TriBeCaStan’s New Songs from the Old Country
Fourth Album Due October 1st from Collective Described by The Village Voice as
Radically multicultural and poly-stylistic, New York City’s TriBeCaStan is one of contemporary music’s most vibrantly eclectic ensembles, using diverse instruments from around the globe to create an exotic palette of sonic colors. Their new album, NEW SONGS FROM THE OLD COUNTRY, will be released by Manhattan-based Evergreene Music on October 1, 2013.
TriBeCaStan is a flexible collective based around several core players, including co-founding multi-instrumentalists John Kruth, who composes mostof the songs, and Jeff Greene; baritone sax ace Claire Daly, and multi-reedist (and Klezmatics staple) Matt Darriau. Greene contributes various ethnic instruments from his vast collection, while Kruth – a collaborator with such diverse artists as Ornette Coleman, Patti Smith, the Violent Femmes and Allen Ginsberg – shines on a wide variety of stringed and wind instruments.
The band’s music is a sonic crossroad where the sounds of the yayla tambor meet surf rock, Erik Satie melds with tango beats, and traditional melodies mingle with the adventurism of downtown New York loft jazz -- alongside driving grooves, jazz horns, lush strings and buzzing reeds. It’s a pan-global brew, a musical terroir that could only be concocted in the unique cultural context of New York. Greene remarks, “In New York, with all these influences, it can happen. This is the creative capital of the world. There’s this energy here, that’s in our music, which doesn’t exist anyplace else.”
Recorded at Park West Studio in Brooklyn, produced by Kruth and Greene and engineered by Jim Clouse, NEW SONGS FROM THE OLD COUNTRYopens with the elegant Bwiti, named after one of the official faiths of Gabon which includes trance music played on a traditional, curved mouthbow; the songincludes a gongo mouthbow as well as an African raft zither from Greene’s collection, but does not replicate the traditional music. It is pure TriBeCaStan -- a “jazz prayer” that takes ancient African sounds to New York, and back again.
At times exuding sly humor – like the retro/Cold War vibe of Communist Modern or the hi-octane, jazzy-Balkan Dance of the Terrible Bear – and at others stirringly elegiac, like Night Train to the Ukraine or the ethereal, floating Gordana’s Dream (inspired by the minimalism of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass), the album’s 16 tracks showcase the band’s skill on an astounding selection of instruments. The album evokes vivid musical flavors; Persian Nightingale conjures visions of the Silk Road, while Kecapi Rain calls up the chiming resonance of Sundanese gamelan. Corned Beef and Sake blends Celtic Pogues-like influences with heavy horn boogie-woogie that echoes Mingus, while the animated Auto Rickshaw sets Portuguese guitar to funky Carnatic morsing beats. Expansive in depth and breadth, the album dazzles the imagination like a magic carpet ride around the globe and through time.
Never attempting to recreate the music of its various sources, TriBeCaStan’s original music draws upon myriad ethnic influences but also upon the players’ varied backgrounds in American genres – folk, rock, blues and the uniquely native idiom of jazz. Full of subtle references to jazz greats, psychedelia, to film scores, ‘60s TV music, and even to Stephen Foster-vintage Americana – all cleverly juxtaposed with authentic ethnomusicological underpinnings – it is like the soundtrack to some surreal travelogue. John Kruth says, “Everyone’s got a different orientation, and that’s what makes this stew of TriBeCaStan its own uniquely flavorful experience. This is the music of the melting pot.”
Fresh from summer dates in Europe and a stunning August concert at Manhattan’s Rubin Museum, TriBeCaStan will debut NEW SONGS FROM THE OLD COUNTRY at a special show on September 27 at DROM in New York’s East Village. For more information, please visit: