WASHINGTON, D.C., 1995--Howland Records is pleased to announce the release of REIKO, the long-awaited new compact disc by the Howland Ensemble. Containing nearly seventy-four minutes of rich and timelessly exciting European, mainstream, New Age, and fusion jazz, REIKO appeals to every listener. In his liner notes, jazz great Peter Erskine says, 'Good stuff survives the test of time. That's where REIKO comes in. For those of us who have thought of the Washington, D.C., area merely as home to most of this nation's politicians and bureaucracies, REIKO is good news. I really like the way these guys play. One can hear the continuum of this music, it's past and future, in REIKO. This is a most enjoyable recording for me to listen to: music for our modern times.' Composed, arranged, and produced by award-winning jazz artist Hal Howland, REIKO features a sextet of Washington's finest jazz musicians: Chris Battistone, trumpet and flügelhorn; Brian Bennett, piano and synthesizer; Hal Howland, drums and percussion; Jon Metzger, vibraphone and marimba; John Previti, bass violin and bass guitar; and Bruce Swaim, soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones. REIKO was recorded and mixed by Bob Dawson at Bias Recording, Springfield, Virginia; mastered by David Glasser at Airshow, Springfield, Virginia; manufactured by Oasis Recording, Silver Spring, Maryland; and designed and photographed by Britt Malmgren. 'Hal Howland's recordings reward close and repeated listenings because they benefit from both strong compositions and talented contributors. Impressionistic, evocative, multi-thematic, lovely, dark-hued: a striking example of Howland's versatility as an arranger and colorist.' Mike Joyce, THE WASHINGTON POST 'This great production has a definite poetic quality. I can play it in the background, and I can play it if I want to listen to music--and there are not many CDs that have both. It is a fine balance.' Hugo Pinksterboer, author of THE CYMBAL BOOK 'Seasoned, versatile, bustling, bouncing, impressionistic, inventive, exciting' CADENCE 'Exquisite: a mature and deeply felt work of crystalline clarity' TALKING DRUMS 'A great recording: deep jazz roots and a sense of vision' PERCUSSIVE NOTES 'A beautifully thought-out and realized production' Jazz great Peter Erskine, author of REIKO's liner notes 'Deft, unique modern jazz' MODERN DRUMMER 'Great stuff!' Royal Stokes, author of SWING ERA NEW YORK Hal Howland's first book, THE HUMAN DRUMMER: THOUGHTS ON THE LIFE PERCUSSIVE, is in progress. Howland's master's thesis, 'The Vibraphone' (the definitive history of the instrument), is published in PERCUSSIONIST (summer and fall 1977). Since 1978 he has contributed to ARTSPIRIT, CULTURE, the KEY WEST CITIZEN, L'ATTITUDES, MODERN DRUMMER, MUSIC RETAILING, PERCUSSION, PERCUSSIVE NOTES, SCENE, STICKS & MALLETS, TALKING DRUMS, and UNICORN TIMES. Howland was born on 30 August 1951 in Washington, D.C. He showed a love of music about the age of four, studied the piano from age eight, and began to play drums, guitar, and bass at twelve. He has performed and composed classical, avant-garde, jazz, rock, and folk music in America, Europe, and the Middle East. Howland received his B.A. in music from James Madison University in 1973 and his M.A. in music history from Catholic University in 1976. Among his teachers were Fred Begun (National Symphony Orchestra), Kenneth Krohn (Israel Philharmonic), and Bill Reichenbach (Charlie Byrd Trio). Since 1981 Howland has presented his award-winning BMI jazz compositions (supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts) with the Howland Ensemble, whose critically acclaimed recordings include the audiophile phonorecord THE HOWLAND ENSEMBLE (1986) and the compact discs REIKO (1995) and 10 YEARS IN 5 DAYS (2003). Howland is the timpanist of the Miami Bach Society. He was the timpanist of the National Chamber Orchestra (recording for the KOCH International label) from it's inception in 1984 through it's fifteenth anniversary season. He is a busy freelance musician and an accomplished singer-songwriter. He teaches music at his studio on Sugarloaf Key, Florida, and in Monroe County schools. Hal Howland plays Gretsch drums, Paiste cymbals and gongs, and Vic Firth sticks, brushes, and mallets.
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