Back in November of 2013, the rarely-seen-in-nature Respect Sextet Quintet had the pleasure of working with students at The Harker School in San Jose, California. Here, in its entirety, is the concert we played while we were there (kindly reviewed here):
A Merrier Christmas! Ting tong, dear friends, and to all a hearty ting tong.
Respect In Yule is now available on iTunes! Check it out!
Here are the liner notes, which detail each track (pdf available here):
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‘Tis the season, isn’t’t?
And, lo, on a balmy May evening in the year 5772, The Respect Sextet mustered its cheer, laid down its plowshares, raised up its instruments, and made its way unto the studio — a-wassailing and laughing all the way — to beget an album full of tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. And this shall be an album unto you.
And that’s what it’s all about.
In choosing the repertoire for Respect In Yule, we made a list of our favorite holiday music, checked it thrice, and shouted out with glee. (Sotto voce, of course.) A few words on the tunes we deemed nice:
Christmas Must Be Tonight
A longstanding Wierenga family Christmas Eve tradition is to listen to this song, played by The Band, over and over again. With the release of the present album (double entendre intended), we urge in the strongest possible manner that the tradition be amended and that the Wierenga family now listen to this band’s version of the song, over and over again.
Suddenly It’s Christmas
This is a wry commentary by Loudon Wainwright III on how soon—well before the holiday proper—“the season is upon us.” Our friends Brad Lubman and the JACK Quartet assist at the end of Josh’s boisterous arrangement. (“It’s not over ’til it’s over and you throw away the tree.”)
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
A holiday season classic, this optimistically melancholic Frank Loesser composition has been recorded countless times by many a marvelous musician. Ah, but we thought we’d include it just the same (in case we stand one little chance).
Red first heard this Sir John Tavener composition at a Christmas Eve service many years ago and was moved by its simple beauty, evoking at once a lamb and a baby. He brought this piece out of its customary choral context to see what new life we (and our guests, the JACK Quartet) could breathe into it. The result is perhaps something like a lamb in sheep’s clothing.
Sevivon / I Have a Little Dreidel
No Respect Christmas album would be dry and ready to play without a solemn nod to Eli and Josh’s yearly dreidel games. Zol ikh azóy lebn, this medley combines two of the finest dreidel songs around! Joining us again for the big finish is Mr. Brad Lubman.
Bopin’ Around The Christmas Tree
This brief but formidable ditty was composed by our little drummer boy, Ted Poor. Although intended to accompany bopin’ around the Christmas tree, this tune is also suitable for accompanying bopin’ around the Yule log. Suffice it to say, if you like formidably bopin’ for brief periods of time, this is your jam.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Jule Styne’s so delightful seasonal classic harks back to the early days of The Respect Sextet. (A version of this arrangement by Josh appeared on Respect’s very first, limited-edition CD-R, (respect.), from 2002.)
No stranger to the music of Misha Mengelberg, Respect has been playing this chestnut-roasting-o’er-an-open-fire for years. In our search for lesser known jazz Christmas melodies, we couldn’t help but make the connection—however strong or otherwise—between this tune and the proverbial most wonderful time of the proverbial (again) year. A live version of Hypochristmutreefuzz appears on Respect’s 2005 release, Respect In You.
A Spotless Rose
One of the many jewels contained in Red’s father’s large collection of Christmas LPs, this Herbert Howells choral piece always brings back great memories for Red of Christmases (Christmii?) past. What better way, we ask you, to honor these memories and the piece itself than by creating a Ethiopian-inspired arrangement, replete with jingle bells, marimba, xylophone, and strings, courtesy of Ensemble Signal? No better way, we reply. That’s what.
It’s Christmas Time
An obscure gem of the Christmas repertoire, this tune (composed by Alton Abraham and Sun Ra) was recorded by Sun Ra’s early doo-wop group, The Qualities, and released as a single—the flipside of which was Happy New Year To You! — circa 1956. A Saturn Records holiday card, which may have been mailed in conjunction with the single, reads, “To You….. Better Life Vibrations For Always.” Indeed. We are joined on this track by guitarist Marco Cappelli.
A Merrier Christmas
A recording of Thelonious Monk playing this tune was never officially released, but there is rumor of a private recording of him playing (and singing) it in the early ’70s. Does such a recording exist? There’s only one way to know for sure… and that is to guess. Monk’s lyrics begin, “Now it is Christmas time, hear the bell ring pretty sounds. Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting tong.”
Echoing the words of Dennis Wilson, spoken over The Beach Boys’ version of Auld Lang Syne on their 1964 Christmas album, “If you happen to be listening to this album right now,” Ted, Malcolm, Red, James, Eli, and Josh would like to wish every one of you a very merry Christmas, and we hope the new year brings you as much happiness as this year’s brought us.
A hearty “Ting tong!” to all, and (again) to all a “Ting tong!”
Round the herds!
Pop the corks!
Sing the joyous song!
Lift the cheer!
Wake the children!
Force the checkmate!
Eschew the obfuscation!
Espouse the elucidation!
Raise the day!
Join the chorus!
Quit the band!
Butter the rolls!
Engage the currents!
Swing the little tastes!
Button up the overcoats!
Get ready the rumble!
Tip the hats, waiters, and scales!
THE RESPECT SEXTET IS TURNING TEN!
The Respect Sextet — we roisterous ne’er-do-wells — will mark our 10th year as a band with a special anniversary performance at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm). The show will be a tour (de force) of Respect’s musical mill, featuring selections drawn from all corners of our career; from our humble yet fortifying beginnings at a one-room coffeehouse in Rochester, NY, clear through to rep ripped from present-day setlists. There will be special guests, giveaways, and considerable milestone-appropriate revelry. If you are in NYC or the surrounding area or can get to NYC, we would love to see you there!
All the details are on the events page.
We’re very pleased to announce that We the people of The Respect Sextet will be playing a show at BAM on Saturday, March 26th at 9pm as part of the BAMcafé Live series! It will be a real humdinger, without a doubt. And as if its humdingerness wasn’t enough, the show is FREE!
