On Wednesday, September 23rd, clarinetist/composer James Falzone‘s three year-old working quartet KLANG will celebrate the release of its debut studio recording, Tea Music (Allos Documents), with a hometown performance at The Hideout in Chicago.
The band, which will pay tribute to Benny Goodman at the Chicago Jazz Festival earlier in the month, features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy. All four members compose for the group, which picks up the swing era thread of pairing clarinet and vibes, while also exploring its collective interest in the innovative sounds of Jimmy Giuffre‘s early small groups of the mid-1950’s.
“Klang is the German word for sound or sonority,” Falzone explains. “The mixing of vibes and clarinet is a sound explored famously by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton in the pre-bop era, and then taken up again by Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson. There is something in the acoustic make-up of the two instruments that allows them to blend well.”
“As for the Giuffre connection,” he adds, “I’ve always been taken with his early groups and his unique approach to his instrument has fascinated, confused and delighted me beyond explanation since I heard The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet at 12 years old. The guys in KLANG are all as into him as I am—everyone here in Chicago is, actually.”
Tea Music takes its name from Falzone’s penchant for drinking tea while composing and is the first opportunity for the rest of the world to hear one of Chicago’s most respected local groups on the rise. “The band plays tight compositions with chamber ensemble precision, yet with a jazz band’s sense of swing,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Mark Corroto. “The music, attributed to all four members is neat, concise and engagingly hip.”
In addition to founding KLANG, and his own group, Allos Musica, Falzone is a member of Keefe Jackson’s Project Project and Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra’s Flatlands Collective among other ensembles. His most recent recording is 2007’s The Sign and the Thing Signified (Allos Documents). Learn more at http://www.allosmusica.org