STEVEN BERNSTEIN To Release DIASPORA SUITE
Featuring A Nonet With Nels Cline, Will Bernard, Peter Apfelbaum & Scott Amendola
"Truth is fluid and subject to change, if it's nailed down, it's not truth anymore, it's just one man's opinion." -Robert Altman on improvisation
The ever-prolific trumpeter, arranger, composer and bandleader Steven Bernstein is back with his latest recording Diaspora Suite, the fourth installment from his critically-acclaimed Diaspora series on Tzadik Records. True to the high standards set by its predecessors, Diaspora Suite further evolves the concept of radical Jewish music, however, this time around Bernstein contributes all twelve original compositions. The music was recorded in one day during a marathon session at Bay Studios in Bernstein's hometown of Oakland. He was joined by a nonet of fellow California-native musicians, including Jeff Cressman on trombone, Peter Apfelbaum on tenor saxophone and flute, Ben Goldberg on clarinets, Nels Cline, John Schott and Will Bernard on guitars, Devin Hoff on bass, and Josh Jones and Scott Amendola on drums and percussion.
Channeling the Sephardic tradition of darkness and light, Bernstein presented the musicians with a loose sketch of the music they'd be recording and left the rest up to divine intervention, not to mention the adroit improvisational skills of his collaborators. Bernstein allowed the music to be heavily influence by the music he grew up with. The very idea for such an approach was an evolution in and of itself. First, Tzadik Records' founder, John Zorn, strongly encouraged Bernstein to focus exclusively on original material for his next Diaspora project. With that thought in mind, the Diaspora Suite concept snapped into focus for Bernstein when performing at Robert Altman's memorial service. He'd previously worked with the legendary movie director scoring the music for his film Kansas City. Altman had always been a proponent of improvisation within his work, creating a framework for the storyline, but largely allowing the actors to develop their characters on the screen.
CD Release Shows Scheduled for:
January 27 at Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco
February 10 at The Jazz Standard in New York City
All Steven Bernstein tour dates available here.