High Two

AUM Fidelity also distributes select titles from the High Two label. Based in Philadelphia, they are dedicated to presenting a diverse array of talent borne of their musically rich city. Further to their jazz forward titles which are featured for sale here, the label has released an ever more eclectic range of diverse sounds. Visit the High Two site direct for more.

HT030 - SONIC LIBERATION FRONTx. . Jetway Confidential



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1. Uh-Uh
2. Mother of Nine
3. Jetway Confidential No. 3 (for Sun Ra)
4. Padrino's Hit
5. Yemaya
6. OneTwoThree
7. Umami
8. One Two
9. Metaphyzzix


Kevin Diehl – drumkit, bata
Chuck Joseph– bata
Terry Lawson – tenor saxophone
Matt Engle - bass
Todd Margasak - cornet
and 18 additional musicians

On Sonic Liberation Liberation Front's fourth album for High Two, Jetway Confidential, the band mightily wields their highly honed brand of Lukumi (Afro-Cuban) meets "post-avant-garde-and-everything-else" mojo. Featuring 23 musicians working under the leadership of drummer/percussionist Kevin Diehl, SLF has expanded its sound and concept even further here. Coming on the heels of 2011's well-received document, Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray, this new album reveals influences as far afield as Sun Ra, Morton Feldman, Tata Guines, Lasaro Ros, Jackie McLean, Miles Davis, and the David Lean film Bridge Over the River Kwai. The title track is a large-ensemble piece originally commissioned by innovative Philadephia presenter, Ars Nova Workshop, for performance at the Institute of Contemporary Art to coincide with the 2009 exhibit, Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago's Afro-Futurist Underground. –High Two

HT027 - SONIC LIBERATION FRONT with SUNNY MURRAY
x............Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray

ht027

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1. Init
2. Knowledge of the Sun
3. Meaningless Kisses
4. Cosa de Grupo
5. Ochun Libre

6. Some Other Times
7. Nomingo
8. Under the Wave of Kanagawa

Tracks 1-5 Recorded in 2008 bu Jim Hamilton, Rittenhouse Recording
Tracks 6-8 Recorded live in 2002


Sunny Murray – drumkit
Kevin Diehl – drumkit, bata
Chuck Joseph– bata
Terry Lawson – tenor saxophone
Matt Engle - bass
Todd Margasak - cornet
and 7 additional musicians

Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray is the culmination of a 25-year friendship and musical relationshup between SLF's Kevin Diehl and Sunny Murray. After the release of SLF's debut album, Water and Stone, Sunny Murray engaged the band for a series of collaborative concerts, including a 2002 appearance at the Vision Festival. The circulation of recordings from these concerts among fans enticed Murray and SLF to head into the studio together for the first time in 2008. Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray features those studio recordings plus bonus recordings of Murray's appearance with SLF in Philadelphia in 2002.

Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray features three of Murray's classic compositions ("Meaningless Kisses", "Nomingo", "Some Other Times") as well as some new and re-worked material from SLF.

“I had an image in my mind as to how things would play out,” says Diehl. “But as is normal with Sunny Murray, it ends up being something else. I envisioned Murray playing freely over the folkloric bata rhythms. But I found myself playing freely over the bata rhythms, and Murray tapping into something more fundamental. Something which actually permeates his approach to his music -- his Native American heritage. Murray plays rhythmically with the bata. He does so using a Native American approach to pulse. It then tied in what I heard with early Albert Ayler recordings where Murray's vocal chanting is as much as part of the experience as the drumming.”

It is not only the folk-melody content where parallels are drawn, but also in the authenticity of feel, in the life-force that is present in both ancient and to the future forms.

"a wild joy… it’s tempting to think that the kind of sound Coltrane had in mind wouldn’t have been very different from what Murray recorded over three and a half decades later with Sonic Liberation Front." - Dan Warburton, The Wire


HT019 - SHOT x SHOT x. . Let Nature Square
ht019

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1. Scans
2. "Triple Double "mp3
3. Overlay
4. Oh No
5. Autobonsai

All songs written by Shot × Shot
Recorded by Eugene Lew
Mastered by Colin Marston
Artwork and design by Mark Price


Dan Capecchi – drums
Matt Engle – bass
Bryan Rogers – tenor saxophone
Dan Scofield – alto saxophone

Let Nature Square is the first studio album from Philadelphia acoustic jazz group Shot × Shot. The quartet’s self-titled live album, was heralded as one 2006’s best debuts by a jazz band by the Village Voice, Chicago Reader, and other outlets. Critic Francis Davis said “It’s been ages since I’ve heard a debut recording this adventurous and assured”and the album received praised in the pages of Downbeat, The Wire, Signal to Noise, All About Jazz–NY, and other publications.

