Thursday, June 16, 2016

New CD release showcases
St. Louis free improvisors

A loosely organized collective of St. Louis improvising musicians is releasing a CD documenting their live performances over the past two years.

New Music/Free Improv Live at the Tavern of Fine Arts contains ten tracks recorded at a half-dozen different events held between March 2014 and March 2016 at the Central West End restaurant and bar referenced in the album's title.

With production overseen by flute player/composer Fred Tompkins and pianist Greg Mills (both of whom also perform on some of the tracks), the album compiles music from monthly jam sessions at the ToFA; last fall's "3 Nights In September" festival; and more, all recorded live to two-track by Tompkins.

In addition to the two producers/project managers, performers include cellist Tracy Andreotti, poet Michael Castro, percussionist Henry Claude, violinist Alex Cunningham, keyboardist James Hegarty, clarinetist Eric Mandat, trombonist Jeremy Melsha, guitarist Lee Scott Price, trumpeter George Sams, saxophonist Dave Stone, bassist Josh Weinstein, and percussionist Thomas Zirkle.

To help promote the album (pictured), the various musicians involved will stage a CD release event at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 at the ToFA. Admission is free.

Update, 12:00 a.m., 6/17/16: The proprietors of the Tavern of Fine Arts announced late yesterday that they'll be closely permanently on Saturday, June 25, meaning that the CD release event on Wednesday, July 13 is canceled. If it is rescheduled at another venue, depending on the timing there will be either another update or a new post here on StLJN.

Pressed in a limited edition of 100 CDs, the album will be available to buy for $10 at the event on July 13, and also will be available for purchase from the participating musicians and soon, at local retailers Euclid Records and Vintage Vinyl. Plans for a digital release are pending, said Tompkins.

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