Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Spring 2014 » Chris Speed Trio

FRESH SOUND in partnership with UCSD

The Loft
Price Center East, 4th Floor
9500 Gilman Drive MC 0077
La Jolla, CA 92093-0077
$15.00 / $10.00 students
7:30PM - Google Map - UCSD Walking Map to The Loft

Chris Speed, sax
Dave King, drums
Chris Tordini, bass

Brooklyn based saxophonist/clarinetist Chris Speed has been a formidable presence on the front line of progressive jazz in NYC for over two decades (Claudia Quintet, Alas No Axis, Human Feel, Bloodcount, Pachora, Endangered Blood), this trio with Minneapolan Dave King, drums, (the Bad Plus, Happy Apple) and bassist extraordinaire Chris Tordini will dig into the revered tenor trio tradition.

Chris Speed

Saxophonist-clarinetist Chris Speed is one of the most in-demand reedmen in New York. For over 20 years his brilliant tone and imaginative compositions have made him one of the busiest collaborators in the Brooklyn scene. Speed has appeared on stage and on record with Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, Tim Berne, Myra Melford, John Hollenbeck, Cuong Vu, Kurt Rosenwinkel and many more. Speed is a member of a number of ensembles, including the Claudia Quintet, Human Feel, Orange Then Blue, Bloodcount.

His own bands include Endangered Blood, Human Feel, yeah NO, Trio Iffy, Pachora and The Clarinets.  He is a founding member of Jim Black’s Alas No Axis and John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, works with Uri Caine and maintains a busy career of touring, recording, performing, composing, practicing and teaching. Current projects include work with Craig Taborn, Michael Formanek, Dave King, Banda de los Muertos (NYC’s only Banda band), as well as touring his latest project, Endangered Blood (with Black, Trevor Dunn and Oscar Noriega) which was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts in 2012.

Born in 1967, Speed grew up in the Seattle area where he met future colleagues Jim Black and Andrew D'Angelo, all of whom ended up in Boston in the late 80's where they formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. While in Boston he studied at New England Conservatory and graduated in 1990. By 1992, after a short tour with the Artie Shaw Band, Speed moved to New York City where he started working with Tim Berne’s bands. Throughout the nineties his formidable improvisational approach on both tenor saxophone and clarinet contributed to other pioneering NYC bands including the Dave Douglas Sextet, Myra Melford’s Same River Twice, John Zorn and Mark Dresser’s trio with Anthony Coleman.

As a member of Pachora (with Black, bassist Skuli Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Speed became known as one the leading NYC musicians adapting the odd time signatures and melodies of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His critically acclaimed improvisational trio The Clarinets with Oscar Noriega and Anthony Burr (now professor at UCSD) explores the possibilities of the clarinet in the context of group improvisation. This group blurs the boundary between composed chamber music and experimental improvisation. Speed formed the band yeah NO in 1996 as an experiment in decoding and scoring out  improvisations which inspired an unusual book of music that also fused elements of free jazz, modern rock, eastern folk and minimalism. After the debut record in 1997, they thrived in the center of new music in NYC. Speed was named the rising star clarinetist in Downbeat magazine for 2004, 2005 and 2006, was the recipient of a NEA composition grant in 1993, and in 2004 was the guest soloist at the Copenhagen International Jazz Festival working with over 10 different cutting edge Danish bands. In April 2006, he launched Skirl Records, a label dedicated to Brooklyn based creative music, now with 21 releases. 

He is “one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city.”  (NYTimes).

Dave King

Born in 1970 in Minneapolis MN

Played piano and drums from an early age.

Studied with Joe Pulice at The MacPhail School of the Arts in Minneapolis during high school. Studied every single note of Eric Kamau Gravatt in Minneapolis during this period. Moved to Los Angeles in 1990 until 1995. Did studio work and played all kinds of music in the hopes of figuring out how to do that for a living.

Got Married.

Got terrified by the 1994 L.A. earthquake.

Moved back to Minneapolis.

Formed the acclaimed jazz group Happy Apple and indie rock combo Love-Cars as well as the indie-electro group Halloween Alaska.

Also was a member of the band 12Rods from 1999 till its demise in 2004.

Co-founded the acclaimed jazz group The Bad Plus in NYC 2000.

I had and still have 2 kids who are nice.

With Happy Apple "signed" to Universal records in Europe and Sunnyside Jazz label in NYC in 2002 after 4 independent releases and touring.

With The Bad Plus "signed" to Columbia records in 2002 after two independent releases and touring.

Have performed music on 6 continents and over 60 countries.

Have composed music for film and modern dance including extensively with the acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group in NYC.

Also written and performed theme music for acclaimed fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi's Fashion Week runway shows for 3 seasons and his television show theme for 3 seasons on the QVC network.

Have also recorded and or performed with Bill Frisell, Dewey Redman, Joshua Redman, Jeff Beck, Tim Berne, Hank Roberts, Craig Taborn, Django Bates, Chris Speed, Mat Maneri, Joe Lovano, Tchad Blake, Tony Platt, Meat Beat Manifesto, David Torn, Donna Lewis, Wendy Lewis, Anthony Cox, Bill Carrothers, Jason Moran and The Bandwagon, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Dead Prez, The Gang Font featuring Greg Norton of Husker Du, Boots Riley, Atmosphere, Craig Green, Mason Jennings, Haley Bonar, Chris Morrissey and Benoit Delbecq among others.

I also have a cat named "Rhino".

Christopher Tordini

Christopher Tordini is an in-demand bassist in the NYC music scene. He can currently be seen playing with the Becca Stevens Band, Andy Milne's "Dapp Theory", Tyshawn Sorey's "Oblique", the Michael Dessen trio, and Ilusha Tsinadze's "Mother Tongue". His own band, named "Tiger Blood", can be seen playing at various venues around New York. Christopher also co-leads the I.E. trio with Michael Pinto and Tommy Crane.
He is also a collaborator in projects with Tyshawn Sorey and Michael Dessen. A graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Tordini forged strong professional relationships with several faculty members there, including Rory Stuart and George Garzone, with whom he continues to collaborate. Recently, Tordini has performed and recorded with prominent bandleaders such as Steve Lehman, Okkyung Lee, Jo-Yu Chen, Mike Pinto, Andrew D'Angelo, Jim Black, and Yaron Herman. He has played at New York City's most prestigious jazz venues, including the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, Smalls, the Jazz Gallery and the Stone, among many others