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MP3 Megan Bierman-tenor, Jack Duval-drums, John Gruntfest-alto - Alignment

Free improvisation, psychedelic void leaping galactic insight

5 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Free Jazz, WORLD: World Traditions

Recent Review

"The 16 ½ minute opening track, Alignment Viewing, is classic energy music. The horns open with raw and celebratory pentatonic fanfares, then uncork a relentless dive-bombing motif that carries through the rest of the piece. Planets Spinning...offers a sharp contrast in mood: feathery, cooled-out saxophone counterpoint and gentle percussion. The long Planets Dancing is altogether funkier, built over Duval''s compulsive, swaying almost-groove. Alignment is recommended listening for fans of unvarnished gutsy improvising." Nate Dorward, Cadence Magazine, February 2004

Trio Bio

This is the first CD release of the Bierman-Duval-Gruntfest trio. The trio has played together for two years and is part of the alternative music scene in San Francisco. "We play music that is freely improvised and draws upon all musical traditions but are especially influenced by contemporary composed twentieth century music, free improvisation of the 60''s and 70''s, and traditional world music." On this adventurous free improvisation recording the trio is sounding like a ten piece orchestra! In the spirit of freedom, no instrument dominates the group, sometimes sounding like exploding stars, sometimes like early morning at the Bird Sanctuary.

John Gruntfest, who has played free for over forty years, led the Ritual Band and the Free Orchestra. This is his first album since Live at Pangea 1 & 2 were voted best, improvised albums of the year by Cadence Magazine. John played at the Berlin Wall when it came down in 89. He has also played with Eddie Gale, Greg Goodman, Henry Kaiser, and Rova. Gruntfest was part of the SF punk funk scene in the 80''s playing with The Appliances and on the road with Snakefinger, Tuxedo Moon, and Indoor Life. His record label, Independent Records, was one of the first indie record producers of alternative music. He was one of the foremost proponents of free improvisation in the San Francisco alternative music scene of the 60''s and 70''s. He grew up playing on the streets of New York with such groups as The Pageant Players, The Bread and Puppet Theater, The Motherfuckers, and The Living Theater. He honed his chops in musical battles on the street corners of The Lower East Side, the East Village, and the West Village.

Jack Duval has played free forever. He arrived out of Philadelphia and helped form the trio through workshops at the Black Dot, led by Eddie Gale. He studies music of the Ewe people of Ghana. He is a carpenter and craftsman with his hands. "The music that I play is an extension and expression of all my relations. Each time we play, I am vitally charged, and healed. We are always pushing, always rising to the moment, prayer or riff."

On this album, Megan happily returns to her roots as a free improviser as she had been when performing with Judith Dunn and Bill Dixon. Bierman and Gruntfest performed together 26 years ago in an improvisational music and dance quartet. This album offers a glimpse at their new work together with Jack Duval. Over the last thirty years, Megan has performed extensively as a jazz player, singer, and lyricist, being particularly drawn to the insistent, bird-like language of bebop. She studied composition with Jimmy Cheatham and Vivian Fine and developed her saxophone chops under the tutelage of Al Cicerone, Joe Henderson, and Kenny Brooks. Her music is also heavily influenced by her numerous collaborations with theater artists and dancers, expanding her textural explorations in sound. Megan enjoys a rich artistic life. She leads children''s drumming and theater ensembles and is an exhibiting visual artist.

Megan and John can be found playing on the streets in antiwar demonstrations, on The Ramblas in Barcelona, or by cloud-encircled volcano Arenal in Costa Rica. The trio has several more album projects in the works.

The trio looks forward to hearing from you

Megan, Jack, and John

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