcoming months, as well as some project ideas I have in the works, both in videos and in released music. In the meantime, please enjoy this latest video from Hung’s show at Arena in Queens, NY and till next time, be well.

Kenny

On to 2011

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I hope these holidays find you all well and in good spirits. Since we’re in the end of 2010, I would like to say farewell to what has been a whirlwind year. Between touring with the Timucin Sahin Trio in Bodrum, Turkey, Dapp Theory’s North America Tour, DBR & The MISSION in China, Pavel Fajt’s Slet Bubeníků 2010 Tour in Czech Republic, and Jorge Sylvester’s A.C.E. Collective in Austria, it has been an eye opening and life changing year. But I’m sure  that 2011 will prove to be just as adventurous and eye opening. (more…)