Let Nature Square is a giant leap forward for the band. The album documents the evolution of young players growing into their own individually and stretching the boundaries of a collaborative relationship. The music of Shot × Shot has always been nuanced and innovative, but now it has earned the distinction of being truly extraordinary.

"[Shot x Shot's] two-reed front line is elastic enough to wax both pissed and pastoral without seeming bipolar... [on] Let Nature Square the playing is individual enough and charged enough to squash any echoes.." -Jim Macnie, Village Voice

"Let Nature Square ... captures a truly collective unit, much matured and obviously at ease with following one another's ideas to the furthest." - Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper

HT014 - HIS NAME IS ALIVE. ..Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown
ht014

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1. "Sweet Earth Flying"mp3
2. Juba Lee
3. Capricorn Moon (live)
4. November Cotton Flower
5. Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim
6. Geechee Recollections (I)
7. Geechee Recollections (II)
8. Sweet Earth Flying (live)

All songs written by Marion Brown (Nia Music, BMI)
except "Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim" written by Harold Budd
Produced by Warn Defever at Brown Rice Studio
Live tracks recorded November 2004 at
University of Michigan Museum of Art

Performed by:
Warn Defever - guitar, piano
Elliot Bergman - tenor saxophone, Rhodes
Jamie Saltsman - double bass
Justin Walter - trumpet
Jamie Easter - percussion
Dan Piccolo - drums, percussion
Michael Herbst - alto saxophone
Erik Hall - electric piano
Olman Piedra - congas, cajon

Originally conceived only as a single concert at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2004, His Name is Alive began recording Sweet Earth Flower shortly after that very successful evening. Although the connection between His Name is Alive and Marion Brown may not be obvious to some of the younger students, this album is truly a very special release in either artist's varied catalog.

His Name is Alive is probably best known for having been one of the few American bands signed to famed British label 4AD. HNIA’s sonic experiments in electro, folk, blues, r & b, pop, and indie, have left fans always guessing what direction the band will turn next. Their most popular recording was a song (recorded on a four-track cassette recorder) that was used on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire film, others may recognize the band from its collaborations with legendary animators, The Brothers Quay. HNIA has chosen to honor the music of Marion Brown (1935- ), saxophonist, composer and one of the great innovators of New Music. His body of work includes Geechee Recollections - a blending of childhood experiences in Georgia with traditional Gullah culture – to Bismallahi, a lyrical performance with composer Harold Budd, produced by Brian Eno. Although Brown appeared on John Coltrane's Ascension album, performed alongside Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp and recorded his albums for IMPULSE!, ECM, Black Lion, and ESP, he remains largely an unsung hero of improvised music and avant-garde jazz.

On Sweet Earth Flower, His Name is Alive collaborates with members of Nomo and Antibalas; the album contains both studio and live recordings. Marion Brown has given the project his blessing. "I thought we should do it while he is alive. We've talked quite a bit about the project and he's supported us all the way. His encouragement and insight has been incredible," says His Name is Alive's mainman Warn Defever.

"It's beautiful. Thank you. You really understand me." -Marion Brown

HT009 - SONIC LIBERATION FRONT. ..Change Over Time


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1. The Next Thing that Happens mp3
2. D’Accord, Baby
3. Dominical
4. First Rain
5. Omio
6.Glass Eyes
7. Ouaga to Bobo
8. Change Over Time

Kevin Diehl – drums, Yoruba -Cuban percussion, electronica
Chuckie Joseph – drums, Yoruba -Cuban percussion, vocals, guitar
Julian Pressly – saxophone
Dan Scofield – saxophone
Matt Engle – bass
Rich Robinson  – Yoruba -Cuban percussion
Ira Bond  – Yoruba -Cuban percussionYoruba -Cuban percussion
Bart Miltenberger - trumpet

Sonic Liberation Front is a band without peers. The amorphous Philadelphia unit has essentially created its own genre in its evolution as a band. Combining free jazz with Afro-Cuban percussion and modern electronics, Sonic Liberation Front has forged an incredible sound assemblage – one that has sailed to new levels on Change Over Time.

