Jon Armstrong – Tenor Saxophone, Compositions
Dan Rosenboom – Trumpet
Ryan Dragon – Trombone
Joshua White – Piano
Benjamin Shepherd – Electric Bass
Tina Raymond – Drums
REABSORB is a dramatic new work for sextet from critically acclaimed saxophonist/composer, Jon Armstrong. In Armstrong’s own words, the music is “a meditation on our own mortality, a journey from raging against the inevitable, to acceptance, to transcendence, and the reabsorption of our spirit back into the universal consciousness of all life.” Conceived as two continuous sides of vinyl, full of inventive playing by a stellar sextet, the two compositions were inspired by two single-stanza poems by Erin Armstrong, whose prose articulates humanity’s struggle with the awesome and unfathomable fact that we all must die:
Hit it as loudly as possible
best case scenario:
They'll mention the quiet when I'm gone
Light moves Inside a green leaf
Now I'm absorbed by green
bouncing the loop of light
Armstrong designs a unique experience for listeners utilizing the medium of the vinyl record. Each composition spans up an entire side, and entrances the listener with waves of sonic energy, and the band’s wide scope of sounds and emotions deliver an expansive and meditative journey. Rather than a somber or morbid mood, the record is a celebration of mortality.
“There is a freedom in accepting that our lives are fragile, beauty in embracing our impermanence, and a state of grace that can only be obtained by separating our spirit from our ego. As a musician and composer, I know what it is to make fleeting art, to craft musical experiences that end, that die. So too must we end, having made the most beauty we could, having shared in love and fellowship with others, and then our melody must have a cadence that is as artful as we can make it.” –Jon Armstrong
This sentiment is made manifest by a stellar cast of vanguard musicians from the Los Angeles scene. Joining Armstrong are Tina Raymond on drum set, Ben Shepherd on electric bass, Joshua White on piano, Dan Rosenboom on trumpet, and Ryan Dragon on trombone. These musicians pour their hearts on with their spirited, emotional, and powerful performances that propel the album into a place of ecstasy.
Armstrong has been celebrated for his past two albums on Orenda Records, Farewell (2014) and Burnt Hibiscus (2016), and enjoyed a wonderful career in Los Angeles before moving to Idaho in 2015 to become the Director of Jazz Studies at Idaho State University. In 2019 he was awarded an Idaho Commission on the Arts Performing Arts Fellowship. Armstrong’s music is always characterized by a heartfelt joy and Reabsorb adds to his musical legacy with power, imagination, and transformative energy.
released October 2, 2020
Compositions by Jon Armstrong, inspired by poetry written for this project by Erin Armstrong
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Dan Rosenboom at BoomHill Studio
Artwork and Design by Kio Griffith
Photographs by Aubre Hill
"Orenda Records punches above its weight... informed by rock, modern classical, and jazz, and combine these genres in a
natural, organic fashion... Orenda’s musicians grew up in a post-Braxton era where musical styles are viewed on a continuum rather than as individual silos of expression."
–Avant Music News...more
Mary Halvorson is a genius composer and guitarist who has developed her own musical language, and with Code Girl she has incorporated poetry into that language. Incredible compositions and lyricism (each track is a different kind of poem). Halvorson's playing is as great as usual, and all the other members of the band sound great. Robert Wyatt's singing in particular works extremely well in the tracks he's featured. Highly, highly recommend. rat