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Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus

  • Jazz Standard 116 East 27th Street New York, NY, 10016 United States (map)

Shows at 7:30pm & 9:30pm nightly:

A veteran of the bands of Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, and Joe Henderson, bassist and composer Michael Formanek has great respect for the craft of big–band writing, but admits that he’s never been especially interested in the traditional style “because it’s just been done so well so many times before.” But for his latest ECM album The Distance, says Formanek, “I wanted a large, rich, chewy sound with this music – and the ensemble’s rhythm section is particularly big, with piano, marimba, guitar, bass and drums. I also wanted a lot of different colors and textures, with some sharp edges occasionally. With the way this group works, there’s a lot of written material but also a lot of free­dom in how we get from one point to the next. Things are riskier than with the usual big band.” Along with the dark–hued romanticism of the title track, The Distance features the “Exoskeleton” suite – a kaleidoscopic musical experience in which the artist’s bold, beautiful vision for 21st century large–ensemble jazz comes vibrantly to life.

Loren Stillman, Oscar Noriega, Chris Speed, Brian Settles, Tim Berne – woodwinds

Dave Ballou, Ralph Alessi, Shane Endsley, Kirk Knuffke – trumpets

Alan Ferber, Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein, Jeff Nelson – trombones

Patricia Franceschy – marimba

Kris Davis – piano

Mary Halvorson – guitar

Michael Formanek – bass

Tomas Fujiwara – drums

Earlier Event: March 21
Mingus Big Band
Later Event: March 24
Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos