“Beautifully recorded and sensitively performed… …a very attractive album.” – Jazziz Magazine
“Ralph Simon and the Magic Club: Music For the Millennium”, the second Postcards Jazz recording from Ralph Simon, features him on soprano saxophone and breath-controlled synthesizers, engaging in riveting duets, trios, quartets, and larger ensembles with a magic club of world-class improvisers. Paul Bley (Piano/Synth), Gary Peacock (Bass), Julian Priester (Trombone), Bruce Ditmas (Drums), and others bring their own unique musical vocabulary to a set of Simon’s original compositions (plus Miles Davis’ composition “Blue In Green”) that explores his extensive background in Jazz, contemporary classical music, and free improvisation with an eye towards effecting a remarriage of acoustic and electric music.
“…subtle textures and hues of acoustic and electric music.” – Down Beat Magazine
This CD, “Ralph Simon and the Magic Club: Music For the Millennium”, fuses tradition instrumentation with electronic innovation, as well as classical structures with modern Jazz feeling, and in doing do reveals directions for the future of Jazz in the next millennium. Welcome to the Magic Club!
|1. Cousin Bruce||Ralph Simon||3:31|
|2. The Ballad Quartet Will Now Play Suite First Take
3. Dawn Tuning
4. Downhill Slalom
5. Rebecca’s Twillight
6. Una Noche (Mi Centaurita)
|7. Sweet Sorrow (R Plays Blue)||Ralph Simon||4:01|
|8. Ghosts of Goethals (WE… ARE… ROLLING!)||Ralph Simon||7:04|
|9. Windsong||Keith Jarrett||3:13|
|10. Are You Ready (Sextet for the End of Now)||Ralph Simon||5:35|
|11. Blue In Green||Miles Davis||5:10|
Ralph Simon: Soprano sax and breath-controlled synthesizers
Paul Bley: Piano/synths (2-8, and 10)
Gary Peacock: Bass (1-6, 8-11)
Julian Priester: Trombone (3-6, and 8)
Bruce Ditmas: Drums/synth (1-6, 8, 10, and 11)
Alan Pasqua: Piano (11)
Jeff Berman: Vibraphone (3-6, 8, and 10)
Tom Beyer: Percussion (3-6, 8, and 10)
Elizabeth Panzer: Harp (3-6)
Michael DiSibio: Trumpet (11)
About Ralph Simon:
For Ralph Simon, saxophonist, composer, and cofounder of Postcards, Inc., the 1994 release of “AS”, his second recording as a leader, was meaningful for several reasons. “On a musical level”, he says, “the group’s spirit and inspiration are incredibly strong and the music sounds as fresh as it did when we recorded it. I also thought it was important to allow people to hear our world debut performance and recording of Annette Peacock’s very beautiful “Skin on Skin”.”
Born in New York City, Simon studied music at The Johns Hopkins University and at the Peabody Conservatory. His teachers included Joe Napoleon, Lee Konitz, and Sam Rivers. “Playing with such great musicians as Paul Bley, John Scofield, Billy Hart, Karl Berger, Gunter Hampel, Sunny Murray, Mario Pavone, Jeanne Lee, Gene Adler and Chip White in the 70’s,” notes Simon, “was particularly inspiring and stimulating for me.”
It was legendary pianist Paul Bley who inspired Simon to begin composing. He later played piano on Time Being, Simon’s 1981 debut album (Gramavision), which Jazz Hot hailed as “a harmonious musical success which one doesn’t tire of listening to”. Simon also credits his experience with Bley while he was founding the IAI label with sparking his own interest in creating a jazz label – which he did in 1993 with Postcards, Inc.
The early 1980s found Simon playing saxophone in Europe. After his return to New York, he focused on developing his compositional side. “I began to hear music for larger ensembles than the usual jazz quartet or quintet”, he explains. “I had begun to develop my own applications of modern orchestration and counterpoint”. His efforts and creativity were rewarded in 1991 with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.