Colin Stetson is recreating the notion of the ‘one-man band’. The modern jazz musician who hails from Michigan, but now resides in Montreal, has a lively and lauded playing style as well as a vibrantly-colored musical history due to his intense musical style and skill. His various collaborations with well-known artists, both jazz and alternative-oriented (Antibalas, Arcade Fire, TV On the Radio, Tom Waits, Angelique Kidjo and Henry Threadgill, to name a few) are getting him easier attention, but his solo work is where listeners will really strike gold . Two reasons if you haven’t heard of Stetson until now and should start paying attention, are: his recent release on Constellation Records, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (read a great review, *here*) and today’s performance with fellow avant musical mind, local Jon Mueller.
Tonight, at the New Museum Theater in New York City, Mueller and Stetson will perform together for part of the Museum’s “Get Weird” series. The museum notes Mueller as “[bypassing] standard approaches to percussion…increasingly focused on a physical dialogue between situation and material.” Mueller will be premiering his “I Almost Expect to Be Remembered As a Chair”, grounded in his 2010 release, The Whole.
Stetson, equally centered on that ideal of a physical dialogue in his own music, throws his energies into his instrument, adopting the physically challenging skill of circular breathing to allow his person to throw that much more energy and life into his horn-playing, adding tapping of his instrument’s valves as percussion and even singing into his instrument to create an ever-changing and unbroken sound-scape. His latest release features spoken word material from Laurie Anderson and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, adding another layer of depth and mystery to his already mesmerizing compositions. See Stetson’s technique in the above video and listen to two songs (we’re giving you more than just one today) from the new album, below: “The Stars in His Head [Dark Lights remix]” and “Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” featuring Worden on vocals.
“The Stars in His Head [Dark Lights remix]”
“Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes”