Dec 29th @ Barbés Brooklyn 8pm
Press Release for Endangered Blood's - Work Your Magic (Skirl 021)
“Work Your Magic” is the sophomore endeavor by the jazz quartet Endangered Blood, featuring drummer Jim Black, bassist Trevor Dunn, alto saxophone/bass clarinetist Oscar Noriega, and tenor saxophone/clarinetist Chris Speed. Their 2011 self-titled debut was a huge success among critics and listeners, launching the band on extensive touring (including a performance on the renowned NPR Tiny Desk Concerts) and thus taking their already fiery interplay to new levels. “Work Your Magic” reflects the band’s growth as a powerful unit as well as its new level of compositional ambition.
The four members of Endangered Blood are some of the most influential jazz musicians of their generation. Jim Black should need no introduction to listeners of creative music, having established himself as one of the most inventive drummers of his generation, and is currently leading his own trio as well as post-rock/jazz group Alas No Axis. Bassist Trevor Dunn has been touring the world with various Mike Patton and John Zorn projects as well as entering the Guinness Book of World Records by playing fifty gigs in fifty states in fifty days as a member of the Melvins Lite. Oscar Noriega is fast becoming one of the rising stars of creative music as a member of Tim Berne’s acclaimed Snakeoil quartet. Chris Speed continues to be one of the most highly respected jazz saxophonists and clarinetists working today, currently playing with Craig Taborn, Dave King, Uri Caine and John Hollenbeck’s long running Claudia Quintet.
The songs on “Work Your Magic” push into new areas of compositional complexity without losing the intensity and the soulfulness that characterized their debut album. At their most sonic extremes EBlood never loses the connection with their jazz roots. Even as Speed expands the compositional language into mercurial, unpredictable forms (as on “Ah-Le-Pa”), and minimalistic melodic themes (“Manzanita”), the quartet hits the dense counterpoint with the same warmth as it does the Ellingtonia of album closer “LA#5. The approach becomes explicit on a rhythmically fractured blues: “Blues in C Flat Minor.”
Endangered Blood is the sound of four long-time colleagues and friends, jazz musicians and composers in their prime, uniting seemingly disparate streams of jazz into a powerful new music that embraces the past and moves courageously into the future.
“We are a neighborhood band, all living within three blocks of each other. Initially we played for an ailing friends' benefit concert and by demand we continued to perform together, developing a book of music built around the band's sound and dynamic energy. We're not afraid to get our hands dirty with the music and have a great time making fun of each other.” EBlood
“Do you also engage in a little of the old-school “cutting contests”? Tucson Weekly
“Naw, no cutting contests, though Oscar and I inspire each other to play our best. I’m glad you had that impression though.” Chris Speed
“Of all the combos Speed and Black have played in together, Endangered Blood is the one where their contrasting styles flower most fully and fit together most organically” Chicago Reader
“Speed’s originals stand out as his most melodically generous, accessible and warm batch of compositions he’s yet to produce.” Four Stars in Down Beat Magazine
"High-energy, melody-driven themes exploded into all-out jams, hammered home by Jim Blacks aggressive drumming." TimeOut NY
"Endangered Blood - this was some of the tightest, most sophisticated chordless quartet playing I've heard in this festival or otherwise. The writing was hip but not overly complex and emphasized melody in conjunction with harmony instead of vice versa. There were elements of bebop, Mariachi, free jazz and post-bop all seamlessly strung together. Noriega is an alto player I NEED to hear more of, plain and simple."
All About Jazz
"Slammin' comprovisation from the accessible side of avant supergroupdom: Speed's warm melodic and harmonic aesthetic flavors the broth, but Black gives it that peppery kick." Metal Jazz
“Endangered Blood delivers a head-rush of aggressive improvising, grounded in Black's controlled-detonation drumming” Seattle Weekly
"Best Ensemble Performance 2011" Destination Out
“celebrating the release of its lovely, eponymous CD, which features fleetly executed lines that hurtle through odd meters, zigging and zagging, dribbling and skipping.” Seattle Times
“Black’s manic bag of tricks anchors Endangered Blood’s inventive yet approachable core, with all four players locked in around him as if this were the band’s 12th album instead of its debut, let’s hope this ensemble’s recording future is better-fated than its name. LA Times
Some two-reed bands underscore conflict. This new foursome lets its saxophonists parallel each other and the depth of their coordination is enviable. Their new Skirl CD finds them addressing corkscrew ditties and dreamy laments, the tandem nature of their blend conjuring images of a bicycle built for two. Fans of post-rock clatter will dig the way the rhythm section puts the pedal to the metal. Village Voice NYC Jim Macnie
“ fast, looping, dynamically even and entwining lines, laying bebop over clanky grooves.” NYTIMES
All About Jazz Italy 2014