About Respect, BAM sez:
Capable of conjuring exuberant joy, crackling wit, and studied introspection in a few measure’s time, powerhouse improv outfit The Respect Sextet is a virtuosic juggernaut of a band. Horns, keyboards/electronics, bass, and drums court toy radios, homespun noise makers, and other ephemera under the pretense that every sound and style—from Sun Ra and Stockhausen to Mentos jingles—has a place. Accordingly, they won’t apologize if a paean to Louis Armstrong or Lennie Tristano emerges from a blistering thicket of electro-acoustic free improvisation. They won’t need to anyway, since nothing will seem righter at the time.
Respect’s newest album, “Farcical Built For Six” (Roister, 2010), has received some kind words this past week from All About Jazz NY’s Kurt Gottschalk. Check out the review below (which also gives praise to friend-of-the-band Ben Gallina’s band Salo!) and don’t forget to download the new issue at aaj-ny.com!
Sirius Respect was the third record by the powerfully focused Respect Sextet, but it’s the one with which they made their mark. The 2009 album featured the group playing compositions by Sun Ra and Karlheinz Stockhausen, in one instance laying these landmark figures of 20th Century music atop each other in a single piece. It was a defining work, not only firmly triangulating their workspace but establishing the dedication they put into their craft. Since then they have been workshopping a set of Misha Mengelberg compositions while developing the set of songs which has turned out to be Farcical Built for Six, an eclectic album of eight pieces that, to the band’s credit, come off effortlessly.
Through the lens of Sirius it can be seen how hard the band worked to make their new disc seem so easy. They swing hard while tossing Dixie-leaning solos (clarinetist Josh Rutner shines here) into their enigmatic compositions and at the same time borrow from Latin jazz and early rock ‘n’ roll at some points, at others harkening again to Ra’s space jazz. But the index of influences isn’t what makes Respect work as a band. What makes them work is that they are a band, very much so. Five of the six members contribute compositions, but there’s cohesion to the playing; the band arrives with a single purpose. They don’t use, reference or borrow from bebop, in other words. They integrate it. It is, in this case, a crucial distinction – while they may be playful, one thing the band isn’t is ironic. They play good jazz straight up, even if they come at it from several angles, often at the same time.
That wide-angle lens approach is shared by their sibling septet, Salo, with whom they share Rutner (bass clarinet and tenor sax) and Red Wierenga (piano and keyboards). The camera shot is even more sweeping, in fact, in Salo’s case. Bassist Ben Gallina’s compositions (all seven are his, with one interpolating a 1942 Paul Hindemith composition) on Sundial Lotus are cinematic in scope, making quick turns with a willingness to indulge in marches and psychedelia, most notably on the remarkably swirling “Metamorphistopheles”. Gallina has been working consistently around town with a number of bands and his first recording as a leader shows him to be an inventive composer and boss who will no doubt continue to be worth watching.
For more information, visit respectsextet.com and innova.mu. The Respect Sextet is at Le Poisson Rouge Jan. 7th as part of Winter Jazzfest. See Calendar.
As Kurt so kindly mentions, Respect will be playing at this year’s Winter Jazzfest this Friday (Jan 7) at 6:15pm at Le Poisson Rouge! More information is available at our events page and the Winter Jazzfest site. We hope to see some of you there!
Thanks for checking in with us! A few fun things to report:
The New York Times provided a glowing review of our performance at the Greenwich House Music School last week! Here’s a snippet:
In an hourlong concert the band put it all out on the table: post-bop precision drills, boogie-woogie coughing fits, passing interludes of static or clangor. At the front line were the trumpeter Eli Asher, the saxophonist and clarinetist Josh Rutner and the trombonist and tuba player James Hirschfeld. They looked like the sort of guys who might peel off at any moment and start doing your taxes.
Instead they busied themselves with brisk and accomplished improvising, often in an overlapping tandem. Periodically one or more would drop into a crouch to tend to an aluminum mixing bowl or a transistor radio or some other noisemaker. Sometimes this felt merely like spectacle on a personal scale, the equivalent of waving a sparkler in each hand. Sometimes it imbued the music with welcome texture or a whiff of mystery.
Read the whole thing at www.nytimes.com!
This digital-only collection of 8 original songs answers the question “How are these guys gonna follow up the success of Sirius Respect?” That disc’s brilliant pairing of material by Sun Ra and Stockhausen got this hardworking band some much-deserved attention, but the sextet’s own composing talents are just as satisfying, drawing on a typically deep well of influences. Drummer Ted Poor’s “Stray Gator” carries over the Ra influence in an ominous blast-off featuring a brooding tenor saxophone solo by Josh Rutner and brash trumpet from Eli Asher. That’s followed by trombonist James Hirshfield’s “Tony I”, a romp which veers between Dixieland and ragtime with assorted ritards and percussive is-the-needle-stuck interjections. Pianist Red Wierenga seems to be channeling Jerry Lee Lewis on parts of the intricate title cut, while the band adds to the fun with big Latin horns on “The Hinske Plow”. Hirshfield’s yearning trombone really shines on the introspective “Vermont”, which conjures up echoes of the David Murray Octet, and the album ends perfectly with Rutner’s bebop send-up “I Want to Be Asher”, which sounds as fresh now as it would have on Savoy in 1945. As with previous releases you can’t escape the feeling that not only are these guys very good at what they do, they seem to have a lot of fun doing it.
Don’t forget to stream “Farcical Built for Six” (in its entirety) for FREE on Respect’s bandcamp page, respectsextet.bandcamp.com, and, if you like it, download it for only $7.
Also! Keep your ears to the ground for some great new performances we’ll be announcing over the coming weeks!
If you’ve downloaded it from any other source (iTunes, eMusic, etc.), you’ll have found yourself, sadly, linernoteless.
BUT WORRY NOT! You too can enjoy the fruit of Vrabel’s labor by clicking HERE here and downloading a fresh PDF for yourself.
Thanks to all who have listened to and downloaded Farcical Built for Six!
Huge thanks to John Schaefer and his amazing team for such a great time at the WNYC studios yesterday. Respect was featured in an in-studio performance and spent a few minutes discussing our new record, Farcical Built for Six, among other things.
For those of you who missed it (or for those of you who listened but can’t wait to hear it again), check it out right here:
Visit Soundcheck online: wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck
Whoops! We dropped our new digital album all over the internet! Will you help us by picking up a few copies?
Visit respectsextet.bandcamp.com, where you can stream it, love it, and purchase it!
New Yorkers! Don’t forget about tonight’s album release show at Le Poisson Rouge! More info and advance tickets available here: http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/view/1389
As if that weren’t enough, tune in to WNYC’s “Soundcheck” today around 2:15pm ET when, following a rousing critical discussion of Arcade Fire’s hotness factor, The Respect Sextet will perform and chat about the new album! More info and links to stream the show here: wnyc.org
The Respect Sextet is excited to announce the release of Farcical Built For Six on August 17th, 2010. Farcical is the first studio album of band originals since 2003, and will be available stream, enjoy, and purchase at Respect’s Bandcamp page, http://respectsextet.bandcamp.com and other fine online retailers. Friend of the Sextet, Elliot Kirby, created the beautiful cover!
We are also excited to announce that the release show for Farcical Built for Six will happen in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on the release date proper, Tuesday, August 17th, at 10:00pm. (See the events page for complete details.)
As if we weren’t excited enough already, we are very pleased to announce that vocalists Toby Twining and Eric Brenner will open the show with a mix of solos and duets, as well as barn-burning renditions of two of Toby’s greatest hits, featuring Mr. Twining, Mr. Brenner, and Mr. Respect Sextet!
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ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM
Farcical Built for Six is the special digital-only, outrageous and eclectic follow-up to the acclaimed Sun Ra and Stockhausen tribute album, Sirius Respect. The Respect Sextet’s first original studio recording since their 2003 debut, Farcical welds together deep, odd grooves, wry and playful jazz ditties, thoughtful solos, and spacious improvisations into an utterly unique ride that’s both fun and functional! No doubt about it, this is vintage Respect—sure to leave a smile on your face and a furrow on your brow…at the same time!
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Hope to see some of you at the release show!
On June 24th, the world lost another great one. Fred Anderson, the tenor titan and owner/operator of the Velvet Lounge in Chicago, died Thursday, at the age of 81.
A nice tribute by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune can be found here.
We covered one of Fred’s melodies—”3 on 2″—on our 2005 release, Respect In You. As a tribute to Fred, we’d like to offer it to the world free and in full:
We had a great time in Philadelphia last week, offering the city of brotherly love the respect they have so richly deserved for so long! Big thanks to Mark Christman of the Ars Nova Workshop for having us out.
Tonight (March 24) we’ll be playing at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA. If you’re in the Boston area, come check us out!
(Real nice article from the Boston Globe here.)
Lastly, we’ve recently made our back catalog (including 2003’s “The Full Respect” and 2005’s “Respect In You”) available on iTunes, eMusic, Amazon mp3, Lala, and Rhapsody. So head to your favorite online retailer, search for “respect sextet” and complete your collection today! (Of course you can still purchase hard copies of these records directly from this site.)
Thanks so much to everyone who voted for The Respect Sextet in WNYC’s 2009 New Sounds Listener Poll!
Amazingly—you can even kind of hear the disbelief in John Schaefer’s voice—“Sirius Respect” managed to eek its way all the way to THIRD PLACE, thereby solidifying Respect’s place in musical (and world) history. We plan to get our third place medal bronzed, for posterity.
Listen to the whole show (which aired on 1/7/10) here:
Congrats to our friends Alarm Will Sound who took home the gold!
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Finally, a reminder that on Tuesday, January 12 (that’s this coming Tuesday), Respect is playing a great show at (le) Poisson Rouge, with special guest Ethan Iverson opening the show on piano solo. More info on that show can be found here.
When you get a moment (it takes about 15 seconds), click on the link above and vote for the Respect Sextet’s “Sirius Respect” (named by the WSJ “one of the most compelling recordings of the year” and filed under “LOVE IT” by Newsweek magazine) in the 2009 New Sounds Listener Poll from WNYC, New York Public Radio!
The poll closes at 12PM EST on 1/7/10, so get in there and make your voicing of our voice (which we humbly request herein) heard!
Sirius Respect was chosen as one of Soundcheck’s “Picks of the Week” on May 22, 2009. About the album, host John Schaefer said:
“The late avant-garde jazz bandleader Sun Ra claimed he was born on the planet Saturn. His birth certificate said Alabama, but that must’ve been a government cover-up. Now, Sun Ra’s music has been paired with another “child of the cosmos,” the late German avant-garde classical composer and provocateur Karlheinz Stockhausen. Thanks to New York’s Respect Sextet, the combination works. The Respect Sextet displays the formal structure and melodic gifts of Sun Ra’s music, and focuses on Stockhausen’s Zodiac pieces, like this one. It’s neither jazz nor classical, but something cosmically both.”
Spread the word if you’re so inclined!
Thanks and happy holidays from The Respect Sextet!
P.S. The Respect Sextet encourages one and all to give the gift of Respect this holiday season. It’s the gift that keeps on giving (you gotta give it to get it, remember!), and it’s oh so important to give your friends and loved ones the respect they so richly deserve!
“Sirius Respect” (our newest one, which, with your help, will ideally overwhelmingly win the above poll) is available just about everywhere, including iTunes and amazon.com. Our previous albums are always available here on this site.
Respect returns to the (le) Poisson Rouge stage on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 to present a tremendous set of original music!
Opening the show will be the innovative pianist Ethan Iverson (of The Bad Plus), playing a set of “cocktail music” on solo piano!
Advance tickets: http://lepoissonrouge.inticketing.com/events/62254
About Ethan Iverson
Ethan Iverson is best known as the pianist with the innovative piano trio the Bad Plus, but he had an extensive career prior to the formation of the group.
Born in 1973 in Menomonie, Wisc., he moved to New York in 1991, where he took private lessons from Fred Hersch. Iverson made his recording debut in 1993 on School Work, matching ideas with Dewey Redman. He was the musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group, performing with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Yo-Yo Ma. He has also worked with Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, Patrick Zimmerli, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Charlie Haden. Iverson’s trio recorded Construction Zone (originals) and Deconstruction Zone (standards) during 1998. Iverson knew bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King when they were teenagers in the Midwest and they played together on one occasion in 1990, but the Bad Plus was not formed until 2000. However, after they played a weekend at a club in Minneapolis, it became apparent that the Bad Plus had something special. Since that time they have helped to revitalize the piano trio, performing rock songs as creative jazz but with the sensibility and spirit of rockers, achieving quite a bit of popularity and influence on the modern music scene. While the Bad Plus has been Ethan Iverson’s main musical activity of the past eight years, he continues occasionally freelancing, playing, among other places, at the Village Vanguard in a trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian.
