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Direct Link To This Post Topic: MoonJune new release: Moraine - 'Manifest Density'
    Posted: August 10 2009 at 16:57

MoonJune Records announces new release:

MORAINE - 'Manifest Density'

For more information and audio/video clips please go to: http://www.moonjune.com/MJR028.htm

You could describe the output of this towering electric string quartet-plus-drums as “heavy chamber music.” With its several writers and full complement of ace instrumentalists, arrayed in striking combination, Moraine achieves a coherent sound while drawing on forms ranging from math-rock to fractured bebop to Chinese folk music to unleashed, plugged-in power jazz, and more. Led by the axeman and guitar innovator Dennis Rea, the much-praised veteran has deployed fierce, elusive imagination to build on decades of engagement with countless musical styles of multiple regions of the globe. He creates a dynamic, lyrical, enigmatic blend of modern jazz, boundary-pushing rock, experimental music, and world musical traditions. In other contexts – stay tuned for his next MoonJune Records’ release, Views from Chicheng Precipice – his output reflects the three years he spent in the two Chinas, where he was among the first wave of Western creative musicians to venture behind the tattered curtain of the devastating Cultural Revolution. (He is the author, in addition, of the fascinating Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China.) On the band’s debut CD Manifest Density, Rea enjoys ideal support from all quarters in what is truly a collaborative endeavor of composition and performance: Ruth Davidson’s cello and Alicia Allen’s violin slash and singe with uncanny unity of purpose and design. Bassist Kevin Millard and drummer Jay Jaskot boast drive and thrust ideally suited to the task. All that begins to explain why Moraine has been embraced by audiences ranging from jazz aficionados to metalheads. The band squalls, sears, soars, and lilts over a novel musical terrain.

From Seattle to the world, and beyond....

Moraine: Moraine is an omnivorous Seattle-based instrumental quintet led by guitarist Dennis Rea, whose past collaborators include Jeff Greinke (LAND), K. Leimer (Savant), Earthstar, Stackpole, Hector Zazou, Han Bennink, Stuart Dempster, Chinese rock megastar Cui Jian, Klaus Schulze, Amy Denio, Wally Shoup, and Bill Horist, as well as members of King Crimson, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Ministry, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and many of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese music. The group began as a collaboration between Rea and cellist Ruth Davidson and eventually coalesced into the simpatico lineup heard on Manifest Density, featuring violinist Alicia Allen, drummer Jay Jaskot, and bassist/baliset player Kevin Millard. Moraine’s expansive original repertoire spans avant-rock, modern jazz, deconstructed Chinese traditional music, and the unclassifiable. In a typical Moraine performance, haunting melodies cohabit with crushing riffs, lush textures, propulsive swing, and explosive improvisation to create a galvanizing listening experience.

Dennis Rea: Dennis Rea's adventurous guitar playing blends modern jazz, creative rock, experimental music, and world musical traditions into an approach that is uniquely his own, encompassing haunting lyricism, enigmatic textures, agile improvisation, and the raw dynamism of rock. He has performed on three continents at such prestigious venues as the WOMAD Festival, Beijing International Jazz Festival, Sichuan-China International TV Festival, Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Columbia Gorge Amphitheater, Northwest Folklife Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, On the Boards, Seattle Art Museum, and Henry Art Museum. Over the years Dennis has led or been a key contributor to numerous innovative groups, including Moraine, Land, Stackpole, Axolotl, Savant, Earthstar, Fred, Catabatics, the Vagaries, Color Anxiety, Ink, Identity Crisis, the Gang of Formosa, Chekov, and Ting Bu Dong. He has performed or recorded with such prominent creative musicians as European free jazz legend Han Bennink, Chinese rock megastar Cui Jian, acclaimed French composer Hector Zazou, German electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze, and trombone virtuoso Stuart Dempster, as well as members of King Crimson, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Ministry, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. His activities have spanned film, theater, radio, and modern dance, and he has appeared on more than two-dozen recordings to date.Dennis' music career began in the early 1970s when he formed the eccentric progressive rock group Zuir in his hometown of Utica, New York. In the late 1970s he made a series of albums in Germany with Craig Wuest's proto-electronica group Earthstar. In the early 1980s he collaborated with composer K. Leimer in the acclaimed Seattle-based experimental music group Savant. In 1983 he moved to New York City, where he was involved with the downtown new-music community. Since returning to Seattle in the late 1980s, he has performed or recorded with such innovative musicians as Jeff Greinke, Fred Chalenor, Wally Shoup, Eric Apoe, Gregg Keplinger, Bill Horist, Lesli Dalaba, India Cooke, Trey Gunn, Lori Carson, Toshi Makihara, Elizabeth Falconer, Amy Denio, Tucker Martine, Bill Rieflin, Roland Barker, Michael Monhart, James Whiton, Jessica Lurie, Eyvind Kang, Craig Flory, Jim Knodle, Geoff Harper, Lynette Westendorf, and Olli Klomp.Between 1989 and 1996 Dennis spent several years living in China and Taiwan, where he gave more than 100 concerts at cultural centers, universities, music conservatories, and clubs, on radio and television, and in sports arenas with the Chinese pop star Zhang Xing. His 1990 solo album for the China Record Company, Shadow in Dreams, sold 40,000 copies and was cited among the year's best releases by China Youth Daily. While abroad he organized three of the earliest unofficial concert tours of China by Western bands, comprising more than 40 concerts in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as a performance at the 1991 Sichuan China International TV Festival that was viewed by a television audience numbering in the hundreds of millions. He has performed with such influential Chinese musicians as Cui Jian, Wang Yong, Liu Yuan, Liang Heping, He Yong, ADO, and Cobra. He also presented lectures on jazz and guitar technique at Sichuan Music Conservatory and has written extensively about Chinese music in various popular and academic publications. In 2005 he returned to Taiwan for a two-week concert tour with the international bands Jetlegrs and Chekov; in 2008 he again traveled to Taiwan for reunion concerts with his early 1990s Taiwan-based band Identity Crisis and subsequent performances with the international jazz-rock quartet Ting Bu Dong.He has been awarded grants for his musical activities by the Arts International Fund for U.S. Artists Abroad, Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, Malcolm S. Morse Foundation, and Jack Straw Foundation, and has received funding and/or encouragement from the Washington State China Relations Council, European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, and New York's China Institute to conduct research for Live at the Forbidden City, a book-length account of his groundbreaking experiences playing music in Asia. He has been interviewed by National Public Radio and other nationally syndicated radio programs, by national research foundation the Urban Institute, and by numerous publications, and has acted as a panelist or consultant for the Experience Music Project, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the Seattle Center ArtsEdge Festival. He has also presented dozens of the world's finest experimental and improvising musicians to Northwest audiences as a former co-producer of the 25-year-old Seattle Improvised Music Festival and of Seattle's Other Sounds new-music concert series. From 1997-2001 he was co-editor of the Tentacle journal of Northwest creative music.Dennis' current and recent projects include the electric string quartet-plus-drums Moraine, explosive improvisational jazz-rock quintet Chollima (formerly Iron Kim Style), processed thumb piano trio Tempered Steel (with Ffej and Frank Junk), and Ting Bu Dong (with Atze Ton, Volker Wiedersheim, and Olli Klomp), an international jazz-rock quintet that has performed in Taiwan and Germany.


Upcoming releases:

HOLDSWORTH, PASQUA, HASLIP, WACKERMAN - “Blues For Tony” (2cd)
BEPPE CROVELLA - “What’s Rattlin’ On The Moon? - A Personal Re-Interpretation Of The Music Of Mike Ratledge”
DOUBT feat. ALEX MAGUIRE, MICHEL DELVILLE, TONY BIANCO with special guests - “There Is No Doubt”
ELTON DEAN - “Welcomet” (for the first time on the cd! originally released on LP & cassette in 1986)
DENNIS REA - “Views from Chicheng Precipice”

Yours in Music
Leonardo/MoonJune

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The latest interviews with Leonardo/MoonJune

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"One thing is for sure: Leonardo Pavkovic’s label does not release records that a reviewer can easily dismiss with a couple of sentences and throw back in the heap. This stuff must be listened carefully before releasing any judgement; sometimes, precious diamonds might be found in the thickest mud." 
- Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault
http://www.moonjune.com
http://www.myspace.com/moonjunerecords
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2009 at 18:41
This a killer album, folks.  Especially if you like RIO meets King Crimson.  Excellent job by MoonJune Records signing these guys up on their label.  Recommended.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2009 at 21:42
Looks excellent.  Another Wayside order might be warranted.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2009 at 21:49
If this is half as good as the discription then I found an album for my top 5 of the year for sure.
Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2009 at 22:07
It is good, takes Larks Tongues Asian influences further into traditional Asian music. It's not heavy like Crimson though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2009 at 22:02
Originally posted by Padraic Padraic wrote:

Looks excellent.  Another Wayside order might be warranted.


Ordered.  Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2009 at 09:16
Midway through the album - terrific stuff here.  Great job guys, kudos to Moonjune signing these guys.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2009 at 12:22
I ordered mine last week, looking forward to it.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2009 at 08:58
I really like this album!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2009 at 23:33
great reviews started to arrive



"This vibrant Seattle-based quintet abides by a rather distinctive group-centric sound that draws upon the musicians’ influences, spanning electronics, jazz, jazz-fusion, progressive-rock and a consortium of styles. The beauty of it pertains to their multifarious aggregation of genres, all woven into a neatly packed program. They morph the best of various musical worlds here, amid turbulent strings passages, thrusting rhythms, and jubilantly executed melody lines....The band conveys a myriad of emotive attributes via these resonating compositions. At times, they embark on a frenzied array of soloing jaunts, where everything in the band’s path is devoured. With traces of vintage, Jean-Luc Ponty style fusion along with the weighty impact of King Crimson, the artists inject resonating choruses, awash with cellist Ruth Davidson and violinist Alicia Allen’s streaming staccato lines. However, they soften the mix with eloquent phrasings, complemented by intriguing noise-shaping activities and guitarist Dennis Rea’s blistering crunch chords. ...There’s a lot to sink your mind’s eye into here, but the ensemble equalizes the cerebral factors with hearty melodies and pumping jazz-rock grooves. They even project a bit of skronk into the program on “$9 Pay-per-View Lifetime TV Movie,” where the rhythm section’s driving backbeats are treated by Rea’s explosive and wily guitar parts over the top. Here and throughout, the band generates memorable hooks as a means of contrasting the intense frameworks. And it works rather prolifically, since they seamlessly merge grace and power with a few endearing nods to the fabled 1970s Canterbury rock scene. A musical highlight for 2009, regardless of genre or rigid categorizations..." – Glenn Astarita, eJazz News/Jazz Reviews.com (USA) 

"The instrumental Rock ensemble Moraine combines a dark palette with unique instrumentation and driving, sprawling architectonic musical structures. … It is one of those CDs that immediately gets your attention from the opening bars of the first cut. One could speculate as to what influences the band has had, but what’s most important is that for a listening experience it’s truly tabula rasa time. Moraine doesn’t really sound like anybody. They are a Prog-Rock original, that most rare of entities. They do not take an easy path. They do not rely on riffs of a gratuitous nature or other filler material. ... They achieve a continuously compelling group sound that grabs you by the ears and does not let go. …Mr. Rea and company have achieved orbit status. ... Such refreshingly outside Rock invites repeated absorption, and gives you a feeling of anticipation for future editions. This band could pan out to be the biggest Prog thing since Beefheart, Crimson, Gary Lucas and/or the Softs. Time will tell. They are off to an auspicious start with Manifest Density. – Gregory Applegate, Gapplegate Music (USA) 

(4 stars) "Moraine ... provides instrumental music that is passionate and emotional but complex, challenging, and abstract. ... Moraine's appreciation of world music is definitely one of their strong points; during the course of this 54-minute CD, they incorporate elements of everything from Asian music to Middle Eastern/Arabic music to East European gypsy music - and those world music influences only add to Manifest Density's richness. ... adventurous listeners who have some patience will find that the more they listen to Manifest Density, the more this album reveals its excellence." - Alex Henderson, All Music Guide (USA) 

"...overall, this is an album destined to be declared an instant classic by listeners & reviewers worldwide! I give it my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, & declare it the pick of this year for 'most creative and inspiring musical experience!'" - Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation (USA) 

“…a masterfully twisted quintet crushing five pounds of prog and symph-metal into a two-pound neoclassicalist bag. ... There's not an ounce of ego or gloryhogging anywhere, just the sheer exuberance of playing in ensemble. ... a hurtling juggernaut of grace and insanity that re-orients the listener's perceptics and frays his nerves while revving up the temporal lobes and ectoplasm ... Any track here is a sure-fire attention getter.” – Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (USA) 

(4 stars) “Manifest Density is like a head-on collision between the Mahavishu Orchestra, Univers Zero, King Crimson, Present, and Dr. Nerve. ... Moraine is hard to classify yet impossible to ignore. …for those who are feeling brave and in the mood for some experimental sounds, this will be a ride worth taking over and over again." - Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility (USA) 

“This would be the best fusion jazz record of 2009, except that it’s not quite fusion jazz. Then again, that’s what makes it the best fusion jazz record of 2009! Lost? Let’s say that Manifest Density is the missing link between fusion jazz and RIO... At least, that’s the best image I can find. Intelligently written, brilliantly executed, with gusto and just enough good sense. ... I can’t find another band to compare them to - and that’s huge. ... Oh, so rich. Bravo.” – Francoise Couture, Monsieur Dιlire (Canada)

“RIO meets King Crimson and Univers Zero. Killer stuff!” - Julian Belanger, Host of "The Purple Room,” CJAM 91. 5 FM, Windsor (Canada) 

(4 stars) “music that seems modern in every way." - babysue.com (USA

9 out of 10 stars - Rezensator (Germany)

"High Class!...Absolute recommendation!" - Ingo Andrusckewitsch, Musicanisch (Germany)

"Moraine are/is a unique sort-of progressive band from Seattle that don't quite sound like anyone else. I dig the way the two strings saw away tightly while the guitarist solos intricately in between. The song titles are often pretty amusing like "Save the Yuppie Breeding Grounds" or "Nacho Sunset". The melodies have a middle eastern tinge, yet are constantly shifting into other areas. Whenever the guitarist solos, the strings play complex inter-connected lines along with him. I like that there is an organic feeling to this music with uplifting melodies and thoughtful solos which never sound like anyone is showing off. Even more than the inspired solos it is the exotic melodies and crafty arrangements that makes this band special. ...quirky, creative & filled with surprising twists and turns, well worth checking out no matter what you are into." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery (USA)
http://www.moonjune.com
http://www.myspace.com/moonjunerecords
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