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A few years ago, American composer and trombonist PETER ZUMMO discovered a 1984 recording of unreleased material from his Six Songs suite in his archive. Six Songs was the basis for LATERAL PASS (Foom 2014), his award winning score for modern-dance choreographer Trisha Brown’s work of the same name. Material taken from Six Songs can also be heard on his seminal ZUMMO WITH AN X (Loris Bend, 1985/Optimo 2012).
The work is now being released as a new LP, FRAME LOOP. Recorded live and in single takes, it features a stellar line-up of longtime ZUMMO collaborators: ARTHUR RUSSELL on amplified cello, BILL RUYLE on marimba, and MUSTAFA AHMED on congas. ZUMMO plays trombone and euphonium.
ZUMMO describes the recording as ‘an exercise in spontaneous arrangement’. He mainly hews close to the score, while from time to time introducing canonic lines and variations. ARTHUR RUSSELL, using his signature amplified cello sound, alternates between solos and rhythm playing. BILL RUYLE vamps on the notation, while MUSTAFA AHMED’s improvised percussion drives the forward momentum. Sometimes the music takes its time traversing a sonic landscape; at other points, it jumps from one section to another. Players' decisions push and pull the downbeat; rounds emerge, then disappear.
PITCHFORK have previously called ZUMMO's trombone work “peerless” and have described his music as “the sound of sublimity…that sends shivers down the nervous system.” In an interview with THE QUIETUS, OPTIMO’s JD TWITCH characterised ZUMMO's playing as “sheer bliss.” In addition to performing his own compositions and leading his own ensembles, ZUMMO has worked with myriad bands, orchestras, composers and musicians. His celebrated trombone style is recognized as one of the most beloved features of ARTHUR RUSSELL's sound, for whom he played and collaborated with in the recording studio. Among many others are PETER GORDON and his LOVE OF LIFE ORCHESTRA, drummerproducer TOM SKINNER (Hello Skinny), cellist-composer/producer OLIVER COATES, the LOUNGE LIZARDS, including the recording of TEO MACERO’s Fusion, which also featured the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Downtown Ensemble. He lives in New York City.
A1. Song II: Left; On The Beat - Variations
A2. Song II: Right; Off The Beat
B1. Song II: Left; On The Beat
B2. Song II: Right; Off The Beat - Negative Ions