Respect is in the midst of a residency of sorts at Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village. It’s one of our new favorite places to play! Part of it is the low-key, cafe vibe, and part of it is the great piano they have (Red is never so happy as when he gets to sit down at a real acoustic piano in a NYC venue); and the staff is great too!
We hope you’ll join us for the following Sundays in November and December:
Sunday, November 22nd
Sunday, December 6th
Sunday, December 20th
all shows begin at 7:30pm
Mark your calendars! On Wednesday, October 14, at 8:30pm, The Respect Sextet takes the stage at Cornelia St. Cafe, conveniently located in the West Village of Manhattan. We’d love to see you there! As always, Respect will draw from its ever-growing songbook, providing you with the choicest cuts on the market. It ain’t what we do, it’s the hilarity with which we do it.
This just in! More footage from the September 18 performance at the New Languages Festival is up on the interwebs! Check out this clip from Respect’s fine reading of “Stray Alligator,” a composition by our drummer Ted Poor, which is fast becoming a jazz classic:
A big thank you to all who came out to McCarren Hall last night for night one of the New Languages Festival! It was a great pleasure to provide the opening notes of what is already shaping up to be a seriously kickass festival. Last evening featured the fantastic group “House of Mirrors” as well as the monsterously wonderful “Secret Society” led by Darcy James Argue (featuring, among others, Respect’s very own Eli Asher and James Hirschfeld.
For those who weren’t able to make it out last night, here’s a little taste of Respect’s performance:
The festival continues… Check out the full schedule at www.newlanguages.org.
Gearing up for tomorrow’s New Languages Festival kickoff evening, the Wall Street Journal ran a great piece in today’s paper:
Here are the paragraphs with mentions of The Respect Sextet:
New Languages kicks off with a performance by the Respect Sextet, a group that has created one of the most compelling recordings of the year, “Sirius Respect: The Music of Sun Ra and Stockhausen” (Avant).
Trumpeter Eli Asher, 30, said that the work of both composers—one a pioneer of avant-garde jazz and the other a key innovator in contemporary classical music—was informed by “mysticism, astrology, a self-constructed cosmology, intertwining compositional languages, and a total absorption into their personal worlds.” In addition, both were early advocates of the synthesizer. There are many pieces by Sun Ra, a Chicago bandleader, that can be easily adapted to jazz sextet, but far fewer of Stockhausen’s works have such flexibility. The group leaned heavily on the German composer’s “Zodiac Suite.” The recording’s 13 tunes are presented with care and unity. By the final track, Mr. Stockhausen’s “Capricorn” and Sun Ra’s great “Saturn” mesh perfectly.
The band began eight years ago in Rochester, N.Y., where the musicians attended the Eastman School of Music, and it continued in New York, where at one point four members temped for Bear Stearns. “At one point there were 15 or so Eastman graduates working at Bear Stearns,” said saxophonist Josh Rutner, 28, who now works at the private equity firm (and Bear Stearns spinoff) Irving Place Capital. “Every lunch break was a class reunion.”
The sextet plays with a stellar blend of precision and humor, which Mr. Rutner attributes to the influence of the new Dutch Swing groups, such as the ICP Orchestra. “They gave us great insight into how serious music could also be hilarious,” he said.
Read the full article online here.
Hope to see you all tomorrow night!
A belated but huge thanks to the folks who came out to hear us at Caffe Vivaldi for our Labor Day Eve event. It was our first time playing at Vivaldi, but is far from our last! (Check the events page for future dates…)
Here are a few video snipits from the aforementioned show:
“Munificence” by Red Wierenga
“Walt I” by James Hirschfeld
Since the release of Sirius Respect, we’ve had bunch of kind and thoughtful reviews. You can check out a nice selection of them on our press page. Here’s one of the most recent, from the July 2009 issue of Paris Transatlantic Magazine:
The Respect Sextet
SIRIUS RESPECT: THE RESPECT SEXTET PLAY THE MUSIC OF SUN RA & STOCKHAUSEN
The Respect [Sextet] have been going strong since 2001, having transferred their base of operations from Rochester to New York with the odd personnel change along the way; currently the band consists of Eli Asher (trumpet), Josh Rutner (tenor sax), James Hirschfeld (trombone), Red Wierenga (piano/keyboards), Malcolm Kirby (bass) and Ted Poor (drums). Their perpetual fondness for clunky puns in their CD titles disguises their increasingly distinctive performance style and serious delvings into the alt.jazz canon. Their earliest proper CD release, The Full Respect, was imaginative, fun, but rather glib; the follow-up live Respect in You was much more like it, and gave a taste of their real forte: long, slow-burn performances unpicking a single tune at leisure, as recognizable themes slip in and out of a conspiratorial haze of activity. Their affection for the ICP is often evident (they once celebrated Misha Mengelberg’s birthday with an evening of his tunes), and like the AACM they make frequent use of toys and homemade instruments.
Sun Ra has been a Respect touchstone for a while: one of their occasional mini-CD bulletins was a 20-minute performance of “A Call for All Demons”. So it’s no surprise that this disc, their third full-length release, is in large part devoted to the Saturnian One’s compositions. It’s a lovely, gutsy idea to pair him with Karlheinz Stockhausen for this program. The connections between the two men are clear enough – notably, a grandiose self-created cosmology delivered with a straight face, and the somewhat cultish leadership of a clan/family of dedicated interpreters – but it’s still quite a stretch for a jazz group to deal with Stockhausen’s output, and the Respect have been very selective in what they tackle: mostly brief melodies from Tierkreis, plus “Dienstagslied” and the text-piece “Set Sail for the Sun” (given a luminous but far too short reading at less than six minutes). In point of fact, the Ra portion of the program far outweighs the other in terms of sheer running time, though at least the two streams converge briefly with the final track, a live performance collaging “Capricorn” (Tierkreis) and “Saturn” (classic late-1950s Ra, best known from its appearance on Jazz in Silhouette).
