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***As an artist and a thinker, Massimo Magee has been consistently drawn towards patterns: traditions, lines of influence, schools and the unexpected intersections of each. This album, Toneflower, presents a solo program, meditating on many of those concepts. As an entirely improvised set of pieces, it is also inspired by Anthony Braxton’s solo alto tradition and the larger solo saxophone canon. Similarly, it draws from Magee’s prior percussive experimentations with Tim Green and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s use of contact microphones. In Magee’s words, it offers rich parallels with many other saxophone schools, “the ceaseless streams of broken air column wizardry of Evan Parker, the angular atonalism of Tim Berne, the earnest beauty of a Pharoah Sanders melody, the breakneck urgency of Kaoru Abe, the sinuous and unpredictable ebullient elegance of Eric Dolphy, the eerie whistling of Tamio Shiraishi, the satisfyingly round-toned repetition of Steve Lacy, the heavy low-end honking of John Coltrane in a certain mood. The listener might even hear a dash of the motivic minimalism of Terry Riley.”
Throughout the album's 5 tracks, Magee pays close attention to the siloed divisions of each school, as part of a larger interrogation of a music industry that privileges singular musicians, cultivating musical traditions and loyal fanbases. Following diverse and distinct musical lineages, Magee curates an informed, thoughtful constellation of influences and traditions, captured through his particular lens of reinvention. Massimo Magee is an established part of the 577 Records catalog; this release joins Cyclone Trio’s The Clear Revolution (2021), his project with Tony Irving, Vitriol and the Third Oraculum (2020), and his collaboration with one of his teachers, Eddie Prévost, Easter Monday Music (2022).