While others simply talk of combining the ancient with the futuristic, SLF have done so. More than any other band on the scene today, SLF is continuing on the paths of Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Art Ensemble of Chicago – new dimensions of folk art forms for tomorrow.

After previous collaborations with such luminary jazz artists as Sunny Murray, Andy Gonzales, and Badal Roy, SLF recruited veteran saxophonist Julian Pressley (sideman for Illinois Jacquet and Odean Pope) into the fold for Change Over Time. Pressley’s contributions to the musical direction of Kevin Diehl (a student of Murray) and Chuckie Joseph (a Yoruban cultural scholar) gives the new version of SLF an incredibly authentic center that the ensemble builds on throughout Change Over Time’s eight diverse compositions.

HT008 - DAVE BURRELL. ..Momentum


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1. Downfall
2. Broken Promise mp3
3. Fade to Black
4. 4:30 to Atlanta
5. Cool Reception
6. Momentum
7. Coup d'Etat

Dave Burrell – piano
Michael Formanek – bass
Guillermo E. Brown – drums

Recorded by Jon Rosenberg at Systems Two, Brooklyn (November 2005)
Mixed by Eugene Lew with Mark Christman at Equalloudness, Philadelphia (April 2006)

Photography by Shawn Brackbill
Design by Steven O'Malley

Dave Burrell has long been recognized as an important pianist among the most astute jazz fans. Best known for his contributions to the music of Archie Shepp, David Murray, Pharaoh Sanders, and others, Burrell has finally positioned himself as one of the pre-eminent bandleaders in jazz. After a long hiatus from recording, Dave Burrell returned in 2004 with the album Expansion (High Two). His new trio recording, Momentum, is his best and most assured album to date.

Fronting a new trio, featuring bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Guillermo E. Brown, Burrell shows a brave and complex new vision for jazz – one that respects precedents while forging a new path, all without falling into the traps of wandering improvisation. While Formanek and Brown lay the foundation, the pianist boldly roams in and out of the structure of his compositions, elegantly improvising on the songs’ motifs. Momentum is a lesson in both vigor and restraint – a captivating achievement that is certain to impress and attract.

HT007 - SHOT x SHOT. ..Shot x Shot



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1. Bee Assassins (D. Capecchi) 11:43
2. One Point Three Full Breaths (D. Capecchi) 11:53
3. Two Improvisations (SHOT x SHOT) 10:02
4. Volzalisle (D. Scofield) 10:14

5. Chains of Agree (M. Engle) 13:02

Dan Capecchi – drums
Matt Engle – bass
Bryan Rogers – tenor saxophone
Dan Scofield – alto saxophone

Recorded live at St. Mary's Church, Philadelphia, PA. May 22, 2005.

Mastered by Chris Flam at Mindswerve Studios, NYC.

Shot × Shot is an improvisational acoustic quartet performing original compositions steeped in jazz tradition, but with experimental sensibilities. Formed in 2003, while the members were students at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has quickly established itself as one of the most groundbreaking bands in one of jazz’s most important cities. On its self-titled debut, the group showcases its compositional dynamism and transcendental vibrancy creating a unique balanced sound that is often missing in improvisational jazz.

Fellow Philadelphian, jazz critic and author Francis Davis hears the band’s vitality. “Something fresh and exciting is unfolding in jazz, and these talented young Philadelphians are doing their part to speed it along,” writes Davis. “It’s been ages since I’ve heard a debut recording this adventurous and assured.” Usually in jazz, youth is seen as a liability, but for Shot × Shot the opposite is true. Having been exposed to and performed all sorts of eclectic music, Shot × Shot infuse their music with diverse modern influences and a daring spirit, creating an experimental mix of sounds and structures.

