CALIFORNIA TOUR DATES for...
Barbara Sfraga & Center Search Quest: The Timelessness Project
World Jazz with a Twist
Voicist Barbara Sfraga
Keyboardist/Pianist/Vocalist Mala Waldron
Bass Artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan
Soundrhythium/Vocalist Michael T.A. Thompson
@ La Ve Lee
12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA
Thursday, July 12th
Sets: 8:30 PM & 10:30 PM
@ KRML's Jazz & Blues Company
The Eastwood Building, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Saturday, July 14th
7:30 PM Tickets: $40.
Rosalie and Alva Performance Gallery
1417 W. 8th Street , San Pedro, CA
Sunday, July 15th
Barbara Sfraga & Center Search Quest: The Timelessness Project, featuring Voicist Barbara Sfraga, Keyboardist/Pianist/Vocalist Mala Waldron, Bass Artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan and Soundrhythium/ Vocalist Michael T.A. Thompson, will be touring California July 12th (La Ve Lee, Studio City), July 14th (KRML's Jazz & Blues Company) and July 15th (Rosalie and Alva Performance Gallery, San Pedro, CA) in support of their latest recording, Timelessness Frozen in Time.
HOW IT ALL CAME TOGETHER...
Described as consistently inventive (Billboard), a master of bold interpretation (Jazz Times), jazz singing at its cutting edge best (LA Times), Barbara Sfraga has been on a musical journey that evolved from church organist to voicist.
In 1989, bass artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan met kindred spirit soundrhythium Michael T.A. Thompson and collaborated to form Center Search Quest, offering some of the most fun, unbridled jazz you'll ever hear. Center Search Quest is just that: a search for the center of sound and vibration. This ensemble taps into each other's spirit in such a way that their improvisations become spontaneous compositions. When they ultimately fall into a tune, it's a purely organic occurrence. All walls are down, everything is up for grabs and anything can happen.
Barbara stepped into the Quest in 2002, after hearing Chris and T.A. perform at Harlem's Lenox Lounge Monday night sessions. Barbara instantly knew she had found her kindred sprits, and the three embarked on yet another odyssey. Throughout the course of the next 2 years they collaborated (bassdrums'n'voicethang), performing some of Barbara's originals as well as their unconventional arrangements of jazz and pop standards. During that time, T.A. made a comment to Barbara that what she needed to do next, was an all-original project.Although she had a few of her originals sprinkled throughout her previous two recordings (Oh, What a Thrill, Naxos Jazz and Under the Moon, A440 Music Group) she was more known for her unconventional twists on jazz and pop standards (pops-terdizing jazz and jazz- terdizing pop...)
In 2003, T.A. and triple threat pianist/vocalist/songwriter Mala Waldron began a writing collaboration. Both had been writing for their own projects, and after being commissioned to write material for another musician, they realized they had a distinct writing chemistry and decided to expand that toward writing for other artists. Shortly thereafter, they surprised Barbara with material they had written expressly for her, with the invitation to write lyrics to any of the tunes she resonated with. That gift put this present journey into motion. Soon after, the unit began regularly writing together toward what would become The Timelessness Project. Mala Waldron (who has her own ensemble: The Mala Waldron Group) officially joined the unit in the summer of 2004. Her much awaited first U.S. recording Always There features nine of Mala's originals and was released in 2006 to (critical acclaim).
Multi-reedist Allen Won came on board shortly after that. A master of jazz and classical genres, Allen taps into the core of the music, adapting to each situation in a very personal way. This is what Barbara and T.A. heard when they happened upon Allen at a festival where they were all performing. T.A. suddenly realized he worked with Allen some time back and it all made sense. They then knew he was that missing piece of the puzzle - the perfect fit. This all unfolded so organically, which also describes the effortless way the music, evolves. Allen is also a gifted composer who leads his own group, and released his debut CD: The Jewel in the Lotus in 2004.
In this unique and diverse collaboration, The Timelessness Project is genre-bending its way to a whole new sound. With roots firmly planted in jazz and with the improvisational element always in place, the ensemble is on a quest to leave no groove unturned. All five musicians lend their creative -- as well as their physical -- voices to this project in three part harmony, with a little spoken word thrown into the pot. It's music without borders. Timelessness Frozen in Time (SyncTimiCity Productions STC 2602) features mostly their original material. They sprinkle their live performances with a few boldly arranged, yet familiar surprises.
...these jazzicists are a cohesive group, both in terms of their own interplay and the ease in which they incorporate soul, funk, rap and adventurous modern jazz into the mix...the whole set has a soaring energy that is in keeping with its positive message music slant. ~ JAZZIZ MAGAZINE
Bottom line: few fusion groups can compete with such jazz-oriented diversity. ~ JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE
...taking on the guise, the trappings, of a pop music approach, but with the sensibility of jazz artistry. And I think that that's something that is gonna make this album one of my favorites as the year winds down. ~ Neil Tesser, LISTEN HERE! RADIO (www.listenhereradio.com)
Cutting edge from start to finish, even when tackling some well known funk, this set of mostly group written originals succeeds in pushing the envelope in the tradition of the best progressive jazz in contemporary times no matter what freak flag it flies under. Anyone who's dug progressive jazz in the past has something new to look forward to. ~ MIDWEST RECORD RECAP
This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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