Frank Carlberg Quintet
Irreverant and innovative, The Frank Carlberg Quintet has been a powerful force in the New York jazz scene for over ten years and has just released its fifth, critically acclaimed recording, The American Dream on the Red Piano Records label. This CD debuts a song cycle by the same name set to poems by Robert Creeley and funded by a New Works Commission Grant awarded by Chamber Music America. All About Jazz called the CD “a masterful feast of music that suggests a beautiful portrait of Creeley’s poetry—joyous, reflective, plaintive, hopeful, and always radiating with great humanity.”
The Quintet is dedicated to performing settings to a wide variety of texts including poems by poets such as Creeley, Anselm Hollo, Kenneth Rexroth, Anna Akhmatova, Rabindranath Tagore; grand jury testimony by Bill Clinton, permutations of the Bill of Rights, chants, newspaper articles, legal documents and song cycles with poetry by Wallace Stevens and Marina Tsvetaieva.
Besides Carlberg on piano, the focal point of the ensemble is the voice of Christine Correa, who in addition to this group has also worked with musicians like Ran Blake and Steve Lacy. The quintet also features the remarkable talents of Chris Cheek, sax (also w/Paul Motian, Bloomdaddies, Charlie Haden); John Hebert, bass (also w/ Andrew Hill, Tony Malaby, Fred Hersch etc) and Michael Sarin, drums (also w/ Dave Douglas, David Krakauer, Ben Allison). On occasion the quintet has been augmented to a sextet with the addition of Andrew Rathbun on sax, or to an octet with the addition of Chris Speed, clarinet and tenor sax, Curtis Hasselbring, trombone and Andrew d’Angelo, bass clarinet and alto sax.
The group has performed at venues and festivals such as Knitting Factory (NY), Cornelia Street Cafe (NY), Rubin Museum of Art (NY), Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NY), Regattabar (Boston), New England Conservatory (Boston), Center for Cultural Exchange (Portland), Portland Conservatory (Portland), 11 Pleasant Street (Brunswick), Bordeaux Jazz Festival (Bordeaux, France), 7 Lezards (Paris, France), Mandala (Toulouse, France), Cafe Olympia (Paris, France), Jazz Yatra (Mumbai, India), Gdansk Jazz Festival (Gdansk, Poland), SIGMA (France) etc.
Earlier recordings by The Frank Carlberg Quintet include “The Crazy Woman” on Accurate Records, “Variations On A Summer Day” (augmented to an octet), “In The Land Of Art” and “State of The Union” all on Fresh Sound Records. The Quintet was also featured on “Mother Goose”, a piece with text by Kenneth Rexroth commissioned by the Battery Dance Company and choreographed by Jonathan Hollander for six dancers.
Frank Carlberg’s Tivoli Trio
Despite having the instrumentation of a classic jazz piano trio (piano, bass and drums), the music of Tivoli Trio is an eclectic mix. Carlberg’s compositions for the group mainly draw from cinematic and circus inspirations. The various editions of the trio has performed at venues such as The Knitting Factory, The Regattabar, Center for Cultural Exchange.The group has their debut recording featuring John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver planned for a late 2009 release on Red Piano Records.
Earlier trio recordings by Frank Carlberg include Blind Drive and Prelude.
Frank Carlberg Big Band
This 18 piece group is dedicated to performing Carlberg’s compositions as well as arrangements and re-compositions of standards and folk materials. The moods and textures range from rowdy and rollicking to quirky and angular to subtle and delicate. The big band includes in its ranks many of New York’s premier performers and improvisers such as John Carlson, Russ Johnson, John O’Gallagher, Adam Kolker, Douglas Yates, Curtis Fowlkes, Christine Correa, Matt Moran and Michael Sarin.
“Heaven” and “I Got Rhythm” by Frank Carlberg Big Band are included on The sound of New York Jazz Underground CD, a Fresh Sound NT release.