What seems to attract the Respect most with Ra isn’t the farthest-out stuff from the 1960s and beyond, nor his homages to Fletcher Henderson or Duke Ellington, but instead the areas where he seems prescient of the sharp end of the current jazz mainstream: a cutting-edge harmonic sense pushing bebop line-spinning into atonality, the use of electronic keyboards, experimentation with exotic time-signatures and percussion overlays. Some tracks are quite short and pointed – the opening blast through “Jet Flight” and the epigrammatic reading of “Velvet” – but others take longer durations to pull together their elements, offering something of the flavour of the group’s live performances (though this is mostly a studio album). The churning 7/4 line of “Shadow World” especially suits the Respect’s love of collagist mayhem, and their favourite strategem of letting a tune emerge sidelong from very oblique beginnings is evident on “El Is the Sound of Joy” (though when they finally lock into the stomping groove you wish it lasted longer). Perhaps the best compliment one can pay to their use of the Stockhausen pieces is that they fit right in–indeed, the staggering horn fanfares of “Dienstagslied” offer the most Arkestra-like moment on the disc.
Sirius Respect isn’t the group’s most impressive disc in terms of soloing – I’d direct you instead to Respect in You for some monstrous solo work by Asher, Rutner and Hirschfeld – but at least you get a better representation of their excellent pianist/synthesist Red Wierenga, who mostly stuck to the background on the earlier CD (probably because he was also responsible for the live recording). In any case, this is still a courageous, thought-provoking, and thoroughly enjoyable attempt to foster a dialogue between the musical legacies of its two dedicatees.
—Nate Dorward, July 2009
We hope you like it too – Please pick up a copy if you haven’t already!
And keep your ear to the ground for the next one…
Respect has two great upcoming shows to tell you about:
First up, on Sunday, September 6, we make our way to Caffe Vivaldi; a Labor Day Eve treat! Remember, you may have the day off the next day, so come out and show us some love! No cover; donations make the world go ’round.
More info on Caffe Vivaldi here.
Secondly, we’re super excited to have been asked to be the opening performance for this year’s New Languages Festival at McCarren Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here’s the word on the festival, from the website:
Once a year, the New Languages Festival attempts to provide a panoramic view of 21st century jazz in New York City. It was first held in 2005 at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan. Since then, it has thrived on the strength of its programming, which persistently keeps pace with the state of the art as it unfolds in the city. Featured artists have included Jonathan Finlayson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Brandon Ross, Miles Okazaki, Darcy James Argue, Tony Malaby, Nate Wooley, Amir ElSaffar, Tyshawn Sorey, Taylor Ho Bynum, Mat Maneri, Steve Lehman, Eivind Opsvik, John Hebert, Judith Berkson, Dan Weiss, and numerous others.
It’s going to be a great opening night, with House of Mirrors and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society sharing the bill!
Thanks to all of you who have bought our newest CD, Sirius Respect.
Apparently, the liberal elitist mainstream media has picked up on the CD, as evidenced by this week’s Newsweek (page 63)!
No concerts on the schedule just yet, but all that is about to change. There are lots of exciting projects in the works and we hope to have them on the ol’ google calendar very soon. So, please sign up for the mailing list (we promise not to spam) or keep checking back here at least once every five minutes.
A huge and humble thanks to all who were able to make it to the show on Sunday night. It was ridiculously fun to play for you and your presence made us feel good. Thanks also to Le Poisson Rouge for having us out, and to Brian at Mode Records for his support. Finally, our warmest thanks to the JACK Quartet for playing their asses off.
Looking forward to the next one…
A huge (if belated) thank you to everyone who came out to the Bop Shop last week. It was a phenomenal crowd and we had such a great time playing. Particular thanks go to Tom Kohn for arranging to have us out every year, and to Robert and Donna for always making us feel so at home.
For those of you who missed it, here’s a little taste:
Up next, of course, is the NYC CD Release Show at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, May 24th. Remember that the next day is Memorial Day, so many have a built-in excuse to hang out long and strong on the 24th! Come join us!
Tickets to the NYC Release Show are available here:
We hope to see you, and/or your NYC-based friends, there!
It’s almost here! The Respect Sextet has been playing Rochester’s Bop Shop for several years and our annual homecoming for 2009 will take place this Friday, May 1st!
This will be a particularly special performance as we’ll be celebrating the release of our newest record: Sirius Respect: The Respect Sextet play the music of Sun Ra & Stockhausen (Mode/Avant 2009). We will, of course, be playing some material from that project as well as providing a taste of what we’ve been working on lately. You’re not going to want to miss this!
I know what you’re thinking: “I live in Rochester; what can I do to help?”
There are several things, and they all require virtually no effort: First, you can attend the show. This is huge because the bigger the crowd, the better we sound. Second, you can bring your friends and family to the show with you! Share the Respect with the ones you love!
For those of you who don’t live in Rochester, you can help by purchasing the new record in triplicate! You never know when you’ll need 2 additional copies of Sirius Respect…
Thanks for your support!
This past Wednesday one half of the Respect Sextet joined Signal, a ballsy new music outfit led by Brad Lubman, in performing Michael Gordon’s brain-melting, tendonitis-inducing (and thoroughly charming) piece, Trance.
The performance took place at Le Poisson Rouge (the fantastic venue where Respect will be holding their NYC CD release show on Sunday, May 24!).
Catch a repeat performance of the mammoth piece at this summer’s Bang on a Can Marathon!
Welcome to the newly revamped Respect Sextet website!
Today, April 21, 2009, not only marks the unveiling of the new site, but also marks the official release of Respect’s newest CD, Sirius Respect: The Respect Sextet Play the Music of Sun Ra and Stockhausen (Mode/Avant). We’re so excited that it’s out and can’t wait for you to hear the fruits of our efforts!
If you live in the Rochester, NY area, don’t forget that on Friday, May 1, at 8pm, we’ll be playing a release show at the The Bop Shop.
Full show details are on the events page, and more shows are in the works, so stay tuned.
We have several exciting pieces of news for you.
