Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – “Dirt​.​.​. And More Dirt” (Pi Recordings, 2018)

“Dirt​.​.​. And More Dirt” was released by “Pi Recordings” sevaral months ago. Expressive and interesting album was recorded by huge group of great jazz musicians – “Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg”. There are fifteen musicians who are playing in this ensemble – it’s Henry Threadgill, Chris Hoffman, Jonathan Finlayson, Jacob Garchik, David Bryant and many other. All musicians have original and dynamic playing style – their improvisations are based on evocative, brave and drastic musical experiments, fusions of contrasting elements, colorful and eclectic stylistic combinations and provocative musical decisions. All music is based on avant-garde and experimental jazz elements. Free improvisations are the basics of whole album – each musician is imrpovising spontaneously and dynamically. Sound experiments, searches of unusual ways of playing, extended playing techniques and immense variety of expressions make remarkable, bright and interesting sound of their collective improvisation. There are enoug hspace for each musician to express their abilities, try out new ways of improvising and experiment in various fields of musical language – that’s why their collective improvisations have thrilling, remarkable and expressive sound.

“Dirt​.​.​. And More Dirt” is formed by all the basics of avant-garde jazz. Free improvisAation, just like in any other album is this ensemble, is the basic of it. The music is based on sudden changes, vigorous and unpredictable stylistic waves, spontaneous, touching and marvelous solos, brilliant musical decisions and interesting stylistic combinations. Musicians are paying the highest attention to the quality of sound – they are dedicated to create fresh, new and extraordinary sound. The imrpovisations are made in a new and different way – the synthesis of various jazz styles is connected together with dozens of expressions, playing techniques, sound experiments and extraordinary ways of playing. That makes a strong effect to whole elements of musical language. The musical pattern is based on difficult structure and polyphonic facture. Open forms of avant-garde jazz conatin the basics of main form of the compositions. Musicians are improvising as an ensemble, but still have all the freedom to make extraordinary, effective and schocking musical decisions and taking on interesting ways of playing or eclectic combinations. All these things make an effort to create innovative, vibrant, bright and original sound and rich musical language. Independent melodies are played by each musician – even though all melodic elements are strongly contrasting with each other, all the elements are combined together in the most organic and effective way. The improvisations also are filled with special effects, sound experiments, huge variety of unusual timbres and fascinating instrumentation. Soft pizzicato, frulato, vivid and bright staccato, especially virtuosic and rapid passages, playful and rigorous arpeggios, expressive and gorgeous roulades and many other traditional expressions and playing techniques are twisted together with special effects, separate sounds, harsh and low tunes, provocative and evocative melodies, touching solos and many other similar musical language elements. Organic and natural synthesis of so huge quantity of different musical language elements makes the musical pattern especially bright, rich and filled with wide palette of colors, tunes and sounds. The technical abilities of various instruments are expanded – musicians are trying to get out from the comfort zone of the sound and extract new and unheard tunes. All types of different rhythms, sounds, timbres, chords and expressions are used here. Colorful and dissonance harmony, huge amplitude of dynamics, free and dynamic rhythmic improvisations, gorgeous background, dozens of colouristic elements and effective melodic section also are very important elements of the musical pattern. The main and the most iportant reason why this music is so interesting and bright is the way of improvising. All musicians of the ensemble are improvising dynamically, colorfully and with passion. Their solos are especially touching, sensible, bright and expressive. That brings original, sparkling, splendid and interesting sound to whole album.


Henry Threadgill – alto saxophone, flute, bass flute
Chris Hoffman – cello
Liberty Ellman – guitar
Jose Davila – tuba
Ben Gerstein – trombone
Jacob Garchik – trombone
Jonathan Finlayson – Bb trumpet, F trumpet
Stephanie Richards –Bb trumpet
Curtis Robert Macdonald – alto saxophone
Roman Filiú – alto saxophone, alto flute
David Bryant – piano
David Virelles – piano
Thomas Morgan – bass
Elliott Humberto Kavee –
Craig Weinrib – drums, percussion

2 thoughts on “Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – “Dirt​.​.​. And More Dirt” (Pi Recordings, 2018)”

  1. Have you ever considered publshing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?

    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you
    discuss and would love to have you share soime stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.

    If you’re even remotel interested, feel free to send me an e-mail. http://www.Hruis.com/plus/guestbook.php


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: