Saturday, April 23, 2011

Honey Ear Trio @ Littlefield 4/14/11

This band brought be out to Brooklyn.  As soon as I saw this I didn't bother investigating alternatives.  I had to take the opportunity.  The perfection of the decision was reinforced as soon as they started playing.  It's an amazing trio!

I don't know if I knew about Rene before this.  I certainly already knew and loved Allison and Lewis.  I must say Rene blew me away constantly!  I absolutely love this band.

It was a CD release as well.  I love the CD!  It's very well done.

The 3 have played together a lot, but not in their own trio before.  Back when flights were grounded due to the Iceland volcano, Allison had a 6 week European tour booked that was cancelled because she couldn't get out.  Lewis and Rene were serendipitously available to rehearse and voila! A band is formed and a CD recorded.  Lucky us!

Honey Ear Trio is the new incarnation of Brooklyn NY based and long time musical cohorts Erik Lawrence, Rene  Hart and Allison Miller. Together, these three passionate musicians approach the music with a sense of playfulness and elasticity. Honey Ear Trio creatively fuses the acoustic sound of a traditional saxophone trio with modern electronics derived from Hart's manipulation of his acoustic bass sound. They also explore mixing multiple genres (jazz, rock, soul, folk) while bending, stretching, and decompressing the rhythmic and harmonic characteristics of the music.

Erik, Rene and Allison have performed as a core group in larger ensembles with Steven Bernstein, David Amram, John Medeski and the poet Robert Pinsky. They also draw upon their wide ranging experience as sidemen and featured artists with Sonny Sharrock, Levon Helm, Marty Ehrlich, Don Braden, James Hunter, Allen Toussaint, Ani DiFranco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Martin Medeski and Wood, Bilal, Bob Dylan, Brandi Carlile, Branford Marsalis, Trey Anastasio and Anat Fort. The debut Honey Ear Trio recording, Steampunk Serenade, will be released March of 2011.

Erik Lawrence - Saxophones, Flute - In addition to leading his own groups Erik Lawrence has been a sideman with greats from Allen Toussaint to Sonny Sharrock. Erik is currently a member of Levon Helm's band, with whom he was recently featured on the Grammy winning album Electric Dirt. He has performed Solo improvised saxophone at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. Erik has been featured at music festivals around the world and has performed with Chico Hamilton, Medeski Martin & Wood, Aaron Neville, Bob Dylan, Buddy Miles, David Bromberg, Bruce Hornsby and many, many others. Erik's teaching includes Williams College, Dartmouth College and Montclair State University. He has been playing the saxophone since he was 5 years old.

Rene Hart - Bass, Electronics/Looping - Rene Hart is a unique musician who draws from a wide range of influences and has toured the world extensively, performing at major Jazz and multi-genre music festivals, including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Rene's television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brian. Rene has recorded and performed with artists from Julian Priester, Don Braden and Branford Marsalis to James Hunter, Anat Fort and Bilal.

Allison Miller - Drums, Percussion
NYC-based Allison Miller defies all boundaries bringing her individual sound to diverse types of music while preserving their stylistic authenticity. Allison goes from playing with legendary songwriting vocalists Ani DiFranco, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Merchant, to touring with avant-garde saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, legendary organist Doctor Lonnie Smith, and her own band, BOOM TIC BOOM (featuring Myra Melford on piano, Jenny Scheinman on violin, and Todd Sickafoose on bass).  She approaches each of these musical situations with her own stylistic identity and a creative, fresh and energetic approach. Allison was chosen as Rising Star Drummer in Downbeats 53rd and 58th Annual Critics Poll and is currently on Modern Drummer's 2011 Pro-Panel.  Her 2010 release, BOOM TIC BOOM, was named one of the "Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2010" by the LA Times.

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