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MP3 Neil Leonard - Timaeus

Extraordiary alto saxophone/live-electronics exploring a new aspects of jazz improvisation and composition.

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: World Fusion, ELECTRONIC: Experimental

Neil Leonard (composer/saxophonist) led ensembles featuring: Afrocuba, Marshall Allen, David Bryant, Bruce Barth, Don Byron, Frank Lacy, Badal Roy and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

Leonard performed with Victor Baily, Guillermo Barretto, Boston Ballet, Lester Bowie, Leroy Jenkins, Orlando Cachaito Lopez, Robin Eubanks and Odean Pope. His chamber quintet Totems was premiered at Carnegie Hall by Don Byron and Uri Caine. His electronic music for multimedia installations was featured by 49th and 50th Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Biennial of American Art.

Recently, Leonard lead the woodwind section and arranged the finale for two sold-out concerts directed by Hal Willner UCLA''s Royce Hall. The events were tributes to Randy Newman and the Firesign Theater and featured musicians Bill Frisell, Todd Rungren, Howard Tate, David Thomas (Pere Ubu) and actors John Goodman, Jimmy Fallon and Rip Torn.

Timaeus I and II by Neil Leonard gave [his] jazz quintet and computer-sounds combination fruitful platforms for some splenid improvising.

Spring 2002
Computer Music Journal

[On his CD Timaeus] Leonard performs all instruments and does so excellently. His saxophone playing shows a felicitous feel for interaction with the computer-generated material, projects a solidly substantial tone, and demostrates able finger work.

David Cleary, February 2002
21st Century Music

New music and jazz flow from Neil Leonard''s creative imagination. In the same way that "Rhapsody in Blue" pioneered a blend, Leonard''s compositions mix a little swing with a wide variety of different effects. Sci-fi films are loaded with these unusual sounds. However, it''s Leonard''s alto saxophone that provides substance. He expresses soulful ballads and provides gutsy improvisation. Accompanying him, without overdubbing, are the electronic sounds that wait at his beck and call for their cues. From a coffee percolator marimba to a curious array of processed strings, Leonard''s accompaniment serves to complement his saxophone features. In much the same way that a piano trio accompanies, this ensemble of everyday sounds supports the leader on his quest. Using tenor for "Timaeus II," the artist moves fluidly alongside glass-like, xylophone accompaniment. Similarly, a soprano saxophone best expresses what Leonard has in mind for his flighty "San Lazaro" legacy. He''s been at it since 1988. His collection of synthetic and processed sounds provides dramatic impressions. Serving the new music community while remaining quite accessible to traditional fans, Timaeus breathes fresh ideas into today''s scene. More information about Leonard''s album is available at his web site.

By Jim Santella, Fall 2001
All About Jazz

The thing that''s really great about Neil Leonard''s Timaeus is that''s a cohesive recording; which is quite unlike a lot of the jazz-influenced recordings that seem to be hitting record store shelves these days. With Timaeus, Neil Leonard has certainly pulled off a great feat by creating a disc that is both interesting and interesting to listen to.

Matt Borghi, November 2001
All Media Guide

Every now and again, an individual comes along with a new and improved idea to keep the genre of jazz fresh and to the point. Meet Neil Leonard ... who takes music of his own design and carries it beyond the realm of normal creativity. Leonard uses "Timaeus" to extend the limits of the alto, soprano and tenor saxophone to a level often sought by Ornette Coleman.

Sheldon Nunn, October 2001
Jazz Review

"After listening to "Timeaus" CD (by Neil Leonard) one really gets the feeling that human perceptions, the body and the soul are linked to larger universal structures. It is very important because interactive jazz improvisation (still the rare breed, started by a few brave musicians like Anthony Braxton and George Lewis) gets to the core: improvisation represents the most direct manifestation of human nature while computer represents the universal structures. The dialogue between the two becomes possible through jazz."

Dmitri Ukhov, Salon AV (audio/video) monthly #8, 2001 (translated from Russian)

"The real genius of Leonard''s music comes from the insanely great structures he builds, impossibly complex and rich constructions, which build and build, eventually gracefully falling around your ears ... the results point to an artist worth keeping an eye on. This is music that can be listened to endlessly, with fresh detail emerging on each occasion."

Ben Kettlewell "Alternate Music Press" June, 2001

"Boston Cyberarts best sound offered: Timaeus I-II (1999) Neil Leonard''s electronic music fusing man and machine bringing jazz up to speed, into the world-at-large."

Erica Adams, This Side Up, 2001

"The Second Boston Boston Cyberarts Festival ... is one of the largest displays of art-meets-science ever. First on my list is to see Neil Leonard''s Cyber Jazz Ensemble perform as part of a series of sonic art featured in this year''s festival."

Vanessa Hogkinson, The Weekly Dig, 2001

"[Among] the best American Electronic music compers"

New Music Pick for Boston, April 2001 - Timeout On-line Travel Guide"

"Jazz innovator."

The Concord Journal, 1999

"[A] creative range of algorithms ... constantly shifting, exists within well-defined limits."

Miles Unger
Taking Over the Joystick of Natural Selection
The New York Times, 1999

"His electronic system creates melodic patterns, expands and contracts the tuning, creates transitions between clusters and chords, and in general makes the music glitter."

Joel Chadabe, Electronic Music Foundation

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