First, the Respect Sextet’s new CD, Sirius Respect: The Respect Sextet Play the Music of Sun Ra and Stockhausen will be released on April 21 on Mode/Avant Records. The project has been in the making for several years, and we’re very happy to finally present the proverbial fruits to you, the listening public!
Sirius Respect is currently available for online pre-ordering at Amazon in CD format and MP3 format. The CD is also available for pre-order at many other online retailers, and will soon be available in stores and via digital distribution.
In celebration of the CD release, we have a few shows scheduled:
Friday, May 1, at 8pm at The Bop Shop in Rochester, NY
Full show details are on the events page, and more shows are in the works, so stay tuned. Which brings us to…
…a new website! In conjunction with the CD release, a new website is en route. Watch this space!
We daresay it is about time. And the hokey pokey. All about the hokey pokey. (Except for James, who doesn’t like the hokey pokey! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Me neither! Holla!)
Time, we sez. Time for some Respect! A bunch of gigs coming up, including Wednesday, October 1, at Cornelia Street Cafe; Sunday, October 26, at Brooklyn Lyceum; and Saturday, November 8, at The Stone.
And we’re eagerly awaiting the release of our new CD on Mode Records, scheduled for early 2009. Keep your ear to the ground for more word on that.
Also, a new website is right around the mountain and will be riding six white horses when it comes, when it comes.
Spread the respect! Huzzah!
We are so happy to announce that we will be performing at the Bop Shop in Rochester, NY on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008. Join us as we play brand new music and some Respect classics!
Also, we are humbled to be doing a clinic at our alma mater, the Eastman School of Music earlier in the day.
See you in Rochester!
We’re pleased to announce that we will perform on September 29th at Cornelia Street Cafe as part of FONT, the Festival of New Trumpet Music. FONT is dedicated to presenting new music for the trumpet across the respectrum, and as such Respect will perform brand new music conceived explicitly for the occasion and featuring Eli Asher, Senior Managing Director of Trumpet, Slide Trumpet, and Pocket Trumpet.
The Respect Sextet has just recorded her latest album. It will be a bit before you can buy it, but make no mistake; it’s going to be a real humdinger.
Also, please join Respect for a very special performance on June 20 at The Stone in New York City. Respect will be performing music by composer Brad Lubman with guests Lauren Radnofsky (cello) and Olivia DePrato (violin).
Rip rap rippity roo to you! We’re happy to report that the August/September tour was a smashing success. Chris Wicks joined us on alto saxophone for the tour while Josh enjoyed his well-deserved honeymoon! We had a great time playing on Blue Lake Public Radio, and the performance was recorded very nicely. Expect to find portions of that recording up here sometime in the not-too-distant future. In the meanwhile, you can listen to our show at Space vs Time in Grand Rapids (thanks, Corey!) by checking out James’ page. Particularly recommended listening is “Beer.” The tour concluded with a rousing performance with both Josh and Chris at Cornelia Street Cafe here in New York.
This Saturday, October 21, we’ll be performing at the Center for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, starting at 8:30pm.
Also coming up, on Monday, November 27, we’ll play at the Lucky Cat in Williamsburg.
Finally, we’re touring the northeast in December, and we’ll be busting out some really fun material featuring the works of some extra-terrestrial composers in preparation for a January recording. Full tour dates will be added soon, as will more information on this very special project which will bring together two worlds in inimitable Respect fashion. Monback!
From July’s All About Jazz:
“…I would single out one moment above all as my favorite: when the Respect Sextet charged into a spirited rendition of Albert Ayler’s “Truth is Marching In” at a street concert. I shook my head and marveled at the sight of Ayler’s music being played to a crowd of street revelers, 75% of whom had no idea who Albert Ayler was. The piece got a great cheer at the end. Who would’ve thought that 36 years ago when he died, Ayler’s music would have this much of a reach? He must have been looking down and smiling.”
Well–the accolades keep coming. Thank you All About Jazz for giving Respect the credit that it so richly deserves. To read even more about our amazing performance, either pick up a copy of All About Jazz in NYC, or read about it via the interweb by clicking here.
You can now view the encore from this past Monday’s Respect show at the Rochester International Jazz Festival online at YouTube.
Also, Saby Reyes-Kulkarni reviews the performance in this week’s City Newspaper, writing,
At first, during Rochester expatriates The Respect Sextet’s first set outside on Gibbs, something felt off to me. As adventurous as I know Respect can be, the music sounded strangely…traditional to me. Ah, but soon the genius began to shine. Respect seems to do everything with a twist. As the set went on and gained in momentum, the band very cleverly unveiled its infectious sense of fun in layers. By the middle, they had the crowd in the palm of their hand, and it wasn’t just made up of local fans who knew them from Eastman and Java’s. A we-came, we-saw, we-conquered performance. Bravo!
Click here for even more hilarity from Respect’s recent jaunt to Rochester, NY.
In the process of using the Distillery’s free internet to shamelessly display the Respect Sextet website, it became obvious that the site was in dire need of an update. Hence, this update. However, Ted just walked in, so we’re going to have to finish the news later. Time for food and beer! Back in a bit!
Hey, kids! Some great gigs coming up this week: this Thursday, 4/20, we’re playing as part of a very special and resptectable double-bill with Dave Crowell & Naked Brunch at the Knitting Factory starting at 10. Respect comes on at 11 with guest Take Toriyama on drums.
Then, on Sunday, April 23, Respect plays at Bar4 in Park Slope from 8-11pm. As part of a great series called Konceptions, we’ll be spreading Respect around like none other as we help welcome Ted back from a European jaunt. Come early and come often!
Finally, Respect now has a MySpace page at
Hope to see you this week!
hey all you respect fans! love the band but don’t know how to show it? visit www.cafepress.com/respectsextet for some hilarious stuff!
Happy New Year, fellow purveyors and consumers of respect! We’ll have some new things, including pictures and recordings from the mini-tour, up in a few days. In the meantime, please avail yourselves of an mp3 version of the sold-out Respect Sextet +1 mini-CD (respookt.), a Halloween recording of Sun Ra’s “A Call For All Demons” featuring special guest Jason Price on trumpet and laptop, available on the Listen page. Enjoy!
Thanks to all who came out to hear Respect at Hank’s in Brooklyn, Ohm in Syracuse and the Bop Shop in Rochester!
We had a great time playing and the response was very strong in all three cities. In particular, the Rochesterians came out in force, packing the Village Gate atrium, and creating an intensely warm and hilarity-inducing atmosphere.
Stay tuned for info on the next Respect event!
This Sunday, December 18, the Respect Sextet will perform its first gig since the performance that led to the critically acclaimed Respect In You. Respect will be playing at Hank’s Saloon, 46 Third Avenue (corner of Atlantic) in Brooklyn. We’ll start at 7:30pm. There is no cover, and there will be free food! Please come out and give some respect (you gotta give it to get it!).
After playing at Hank’s, Respect will head upstate for a few gigs, including the OHM Lounge in Syracuse on Tuesday, December 20 at 9pm, and the Bop Shop in Rochester on Wednesday the 21st at 8pm. For full details, see Events.
Also, now is the perfect time to give the gift of Respect. From now until December 31, CDs are only $10 each! They make great stocking stuffers!
Check out the Respect page at the Java’s Music Archive to hear some classic early performances by the Respect Sextet. Java’s Music Archive, created by bassist and web designer PJ Kelly and Respect’s own James Hirschfeld, is a repository for recordings made at Java’s Cafe in Rochester, NY, where the Respect Sextet held a weekly Wednesday night gig for several years while the members were students at the Eastman School of Music.
The Respect Sextet is back in business this December with a small tour, hitting upstate New York hotspots. If you live upstate, please come and bring your family and your family’s family. Also, you can support the band anytime by purchasing a cd right here!
here she is:
This group’s been around since 2001, and they already have several discs to their credit- a couple CD-Rs, a mini-CD of a twenty-minute version of Sun Ra’s “Call to All Demons,” and one full-length CD, The Full Respect. They have great chops and a great sense of humor, and they seem to play just about everything. (Robert Iannopollo calls them a “Jazzswinglatinbopbalkanfreeimprov band,” but if anything that sells them short.) The Full Respect has supercharged grooves peppered Art Ensemble-style with children’s toys, game-pieces, Dave Douglasy accordion-and-trumpet, a Charlie Parker/Bill Evans mashup, pitch-perfect Ellingtonia, klezmer, a TV commercial, a mangled trumpet rag (a joke at Wynton Marsalis’ expense?). It’s a fun and mightily impressive disc, even if it’s a little too close to the post-Zorn channel-flipping aesthetic.
Respect in You, recorded at a live gig from the band’s hometown of Rochester, NY, has all its predecessor’s virtues, but it’s less of a crazyquilt. It’s still witty and intelligent music, shot through with an allusive let’s-throw-this-in-the-pot sensibility, but there’s much less of an ironic distance: they seem in the grip of this music, and convey that sense of pressure to the listener too. They do a cover of Misha Mengelberg’s “Hypochrismutreefuzz” and stitch other Mengelberg themes into the rest of the album; perhaps what they’ve learned from Misha (or from another of their heroes, Sun Ra) is how to pry Jazz apart- to make it sound layered rather than seamless, an unstable compound of elements that can each recede or approach, become sharper or fray at the edges. Their reading of Fred Anderson’s “3 on 2” is a case in point. Emerging from a nebula of radio fuzz, it homes in on a swirling Coltrane-derived groove. The band’s delivery is authentically ecstatic: it’s as thrilling an opening to an album as any I’ve heard in the past year, all fifteen minutes of it. But the performance also makes use of weaving in-and-out shifts of texture and of emphasis within the ensemble, as a way of gaining and readjusting their (and our) perspective on this kind of ecstatic intensity. (Call it “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Fred Anderson.”) Sometimes this multiperspectivism is almost schematic: “Postal (a.k.a. PB&J),” for instance, sets two kinds of blues in dialogue, a “Blues for Alice” swinger and a “Black and Tan Fantasy” funeral march. It’s a clever idea- Bird talking back to Ellington- but it’s a lot more than that, not least because right in the middle of the piece there’s a black-hole collapse, all the bright bebop virtuosity squeezed dry until it’s no more than an ominous thrumming.
There’s much more that could be said- about the superb work of the individual players (saxophonist Josh Rutner, trombonist James Hirschfield, trumpeter Eli Asher, pianist/accordionist Red Wierenga, bassist Matt Clohesy, drummer Ted Poor); about the whimsical details and quotes that take multiple listens to ferret out; about the deviously snowballing “Hypochrismutreefuzz”, or “Riot of Light,” which to these ears is not so much joyful as an exploration of how joy is expressed in music, from Salvation Army hymnody to Aylerian ecstasy to a whirlwind tour of Latin and Caribbean dance rhythms. But suffice it to say that Respect in You is one of this year’s outstanding new discs, providing more food for thought and pure enjoyment than just about anything I’ve heard lately. Check it out.
-nate dorward, cadence magazine
Check out the enthusiastic new review of Respect In You in the June edition of Paris Transatlantic.
After several months of waiting, the Respect Sextet is finally ready to reveal its latest and greatest compact disc: Respect In You.
Recorded live in Rochester NY with guest bassist Matt Clohesy, Respect In You includes five tracks in the inimitable respect style.
The record will be officially released during the first week of January in Rochester [no release party scheduled]; later in the month it will be available in various record stores in NYC, and sometime that month, it will become available on this very site for purchase!
so, the much anticipated respect sextet gigs have finally happened, and we’re all the better for it. unfortunately, our lovely and [extremely] talented bassist malcolm kirby could not be with us for the trifecta of gigs, but his absence was covered by NYC based australian [of love and respect] matt clohesy. matt did an excellent job tuning into the group’s complex inner workings and simple outer undoings within our limited [about 2 hours] of rehearsal time before the first gig in toronto.
the weather in toronto was cold and there were less people at the festival [, distillery jazz [directory style]] than we had anticipated/hoped, but spirits were strong, and hot dogs were expensive… [ guess it was canadian money afterall]. the first night’s gig [read: the “avant garde” gig] went very very well and was, after about five minutes of playing to the sound men, very well attended. the second night’s gig [read: the “straight ahead” gig] was in a much larger venue, and was spotty in terms of audience, but we’re pretty sure a large portion of that had to do with the number of people that were there. the group sounded good, and headed home.
saturday night was the homecoming concert [of love and respect]. very few peopel showed up to these sets, however, we managed to get an incredible recording of the evening, and are in the process of preparing it for public release!
all in all, a great weekend!
until next time!
