Steve Cohn : iro iro
The Iro Iro band was formed during a period when I wished to bring
some new ensembles together and used the Knitting Factory in New York
to do it. I was currently still working with my chamber unit formed
for the 1993 Miller Theater concert with Bass, french horn, violin and
piano, shakuhachi, etc. I think my work with Thurman Barker was still
in my mind. Ive always loved the sound of vibes or marimba together
with piano. But I was searching for new members. I became aware of
Kevin Norton and checked him out at one of his gigs. I always reflect
on the vibration of the person not just their music. Kevin had a nice
spiritual side and I felt he would lend himself well to the shakuhachi
and other ethnic and percussion instruments I use and also he played
the orchestral percussion, drums and vibes like Thurman Barker.
The cello was exploring without bass and Kono had a Japanese
simplicity to his playing and beautiful tone. His electronics were
another avenue. Tomas had a good relationship with Kevin as they had
also played many times together. Truly this ensemble in my opinion
became magical almost immediately. The hichiriki and cello, the
shakuhachi and trombone vibes cello. The playful exploring and the
power of the blues and jazz feel.
Now add Jon Rosenberg, wonderful at live recording and two concerts of
this music was beautifully captured. The Iro Iro band is an extension
of my chamber quartet with very different colors and a whole new slew
of personalities. I am very happy that Michel Passaretti showed such
distinct interest in these recordings.
One more note about the name of this ensemble. Iro Iro is a Japanese
word which means this and that or a variety of things, and the word
Iro is the word for color.
Steve Cohn: piano, shakuhachi, hichiriki, shofar,
Masahiko Kono: trombone
Tomas Ulrich: cello
Kevin Norton: drums, vibes, percussion
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