***Note – special time and location: 9pm at Black Squirrel Books (1073 Bank)***
Two Hours Early, Ten Minutes Late
Jason Robinson – saxophone
Eric Hofbauer – guitar
Emily Denison – trumpet
Daniel Kruger – guitar
Joe Sorbara – drums
March 2018 will see a vanload of adventurous musicians from both sides of the 49th parallel travel from Montréal through Southern Ontario in celebration of the late guitarist Ken Aldcroft, a long time leading figure in Canada’s creative music community.
A celebrated international figure in American jazz and experimental music (“rugged and scintillating,” New York Times), Jason Robinson has teamed with acclaimed guitarist Eric Hofbauer (“a significant force in Boston’s improvised-music scene,” Stereophile) to perform and record a collection of sophisticated and virtuosic original music for guitar and tenor saxophone that Aldcroft and Robinson worked closely to develop through numerous performances over seven years throughout Canada and the U.S. “Two Hours Early, Ten Minutes Late,” a title drawn from an Aldcroft composition, is a celebration of Aldcroft’s music for saxophone and guitar and a culmination of the project the two began together.
Riding shotgun is Canadian trio, Mars People—which also draws its name from an Aldcroft composition. Trumpeter Emily Denison, acoustic guitarist Daniel Kruger, and drummer Joe Sorbara—all long-time Aldcroft friends and collaborators—will perform “Music By & For Ken Aldcroft” as an extension of an ongoing series in celebration of Ken’s life and music that takes place monthly at The TRANZAC, the de facto home for Toronto’s creative music scene for many years.
Of course, once five creative souls begin talking about spending time together, those souls can hardly resist imagining the possibilities inherent in making music as a quintet. We all look forward to hearing where that journey will take us as well.
About Jason Robinson
The music of American saxophonist and composer Jason Robinson thrives among the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic and electronic, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz—bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde—with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music, and electronic music.
Robinson’s primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer George Schuller, to the full eleven-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, trombonist Michael Dessen, reed player Oscar Noriega, and drummer Ches Smith. The group’s latest release, Resonant Geographies (pfMENTUM, March 2018), is an album-length meditation on the relationship between places, memory, and community. The group’s previous release, Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012), was supported by a tour of the US Northeast and Canada in February 2014.
Robinson has released 15 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. He performs regularly as a soloist (acoustically and with electronics), with the Janus Ensemble, and in a variety of collaborative contexts. He has performed at festivals and prominent venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and throughout Europe and/or recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Drew Gress, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, John Russell, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Kei Akagi, Mel Graves, Liberty Ellman, Babatunde Lea, Mel Martin, Marco Eneidi, Lisle Ellis, Raphe Malik, Mike Wofford, Philip Gelb, JD Parran, Dana Reason, David Borgo, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (at Pearl’s, San Francisco), the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (UCSD), and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others.
As a scholar, Robinson’s work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation. Robinson is Associate Professor of Music at Amherst College.
–Don Heckman, Los Angeles Time
“[A] potent improviser.”
–Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes Magazine
“[R]ugged and scintillating.”
–Nate Chinen, New York Times
“[O]ne of the most respected soloists and bandleaders in jazz’s experimental wing.”
–Ron Wynn, JazzTimes Magazine
“Robinson’s compositions manage to draw a straight line through bop, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy straight into the modern day with acute-angle swing, blues bluster and memorable themes that seem to scratch at the back of the mind with familiarity without resorting to quotation or imitation.”
–Shaun Brady, DownBeat Magazine
About Eric Hofbauer
“Eric Hofbauer has become a significant force in Boston’s improvised-music scene,” declares Stereophile’s David R. Adler. “His aesthetic evokes old blues, Americana, Tin Pan Alley, bebop, and further frontiers. There’s a rule-breaking spirit but also an impeccable rigor, a foundation of sheer chops and knowledge, that put Hofbauer in the top tier of guitarists,” he writes.
Hofbauer has been an integral member of Boston’s jazz scene as a musician, bandleader, organizer and educator for the past twenty years. He has performed and recorded alongside such notable collaborators as Han Bennink, Roy Campbell, Jr., John Tchicai, Garrison Fewell, Cecil McBee, George Garzone, Sean Jones, John Fedchock, Steve Swell and Matt Wilson.
Hofbauer, recently recognized in the 2017 DownBeat Critics’ Poll for Rising Star – Guitar, is perhaps best known for his solo guitar work featured in a trilogy of solo guitar recordings (American Vanity, American Fear and American Grace). Of the trilogy, Andrew Gilbert of The Boston Globe writes, “No other guitarist in jazz has developed a solo approach as rigorous, evocative, and thoughtful as Hofbauer. His most recent solo release Ghost Frets, was described by Chris Haines of The Free Jazz Collective “as a real testament to Hofbauer’s musical style and vision…The playing is virtuosic throughout providing a real master class in creative solo performance.” Ghost Frets is a tribute to Hofbauer’s departed friend and frequent collaborator, Garrison Fewell, and features several Fewell compositions as well as pieces by diverse artists including Eric Dolphy, George Harrison, and the Psychedelic Furs!
Hofbauer has earned critical acclaim for his work in a variety of musical projects, including recordings with the Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Orchestra, The Pablo Ablanedo Octet(o), Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorer’s Club, and The Blueprint Project with Han Bennink among others. His primary ensemble is the Eric Hofbauer Quintet. The EHQ performs Hofbauer’s jazz arrangements of groundbreaking 20th century pieces which he describes as “prehistoric jazz.” These arrangements celebrate the common ground between modern jazz and the works of Stravinsky, Messiaen, Ellington, and Ives by using the shared rhythmic and harmonic concepts of the 20th century modernists as a bridge to postmodern jazz improvisation. In November of 2014 the EHQ recordings Prehistoric Jazz Volume 1 (The Rite of Spring) and Volume 2 (Quartet for The End of Time) were featured on NPR’s Fresh Air by noted jazz writer Kevin Whitehead. The 2016 release Prehistoric Jazz Volume 3 (Three Places in New England) was on the Boston Globe’s Top 10 Jazz Album list as well as receiving critical acclaim from Downbeat, The Wire, Tone Audio and other press.
Hofbauer received a Master’s degree from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory. He directs the big band and combos at Clark University, where he also teaches jazz theory and history. Hofbauer lectures on jazz history at Emerson College, and has for the past 19 years. He has also been visiting professor at Wellesley College and the University of Rhode Island. In 2009, he was honored with the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Music Composition.
About Emily Denison
Emily Denison is a trumpeter, composer, improviser, and bandleader. She is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance with honours. She has been and can be heard in Ken Aldcroft’s Convergence Ensemble, the Nick Fraser New Quartet, Luscar, and the uniquely exuberant quartet, Bellwether4. Her most recent projects include a foray into solo trumpet playing, with a debut cassette entitled Kindred released under the HAVN record label in November 2016. Emily’s past projects as a leader include Really Great Songs, the trio Denison, Ballyk, Davis, and a summer 2016 cross-Canada tour with Emily, Anthony, and Friends. She can be heard on the University of Toronto 12tet’s albums Rebirth and Trillium Falls, and self-titled albums from the ensembles Congruence and Bellwether4.
About Daniel Kruger
Daniel Kruger is a Montréal-based improvising guitarist, producer, composer, and music therapist whose exploration of the percussive and textural possibilities of the acoustic guitar shine brightest among his diverse musical curiosities and abilities. Daniel has spent time studying jazz and improvised music at the University of Guelph with Ken Aldcroft, percussion and highlife music at the University of Ghana with Eric Sunu Doe, and most recently music therapy at Concordia University.
In 2012, Daniel formed Manatee, a 12-piece improvising ensemble that plays a uniquely interactive improvised dance music that is emphatically open to the influence of audiences who are encouraged to perform movements and gestures to communicate musical ideas with the band during their performances. Manatee released the audio/video recording Look the Other Way in 2015. In addition to Manatee and the modern jazz quartet, Masques, Kruger plays in a duo project with alto saxophonist Jake Parker Scott. Their debut recording Why Did We Build This Shelter? was also released in 2015.
Daniel currently works with street-involved youth, adults with substance addictions, children struggling with mental health, and adolescents with special needs as a music therapist and is in the process of completing a Master’s degree on the history of music therapy in Canada.
About Joe Sorbara
Joe Sorbara is a highly inventive drummer and percussionist with a penchant for coaxing music out of practically anything. Joe’s drum kit is regularly augmented with found and prepared materials which ensure that the sounds at his ready disposal are practically orchestral in scope. He combines these skills with an extraordinary time-feel that makes him one of the most swinging drummers in Canada when the music demands it of him. He is equally at home playing jazz, free improvised music, punk rock, and chamber music; but prefers to play them all at the same time.
Sorbara has developed a reputation as a diverse and musical presence on Toronto’s growing creative improvised music scene as a performer as well as a composer, improviser, organizer, and educator. Joe’s own projects all serve as uniquely challenging outlets for his inventive compositions and ideas. He leads The Imperative, a trio featuring Jay Hay and Karen Ng on tenor saxophones, and two large ensembles: the ten-piece Abakos and a ‘seven-or-more-tet’ known as Other Foot First. Elsewhere, Joe plays in a trio with Anthony Argatoff and Andrew Furlong known as My Misshapen Ear; in The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble with Germaine Liu, Mark Zurawinski, and other adventurers; in Swamp People, a quartet exploring the music of Jimmy Giuffre with Michael Davidson, Andrew Furlong, and Jay Hay; in Mars People, a trio playing music by and for Ken Aldcroft with Emily Denison and Daniel Kruger; in the Ken Aldcroft Convergence Ensemble, in an improvising duo with Paul Dutton; in Jay Hay’s Interstellar Orchestra; in a trio with Bill Gilliam and Glen Hall; and in numerous ongoing and ad hoc collaborations with creative improvising musicians from all over. He also plays frequently with Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People. He has been involved in the Remnants Trio with Ken Aldcroft and Evan Shaw, a sound and movement project with corporeal mime Julie Lassonde, Emilio Guim’s Lullaby North, a duo project with poet Angela Rawlings, Ronda Rindone’s Quorum, singer-songwriter Anna Siddall, the collaborative trio Squash Recipe with Tom Arthurs and Bruce MacKinnon, and Glen Hall’s Trio Muo.
Sorbara’s music can be heard most recently on the eponymous trio recording, The Imperative (2017, Oval Window Records)━a tribute to the life, music, and writing of Sun Ra━featuring saxophonists Jay Hay and Karen Ng. 2017 also saw the release of A Circle Request, a commission/collaboration with Mark Alberts of Electric Square, a visual effects and animation house in Sorbara’s west Toronto neighbourhood. Among many other recordings, he also appears on a Barnyard Records release with long-time rhythm section comrade, Wes Neal, on bass and free improvisation pioneer Evan Parker on tenor saxophone; on two releases by The AIMToronto Orchestra, one featuring creative music luminary, Anthony Braxton; and on numerous recordings with long-time collaborator Ken Aldcroft. Sorbara can also be heard━alongside Tania Gill, Peter Lutek, and Scott Peterson━interpreting Mitchell Akiyama’s music for the score to David Hartt’s 2015 film/installation, Interval, recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Joe has worked extensively as a workshop facilitator and guest lecturer at the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music, Humber College, Carleton University, and elsewhere. He began teaching in the Music Department at the University of Guelph in 2007 in addition to teaching privately and through the Regent Park School of Music in Toronto. Sorbara holds an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University in Toronto and an MA in English from the University of Guelph focussed on critical improvisation studies, literary and cultural theory, and pedagogy.
As a stalwart creative music organizer, Sorbara directed of the seminal Leftover Daylight Series for the better part of a decade beginning in 2003. He was a founding board member of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, served on the board of the Canadian New Music Network, and, along with trumpeter Ellwood Epps, ran the seminal As Is series from 2000-03. He is currently a member of the Somewhere There collective and recently began presenting a monthly series of Music By & For Ken Aldcroft, in celebration of his long-time collaborator and friend.