Shot × Shot is reminiscent of Human Feel, the band that launched the careers of Chris Speed, Jim Black, Andrew d’Angelo, and Kurt Rosenwinkel when they were music students in Boston. Similarly, Shot × Shot unites unique voices who are poised to be important musicians individually and collectively.

HT002 - SONIC LIBERATION FRONT ..Ashé A Go-Go
 

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1. ashé a go-go
2. pow!

3. the sirens
4. init
5. agua dulce
6. seize the time
7. gema oculta

All compositions by Kevin Diehl, except #1 by Kevin Diehl and traditional. #3 by Adam Jenkins. #5 by Chuckie Joseph with traditional lyrics arranged by Chuckie Joseph.
C+P 2004 High Two

Kevin Diehl - itotele, electronics, drumkit, chekere, chawaro, clave, palitos
Chuckie Joseph - iya, vocals, guitar, congas, bell, okonkolo, itotele, quinto
Julio Berrios - okonkolo, congas
Andy Gonzalez - bass
Terry Lawson - tenor saxophone

Dan Scofield - alto saxophone
Adam Jenkins - alto saxophone
Kimbal Brown - trumpet
Madison Rast - bass
Venissa Santi - chorus
Fabunmi - chorus

Photography by John Hubbard
Art Direction and Design by Eye Dog Creative & Tracey Diehl

Sonic Liberation Front is a band caught between worlds. Known for its iconoclastic combination of free-jazz passion and Afro-Cuban percussion excitement, the amorphous Philadelphia unit practically invents a new genre with each composition. Featuring a deeply talented pool of musicians trained in a variety of idioms gives the band the to ability incorporate so many genres while maintaining an authenticity.

Led by percussionist Kevin Diehl, a protégé of free-jazz pioneer Sunny Murray, SLF connects his training in the post-bop tradition to his dedicated study of traditional Afro-Cuban Yoruba roots music that informs SLF’s colorful sound. Ambient electronics, innovative production techniques, and soulful vocals subtly embellish the compositions, carefully contextualizing the ancient traditional music into a new brilliant entity.

While other musicians have incorporated bata drumming into jazz, none have done it with the vigor or passion of SLF. The band members are true students of the Lukumi tradition under the guidance of percussionist/omo aña Chuckie Joseph, a Yoruba cultural scholar. It has been said a million times that all music has its source in West Africa - by returning the focus to its origins, SLF achieves a natural eclectism that serves as a fountain of ingenuity. Ancient to the future indeed.

HT001 - DAVE BURRELL FULL-BLOWN TRIO ..Expansion
 

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1. Expansion
2. Double Heartbeat
3. Cryin' Out Loud

4. They Say It's Wonderful
5. About Face

6. In the Balance
7. Coup d'Etat

All compositions by Dave Burrell, except #4 by Irving Berlin, arranged by Dave Burrell
C+P 2004 High Two

Dave Burrell — piano
Andrew Cyrille — drums
William Parker — bass, kora


Produced by Daniel Piotrowski with Dave Burrell and Mark Christman
Recorded by John Rosenberg at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 2003
Mastered by Flam at Mindswerve Studios, New York, NY, Jan. 2004
Session photographs by Shawn Brackbill
Cover panel photographs from the “West Philadelphia Suite” by Don Camp
Design by Mariana Reynolds

"My greatest recorded work." - Dave Burrell

Recorded during a one-day session in December 2003, Expansion captures the tectonic force realized by the trio on their just concluded Autumn 2003 tour, but also exposes the introspective sides of the musicians. Featuring a variety of pieces (the band locks into a tight 13/8 time as well as it goes free), Expansion highlights Burrell's iconoclastic composition style as well as his sensibility for the entire history of jazz.

Burrell penned six new pieces for the session that represent a broad approach to jazz composition. His dynamic range has resulted in a multi-faceted album that showcases his vast skill and style through its many moods and motifs. The brilliance of the recording isn't just the variety, but how his kinship with Parker and Cyrille creates a seamless piece of art across the seven tracks.

Featuring photography by Don Camp (a Guggenheim, NEA and Pew fellow) and Shawn Brackbill (JazzTimes, Dischord Records) presented in an elaborate metallic ink printing, Expansion is the presentation of Burrell's work that his many fans have long awaited.


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