Friday, January 08, 2016

Freedonia Music returns with new album from Tracy Andreotti, Greg Mills & Dave Stone

Freedonia Music, the St. Louis-based label run by multi-instrumentalist Jay Zelenka and devoted to free jazz and improvised music, is back in action with a new release.

Triopolis features cellist Tracy Andreotti, pianist Greg Mills, and saxophonist Dave Stone performing "on the edge, where the euro-classical avant-garde meets free improv."

The album (pictured) includes 13 tracks and was recorded last March at Clayton Studios in St. Louis. You can hear excerpts by clicking on the individual track titles on Freedonia's home page, and copies also are available for purchase through the website.

Andreotti, Mills and Stone also are gigging together now under the name Perihelion Trio, and they'll be performing to celebrate the release of the new CD on Tuesday, January 26 at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

The trio is a subset of the larger Perihelion Ensemble, which also includes percussionist Henry Claude (Andreotti's husband) and flute player Fred Tompkins, sometimes augmented by trombonist Jeremy Melsha and Zelenka himself. Most of the other Perihelion Ensemble members will be sitting in for the second set on January 26, Zelenka said.

Founded in 2007, Freedonia Music's last releases before this were back in March 2013, when Zelenka put out albums featuring Squid Choir Orkestra; the Human Arts Ensemble; and a series of improv duets and trios featuring himself, Stone, and vocalist Lika Shubitidze; plus Ghost Machines, a sampler album including tracks from a number of the label's releases. In total, Freedonia's catalog includes seventeen albums of improvised music made in St. Louis going back to the 1970s. All remain in print and available via the label's website.

As for the nearly three-year hiatus between releases, chalk it up mostly to the financial vagaries of running a small niche record label in the age of free streaming and downloading, though Zelenka said he's also had to deal in recent years with some personal health issues that now, thankfully, are resolved. Given his distinctive work in documenting the sounds of St. Louis, fans of free improv and avant jazz should be glad to have him and Freedonia Music back in the record-biz game.

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