Several exciting things to tell you about:
Music from The Respect Sextet’s CD The Full Respect is featured in the short film Who’s Your Daddy?, an offical selection at Sundance 2004. Find out more at filmmaker Matthew Ehlers’ website, www.eggwork.com.
Also, The Full Respect was selected number three on WGMC’s Top 100 CDs of 2003.
Additionally, The Full Respect is now also available at The Jazz Loft, www.jazzloft.com.
Check back here soon for word on upcoming gigs and festival appearances!
Lots of things to update you all on. First, off the tour is over. We zig-zagged our way across the entire Midwest and pictures are forthcoming. Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting Respect. Check back in a few days for an hilarious tour diary.
Also, don’t forget that you can purchase copies of “The Full Respect” on www.respectsextet.com for a mere $10. They make great gifts, too.
After what seemed like decades of waiting, The Full Respect, the Respect Sextet’s new studio full-length is finally here! The Official CD Release Party is on Thursday, September 4th at 8pm at the Montage Grille in Rochester. (Shhh… if you just can’t wait to get your hands on one, The Full Respect (Roister, 2oo3), is currently available at the Bop Shop, Fantastic Records, The Eastman School of Music Bookstore, and Barnes & Noble.) (Shhh… again: Rumor has it the the Bop Shop also has the last few remaining (respookt.)s in stock.)
We’ll also have The Full Respect along with us on our tour, and as you can see by the ‘buy the cd’ icon above, one can now purchase The Full Respect here on the website. Several tracks from The Full Respect are now available in full here!
Raise a roister!
This Wednesday, Respect celebrates Misha Mengelberg’s birthday a day early by presenting a performance consisting exclusively of Misha Mengelberg compositionals. Josh and Red have worn out their respective tape decks transcribing a plethora of Mengelberg tunes. These new transcriptionals, when performed along with the already ample supply of Misha tunes in the Respect book, will produce sudden-onset Misha overload in the listener.
(Read an interview with Misha Mengelberg here).
Join us this Wednesday, June 4, from 9 to 11:30 p.m., at Java’s, 16 Gibbs Street, Rochester.
Photographer Bob Klein has put up some respectable photos, including three of Respect, from the WGMC fundraising concert. Check them out here.
the respect sextet performed yesterday at wgmc‘s fundraising dinner and concert. the set was well received. as rochester guitarist steve greene said afterwards: “very refreshing…”
progress is being made both on the new cd (The Full Respect) and on the late summer tour to chicago! stay tuned for more info and don’t forget about wednesdays at java’s!
mark it on your calendars folks! last night, respect really outdid itself. theater was the name of the game as various members of the group left and returned to java’s within the course of a song, zweigle’s hats topped the heads of red and eli, malcolm played some incredible basslines while lying flat on the floor, and a java’s employee (who had, in the past, expressed a strong hatred for the sound of respect’s receptionist bells) destroyed a bell with a clave. fortunately, the playing was very strong throughout and no one was hurt (except the receptionist bell).
be sure to join us next wednesday at 9pm for more great music!
rahoo! this sextet of swarthy ne’er-do-wells has done it again for the first time! duke rellington is pissing his pants in heaven!
respect has just completed its second successful recording session which lays the groundwork for the new record. one of the most intense moments of this already intense session occured when drummer and synchronized swimmer ted poor sliced his finger open on a recently played piece of sheet metal. man, is he ever a bleeder! other highlights consisted of a rare and special appearance by wilford brimley, various incantations by the respect children’s glee club, and generalized, rampant rancor, mayhem and hilarity.
more information on this gem of modern plumbing coming soon! respect!
attention all who want to get a copy of (respookt.) but can’t make it down to java’s on a wednesday night! one can now purchase a copy from the friendly folks at the bop shop! (village gate square, 274 north goodman street)
Hey everyone…this site is pretty cool thus far. Some ideas have popped up on how to keep this place interesting (so that you keep coming back). One is to post sound clips of each week so that even if you can’t make it to the show (due to conflicts or maybe you live far, far away) you can still listen to a little bit of the show. Hopefully, there will also be an image gallery, which Robert is working on (thanks Robert). Either way, there will updates in this section often, so I hope that you come back and here what we have to say. In case you haven’t heard already, Garrett and Eli are both playing tonight and it should be a good time. We will be playing Roscoe Mitchell’s “The Key,” and Albert Ayler’s “The Truth is Marching In,” among other things. Also check out Kneebody at Milestones this Thursday. It features a bunch of former Eastman guys (Shane Endsley, Ben Wendel, Kaveh Rastegar, and Adam Benjamin) and it should be a great show. Later…
This Wednesday at Java’s, Respect welcomes back Eli, who has been in New York for the last month, and Garrett Michaelsen, who returns to Rochester for a week from the Bay Area. The two-trumpet front-line of love and respect will be further bolstered by the rare appearance of Red’s trombone, combining with James’ to form a full-on four-brass attack. Be there. Java’s, Wednesday, April 16th, 9pm.
QUESTION: “do i need to have a special mini cd player to play (respookt.)? (obviously i would purchase this piece of equipment if it meant hours and hours of enjoying (respookt.), but nonetheless i’m curious…)”
ANSWER: no, kind respect fan, you need not purchse any extra equipment to hear this record (which is currently climbing the international emo charts) of love and respect. there are basically three kinds of cd players out there: the nub, the tray, and the slot. the only one (respookt.) should NOT be played in is the slot (as it might get lost in there, and nobody wants that). however, if you have a nubber or a tray, you can listen endlessly!
Welcome to the Respect Sextet website. In addition to launching our website, today we are also releasing a mini CD-R: (respookt.). (respookt.) contains a 20-minute long version of Sun Ra’s “A Call For All Demons,” recorded live on Halloween, 2002, and features guest Jason Price on trumpet and laptop. The website is a work in progress and will continue to be updated over the next few days.
Respect is also in the process of recording our first official studio CD. Come back for updates on the that. Thanks for visiting.