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Freaky Squash Baby

Tryon

Freaky Squash Baby

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917141528
Catnr: DMCHR 71415
Release date: 25 August 2023
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917141528
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71415
Release date
25 August 2023

"... Changing voices, faster changing rhythms and daring harmonies determine the picture...."

NaDann, 01-9-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

As on his debut album Purification, the universe of Tryon is almost limitless on his second album Freaky Squash Baby. Among the influences of the American bassist Kellen Tryon Mills, who leads the band and composed all the pieces, are Stravinsky, Ligeti, Bartok and Schönberg, but also Frank Zappa – and there is also the outlandish late work “Civilization Phaze III”, which even die-hard Zappa fans often dislike. However, it is the early seventies incarnation of the Mothers of Invention that Tryon often sounds like, and the Ruth Underwood of today is called Taiko Saito; the Japanese marimba virtuoso has just received the Berlin Jazz Prize and shapes the Tryon sound just as Underwood shaped that of the Mothers. You could imagine further parallels; accordantly. the pianist Rieko Okuda is George Duke reborn, but we do not want only to insist on the Zappa influence. Freaky Squash Baby is simply too diverse for that. Mills, who has been living in Berlin for years, met musicians there who can not only implement his highly complex music, but also fill it with life. These include the singers Kiki Manders, Mirna Bogdanovic and Erik Leuthäuser, the saxophonists Grgur Savic, Philipp Gropper and Dovydas Stalmokas, the guitarist Jasper Stadhouders, the bassist Antti Virtaranta and the drummers Martial Frenzel and Oli Steidle. In addition, there are guests such as the clarinetist Edith Steyer, the flutist Tilmann Dehnhard and the alto saxophonist Karen Ng. “The music is just very complex,” Mills sighed, “so I thought it would be better if two musicians shared the drumming job. And indeed, it was a challenge for Martial and Oli to get the stuff done, but of course they got it done; after all, they are excellent improvisers.“ Mills composed and recorded the eight songs in just three months. Kiki Manders sings the lead vocals this time, while Erik and Mirna mainly sing background vocals. “I wanted to have a female voice on this album that carries the songs,” Mills explained. The title song refers to a science fiction story about the cross-breeding of people and vegetables. “Call Any Vegetable” by a certain Frank Zappa comes to mind. “The Foot” is about a drug addict (you think of Zappa's “Stinkfoot”) and “Little Dicktators” speculates about the fact that political tyrants who wage war often have a small penis; you involuntarily recall Zappa’s albums like Joe's Garage or The Man from Utopia. “I grew up with prog rock,” Mills grinned. “A lot of jazz musicians today don't know that stuff. They make music like Gentle Giant, and when I point it out to them, they ask: Gentle Who?“ With breakneck tempo changes, the ride through a galaxy of harmonies and texts that convey political concerns: “Soup is Healing” is also about addiction, psychological problems and how we deal with them, which make listening to Tryon a great pleasure, during which you should definitely leave your head tuned in. “There are so many great musicians in Berlin who have crossover potential and can play my stuff,” Mills stated happily, who once achieved fame and glory in the prog rock band Alex's Hand. “But most are satisfied with staying in their improvised neighborhoods. For example, musicians from Berlin-Mitte or Prenzlauer Berg can hardly ever be found at concerts that take place in Oberschöneweide. The way to 'Jazz am Kaisersteg‘ is simply too far for many. I find that quite irritating to say the least.” Like the Berlin jazz musician himself, Freaky Squash Baby gathers the cosmopolitans who want to take risks and conquer new worlds.

