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INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM

Jeff Parker

Forfolks

    Jeff Parker’s Forfolks — a new album of solo guitar works — was recorded by Graeme Gibson at Sholo Studio in Altadena, California (aka Jeff’s house) over two days in June 2021. It includes interpretations of Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal,” plus six original compositions including "Four Folks," "La Jetée" (a tune he recorded with Tortoise in 1998), and four totally new loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures.

    “It's a particular thing to hear Jeff play solo,” writes veteran Chicago musician and longtime Parker collaborator Matthew Lux in his liner notes for Forfolks. “He is an unusually selfless improviser, oftentimes laying out and highlighting the contributions of his band mates… On this recording, however, he is by himself, joined only by his own ideas, looped or frozen, to flesh out the music he's creating in his mind. Hearing him craft entire sound worlds on these eight selections gives us an opportunity to really see how Parker orders sound.”

    Forfolks follows Parker’s critically acclaimed 2020 record Suite for Max Brown, which Pitchfork called an “effortlessly detailed album, full of tradition and experimentation that spans generations … It lives at the vanguard of new jazz music.” The album went on to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Current Contemporary Jazz Chart.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Off Om
    2. Four Folks
    3. My Ideal
    4. Suffolk
    5. Flour Of Fur
    6. Ugly Beauty
    7. Excess Success
    8. La Jetée 

    Anteloper

    Kudu

      Anteloper is the electric brain child of jaimie branch (fly or die, high life) and Jason Nazary (little women, helado negro, bear in heaven). Branch and Nazary have been playing together as trumpeter and drummer for years, since meeting at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2002, but in this duo both musicians include synthesizers to push further into the spectral space ship ether. With deep rhythmic passages, telepathic improvisations and effortless melodic negotiations, Anteloper pushes forward, swinging its horns all the while.

      Originally released on cassette only, Anteloper’s debut album Kudu was named one of the ‘Best Albums of 2018’ by Rolling Stone, Pop Matters, Nextbop, and Bandcamp. In his piece for Rolling Stone, Hank Shteamer said: “The album’s collision of fractured beats and pealing, effects-heavy brass suggests a punk-minded update of Miles Davis’ most thrillingly weird Seventies explorations, heard on albums like Get Up With It. This is music for serious immersion.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Oryx
      2. Fossil Record
      3. Lethal Curve
      4. Ohoneotree Suite
      5. Seclusion Self

      Open The Gates is Philadelphia-based free jazz collective IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS’s third full length album (and first double LP length album). Recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia, across 73 minutes of music the band – featuring Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro & drummer Tcheser Holmes (who released their duo debut Heritage of the Invisible II on International Anthem last year), saxophonist Keir Neuringer, and bassist Luke Stewart – supplement their raw, organic punk-jazz sound with firsttime experiments with electronics and synthesizers.

      “Irreversible Entanglements’ fearless music takes to task the police, American politics, capitalism, and racism.” – The Nation

      "The jazz ensemble evokes our American topography, both physically and psychologically, by capturing what’s in the news and what’s underneath that surface.” – Pitchfork

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: A brilliantly soulful storm of free-jazz timbres and spoken word phrases bolstered with snappy counterpoint and harmonic dissonance, both unnerving and hypnotic, but thoroughly enthralling throughout. Brilliantly inventive and momentous.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A
      A1. Open The Gates
      A2. Keys To Creation
      SIDE B
      B1. Lágrimas Del Mar
      B2. Storm Came Twice
      SIDE C
      C1. Water Meditation
      SIDE D
      D1. Six Sounds
      D2. The Port Remembers

      Ben LaMar Gay's critically-lauded 2018 break out "Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun" was more like a greatest hits than a debut album, as it compiled the best of the prolific but obscurity-prone Chicago native artist’s previously unreleased music. "Open Arms to Open Us" is the first release of brand new, freshly baked tunes by Gay, a collection recorded entirely at International Anthem studios in Chicago between March-June 2021.

      He is an artist that has been called visionary by the New York Times. Jeff Parker has called him 'one of my favorite musicians on the planet today.' NPR says 'there is no one universe for Ben LaMar Gay, he just sonic booms from one sound to another.' Gay lives up to all these statements and more, putting all his best feet forward on this new album. Fluently interweaving jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, Tropicalia, two-step, hip-hop and beyond in his most colorful and communicable work yet, it's a beaming expression of Gay’s signature omni-genre, Pan-Americana brew.

      Featured artists on the album include: OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, bassist/vocalist/arranger Ayanna Woods, multi-disciplinary Rwandan artist Dorothée Munyaneza, poet A.Martinez, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalists Onye Ozuzu, Gira Dahnee, and Angel Bat Dawid.

