New York bassist Reuben Radding who made a critical splash in 2003 with the gorgeous and haunting Luminesence, on AUM Fidelity (a collection of duets with altoist Daniel Carter), is back with a new CD, The Branch Will Not Break (UMR030), with Carrie Shull on oboe and English horn, and violist Tara Flandreau, now available on Umbrella Recordings. This collection of eleven chamber improvisations is stunningly evocative, and inventive, inhabiting a unique space somewhere between contemporary classical music and free jazz. The album was recorded on a single evening in 2004 at Radding's own Studio STATS, in Brooklyn, NY.
This group is all about imagery," Radding explains. From the first notes we played together we had this inherent tendency to illustrate, and our sound was so full of subtleties that it immediately sounded like more than three instruments. Our becoming a group was a lucky accident, (we all live in different cities) but it makes so much sense to me now. The instrumentation might seem odd, or shall we say unique, but the amount of overlap as well as difference in our tambers makes for quite the range of color and shade." With oboist Shull residing in Durham, North Carolina and violist Flandreau based in the Bay Area, the level of cooperation in the group is not only musical, but geographical. The recording occured because Tara was in New York doing PhD work, and Carrie was coming up to visit friends, and I had discussed the idea of recording with each, but," Radding says, I had a brainstorm and thought it'd be a better idea to get all three of us together." Shull and Flandreau had never met, though each had worked previously with guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. Shull also plays in the Micro East Collective and Pulsoptional, and Flandreau has gigged with Joelle Leandre, ROVA Sax Quartet, and Peter Kowald.
All About Jazz's Terrell Holmes writes: This splendid trio are like a collective Jackson Pollock, working on a canvas that barely contains the energy of their ideas."
Radding was born in Washington DC to a family of classical musicians, and relocated to New York City in 1988 where he studied contrabass technique with Mark Dresser and quickly became a busy stalwart of the Downtown scene. His powerful sound and sensitive listening has contributed to countless ensembles ranging from Jazz, to Classical, as well as ethnic genres, and he has been featured on over 30 recordings on labels such as Leo Records, AUM Fidelity, Tzadik, and Knitting Factory Works, and has performed or recorded with John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Stuart Dempster, Robert Dick, Saadet Turkoz, Wally Shoup, Wolfgang Fuchs, John Oswald, Dylan VanDerSchyff, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Ned Rothenberg, Scott Rosenberg, Anthony Coleman, Nate Wooley, Butch Morris, and many others. At Studio STATS in Brooklyn he has engineered recordings for Stephen Gauci, Michael Bisio, Trevor Dunn and Shelley Burgon, among others.