The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore, the third album in a trilogy by singer-songwriter Kristo Rodzevski and his group of jazz progressives, will be released by Much Prefer Records on May 25, 2018.
Mixed by celebrated producer Bill Laswell, “The Rabbit…” represents the fulfillment of a musically adventurous idea: Assemble seven world-class improvisers in a studio, establish an environment for pure music-making, and capture all on tape. Such is the essence – and beauty – of “The Rabbit…”
By partnering with core collaborators Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and MichaelBlanco (bass), then inviting contributions from Kris Davis (piano), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Brian Drye (trombone), Kristo fermented an intoxicating brew. The bubbling inventions are spontaneous performances without overdubs.
Once the group selected the best material, Laswell was called in to shape all. In a great sense, Laswell’s touch (and ears) provide the sonic and musical template for the album. He is celebrated as a lover of musical hybrids and cross-pollinations. His legendary work with Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop, John Zorn and Motörhead, among others, attests to his wide-angle views.
“The Rabbit…”boasts a melding of seemingly disparate influences, all living together sweetly – Eastern
European folk, free jazz, punk and song-form narrative. Heard, too, is Kristo’s affinity for the music of Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach and Jim O’Rourke. Critic Chris Brazier calls it “collision music.”
Thematically, the album continues themes established in Kristo’s earlier efforts, Batania (2015) and Bitter Almonds(2017). While those trilogy installments examined the deep feelings for his Macedonian grandmother and mother, “The Rabbit…”explores a transition – the fading significance of his past to his life in the USA.
Kristo’s songs resonate in that gray area between nostalgia and expectation. There is passion here, tapping the most human of emotions, desire and suffering. The cover design by Ikue Mori (DNA) provides a visual analog to this provocative music.