Webber/Morris Big Band

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Both Are True, the debut album from Webber/Morris Big Band, is out now on Greenleaf Music!

“Riveting and mercurial… compelling explorations into the sonic possibilities of big bands.”Dan Ouellette, DownBeat
They extend the tradition through adventurous arrangements spiced with the unpredictability of improv, by co-opting the nimbleness of a much smaller group, and reveling in non-standard techniques.” –  John Sharpe, AllAboutJazz
“This is a singular and compelling recording. And just like that, we have our first album of the year candidate. Bravo.”Mike Borella, Avant Music News

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“The music never swings in a conventional way. Instead, it drifts along, elements emerging then fading away again, with solos appearing like an animal emerging from the mist in the middle of a forest, gazing impassively at you, then retreating.”Phil Freeman, Stereogum
“Every time the saxophonists Anna Webber and Angela Morris create a piece of music together, they seem to be picking apart their 19-piece ensemble and reassembling it from scratch.”Giovanni Russenello, The New York Times

Sheet Music

Click here to buy scores and parts!

About

Anna Webber and Angela Morris, two composer-performers whose music overturns expectations for the jazz big band, have co-led this ensemble of stellar New York improvisers since 2015. The band’s instrumentation is a jazz staple, but the composers’ respective pieces are equally rooted in minimalism, pop, noise, and other music of the past century or so. Integrating improvisation and composed material in unorthodox ways and using extra-musical sources – such as poetry or mathematics – to form the foundation of new works, the traditional big band sound mutates into something unpredictable. The saxophonists take turns filling the tenor chair while the other conducts her own works. Greenleaf Music, Dave Douglas’ imprint, will release their debut recording in 2020.

Personnel

Angela Morris: conductor, tenor Saxophone, flute
Anna Webber: conductor, tenor saxophone, flute
Jay Rattman: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Charlotte Greve: alto saxophone, clarinet
Adam Schneit: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Lisa Parrott: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
John Lake: trumpet
Jake Henry: trumpet
Adam O’Farrill: trumpet
Kenny Warren: trumpet
Tim Vaughn: trombone
Nick Grinder: trombone
Jen Baker: trombone
Reginald Chapman: bass trombone
Patricia Brennan: vibraphone
Dustin Carlson: guitar
Marc Hannaford: piano
Adam Hopkins: bass
Jeff Davis: drums

“Webber and Morris achieve a kind of small-group intimacy in their band’s playing … especially noteworthy when nineteen players are involved as they are on this debut recording.”Ron Schepper, Textura

Anna Webber is a New York-based flutist, saxophonist, and composer whose interests and work live in the overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music. Her most recent record as a leader, Clockwise, featured a septet comprised of several of the most creative musicians working in New York’s avant-garde, and was released on Pi Recordings (February 2019). Webber is also known for her critically-acclaimed Simple Trio, with John Hollenbeck and Matt Mitchell, with which she has released two albums on Skirl Records. She has performed and/or recorded with projects led by artists such as Dan Weiss, Jen Shyu, Dave Douglas, Matt Mitchell, Ches Smith, John Hollenbeck, and Geof Bradfield, among others. Webber is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. She has additionally been awarded grants from the Shifting Foundation (2015) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2017), and residencies from Exploring the Metropolis (2019), MacDowell Colony (2017), the Millay Colony for the Arts (2015), and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (2014). In 2014 she won the BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Composition Prize as a member of the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop. annakristinwebber.com

If Brooklyn’s music circles draw a Venn diagram, Angela Morris thrives in the loop between avant-jazz, new music, and pop. As composer and multi-instrumentalist (known mostly as saxophonist, she grew up playing violin) she has performed throughout North America and Europe. Her vocal group Rallidae has released two albums: Turned, and Was and Paper Birds. TMT, a collaborative trio with Cat Toren on piano and Anthony Taddeo on drums, recently released Asleep in the Dust, an art book/double CD collaboration with visual artist Jerry Birchfield. Skelletes, a quartet co-led with Nathaniel Morgan, Jason Ajemian, and Booker Stardrum will release its debut album later in 2020. She has received grants or fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, Willapa Bay AiR, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Banff Centre. In addition to her own projects, Morris performs with Jessica Pavone, Myra Melford, and Helado Negro. Since 2016 Morris has organized Brackish – music & art, a monthly, multi-disciplinary, experimental concert series. angelamorrismusic.com

Past Shows

June 9, 2019 @ Queens Museum, Queens, NY

March 22, 2019 @ The Jazz Gallery, NY, NY

Nov 27, 2018 @ Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, NY

March 17, 2018 @ Washington Women in Jazz Festival, DC

March 16, 2017 @ St. John’s Lutheran Church, NY, NY

Jan 27, 2017 @ Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn, NY

March 19, 2016 @ Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn, NY

Aug 11, 2015 @ Threes Brewing, Brooklyn, NY

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Photo: Hiroyuki Masuko

“They write to take full advantage of the ensemble, working in dynamics that only a big band could manage…In a sense, the Webber/Morris Big Band is a distillation of the community they discovered and have helped develop.” Kurt Gottschalk, Musicworks

Photo: Wolf Daniel courtesy of Roulette Intermedium

“The music is both introspective and communal, emotional and cool, pulsating and ruminative, yet always alive.”Richard Kamins, Step Tempest