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Animul Records First Release

Ned Rothenberg’s Intervals


Ned Rothenberg inaugurates his new label, Animul, with Intervals, a 2 cd set that is his first solo release in almost 10 years. Rothenberg’s solo work on alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet and shakuhachi has been internationally acclaimed with over a thousand performances on 4 continents since 1980. His musical voice is built on a timbral palette which integrates ‘extended’ and standard instrumental technique into a seamless whole. As co-producer Marty Ehrlich writes in his portion of the albums’ notes: "With this double CD, we can hear where Ned Rothenberg has arrived after 20 years of exploring the solo concert and recording. Few artists of his generation have dedicated themselves so fully to this endeavor, and few have traveled so far. Solo playing has always put a premium on giving meaning to the statement, ' This is what I have to say, and how I have to say it' . I feel that Ned has arrived at a place where technique and artistic influence are truly secondary to the immediacy of bringing the above quoted statement to life. We are the richer for it."

Read Ned Rothenberg's notes to Intervals and view the track listing.

"Solo recordings of reed instruments ...reach... from Coleman Hawkins’s Picasso‚ to Sonny Rollins’ cheerful collages of quotations, and the exploratory tours-de-force by Dolphy, Braxton and Steve Lacy. But no on has pursued this difficult undertaking with quite such persistency as Ned Rothenberg. For the last twenty years the 45-year-old New Yorker, who also plays in a variety of ensembles, has evolved an oeuvre of remarkable coherence and poetry. There’s no danger of his studies in clarinet, bass clarinet, shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute)and alto sax being confused with easy listening‚. These demand the same qualities of the listener as they do of the performer: alertness, absorption and tantalizingly charged repose. This is not about virtuosity, in spite of Rothenberg’s superb technique. In the way he combines circular breathing, overblowing, playing through half-opened keys and the technique of using the keys percussively, he forms tonal loops of timeless beauty. Other kinds of music might entertain you, cheer you up or pump the blood, but his clarifies the mind and throws your soul wide open".

Manfred Pabst, Neue Züricher Zeitung, Sept. 1, 2002

"In all, Intervals is an impressive statement by a fully matured multi-instrumentalist whose stock is strangely undervalued*"

-Bill Shoemaker, The Wire

"Ned Rothenberg's compendium of finely crafted pieces - one album devoted to alto saxophone and the other to clarinets and shakuhachi...spring from 20 years of practiced discipline and control of solo reed performance. Rothenberg pushes sonic and spatial barriers in these essays for winds, as he explores combinations of vacillating intervals and knotty melodic kernels, and balances evolving patterns with ripe arpeggios and colorful harmonics. These tautly structured pieces seem more stories than studies and the sounds he attains are fascinating to behold." Fred Bouchard, Downbeat (****)

"Both those familiar with Rothenberg's work and newcomers will find much to savor in these two beautifully realized discs." Dan Warburton, All Music Guide

"The technical mastery-oh hell, let’s just call it brilliance - of myriad reeds has shaped Rothenberg’s solo aesthetic for over a decade now. {The Crux, Rothenberg’s 1993 solo release} shows absolute authority over his horns - while maintaining a totally musical demeanor". Jim Macnie, Musician

"Yet ...none of these technical accomplishments is used simply for display...Rothenberg has his own expressive profile,... a plangent temperament and a sophisticated sense of musical structure."Edward Rothstein, NY Times

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