NEW PALTZ -- Following the critical and commercial success of MALIcool, a unique encounter between West African traditional kora-based string music and North American jazz that performed at SUNY New Paltz in 2004, renowned jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd goes even farther out, melding Western improvisation with traditional Mongolian throat-singing and folk stylings. The result, recorded in late 2005 as Blue Mongol, yields a unique amalgam, even more wonderfully strange and compelling than his previous effort.
Roswell Rudd and the Mongolian Buryat Band will perform live in concert at SUNY New Paltz on Saturday, October 28. The concert, presented at McKenna Theatre, is part of the Festival of World Music co-produced by the School of Fine & Performing Arts and Unison Community Arts Center with support from the New York Music Fund.
The art of throat singing has flourished for thousands of years in Mongolia, the mountainous country that lies between Russia and China. That unique vocal tradition consists of overtones and harmonic resonances created by channeling air through the human vocal folds and out through the lips, creating strange octaves, low drones, and high-pitched, woodwind-like tones, which enable the vocalist to sound more than one note at once.
The Mongolian Buryat Band comprises a throat singer, a vocalist, and four instrumentalists who play everything from horse-head basses and fiddles to lute, dulcimer, and limbe (a flute). Rudd plays trombone and mellophone. The completely unique and utterly original tunes performed by this amalgamated group come from either traditional sources or were written by Rudd.
Critical response to Blue Mongol:
“Wow! Simply put, this recording is almost indescribable…There isn’t another recording like this on the planet; it’s stunning.” Thom Jurek, allmusic.com
“Blue Mongol acquaints trombonist Roswell Rudd’s unmatched tonal mastery and the musical tradition of Mongolia with each other, the result the most culturally respectful, spiritually uplifting and musically interesting release of the year…The world would be a better place if more people listened and took heed from the cultural lessons inherently in the delight that is Blue Mongol.” Elliott Simon, ALL ABOUT JAZZ NY
“Rudd calls the results “art folk” , an apt phrase for music that’s never less than beguiling…Rudd throws himself into everything with such relish you might be hard-pressed to tell which tunes are traditional and which are his without glancing at the credits.” Francis Davis, Village Voice
“It works surprisingly well, in part because the Mongolian band is such a pleasure to hear, but moreover because Roswell Rudd is a remarkably supple and resourceful improvisor. “ John Corbett, Downbeat
SUNY New Paltz is the first stop in a national tour that will bring Roswell Rudd and the Mongolian Buryat Band to eleven venues across the United States. These include:
Tickets to Blue Mongol are $22 general public, $18 Unison members and SUNY New Paltz staff, and $12 students. They are available by calling the SUNY Box Office at 845-257-3880 or order online at www.newpaltz.edu/artsnews and follow the link at the top of the page.