AUM Fidelity's 15th Anniversary celebrations began in 2011 with
And, in addition to producing a series of stellar new album releases in 2011 and 2012 to celebrate 15 years of doing so, we also presented an equally auspicious four-night series of concerts in June 2012 with two of the finest (& deeply soulful) music festivals in the world. The elemental information below is accompanied by words from AUM Fidelity founder/producer/principal Steven Joerg.
Friday, June 8th at 8:30 p.m.
William Parker's Essence of Ellington (2 sets)
William Parker: bass, arrangements, compositions
William Parker is a foundational artist on AUM Fidelity and he embodies the beliefs that gave birth to the label – generosity, commitment, dedication to craft, love. William has been working with large ensembles from the very beginning of presenting his own work as a bandleader in the mid-70s. I was delighted to find out after launching that his first was named the Aumic Orchestra. The second release on AUM was Sunrise In The Tone World (1997) by his Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. The Essence of Ellington project is the latest captivating manifestation of his orchestral concepts, following on the extraordinary Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield project I Plan To Stay A Believer (2010). This Orchestra interprets selections from the eternally alive Ellington+ book, and performs new Parker compositions inspired by the essence of Ellington. The two distinct sets to be performed on June 8 will be this project’s North American concert debut. The project’s world-wide debut this past February in Milano, Italy was recorded, and a 2CD set of that entire concert will be ready for purchase live and direct just in time for this night!
Saturday, June 9th at 8:30 p.m.
William Parker Quartet (first set)
William Parker: bass, compositions
Raining On The Moon Sextet (second set)
William Parker: bass, compositions
In 2001, the William Parker Quartet – one of the greatest Jazz groups of the modern era – was introduced to the world-at-large via their debut release, O’Neal’s Porch. This album went on to be chosen among the Top 10 Best Jazz Albums of the Year by the New York Times, JazzTimes, and Downbeat . They’ve gone on to produce two more extraordinary albums on AUM since then, Sound Unity (2005) & Petit Oiseau (2008). William and I are working on a Quartet+++ box set of previously unreleased work that will be released in 2013.
Raining On The Moon adds singer Leena Conquest and pianist Eri Yamamoto to the Quartet and focuses on William Parker’s song-craft, with lyrics to match the beautifully potent music. The album Corn Meal Dance (2007) is beyond compare in this millennium, and the title track is among my top five absolute favorite songs/performances/recordings of all time.
This concert will present predominately (if not all) new material, both sets.
Sunday, June 10th at 8:30 p.m.
Darius Jones Quartet (2 sets)
Darius Jones: alto saxophone, compositions
Darius Jones is the most recent artist (vs. project) signing to AUM Fidelity – extending the foundational principals. His original voice and improvisational prowess on alto saxophone are what immediately captured my attention. His equally compelling gifts as a composer and conceptualist sealed the deal. We launched our relationship with Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (2009) and it has continued to blossom beautifully since. His third album-length vision – third verse of first chapter of the ongoing Man’ish Boy epic – Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was released in April.
Every music! fan owes it to themselves to come and listen to this young man and his band deliver it. This is why his Quartet is performing in both cities of this series. So that more of you are granted the opportunity.
Two sets will be performed in Montreal; different compositions will be presented each set.
Tuesday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m.
Yes, yes it is a nice bit of synchronicity that Vision Festival’s first actualization in Brooklyn coincides with AUM Fidelity’s 15th Anniversary and this live celebration, as the label was born and ever since home-based in The Borough.
I really like the feel of Eri Yamamoto's playing, and her songs. She had a dream in which the idea for the Duologue (2008) album project came to her. We met to discuss this dream; it was a beautiful day, the sun shining bright, and it all made sense. This then led directly to recording her long-standing and devoted Trio for the label. We’ve produced three Trio albums together so far, Redwoods (2008), In Each Day Something Good (2010) and the brand new The Next Page. What she shares with the other artists on AUM Fidelity is a total commitment to her music, original & indelible song-craft, and a devotion to communicating the positive potential of human-kind. On June 12, Eri will present long-form exposition on two of her original pieces in this rare solo concert.
