10.20.11 Brian Walsh Set Trio + Tin/Bag [Kris Tiner+Mike Baggetta] @ BlueWhale

Blue Whale presents

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  213.620.0908    

“Cal Arts ain’t no clone factory. Musicians who come out of that university sound like themselves, and it’s usually worth making their acquaintance.

Clarinetist Brian Walsh, for instance, has woven himself into the fabric of L.A. improv for some years alongside Vinny and Nels and the gang; I think this trio thing is his first record as a leader. It’s avant, sure, but he gives you a star to steer by.

Without disrespect to the hi-flites of Benny Goodman and Barney Bigard, Walsh favors the darker hardwood ranges of the clarinet, which he wrangles in its B-flat and bass manifestations. His tone is clear but rich, his technique crisp but unfussy. And as an improviser, he can spin off strong centrifugal flow, knowing to stop before he runs out of ideas. For untrammeled whammo, Walsh indulges in a couple of pad-rattling solo excursions that banish any evil spirits of restraint.

The trio’s “Set One” sports a certain tension between freedom and communication. One senses that drummer Trevor Anderies prefers the gently stirred cymbals and rumbling toms of “14,” so the slightest current of irony surfaces when he’s required to swing a straight titty-boom, as on “Blues for Lee Van Cleef” (with Walsh’s dryly incredulous clarinet commentary), or when he’s called upon to take a quick blues walk, as on the boplicious “Ivar’s Octopus.” Still, he’s aware that kind of stuff is where the audience connection lies, and bassist Colin Burgess’ big, confident boom throughout makes the same entrée.

Still, these dudes make no apologies for their eccentricities — you can’t miss the quirks in the thunderfoot unisons and Tuvan vocal accents of “Eserav” or the tweet, roll & sproing of “The Imp.” A good compromise: “The Madness of Hans Petter Bonden,” combining hard angles with the drive of a hoppin’ contrapuntal tango.

Most approachable, though, is the sole non-original, “A Little Pain,” Walsh mentor Bobby Bradford’s tribute to Billy Strayhorn. It’s got a pretty melody, a gently butt-twitching rhythm, a bluesy segue and a sensitive offbeat jam, which should be about all you need.

Imaginative musicians, of course, are never satisfied until the wheel has been thoroughly reinvented. Who says it’s gotta be round?” – Greg Burk, review of Walsh Set Trio, “Set One” (Nine Winds)

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photo by Allen D Glass II

KRIS TINER (b. 1977) is a California-based trumpet player, composer, and improviser. Featured on NPR Music as one of five new trumpet voices impacting modern music, Tiner has been described as “extraordinarily inventive” (Signal to Noise), “a really compelling voice” (Cadence Magazine), and LA Weekly jazz critic Greg Burk claims, “Trumpeter Kris Tiner can turn barbed wire to beauty.” He has performed at concert venues and festivals throughout North America and in Europe and West Africa and he appears on over 40 recordings. His own projects have been released on the Clean Feed, pfMENTUM,Nine Winds, Rude Awakening, and Evander Music labels and are regularly featured on jazz radio stations throughout the world. In addition to numerous interdisciplinary collaborations involving dance, poetry and spoken word, visual art, film, and animation he has recorded music for radio, television, and motion picture scores and his trumpet playing has been heard on MTV, NBC, and Comedy Central.

Kris has performed in a wide range of classical, jazz, and popular styles as well as various improvisational and electro-acoustic formats, and he has studied traditional music from Latin America, West Africa, Indonesia, and North India. Incorporating ideas from the fields of Integral Studies and transpersonal psychology, his compositions explore connections between various improvisational world music systems and contemporary compositional practices. As a composer-improviser, Kris has received awards from the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America’s French-American Jazz Exchange, the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and the John F. Kennedy Center’s Jazz Ahead program.

His primary musical projects include the Empty Cage Quartet – a collaborative new jazz ensemble that has been hailed as “one of the most powerful and appealing jazz units currently active” (All About Jazz), and Tin/Bag – a duo with Brooklyn guitarist Mike Baggettathat explores “abstract yet jazz-derived realms of expansive lyricism and liquid melody”(Time Out New York). Kris is a regular member of the Industrial Jazz Group and a founding member of the Los Angeles Trumpet Quartet. Among the many notable musicians he has performed and/or recorded with are Vinny Golia, Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Donald Robinson, Gerry Hemingway, Nels Cline, Mary Oliver, Ken Filiano, Kraig Grady, Tatsuya Nakatani, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jeff Kaiser, Anne LeBaron, G.E. Stinson, Steuart Liebig, Alicia Mangan, Chris Schlarb, Hans W. Koch, Pete Christlieb, Motoko Honda, Michael Vlatkovich, Joe LaBarbera, Harris Eisenstadt, Lukas Ligeti, Aurelien Besnard, Sara Schoenbeck, Phillip Greenlief and Brad Dutz.

A California native, Kris holds an MFA in African-American Improvisational Music from California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Music from California State University, Bakersfield. He has studied composition with Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Doug Davis and Morton Subotnick, and trumpet with Edward Carroll and Charles Brady. He has lectured on both music and visual art, and currently directs the jazz program and teaches courses in jazz and American popular music at Bakersfield College. He is also an adjunct faculty member and current Interim Director of Small Jazz Ensembles in the Music Department at California State University, Bakersfield, and he has taught at Taft College, Wasco High School, and the Academy of Creative Education in Los Angeles. He has been a visiting lecturer/clinician/performer at CalArts, Bennington College, The Art Institute of Seattle, Mesa College, Saddleback College and The Oakwood School as well as at numerous high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools throughout Southern California. He has maintained a private trumpet studio teaching students of all ages since 1995. Kris has given presentations at annual conferences of the International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM), the California Art Education Association (CAEA), and the Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC), and he has been a featured performer at the Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT) in New York City, the IAJE Conference, Clean Feed Festival, Aperitivo in Concerto, Trummerflora Spring Reverb Festival, Is That Jazz? Festival, Ventura New Music Festival, The Outpost Creative Soundspace Festival, Mateel Summer Arts and Music Festival, Line Space Line Festival of Improvised Music, Angel City Jazz Festival, Slow Sound Festival, and the Bakersfield Jazz Festival.

Also active as a concert organizer, Kris co-founded and curated the Okiro Creative and Experimental Arts Series in Hollywood from 2002-03. He currently curates a jazz and new music concert series at Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, where he lives with his lovely wife and two very energetic young daughters.

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“Mike is one of the best young improvisors on the NY scene!”  – Vic Juris, Jazz Guitarist

“Blessed with a refined approach and solid technique…Mike Baggetta has the potential to break the mold of post-John Scofield plectrists.”  – Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

Guitarist Mike Baggetta is one of his generation’s most original jazz improvisors and composers. It has been said that his performances are “totally compelling” (Jazz Journal – UK), “his melodic sense is truly beautiful” (Jazzreview.com) and that “each piece he performs creates new worlds of possibilities” (The Hartford Courant).

Mike Baggetta recently received an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his compositional talent, and the first album of his works for the Mike Baggetta Quartet, Small Spaces, has recently been released on the Fresh Sound New Talent label with their 2nd album coming soon. In addition to leading the Mike Baggetta Quartet (featuring Jason Rigby, Eivind Opsvik and George Schuller), Mike co-leads Tin/Bag, a new music duo with California trumpeter Kris Tiner.

Baggetta has had the pleasure of performing and/or recording with Tom Harrell, Conrad Herwig, Ralph Bowen, Adam Kolker, Jeff Hirshfield, Ken Filiano, Jamie Baum, Tony Reedus, Steve LaSpina, Cameron Brown, Dominique Eade, Bill McHenry, Brad Shepik, Matt Wilson, George Garzone, Ron McClure, Joe Fonda, Kevin Norton, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ruth Brown among many others.

Originally from Agawam, MA, Baggetta’s musical studies have been insightfully guided by Ted Dunbar, Vic Juris, Stanley Cowell and Jim Hall.  He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, Town Hall and many other leading concert venues worldwide.  Mike currently lives in New York City and is an endorsing artist for D’Addario Strings and Evans Custom Amplifiers.


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