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Biophilia CD cover

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Biophilia

Featuring:
Vinson Valega - Drums
Anton Denner - Alto Saxophone & Flute
Chris Bacas - Tenor & Soprano Saxophones & Clarinet
Mark Miller - Trombone
Matthew Fries - Piano
Gary Wang- Bass

Recorded:
6/28/09 & 6/29/09 at Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ.
Recording, Mixing, and Mastering
Engineer - Frank D. Fagnano

Packaging:
Features 100% post-consumer recycled plastic CD tray; printing done with non-toxic vegetable-based inks. Read more here.

Read Vinson's "Biophilia" essay

Read the poem,"Natural Music," by Robinson Jeffers, which appears in the CD package.

Read the press release

MP3s and interviews

Reviews

Streaming MP3s from Biophilia:

1) I Knew You'd Say That
(Matthew Fries)

2) Sunset and the Mockingbird
(Duke Ellington)

3) A Moment of Silence
(Vinson Valega)

4) Biophilia (Vinson Valega)

5) Let (Mark Miller)

6-7) Day by Day with Kathelin Gray (Cahn/Stordahl/Weston/Ornette Coleman)

8) I Just Wanted to See What You Look Like (Vinson Valega)

9 ) Charm (Vinson Valega)

10 ) November Spring (Nick Denner)

11) Always (Irving Berlin)

12) Talk Time (Chris Bacas)

13) Strange (Vinson Valega)

14) Think of One (Thelonious Monk)

15) Doesn't It Feel Great to Be Alive? (Vinson Valega)

An assortment of Free MP3s since 2005:

2005

Vinson Valega Trio,
featuring Anton Denner (alto sax), Gary Wang (bass), & Vinson Valega (drums)
Live at Blues Alley in Washington, DC (April 2005):

The Best Thing For You Would Be Me (Irving Berlin) - with Andrew Adair on piano [5.8 mb]
Jiminy Cricket Goes To The Go-Go Dance (Vinson Valega) [5.1 mb]


Live at the Cape May Jazz Festival  (April 2005):

Jackie-ing (Thelonious Monk) [7.7 mb]
Georgia (Ray Charles) [9.0 mb]

=====================================================

2006

Vinson Valega Quartet,
featuring Anton Denner (alto sax), Dimitri Moderbacher (tenor sax) & Josh Ginsburg (bass)
Live at The Garage in New York City (December 2006):

Long and Wrong (Vinson Valega) [7.6 mb]
Gab (Dimitri Moderbacher) [8.8 mb]
Where or When (Rogers & Hart) [8.7 mb]

=====================================================

2007

Vinson Valega Sextet
, featuring Anton Denner (alto sax & flute); Chris Bacas (tenor & soprano saxophones); Phil Grenadier (trumpet), Jon Cowherd (piano), Gary Wang (bass):
Live at Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia, PA (June 2007):

Lost (Wayne Shorter) [8.5 mb]
Tom Thumb (Wayne Shorter) [10.8 mb]
Stacked Sienna (Vinson Valega) [8.2 mb]

=====================================================

2008

Vinson Valega Quartet
, featuring Chris Bacas (soprano sax), Sheryl Bailey (guitar), Gary Wang (bass), & Vinson Valega (drums)
Live at The 55 Bar, New York City (April 2008):

Think of One (Thelonious Monk) [12.6 mb]
The Trend is Your Friend (Vinson Valega) [5.3 mb]


=====================================================

2009

Vinson Valega Quartet
, featuring Chris Bacas (soprano sax), John Hart (guitar), Gary Wang (bass), & Vinson Valega (drums):
Live at The 55 Bar, New York City (December 2009):

Black Fire (Andrew Hill) [9.9 mb]
Send One Your Love (Stevie Wonder) [6.3 mb]

=====================================================

2010

Vinson Valega Sextet
, featuring Anton Denner (alto sax & flute); Chris Bacas (tenor & soprano saxophones); Mike Fahn (trombone), Matthew Fries (piano), Gary Wang (bass) & & Vinson Valega (drums)::
Live at Smalls Jazz Club, New York City (May 2010):

Doesn't It Feel Great to Be Alive? (Vinson Valega) [9.2 mb]
Blood Count (Wayne Shorter) [8.3 mb]
A Moment of Silence (Vinson Valega) [9.5 mb]

=====================================================

Vinson Valega Radio Interview
Alisa Clancy, DJ with KCSM, 91.1 in San Francisco, interviews Vinson and Anton in July 2004

Part I [8.6 mb]
Part II [12.7 mb]

Sharif Abdus-Salaam, DJ with WKCR, 89.9 in New York City, interviews Vinson in February 2010
Part I [31.4 mb]
Part II [26.9 mb]

Reviews:

"Valega’s tour de force, 'A Moment of Silence,' is a challenging, shape-shifting number that puts the entire ensemble through its paces."
~~ JazzTimes by Bill Milkowski, June 2010

============================

Drummer Vinson Valega is a most admirable artist whose thought-provoking music is informed by a progressive social conscience. Sure, you can enjoy these sextet tracks "for their own sake," but read between the (bar) lines -- and also read Valega’s liner-notes essay -- for a deeper appreciation of his music.
~~ Just Jazz, "New & Recommended CDs" by Bob Bernotas, September 2010

============================

"...traditional jazz styles are merged with modern songwriting to create an engaging new whole. The interplay between all of the musicians is quite organic..and highly successful in creating a plethora of colors, while bridging the gap between divergent styles."
~~ JazzChicago.net (.pdf) by Brad Walseth, March 2010

============================

"Valega provides the rhythmic impetus for the music but also adds colors that have harmonic resonance and accents that extend the melodies. He also pays attention to the structure of the CD as a whole, mixing Hard Bop originals with biting edges with more elegiac material and inserting at regular intervals brief, marimba-colored interludes."
~~ Cadence Magazine (part 1) (part 2), by David Dupont, Oct-Nov-Dec 2010

============================

"There is a lot to love on this CD, if for no other reason than to hear a band truly listening to each other. That is an art that should never be taken for granted. Anton Denner's flute is magical, adding pure beauty to the Duke Ellington masterpiece, "Sunset and the Mockingbird."
~~ NY Culture Examiner by Layla Macoran, March 2010

============================

"Deep and contemplative. An album that it is easy to highly recommend."
~~ 100 Greatest Jazz Albums

============================

"Biophilia is recommended for “citizens of jazz” everywhere!"
~~ UrbanFlux (.pdf) by Rob Young, March 2010

============================

"Drummer Valega keeps things moving with change-up patterns and six original compositions. While the sextet pulls toward free and modal jazz at times, it's merely a ruse. Within a few measures, songs return to structure and pointed harmonies."
~~ JazzWax (.pdf) by Marc Myers, April 2010

============================

"Valega and his group certainly bring the goods here, more than fulfilling the drummer’s hope that “this music will celebrate what we love most about the here and now.”
~~ Jazz Inside Magazine by Matt Marshall, May 2010

============================

"Vinson Valega is a devoted environmental and progressive activist who seems engaged with his craft on an aesthetic level but also, it seems, in a profoundly logical, moral way...The strength of Biophilia lies in that its selection of songs work with each other, performed - perhaps even defined - in relation to each other...The record sounds tight and easy and fresh."
~~ AllAboutJazz Magazine by Karla Cornejo, May 2010. Online at AllAboutJazz.com

============================

"It sometimes erupts into weirdness...which is good."
~~ Burning Ambulance, by Phil Freeman, May 2010

============================

“Biophilia” is a jazz album that has everything a listener could want.
~~ The Valdosta Daily Times, by Dean Poling, August 2010

============================

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