Larry Ochs and Darren Johnston will be out on tour all of May (in a trio with Chicago altoist Dave Rempis.) It made sense to see where their ESP will have evolved to over the month of May. Ochs and Robair made some really cool musical connections in a trio with Thollem Electric in January of this year. Should be a beautiful set of free improvisation.
Gino Robair is one of the “25 innovative percussionists” included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld) and has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo
Yoshihide, and Eugene Chadbourne, among many others. Robair is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and the prog-rock group,
Pink Mountain. In addition, he runs Rastascan Records, a label devoted to creative music.
Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston has collaborated and recorded with an extremely diverse cross-section of artists, yet always finds ways to be true to his own unique voice in each context. From straight-ahead jazz luminaries such as bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, to experimental icons like ROVA, Fred Frith and Myra Melford, rising star in the singer/songwriter world like Meklit Hadero, or traditional Balkan brass band giants Brass Menazeri. As a bandleader he has made his mark with the award winning The Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, the category defying Broken Shadows, and more. Johnston was featured as one of Downbeat Magazine’s “25 Trumpeters for the Future,” and has been listed multiple times in the critic’s polls. His debut quintet recording, “The Edge of the Forest” received four stars by four very different critics in the Downbeat “Critics Polls,” and was given an honorable mention by the Village Voice for the top 10 CDs of the year. Johnston has a BA from the Cincinnati Conservatory of music, and an MFA in composition from Mills College. www.DarrenJohnstonMusic.com
In his thirty-plus years in Rova, Larry Ochs has created roughly two dozen compositions for saxophone quartet as well as other pieces for Rova in extended ensembles, many of which are recorded, and some of which were commissioned by Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation and Meet the Composer. He has been acting executive director of Rova:Arts since 1987. In addition Ochs currently composes for and leads Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core (with Scott Amendola, Don Robinson, Satoko Fujii, and Natsuki Tamura [Stone Shift, CD]) and Kihnoua with vocalist Dohee Lee, Scott Amendola and special guests [the Sybil’s Whisper, 2012 CD]). He is performing in collective bands: East-West Ensemble (with Didier Petit, Sylvain Kassap, Miya Masaoka, Xu Fengxia), Jones Jones (with Mark Dresser and Vladimir Tarasov), Maybe Monday (with Masaoka and Fred Frith), Shelton-Ochs Quartet (with Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson and Scott Walton). Details on tours and recordings, and several interviews at www.ochs.cc.