Two new albums in coming 2017:
Ethiopioques 32: Nalbandian the Ethiopian (Buda Musique)
Nerses Nalbandian was an Armenian emmigrant who became Ethiopia's national maestro in the the 1950s. The Emperor Haile Selassie appointed him director of music at the National Theater when it was opened in 1955.
In 2004, during their first trip to Addis Ababa, the E/O met Nalbandian's children, who determined that the E/O was the right band to revive their father's music. IN 2011, the E/O returned to Ethiopia and performed several concerts of Nalbandian's music along with several Ethiopian collaborators, including one show at the very National Theater where Nalbandian had worked.
In the winter of 2016, the prestigious Ethiopiques series, from Buda Musique in France, will be release a compilation of live and studio recordings by the E/O, documenting the range of his band music.
The Collected Unconscious (Accurate)
is an extended suite, composed by leader Russ Gershon on a Jazz New Works grant from Chamber Music America. The E/O has recorded the approximately 80 minute piece at the fabulous Futura Sound in Roslindale MA - a former Masonic temple. The recording is now in the mixing phase. (80 minutes would make a nice double LP...anybody interested?)
The E/O did a short tour in 2011-2012 to hone the work, received smashing reviews for its live performances. Here's what the critics had to say:
"Either/Orchestra At the Peak of Their Power at the New School
band’s creativity just gets more and more amazing...one of the two or
three best New York concerts of the year...[The Collected Unconscious]
revealed an unexpected gravitas and lush, majestic power to rival or
maybe surpass anything this band’s ever done, effortlessly and
imaginatively bridging the gap between Cuba and Ethiopia...the shifting
textures and voicings of these new compositions are equal to anything
Gil Evans ever came up with.” Lucid Culture
greatest hour (or closer to an hour and a half)...[the] long-form piece
bridged the sounds of Ethiopia with Latin music as well as the diverse
jazz and rock elements in the composer’s DNA. His arrangements conjured
rich, sublimely wound horn cadences...the musicians hit their marks with
precision and finesse.
"Best of all, despite its broad
stylistic sweep, “The Collected Unconscious” delivered cohesiveness,
consistency and engaging energy." -Paul Robicheau, Improper Bostonian
"They wrapped up the concert with Gershon's tasty slab of New Orleans street funk, Somethin' for NOLA, proving without a doubt that a band of eclectic, esoteric jazzbos could get down and get funky, too." –Greg Haymes, Albany Times-Union
Photos from the NYC show
Photos from the Troy NY show
Canada 2012 with Mahmoud Ahmed
The University of Alberta's Festival of Ideas, directed by Miki Andreevic, gave us the opportunity to do three concerts with our friend, the great Mahmoud Ahmed in November of 2012.
We recorded the shows - look for a CD of some of the live material we have been accumulating over the past few years of performing with Mahmoud.
In the mean time, you can buy a DVD of a French documentary about our first meeting with him in 2006 right here.
Excerpts are viewable on YouTube.
Ethiopia, May 2011:
Thanks to all 96 of you who donated to our Kickstarter fund, as well as the US and Spanish Embassies and the Alliance Ethio-Francaise, all in Addis Ababa. We played five concerts and conducted a big clinic for the students of three jazz schools. Two of the concerts featured the historic music of Nerses Nalbandian, Ethiopia's Maestro for many years, and three of the concerts featured an assortment of E/O originals and Ethiopian favorites.
All concerts included Ethiopian guests in various combinations:
Negash, Bahta Hewet, Beti and Michael Belayneh, vocals; Dawit Frey,
clarinet; Jorga Mesfin, tenor sax; Fasika Hailu, krar; Girum Mezmur,
guitar; Henock Temesgen, bass.
Video of Girma Negash, Dawit Frey and the Either/Orchestra performing Yene Hassab
25th Anniversary Concerts, featuring E/O plus alumni:
The NYC Edition was a sold-out smash
success. Three hours of continuous music, and the audience was ready
Russ Gershon and the Either/Orchestra
wish to thank our alumni: John Medeski, Matt Wilson, Josh Roseman, Mike
Rivard, Harvey Wirht, Dan Kaufman, Jeremy Udden, Douglas Yates, John
Carlson, Bob Nieske, John Dirac, Curtis Hasselbring, Jerome Deupree, Dan
Fox, Russell Jewell, Henry Cook, Godwin Louis, Jeremy Udden, Douglas
Yates, Teshome Mitiku - all onstage - and a.minor
(video art), Phil Davidson (sound), David Fisher and Brad Braufman
(video documentation), Linda Somma, Gabrielle Agachiko and Israel Dejene
(various other tasks), Terri Hinte (publicity), along with the
incredible staff of Le Poisson Rouge!
The December 16 edition of the concert in Arlington MA was "an unforgettable confluence of talent" - here's a review.