Grencsó Open Collective with Lewis Jordan Homespun in black and white
I first met István at the MEDIAWAVE Festival in 1993. (...) For me, István approaches the music with the spirit that I am most interested in. His understanding of “free music” resonates with my own sense of it: There is passion, there is energy, and there is heart. His compositons and his freedom of expression work together as an uncompromising and compassionate experience.
Lewis Jordan - alto saxophone, poetry
István Grencsó - tenor saxophone, alto flute
Hans van Vliet - trombone, trumpet
Albert Márkos - violoncello
Ernő Hock - double and electric bass
György Jeszenszky - drums, conga
Hunor G. Szabó - drums
About the album
The recording was made in coproduction with the Mediawave Festival, Győr
Conceived and managed by Jenő Hartyándi
Executive producer: Péter Pusker
Recorded at Sándor Petőfi cultural house by Harmónia Sound Studio, Győr, 30 April and 1-2 May, 2009
Recorded and mixed by Szabolcs Kapui
Inside cover based on photo by Máté Farkas
Artwork & design: Bachman
Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár
Supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Artisjus Music Foundation
Grencsó Open Collective with Lewis Jordan: Homespun in Black and White
The album is available in digital form at our retail partners
For me, István approaches the music with the spirit that I am most interested in. His understanding of “free music” resonates with my own sense of it: There is passion, there is energy, and there is heart. His compositons and his freedom of expression work together as an uncompromising and compassionate experience.
I am very happy for the chance to work with him and with the collective, who collaborate so creatively.
Saxophonist and flautist István Grencsó (b. 1956) is an outstanding figure in Hungarian avant-garde jazz.
His career started in 1979 with the founding of the Masina Jazz Group, but he became more widely known in the 1980s as György Szabados’s partner.
In 1984 he formed Collective, which has been his main vehicle ever since. With this continually changing line-up he has released ten albums, amongst which the most important are Plays Monk (1996), Villa Negra (1997), Black Bread (1999), Seven Songs to the Last Mohicans (2000) and Dream Car (2003).
Grencsó’s repertoire is extremely varied, and as a composer he is considered the master of formal changes. “I always like to search for something exciting,” as he puts it.
As well as experiments in improvised music he has arranged countless jazz standards, and regardless of current trends and fashions has played pop, rock, and ethno music. He also reinterpreted Hungarian dance music of the sixties, chansons, and composed a suite which veers towards classical music. He plays with Kampec Dolores, is a permanent member of the MAKUZ led by György Szabados and of the electronically inclined Budbudas. Recently he has also appeared several times with the Moroccan-rooted Gnawa Trio, his own neobeat group AMA, and has worked with the noise rock band Pozvakowski.
He has played in concerts and recorded with Paul Termos, Peter Kowald, Tobias Delius, Peter Brötzmann and the Noise Orchestra from Russia.
His ars poetica, to think free of convention, is set out in the portrait film Szabad vagyok (I am free) made by Duna TV.
„An international touring and recording musician, poet, actor and playwright, I play to build bridges. I have focused on creative structures for improvisation, which has led to my work with artists from a range of disciplines, including dancers, poets, actors and musicians.
Born in San Francisco, I grew up in Chicago…with the blues…with learning to associate creative musicians with the advancement of society as we know it.
I began my musical career in California, playing with Charles Tyler (alto and baritone sax), who had recorded with Albert Ayler and who sustained that spirit in his own approach and performance. That experience confirmed what I wanted to do in music, and it eventually led to my courage to start a group of my own. That began my association with George Sams (trumpet). Our collaboration evolved into United Front, along with Mark Izu (bass) and Anthony Brown (drums). the group with which we toured and recorded in Europe.
Over the years, I have performed in collaboration with a unique variety of artists, including Anthony Braxton, Lisle Ellis, Danny Glover, Q.R. Hand, Genny Lim, devorah major, Sachiko Nakamura, James Newton, Donald Robinson, Ntozake Shange, Cecil Taylor and others, many presented in my Music at Large series.
My interest continues to be meeting and working with performers delving into their deeper resources for modes of expression that honor their traditions while speaking to the urgency of the present.”
For Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Rahsaan Roland Kirk is dead.
That’s what they tell me, but
I don’t know, it could be
a damned lie.
With his Black and Crazy music,
he blew the whistle on
those with eyes who wouldn’t listen,
those with ears who wouldn’t see,
those with noses who wouldn’t blow,
anyone with a heart
who wouldn’t let it show.
See how his mind works.
Hear him blow circles ’round squares.
One man, sounding like two or three,
reaching beyond himself for all the world to see.
Laughter at the edge of his cries,
broken glass at his feet,
this chocolate man wasn’t bitter,
Lewis Jordan © 1985
One for the Festival
A festival is nothing without cruelty
which is why
we beat the drums so much
and scrape the strings until
they scream and cry
stretching them so they moan
blowing our horns till
their voices split and crack
We can’t celebrate
before we remember the blues
We can’t participate
before we dismember their views
Lewis Jordan © 2009