      RIYL: Barney Wilen, Andy Votel DJ sets, outernational jazz, Tropicalia, Notnotfun records etc. 


      TRACK LISTING

      01) Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks On You.(featuring Ohmme)
      02) Hood Rich Happy
      03) Bang Melodically Bang
      04) Aunt Lola And The Quail
      05) Mestre Candeia’s Denim Hat
      06) Oh Great Be The Lake
      07) I Be Loving Me Some Of You
      08) Nyuzura(featuringDorothée Munyaneza)
      09) Slightly Before The Dawn
      10) Lean Back.Try Igbo(featuring Onye Ozuzu)
      11) Dress Me In New Love
      12) Touch. Don’t Scroll(featuring Ayanna Woods)
      13) I Once Carried A Blossom(featuring A.Martinez)
      14) In Tongues And In Droves(featuringTomeka Reid)
      15) S’Phisticated Lady(featuringGira Dahnee And Angel Bat Dawid)
      16) We Gon Win

      City of Mirrors is a bold new collection of music from Chicago-based alt-Latinx band Dos Santos, which is comprised of bandleader / singer / lyricst / guitarist / keyboardist Alex Chavez, drummer Daniel Villarreal, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, bassist Jaime Garza, and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nathan Karagianis. Cinematic in its journey, the album was produced by multimedia artist and long-time friend of the band Elliot Bergman (NOMO, Wild Belle), and reflects sounds from across the Americas combined with Chavez’s compelling poetic narratives. Its 13 tracks consolidate the band’s unique identities, creative and cultural roots, and their penchant for honoring traditional Latinx music with contemporary compositional expressions and production techniques. It achieves the band’s mission to push against their own musical boundaries while also exploring themes of social justice, immigration, and contemporary human struggle. Chavez, a scholar who has produced albums for Smithsonian Folkways and conducted extensive ethnographic work on the music of the Texan US/Mexican borderlands (where he is from), articulates beautifully: “City of Mirrors is an assemblage… glimpses of tradition… reflections on our collective present… luminous echoes between love and solitude, hope and absurdity, euphoria and mourning. This album grapples with and transgresses these binaries because we have/and continue to cross borders. Yet, for us, the border is no metaphor — too much real staring back at us. We embody the border. We (our families) have crossed it. We (our stories) are coated with its residues. And so… we cross the border of self through our art – out of necessity.”

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. A Shot In The Dark
      A2. Alma Cósmica
      A3. A Tu Lado
      A4. City If Mirrors
      A5. Glorieta
      A6. White. Lies.
      A7. Palo Santo
      B1. Crown Me
      B2. Ghost. Me.
      B3. Soledad
      B4. Cages And Palaces
      B5. Juguar De Rosas
      B6. Lejos De Ti

      Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

      Chicago Waves

        In late November of 2018, long-time collaborators (& life-long Los Angelenos) Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson flew to Chicago to participate in the album release performance of Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings. Just 11 months prior, Carlos & Miguel were part of recording the ‘Los Angeles Side’ of Universal Beings at Jeff Parker’s house in Altadena, California, and this performance in Chicago would be the first time that all of the musicians reunited to re-learn and perform the music they’d collectively composed during those sessions.

        The Universal Beings performance and preceding days of rehearsal took place at the iconic South Shore Cultural Center – a historic gilded-era urban club-turned-public facility deep on Chicago’s Southside and right along the reedy shore of Lake Michigan, giving the building’s backdrop an infinitely blue Northern expanse.

        The night after the performance at South Shore Cultural Center, friend of International Anthem Jeremy Cunningham was scheduled to debut new music (The Weather Up There, which has since been released on Northern Spy Records) at our HQ, Co-Prosperity Sphere. Since Carlos & Miguel were still in Chicago (before they’d head to NYC for a second Universal Beings performance at Le Poisson Rouge), we invited them to do a Special Guest duo set to open the show.

        At the conclusion of their 44-minute improvised set that night, Carlos spontaneously dubbed the piece “Chicago Waves.” His proclamation gave us the distinct impression that the previous days spent in South Shore (and the many commutes to-and-from, along Lake Shore Drive) had imprinted the deep blue vastness of early-Winter Lake Michigan into Carlos & Miguel’s respective & collective consciousness, and thus, into the spirit of the luminous music they created that night at Co-Prosperity Sphere. We at IARC are happy to share Chicago Waves with the world in a time when peace-bringing sound and a sweet memory of live music, sparkling inside the collective breath of community in community space, has potential to provide the utmost nourishment.