Wie schon auf dem Debütalbum Läuterung ist das Universum von Tryon auch auf dem zweiten Werk Freaky Squash Baby nahezu grenzenlos. Zu den Einflüssen des amerikanischen Bassisten Kellen Tryon Mills, der die Band leitet und sämtliche Stücke geschrieben hat, zählen Strawinsky, Ligeti, Bartok und Schönberg, aber eben auch Frank Zappa - und da sogar das versponnene Spätwerk „Civilization Phaze III“, das sogar bei eingefleischten Zappa-Fans oft auf Widerwillen stößt. Es ist allerdings die Frühsiebziger-Inkarnation der Mothers of Invention, nach denen Tryon oft klingt und die Ruth Underwood von heute heißt Taiko Saito - die japanische Marimba-Virtuosin hat gerade erst den Berliner Jazzpreis bekommen und prägt den Tryon-Sound genauso wie Underwood den der Mothers geprägt hat. Man könnte die Parallelen fortspinnen - demnach ist Pianistin Rieko Okuda die Wiedergängerin von George Duke -, wollen uns aber nicht nur auf den Zappa-Einfluss kaprizieren. Dafür ist Freaky Squash Baby auch einfach zu vielfältig. Mills, der seit Jahren in Berlin lebt, hat hier Musikerinnen und Musiker getroffen, die seine höchst komplexe Musik nicht nur umsetzen, sondern mit Leben erfüllen können. Dazu zählen die Sängerinnen Kiki Manders, Mirna Bogdanovic und Erik Leuthäuser, die Saxofonisten Grgur Savic, Philipp Gropper und Dovydas Stalmokas, der Gitarrist Jasper Stadhouders, der Bassist Antti Virtaranta und die Schlagzeuger Martial Frenzel und Oli Steidle. Dazu kommen noch Gäste wie die Klarinettistin Edith Steyer, der Flötist Tilmann Dehnhard und die Altistin Karen Ng. „Die Musik ist einfach sehr komplex“, seufzt Mills, „deshalb dachte ich, dass es besser ist, wenn sich zwei Musiker


den Schlagzeug-Job teilen. Und in der Tat war es eine Herausforderung für Martial und Oli, sich das Zeug drauf zu schaffen, aber natürlich haben sie es hinbekommen - schließlich sind sie hervorragende Improvisatoren.“ In nur drei Monaten hat Mills die acht Songs geschrieben und aufgenommen - diesmal hat Kiki Manders die Lead Vocals übernommen, während Erik und Mirna hauptsächlich Background Vocals singen. „Ich wollte auf diesem Album eine weibliche Stimme haben, die die Songs trägt“, erklärt Mills. Der Titelsong nimmt Bezug auf eine Science-Fiction-Geschichte, in der es um Kreuzungen aus Mensch und Gemüse geht - „Call Any Vegetable“ von einem gewissen Frank Zappa fällt einem da ein -, in „The Foot“ geht es um eine Drogensüchtige - man denkt an Zappas „Stinkfoot“ - und „Little Dicktators“ spekuliert über die Tatsache, dass politische Tyrannen, die Krieg führen, oft einen kleinen Penis haben - unwillkürlich erinnert man sich an Zappa-Alben wie Joe’s Garage oder The Man from Utopia. „Mit Prog-Rock bin ich aufgewachsen“, grinst Mills. „Viele Jazzmusiker von heute kennen das Zeug gar nicht. Sie machen Musik wie Gentle Giant und wenn ich sie darauf hinweise, meinen sie: Gentle Who?“ Halsbrecherische Tempowechsel, der Ritt durch eine Galaxie an Harmonien und Texte, die durchaus politische Anliegen transportieren - auch in „Soup is Healing“ geht es um Sucht, psychische Probleme und wie wir damit umgehen - machen Tryon zu einem großen Vergnügen, bei dem man unbedingt den Kopf eingeschaltet lassen sollte. „Es gibt so viele tolle Musiker in Berlin, die Crossover-Potential haben und mein Zeug spielen können“, freut sich Mills, der einst in der Prog-Rock-Band Alex’s Hand zu Ruhm und Ehren kam. „Aber die meisten sind zufrieden damit, in ihrem Impro-Kiez zu verharren. Musiker aus Berlin-Mitte oder aus Prenzlauer Berg trifft man so gut wie nie bei Konzerten, die zum Beispiel in Oberschöneweide stattfinden - der Weg zu ‚Jazz am Kaisersteg‘ ist vielen einfach zu weit. Das finde ich ziemlich irritierend, um es vorsichtig auszudrücken.“ Wie der Berliner an sich genügt auch der Berliner Jazzmusiker sich selbst - Freaky Squash Baby versammelt dagegen die Kosmopolitinnen und Kosmopoliten, die Lust haben, Risiken einzugehen und neue Welten zu erobern.

