Feathery presents original compositions, written by Bloch and Lossing. Emphasis is put on musical communication, spontaneous compositional decisions, where each member of the group is a soloist and an accompanist at the same time. The music itself draws on a wealth of inspirations – there are aspects of 20th and 21st-century classical music, Eastern European and Middle Eastern traditions, and of course modern jazz and improvised music. All of these have been absorbed and emerge organically from the group’s interactions with one another, with an intriguing freedom that calls to mind the work of the Tristano School or Paul Motian. The music is moored by the compositions in the way a kite is moored by its string – kept in tenuous touch with the ground but allowed to float freely and be carried along by the prevailing winds of the moment.
“We prefer to not have any particular arrangements of our compositions,” Lena Bloch insists. “Jazz doesn’t have to be risk free – on the contrary, I think risk is a great factor! Because I trust the feeling, professionalism and experience of these people, risk and challenge only facilitate the result. The less safe we all feel, the better it is for the music.” Feathery released its first album “Heart Knows” in September 2017 on Fresh Sound New Talent. Album received rave reviews worldwide, was listed among top 50 (Jazz Links, Germany-Switzerland), top 100 (NPR Jazz Critics Poll and Tenth Annual International Critics Poll), one of the top jazz releases 2018 (Musica Jazz Magazine, Italy). The quartet was selected to showcase at the 40th Annual National Chamber Music Conference (2018), and was featured in the Winter 2018 issue of Chamber Music Magazine “American Ensemble” section. Lena Bloch is an Israeli-American composer and band leader, based in New York City. She has been leading her own chamber groups, performing original music since 1990, in Israel, Europe and the US, including Red Sea Jazz Festival (Israel), Leverkusener Jazz Tage and Ingolstaedter Jazz Tage (Germany), Jazz Lent Maribor (Slovenia), Voronezh Jazz Festival (Russia), Washington Women In Jazz Festival, Vermont Jazz Center Festival, Temple Of The Arts Festival (United States). As a saxophonist she worked with Embryo, Steve Reid, Mala Waldron, Roberta Piket, Sumi Tonooka, Vishnu Wood, Harvey Diamond and many other American and European band leaders.
In his liner notes to the album, Dan Morgenstern wrote: “It is a rare and most pleasant surprise to encounter music that is new and different and find it instantly likable. “Collective” is the key word here, to this listener, for this is truly musical togetherness, creating a sound all its own”.
SELECTED TRACKS AND VIDEOS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Title track from the album:
“The unique combination of following a spontaneous instinct wherever it might lead and creating a sound that stands on its own distinctive merits…” – Press Release by Braithwaite & Katz Communications
Lateef Suite, Live 2018
RIVERS (Live in Brooklyn, Scholes Street Studio, April 2018)
Three Treasures, Live 2017
Newfoundsong (Russ Lossing)
PRESS QUOTES AND LINKS TO ARTICLES
“A marvelous example of the kind of empathy that underlies most great jazz.” – Glyn Pursglove, Music Web International (UK)
“In spite of its complexity and its intricate layering the music is light as a feather in perception. It leaves such a deep impression that one is quickly tempted to listen to it again.” – Bernard Lefevre, Jazz Halo (Belgium)
“The stunning thing about every performance here is the delicate blend of composed music and spontaneous invention” – Donald Elfman, New York City Jazz Record
“Loose but deliberately plotted structures and an air of wistful beauty!” – Giovanni Russonello,
New York Times
“…unwaveringly cohesive…bone-deep gorgeousness…complex, compelling and beautiful, sounds of the highest quality and inspiration laid down by a premier jazz quartet.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
“Heart Knows finds Bloch and company exploring a musical realm where concepts and preconceived notions fall by the wayside, making room for the spontaneously composed to be seamlessly entwined with evocative, open compositions. As the quartet pushes forward, they are resolved to continue inviting listeners to participate in that mystery.” – Karl Helander,
Chamber Music Magazine
“Tenor saxist and composer Lena Bloch has a gorgeously warm and mellifluous tone, sort of a mix between Lester Young and Warne Marsh, and she uses it to excellent effect..” – George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
“All of the music contains ideas and executions that point to Lena Bloch’s ability to write poignant melodies.
Each is wonderfully mysterious and atmospheric and every one of the songs has an undertow of raw power that drives their melodies forward.
All are extraordinarily crafted compositions, defining a mood in the space of a bar or two, and take precious little time to completely infiltrate the listener’s mind before letting it go. ” – Raul DaGama, Jazz DaGama, Canada