        TRACK LISTING

        1 / A1. Part I
        2 / A2. Part II
        3 / A3. Part III
        4 / A4. Part IV
        5 / B1. Part V
        6 / B2. Part VI - Into Etenity
        7 / B3. Part VII
        8 / B4. Part VIII - Chicago Waves

        “I’m always looking for ways to be surprised,” says composer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker as he explains the process, and the thinking, behind his new album Suite for Max Brown, released via a new partnership between International Anthem and Nonesuch Records. “If I sit down at the piano or with my guitar, with staff paper and a pencil, I’m eventually going to fall into writing patterns, into things I already know. So, when I make music, that’s what I’m trying to get away from—the things that I know.” Despite its musical departures, in presentation Suite for Max Brown is an informal companion piece to The New Breed, Parker’s debut release on International Anthem, which was honored as one of the “Best Albums of 2016” by New York Times, Observer, and Los Angeles Times.

        “I made The New Breed based off these old sample-based compositions and mixed them with improvising,” Parker says. “That’s in a nutshell how I make a lot of my music; it’s a combination of sampling, editing, retriggering audio, and recording it, moving it around and trying to make it into something cohesive… With Max Brown, it’s evolved.” Though Parker collaborates with a coterie of musicians under the group name The New Breed, theirs is by no means a conventional “band” relationship. Parker is very much a solo artist on Suite for Max Brown. His accompanists are often working alone with Parker, reacting to what Parker has provided them, and then Parker uses those individual parts to layer and assemble into his final tracks. The process may be relatively solitary and cerebral, but the results feel like in-the-moment jams—warm-hearted, human, alive. Suite for Max Brown brims with personality, boasting the rhythmic flow of hip hop and the soulful swing of jazz.

        His collaborators on Max Brown include pianist-saxophonist Josh Johnson; bassist Paul Bryan, who co-produced and mixed the album with Parker; fellow International Anthem artists Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek; trumpeter Nate Walcott; drummers Jamire Williams and Jay Bellerose; cellist Katinka Klejin; and his seventeenyear-old daughter Ruby Parker on the opening track “Build a Nest.” Ruby’s presence at the start is fitting as the album is, in true Parker fashion, a familiar affair. “That’s my mother’s maiden name. Maxine Brown. Everybody calls her Max. I decided to call it Suite for Max Brown. The New Breed became a kind of tribute to my father because he passed away while I was making the album. I thought it would be nice this time to dedicate something to my mom while she’s still here to see it.” There is a multi-generational vibe to the music too, as Parker balances his contemporary digital explorations with excursions into older jazz. Along with original compositions, Parker includes “Gnarciss,” an interpretation of Joe Henderson’s “Black Narcissus,” and John Coltrane’s “After the Rain.”

        Coltrane is a touchstone in Parker’s musical evolution. “I used to deejay a lot when I lived in Chicago. I was spinning records one night and for about ten minutes I was able to perfectly synch up a Nobukazu Takemura record with the first movement of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and it had this free jazz, abstract jazz thing going on with a sequenced beat underneath. It sounded so good. That’s what I’m trying to do with Max Brown.”

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Build A Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)
        A2. C'mon Now
        A3. Fusion Swirl
        A4. After The Rain
        A5. Metamorphoses
        A6. Gnarciss
        A7. Lydian
        A8. Del Rio
        B1. 3 For L
        B2. Go Away
        B3. Max Brown

        Makaya McCraven

        Universal Beings

          Drummer/producer Makaya McCraven’s epic 2018 album Universal Beings was a breakthrough release – both for Makaya as an artist and also for an entire class of “new jazz” artists who in recent years have been making waves from Chicago to New York to London and Los Angeles. Featuring an all-star cast of genreredefining players (incl. Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Tomeka Reid, Joel Ross, Brandee Younger, Jeff Parker…) recorded in the four aforementioned cities, the music of Universal Beings was composed in collective improvisational sessions before being post-produced by McCraven into twenty-two lyrical instrumental pieces of “organic beat music.”

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Millie says: If you missed this the first time around then you’re in luck, the Universal Beings re-release is here to save the day. Filled to the brim with beautiful jazz and featuring lots of inspirational names in the New Jazz era such as Nubya Garcia & Shabaka Hutchings and many more talented contributors. Delve into the four sections to guide you away to different parts of the world and float away on a jazzy-cloud.

          TRACK LISTING

          New York Side:
          A1. A Queen's Intro
          A2. Holy Land
          A3. Young Genius
          A4. Black Lion
          A5. Tall Tales
          A6. Mantra

          Chicago Side:
          B1. Pharaoh's Intro
          B2. Atlantic Black
          B3. Inner Flight
          B4. Wise Man, Wiser Woman
          B5. Prosperity's Fear

          London Side:
          C1. Flipped Out
          C2. Voila
          C3. Suite Haus
          C4. The Newbies Lift Off
          C5. The Royal Outro

          Los Angeles Side:
          D1. The Count Off
          D2. Butterss's
          D3. Turtle Tricks
          D4. The Fifth Monk 


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