Little Black Egg Big Band: Yo La Tengo & Friends / Oren Ambarchi

ISSUE Project Room returns to Red Hook for an evening with the Little Black Egg Big Band and Oren Ambarchi, presented in collaboration with Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation. Named for Georgia Hubley’s rarely performed solo guitar project Little Black Egg, the expanded Little Black Egg Big Band features Hubley and her Yo La Tengo compatriots Ira Kaplan and James McNew, joined by bassist Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu), an array of jazz mainstays including Susie Ibarra, Daniel Carter, and Taylor Ho Bynum. Australian improvisor Oren Ambarchi, known for his deft and exploratory instrumental approaches, performs solo.

Yo La Tengo is one of the most beloved and respected bands in America. For nearly thirty years, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew have enjoyed success entirely on their own terms – playing the world’s best concert halls, museums, and dives, dominating critics’ lists, doing a Simpsons theme, playing the Velvet Underground in “I Shot Andy Warhol,” sharing stages with some of the most important musicians of our time, and even creating a holiday tradition onto themselves with their yearly series of Hanukkah shows at Hoboken, New Jersey’s legendary club Maxwells, from which they’ve donated hundreds of thousands to charity.

Daniel Carter (alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, trumpet) is a writer and musician active since the mid 60s. A member of the cooperative free jazz groups Test, Other Dimensions In Music, and Ghost Moth, Carter has also recorded or performed with a wide range of collaborators including Joe Morris, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, and Sam Rivers, among many others.

Susie Ibarra is known for her innovative style and cultural dialogue as a composer, improviser, percussionist and humanitarian. Actively practicing Philippine Indigenous music, electronic, experimental, jazz and improvisation, she is a Yamaha, Vic Firth and Paiste Drum Artist, has recorded over 40 recordings as a leader, collaborator and soloist. She has performed with many artists including Wadada Leo Smith, John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Ikue Mori, Trisha Brown, George Lewis, Thurston Moore, Sean Lennon, Yo La Tengo, and others.

Taylor Ho Bynum is a composer, cornet player, bandleader and interdisciplinary collaborator. Critics have called him “a singular and thrilling artist” (All About Jazz), “a major force on the outward-bound side of the jazz continuum” (The Boston Globe). He has collaborated with legendary figures including Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, and Wadada Leo Smith, and performs with many forward-thinking peers, and has toured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Tony Maimone is a bass player, producer, and recording engineer, based in Brooklyn, NY. He was a member of the legendary Pere Ubu from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. He played with They Might Be Giants from 1993 until 1995, and has worked with Bob Mould, Frank Black, The Mekons, and Jon Langford. Currently he plays with Megan Reilly, Home and Garden, Book Of Knots, CC Carana, Sasha Dobson, and No Grave Like The Sea.

Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum's Embrace Ambarchi employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.

Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Charlemagne Palestine, Sunn 0)), Thomas Brinkmann, Keiji Haino, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Merzbow, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Akio Suzuki, Phill Niblock, John Tilbury, Richard Pinhas, Evan Parker, crys cole, Fire! and many more. Since 2001 Ambarchi has toured Europe, North America and Japan regularly and has performed at major festivals such as ATP (UK), Sonar (Spain), Mutek (Canada), CTM (Germany), INA GRM (France), Roskilde (Denmark), Etna Fest (Italy), Festival De Mexico (Mexico) and many more including a recent live collaboration with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra at the Tectonics festival in Reykjavik. His acclaimed trio with Keiji Haino and Jim O'Rourke performs in Tokyo annually with many of their concerts documented on Ambarchi's Black Truffle label. Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for labels such as Touch, Southern Lord, Editions Mego, Drag City, Kranky and Tzadik. His latest release, Quixotism was listed in The Wire magazine's top 50 releases of 2014.