Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrate the Extra-SuperMoon with "Manhattan Moonrise" by The Microscopic Septet

close encounters of the moonlit kind

on August 10, 2014
the Extra-SuperMoon arrives
the largest and brightest full moon of the year
a perigee full moon, to astros aware of
when moon and earth closely align

when to best see it?
National Geographic says "just after your local sunset on Sunday, just as the full moon begins to rise"

and how best to see it?
with a soundtrack from Cuneiform: "Manhattan Moonrise," from the Microscoscopic Septet's new album of the same name,

streaming FREE for Extra SuperMoon Weekend only

so, celebrate this astronomically special and truly August event with Manhattan Moonrise in your ears, and super-moonlight in your eyes.




"Manhattan Moonrise" by The Micros will leave you starry eyed

WHAT in the heavens is an EXTRA-SUPERMOON?

National Geographic: "Sky-watchers gazing at the full moon rising on the evening of Sunday, August 10, will be treated to the largest and brightest full moon of the year—also known as an extra-supermoon."

EarthSky: "This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2014."

ABC News: "Sky observers in the Northern Hemisphere will get a special treat this Sunday as a “super moon” and meteor showers are expected to happen at the same time."




We asked the Micros co-leader,  Joel Forrester, “What does the title “Manhattan Moonrise” mean to you?.  Here’s what he said:
"The title evokes the moment when nighttime in New York struggles to come to life.  The Micros---no matter where we play, let alone where we live, these days---has always been a New York band.  We bring The City to our music:  this amounts to a form of high lunacy."


The Microscopic Septet, NYC’s Fave Purveyors of Swing,
Roar Back into the Limelight with
Manhattan Moonrise,
an Album of 21st Century Tunes Dedicated to their Beloved Manhattan

"Let's Coolerate One" (mp3 download)
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Release Date: 5/27/2014 - Genre: Jazz
Format: CD / Digital Download

Track Listing
1. When You Get In Over Your Head (3:50)
2. No Time (5:51)
3. Manhattan Moonrise (8:15)
4. Obeying the Chemicals (3:22)
5. A Snapshot Of the Soul (4:13)
6. Star Turn (5:13)
7. Hang It On a Line (5:49)
8. Let's Coolerate One (5:13)
9. Suspended Animation (5:02)
10. Blue (4:14)
11. You Got That Right! (4:57)
12. Occupy Your Life (5:15)

The Microscopic Septet is
Phillip Johnston: soprano saxophone
Don Davis: alto saxophone
Mike Hashim: tenor saxophone
Dave Sewelson: baritone saxophone
Joel Forrester: piano
Dave Hofstra: bass
Richard Dworkin: drums

Music lovers and romantics entranced with New York City’s jazz life, take note: The Microscopic Septet are back in the jazz spotlight, disproving F. Scott Fitzgerald’s comment that there are no second acts in American lives. Since roaring back into action in 2006 after a 14-year hiatus, the indefatigably creative ensemble has continued to evolve, burnishing and extending a well-earned reputation as one of the most consistently inventive jazz bands of the 1980s and 2000s/2010s. Reverently irreverent, insistently playful, unfussily virtuosic and unapologetically swinging, the band offers further evidence of its resurgence with Manhattan Moonrise, the Micros’ first project with newly composed originals in 25 years.

With co-founders pianist Joel Forrester and soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston crafting all the album’s compositions and arrangements the band plays with the loose-limbed precision of a dance orchestra in the midst of a six-month tour. The strength of the Micros flows from the old-school virtue of consistency. Along with the co-founders, the seven-piece ensemble features largely the same cast of improvisers with which it emerged from Manhattan’s wild and wooly Downtown scene in 1980. Drummer Richard Dworkin, baritone saxophonist David Sewelson, bassist David Hofstra, and altoist Don Davis (who replaced John Zorn in 1981) have all been along for almost the entire Microscopic journey, while tenor saxophonist Mike Hashim joined the fold in 2006.

Manhattan Moonrise touches on the band’s entire three and half decade history, with several previously unrecorded tunes from the Micros’ early years, like Forrester’s lushly orchestrated “No Time,” which sounds like a catchy back page from Cedar Walton’s songbook. Johnston’s brief but scorching “Obeying The Chemicals” is another early piece, a deliciously telegraphic booting barrelhouse romp. And then there’s the new work, like Forrester’s episodic Beethoven-inflected closer “Occupy Your Life.”

Whatever the music’s vintage, it shares the unmistakable Micro stamp, a convivial marriage of ingenious craftsmanship and extroverted improvisation. If the band has a patron saint, it’s clearly Thelonious Sphere Monk, whose presence is manifest in the Micros’ cagey humor, harmonic syntax and hurtling rhythms. In much the same way that Monk’s music existed apart from contemporaneous bebop, drawing directly on Ellington and Harlem stride piano while inhabiting its own avant-garde zone, the Micros are avid students of jazz history but unburdened by revivalist notions.

“I've always considered that the Microscopic Septet presents an outward show of being a ‘revival’ outfit,” Forrester says. “But what we attempt to revive...never existed. A revival of the future, then?”

The future has never sounded so hip.




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