8pm - Farmers By Nature
Craig Taborn: piano
Blessings and Love to Farmers By Nature members Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver who made time at one-month-out request to perform in DSW/Planetary Unknown’s stead for this night’s celebration. I first heard of this trio’s existence from William Parker around Christmas-time 2007; he had just performed with Gerald and Craig and the happening was so illuminated that his bass began to float. Right then and there I made a commitment to record and release their next communion, which was Farmers By Nature (2009), followed by Out Of This World’s Distortions (2011). Both are impeccable albums and utterly different. There are very few groups today that can match FBN for sheer improvisational invention and engagement. They create the deepest nigh-cinematic experience from sheer sound and collective moment. They will surely create a gripping, sensual and scintillating new sonic movie for us on June 12.
NOTE: David S. Ware, another foundational artist on AUM Fidelity, was originally scheduled to perform with Planetary Unknown (2011) on this night. The health complications that have arisen on a cyclical basis since his kidney transplant in 2009 are due to the anti-rejection drugs he is required to take, and the fact that he was on dialysis for almost a decade before the operation. As I write this, he is in a hospital stay, to be followed by in-patient stay at a physical rehab center. It was decided in early May that a concert performance in June would not be possible; this is the first time in his four-decade+ career that he has ever had to cancel a concert. All who read this now, please send positive thoughts to him in central New Jersey. Thank you. He will come out the other side of this very difficult time and perform again. DSW’s visage remains featured on the silk-screened poster we made for this event, and he and the group’s astonishing Live in Saalfelden 2011 CD will be fresh back from the pressing plant and available for sale live and direct in June.
9pm - Darius Jones Quartet
Darius Jones: alto saxophone, compositions
Again, every music! fan owes it to themselves to come and listen to this young man and his band deliver it. This is why his Quartet is performing in both cities of this series. So that more of you are granted the opportunity. And because he and they have got this bad-ass and beautiful new album out. They’ll just be back from illuminating Montreal on a Sunday night and ready to lift this corner of Brooklyn gently from anchorage on the 12th!
10pm - William Parker's In Order To Survive
William Parker, bass, compositions
And finally to further open this concert series up & bring it on home, one of the very first jazz bands I wanted to work with, I needed to work with! The first was the David S. Ware Quartet. Immediately following was In Order To Survive. This was William Parker’s principal small group when we first began working together, producing Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy (1996) for the Homestead Records label. We then produced the epic & era-defining The Peach Orchard (1998) double-live set. Now, when you add Cooper-Moore to the William Parker Quartet, the group becomes In Order To Survive anew. This ensemble was formed by William Parker in 1993 and proceeded with a succession of drummers, though always with Rob Brown and Cooper-Moore. I consider it a blessing that this group will wrap upward and onward the concert celebrations of AUM’s 15th ; to let us know what it is time for now, in no uncertain terms.
When I first got into jazz, when I first heard it in 1984 – nobody that I knew personally listened to it. Though, being a devotee of music and a US citizen by birth, I felt it my duty to self-educate. As a high school student working in a shopping mall record store in suburban Chicago at the time I had no idea whatsoever that I’d eventually play a role, however small, affecting in the positive how many people listened to vital new jazz music.
Infinitely more has changed in the commercial dissemination of music in the 15 years since the launch of AUM Fidelity than in the formative 13 years which led directly up to it. Survival = Success? Talking on apocalypse, that’s a credo, I guess. Adding to the positive energy of collective (God) Life = success? Yes, that’s more like it. Getting contemporary true masters of the music recognized for the gifts they offer (and these gifts appreciated) while they are still walking among us was, and remains, the essential inspiration and directive.
Thank You for paying attention with mind–heart–soul. Please purchase the albums, whether on CD or via download or some future direct mind transmit.. and AUM Fidelity will continue to exist as a purveyor of the finest. Easy!