The Fay Victor Ensemble: The FreeSongSuite

Thursday, October 1, 2009. 8:30 pm

The Fay Victor Ensemble: The FreeSongSuite

Thursday, October 1, 2009. 8:30 pm

The FreeSongSuite is New York-based vocalist/composer Fay Victor’s second recording of all-original music with her longstanding working quartet, The Fay Victor Ensemble. The follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2007 debut, Cartwheels Through The Cosmos (ArtistShare AS 0061), this release documents Ms. Victor’s new stream of consciousness approach to creative vocal music, which accentuates spontaneity and improvisation by removing traditional boundaries between individual songs and genres. The recording features three long-form pieces made up of smaller compositions that flow in and out of each other as a running dialog.

As in all of her ensembles, the vocalist and instrumentalists operate on equal terms, constantly shaping and directing the music through their balanced explorations. “This is one of the most astonishing jazz vocal albums I have ever heard,” writes legendary New York guitarist Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart, Jeff Buckley) in the liner notes. “I recommend this album to the legions of bored listeners out there: it is hypnotic in its flow, every song in the three sections of the suite a masterpiece of compressed storytelling…they just don’t make albums as good as this anymore.”
The Fay Victor Ensemble is a voice-guitar-bass-drum unit that performs original material which in many cases provide structure for free improvisational flight; each member contributing equally to proceedings. No divas walking around here. That’s the idea.

Fay Victor/voice, compositions
In command, infectious, energetic and strong: Fay Victor hypnotizes audiences, whether she sings a blues, sculpts a free piece, reinvents a Herbie Nichols tune through her own lyrics, or effortlessly scats over the harmonies of a jazz standard. Her musicality is deft and the words (usually hers) speak of universal themes in story-driven ways, running the full gamut of human emotion in an original mix of traditional song forms and free improvisation -she prefers to call it “Freesong” – that has become her trademark.

Victor has appeared at venues/festivals including the BAMCafe Live, The Stone, Zebulon, Galapagos Art Space, Barbes, CBGB’s, The Vision Festival Series, Cornelia Street Café, Tonic, the 55 Bar, The HOWL Festival and the River to River Festival. Outside the USA, Victor’s international appearances are extensive, having perfromed in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Andorra, Mexico, India, Poland, Russia & Japan. She has collaborated with musicians such Misha Mengelberg, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, , Gary Lucas, Steve Coleman, Roswell Rudd, Vijay Iyer, reedist Michael Moore, Duck Baker, Connie Crothers, Tyshawn Sorey, Matana Roberts, Eric Mingus, Andrew Bemkey, John Hebert, Dean Bowman, Wolter Wierbos, Anton Goudsmit, Michael Vatcher, Curtis Clark and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Anders Nilsson/guitar, effects
Starting out in Sweden with rock, American blues, heavy metal and Zappa records . After jazz studies at Malmö Academy of Music and working as a free-lancing musician in Scandinavia he moved to New York in 2000. Currently he leads Fulminate, his Swedish unit Anders Nilsson’s Aorta. Anders has performed and/or recorded with musicians such as Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter, Raoul Björkenheim, Kermit Driscoll, Eugene Chadbourne, William Parker, Fay Victor Ensemble, Tom Bruno, Ras Moshe & Jeff Arnal. He also collaborated with Butoh artist Akira Kasai on Butoh America in 2007 and art metal project Angelblood in Europe.

Ken Filiano/double bass, effects

Noted for his accomplishments in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, and inter-disciplinary performance with dance and spoken word, Ken Filiano fuses the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless, often astonishing, inventiveness.

Ken leads and composes for two groups active in New York City. His prolific output also includes performances and/or recordings with a who’s who of the New York Downtown scene and internationally: Roy Campbell, Nels Cline, Ted Dunbar, Bob Feldman, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Dennis Gonzalez, Vinny Golia, Phil Haynes, Fred Hess, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan (with the Aardvark Orchestra), Raul Juarena, Joe Labarbera, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Bob Meyer, Dom Minasi, Hafez Modirzadeh, Butch Morris, Barre Phillips, Roberta Piket, Don Preston, Bob Rodriguez, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ursel Schlicht, Paul Smoker, Peeter Uuskyla, Biggi Vinkeloe, Kenny Wessel, Pablo Ziegler.

Michael TA Thompson/drums
Drummer/Percussionist Michael Thompson has supported and co-joined with artists in an array of genres such as Joe McPhee, John Stubblefield, Henry Grimes, Daniel Carter, Alex Foster, Roy Campbell Jr., Matthew Shipp, Uri Caine, John Patitucci, William Parker, Barbara Sfraga, Mala Waldron; legendary Calypsonians The Mighty Sparrow, The Shadow, Becket; Pauline Oliveros.

For more information about the Fay Victor Ensemble in particular or Fay Victor in general, please follow the links below.