Fanfares for the Noh Age
Upbeat high energy free jazz improvisations: Fanfares for the Noh Age Is a free jazz suite for wind ensemble and guitar. The tunes range from jazzy & lightly humorous ('Yer Fly's Wide Open...') to the introspective ('Requiem') from the lyric ('Current Again') to volcanic ('Noh'.) The emphasis is strongly on collective improvisation featuring: Dave Stone: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone Jay Zelenka: alto saxophone, flutes Jeremy Melsha: trombone Derek Leu: electric guitar Ajay Khanna: E-flat Clarinet Aaron Smith: soprano clarinet Mike Fitzgerald: trumpet The Free Jazz Posse plays uncompromising 100 percent free improvisation without gestures towards other music genres or cliché formats. Formed initially as a wind ensemble in the late 90s, the core group of Zelenka, Melsha, Stone and Khanna has recorded extensively over the last decade both as a quartet and with numerous 'guest' musicians. The FJP is nominally led by Zelenka, a veteran improviser whose free jazz roots go back to the 70's & 80's with such seminal St. Louis 'free music' groups as The Human Arts Ensemble, EXILES (featured on Leo Records: STRANDED IN PARADISE) & Malik King's Emerging Forces. Fanfares is the first of several CD projects covering these years. Various musicians have come and gone and the initial format of an all-winds ensemble has evolved like the music itself in unpredicted ways. While the original conception has long been abandoned, the group still operates in most incarnations without a rhythm section. Often the drive or pulse comes from electric guitarist, Derek Leu or laptop synth player Ajay Khanna. Stone, a working Jazz musician (The Dave Stone Trio, St. Louis Jazz X-Tet) is well known locally as a tenor player and in the FJP is heard on his other horns as well (baritone & soprano sax; bass, alto & soprano clarinet). Melsha, with roots as a heavy metal electric bass player, is heard on trombone. Zelenka plays alto sax & flutes on FANFARES, adding on more recent recordings soprano and C-melody saxophones. Years of playing together have honed a characteristic style of improv, high on communication & interplay, totally freewheeling in structure. The Free Jazz Posse represents through it's music a total commitment to freedom & choice and the requisite responsibilities, socially and artistically. A newly recorded CD, CITY OF LIGHT featuring the wind trio of Melsha, Stone & Zelenka, with Khanna on laptop synths and Leu once again on electric guitar documents the Free Jazz Posse's most recent work and will be available later this year. Review: The Live Music Report May 2008 '(Free Jazz Posse) gambles on music that is honest, direct and most of all, highly creative...When the band slows down their break-neck pacing for a few minutes, they begin to resemble a contemporary new music ensemble. Forget about tempos, charts or written music, this is some serious, fully improvised music from the get-go. The knack that each of these seven members possesses is a set of keen ears that closely listens to what the others are playing. The fervor, the drive and the passion is heard from beginning to the record's end. In chaos, there is light. Structure comes to life when you least expect it. Free Jazz Posse holds the key to this multi-faceted world" Tom Sekowski And if you like Fanfares for the Noh Age, check out the electric/electronic incarnation of FJP with Squid Choir Orkestra's first release Fractured Infinity.