GambaDream brings a bold and colorful new sound to contemporary music. Growing from traditional jazz and classical roots but composed and played with the improvisational freedom and rhythmic energy of modern jazz and rock, Gambadream blends gorgeous melodies with inspired lyrics, lush harmonies, and innovative instrumentation. The group is led by Jay Elfenbein on acoustic viola da gamba and electric Ruby Gamba, an ancient string instrument reborn, which bows like a violin or cello, but also plucks like a bass and strums chords like a guitar. Mr. Elfenbein, whose career spans both classical and popular musical worlds, has played bass and gamba with a range of artists such as Yo Yo Ma, Joe Zawinul, Paul McCartney, Leonard Bernstein, John Zorn, Dave Brubeck, and Anthony Braxton, and plays early instruments on Paul Simon's gold CD You're the One. The CD features nine instrumental and vocal compositions by Elfenbein, from traditional jazz and rock forms to daring free-form improvisations, all with great musical intensity. Also included are pieces by Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, and an innovative arrangement of "Pick Yourself Up" by Jerome Kern. OF SPECIAL NOTE: The guitar-like arpeggios of the plucked viol that open "And Finally Grow" create the trancelike groove that propels this song, which features a soaring improvised duet of electric viol and voice. [Track 2] "Stepping Stones" deserves special mention for it's innovative weave of vocal parts within a rich polyrhythmic texture and it's stirring solos by Elfenbein and pianist Ton Nelson. [Track 6] "Maybe Not," starts with an amazing improvised duet by bassist Ratzo Harris and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, and features Andrée Pagès singing in a bold and rhythmic style. [Track 4] The only solo venture, the multi-groove dance-mix "Ruby's Glow," was composed to highlight the incredible versatility of the Ruby Gamba. All sounds, including percussion, are recorded live using only this solid body electric instrument. [Track 12] Bassist Ratzo Harris, who played with Joe Henderson, shines on an explosive version of Henderson's tune "Inner Urge."[Track 9] Bios Jay Elfenbein '' founder, composer, bass and treble viols, electric gamba: The New York Times has described the performances of Jay Elfenbein as "virtuosic... played magnificently" and "with virtuosity and flair." Principal bassist and violone player with the New York Collegium and American Classical Orchestra, among others, he has appeared as gamba soloist in both Bach Passions throughout the Northeast, and has worked in the jazz and pop field in New York and internationally for over 20 years. Tom Nelson, Piano A fixture of the New York jazz scene, Nelson has performed nationwide with Junior Cook, Billy Hart, Eddie Locke, Joe Temperly, George Kelley, and Al Harewood. His acclaimed compositions have been performed by BMI Jazz Composers Orchestra, and regional groups. Ratzo Harris, Bass Has performed and recorded with Betty Buckley, John Handy, Ted Curson, Jon Hendricks, Charles Lloyd, Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Les Paul, Joanne Brackeen, Joe Henderson, and Andrew Hill. His compositions have been used in dance scores, independent films and videos, and recorded by Kenny Werner, Bob Brookmeyer, Bruce Arnold and Royve Campbell. Satoshi Takeishi, Percussion Has toured and recorded with flutist Nestor Torres, and with the drummer Ray Barretto, with whom he toured and recorded Ancestral Messages on the Picante, Concord Label. Satoshi has also recorded and toured with Eliane Elias Trio. Andree Pages, Vocals Has been singing jazz and blues in New York City and the Hudson Valley for many years. In New York, she has performed at the Knitting Factory, the La Mama Galeria, the Blue Rose, the James Beard House, Columbia University, and other venues. Her recent CDs, Andree Pages Swings Both Ways and Andree Pages: Original Jazz, Blues & One Lonesome Cowboy, feature Elfenbein on bass and gamba.
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