Artist(s)

Kellen Mills (bass)

Kellen Tryon Mills is a composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Seattle, WA, USA. In 2020 TRYON was founded as a solo project involving written orchestrated compositions for large ensemble. Combining elements of pop, avant garde, contemporary classical composition and free jazz/improvisation. Currently his band ranges from improvisors in the ‘Echtezeit’ musik scene, to well known jazz plazyers. TRYON recorded their upcoming debut album with a cast of 16 musicians, entitled “Läuterung”. TRYON has received funding grants from Musikfonds Berlin and DMR. Generally TRYON performs as a large band ensemble (8-9 musicians) , but also performs as a small ensemble version.
more
Kellen Tryon Mills is a composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Seattle, WA, USA. In 2020 TRYON was founded as a solo project involving written orchestrated compositions for large ensemble. Combining elements of pop, avant garde, contemporary classical composition and free jazz/improvisation. Currently his band ranges from improvisors in the ‘Echtezeit’ musik scene, to well known jazz plazyers. TRYON recorded their upcoming debut album with a cast of 16 musicians, entitled “Läuterung”. TRYON has received funding grants from Musikfonds Berlin and DMR. Generally TRYON performs as a large band ensemble (8-9 musicians) , but also performs as a small ensemble version.

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Taiko Saito (marimba)

Taiko Saito studied the marimba and percussion at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo under Keiko Abe and percussion under David Friedman at the Berlin University of the Arts. She has won numerous prizes, including first prize at the 2005 Concours International de Vibraphone Claude Giot in Clermont-Ferrand and third prize at the 1996 World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. Taiko Saito has appeared as a soloist with, for example the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at festivals in most European countries as well as South Korea, Columbia and the USA. 
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Taiko Saito studied the marimba and percussion at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo under Keiko Abe and percussion under David Friedman at the Berlin University of the Arts. She has won numerous prizes, including first prize at the 2005 Concours International de Vibraphone Claude Giot in Clermont-Ferrand and third prize at the 1996 World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. Taiko Saito has appeared as a soloist with, for example the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at festivals in most European countries as well as South Korea, Columbia and the USA.
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Philipp Gropper (tenor saxophone)

Rieko Okuda (piano)

Kiki Manders (vocals)

Grgur Savic (alto saxophone)

Dovydas Stalmokas (bariton saxophone)

Eliad Wagner (electronics)

Antti Virtaranta (double bass)

Oli Steidle (drums)

Edith Steyer (clarinet)

Karen Ng (alto saxophone)

Composer(s)

Kellen Mills (bass)

Kellen Tryon Mills is a composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Seattle, WA, USA. In 2020 TRYON was founded as a solo project involving written orchestrated compositions for large ensemble. Combining elements of pop, avant garde, contemporary classical composition and free jazz/improvisation. Currently his band ranges from improvisors in the ‘Echtezeit’ musik scene, to well known jazz plazyers. TRYON recorded their upcoming debut album with a cast of 16 musicians, entitled “Läuterung”. TRYON has received funding grants from Musikfonds Berlin and DMR. Generally TRYON performs as a large band ensemble (8-9 musicians) , but also performs as a small ensemble version.
more
Kellen Tryon Mills is a composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Seattle, WA, USA. In 2020 TRYON was founded as a solo project involving written orchestrated compositions for large ensemble. Combining elements of pop, avant garde, contemporary classical composition and free jazz/improvisation. Currently his band ranges from improvisors in the ‘Echtezeit’ musik scene, to well known jazz plazyers. TRYON recorded their upcoming debut album with a cast of 16 musicians, entitled “Läuterung”. TRYON has received funding grants from Musikfonds Berlin and DMR. Generally TRYON performs as a large band ensemble (8-9 musicians) , but also performs as a small ensemble version.

less

Press

... Changing voices, faster changing rhythms and daring harmonies determine the picture....
NaDann, 01-9-2023

... The Tryon artists show us that here nothing is as simple and clear as it seems, that everything can happen at any moment...
jazzfun, 28-8-2023

... a pinch of science-fiction ..., expansion of consciousness and design in many forms, progrocky-frickly, neumusikalisch nebulous, also free-jazzing open or with song-forms in deconstruction-mode...
Jazzthing, 23-8-2023

Play album Play album
01.
Aunt B
03:29
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
02.
Freaky Squash Baby
07:42
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
03.
Patterns
07:05
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
04.
A Sparkle At Night In Berlin
09:41
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
05.
The Foot
07:37
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
06.
Skeetyr Syndrome
09:46
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
07.
Little Dicktators
04:31
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović
08.
Soup Is Healing
13:11
(Kellen Mills ) Kellen Mills , Jacopo Bazzarri , Rieko Okuda, Eliad Wagner, Taiko Saito, Antti Virtaranta, Martial Frenzel, Oli Steidle, Edith Steyer, Tilmann Dehnhard, Karen Ng, Jasper Stadhouders, Grgur Savic, Dovydas Stalmokas, Philipp Gropper, Kiki Manders, Erik Leuthäuser, Mirna Bogdanović

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