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StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Introducing Battle Trance


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Today, let's take a look at some videos featuring performances from Battle Trance, who will be coming to St. Louis to play a concert presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, December 2 at The Luminary.

One could think of them as a saxophone quartet, but with a twist, as all four members- founder and leader Travis Laplante, Patrick Breiner, Matt Nelson and Jeremy Viner- play tenor sax, with no doubles on any other instruments.

This isn't entirely unprecedented- jazz history buffs may recall that back in the late 1940s, Woody Herman's “Second Herd" featured tenor saxophonists Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Herb Stewart and Jimmy Giuffre as the “Four Brothers"- but Battle Trance is making a very different type of sound, one that PopMatters has identified as “existing in the cracks between contemporary classical music, avant-garde jazz, black metal, ambient, and world music."

Formed in 2014, they've released two recordings, their debut Palace of Wind, and last year's Blade of Love. You can see them performing music from both albums in today's compilation of videos, starting up above with a segment of the album-length composition that makes up Palace of Wind, recorded in June 2015 at the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Brattleboro, VT.

After the jump, there are four short clips, ranging from under 2 to 10 minutes, excerpting shows from 2015 and '16 in Detroit; Silver Spring, MD; Brighton, MA, and NYC.

The last two videos both were recorded in January of this year at the Vandoren Studio in Los Angeles, CA, and feature a “live in the studio" performance of the first section of Blade of Love, and an interview with the group.

For more about Battle Trance, read's review of Palace of Wind, and's October 2016 feature story about them.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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