Saturday, 2 March 2013

Roulette TV: Jim Staley directed by Uri Gal-Ed

Composer/trombonist Jim Staley is renown for his groundbreaking solo performances and collaborations with advanced music creators including Fred Frith, Tom Cora, Morgan Powell, David Weinstein, Takehisa Kosugi, Ikue Mori, Robin Holcomb, and many others. He has worked with many choreographers (Suzie Brown, Pooh Kaye, Debra Loewen, Sally Silvers and others), and been a member of several creative music ensembles including Psychological Operations, Elliott Sharpís Carbon, The Tone Road Ramblers, groups headed by Lenny Pickett and John Zorn, the Slide Hampton Jazz Ensemble, and the New York Composerís Orchestra. Staley was a founding member of Roulette Intermedium Inc., the director of its performance series since 1978, and he is the producer of the Roulette TV series. Staleyís virtuoso performance on this videotape opens with a fiery bravura passage on trombone that includes growling and splattered tones and spectacularly rapid bursts of tones. By way of contrast, Staley then creates sweet and often humorous high register and pedal tones that are given speech-like inflections through subtle hand manipulations of the mute. A didjeridoo solo (on an instrument with exquisitely ornamented designs) follows. Staley exhibits a splendid circular breathing technique as he evokes meditative overtone sweeps from the low droning fundamental. Staleyís final trombone solo quickly unfolds an astonishing number and mastery of new expressive techniques including multiple tone-within-tone tonguings, beat frequency modulations, fast angular register skips, and the shaping of extended interval runs through complex valve and lip manipulations. In his post-performance interview, Staley discusses his improvisational approaches and motivations, his early years in an Army band in Berlin and meeting people who influenced his music, the creative relationship among the Tone Road Ramblers, and his support of the work of many other artists and musicians over the past 20 years.

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