Today, September 28, 2010 Marks The Official Release of SOUTH SIDE STORY, The Debut Recording from Saxophonist/Composer GREG WARD'S FITTED SHARDS on 19/8 Records
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Today, September 28, 2010 - 19/8 Records Releases
SOUTH SIDE STORY, The Debut Recording from Saxophonist/Composer GREG WARD
Available at: www.nineteeneight.com, www.CDBaby.com and Itunes
Greg Ward's Fitted Shards South Side Story Features:
Greg Ward - Alto saxophone, compositions, Rob Clearfield - Keyboards, piano, synth, Jeff Greene - Upright/Electric bass, Quin Kirchner - Drums/percussion
Greg Ward's Fitted Shards CD Release Concerts for South Side Story:
October 9, 2010 - The Green Mill
4802 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago, IL, tel 773 878 5552, www.greenmilljazz.com
NYC PREMIERE - November 7, 2010 - The Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, tel 212 989 9319, www.corneliastreetcafe.co...
The Critics Sound Off on Greg Ward and South Side Story:
"You know that feeling of discovery you get when you hear an emerging artist who seems to be making that next step? That's Greg Ward. Ward has unusual command of his saxophone; his tone is burly and breathy, and it went everywhere he willed it to. . . . on a ballad that he said was inspired by a Daniel Barenboim-led performance of a Mozart symphony, the band (and Ward's alto) turned toward sincere beauty, and nailed it. That was my 'Eureka!' moment, anyway." - Patrick Jarenwattananon - A Blog Supreme, NPR
"He's a force to be reckoned with on alto sax, blowing with the power and precision of players who've been in the game for decades longer." "A monster reedist who's sure to shine in any setting" - Time Out Chicago
"The innovative alto saxophonist-composer made a significant impact on music in Chicago before moving recently to New York." - Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
"A versatile young saxophonist with a full plate of sideman activity . . . Ward fills his work with nods to electronic music, postrock and other modern enticements."- Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Coherent but sweeping in scope, South Side Story establishes Greg Ward not as an emerging artist, but rather, an established force in the realm of performer, composer, band leader and now, solo recording artist. The jazz world may not see a better debut record than this one in 2010." - Pico, Something Else!
"One of the instrument's most adroit young practicioners . . . he adorns his multipartite original tunes with shifting rhythms, elaborate harmonies, and improvisations that reflect his soulfulness and and intellect . . ." - Peter Margasak, The Chicago Reader
"Greg Ward has brought together his superb ability to reflect not only his personality but the current times in his debut album, Fitted Shards. Opening a solo career with this strong of a statement in the jazz world can only lead to inevitable success throughout his lifetime." - C. Janus, Author of The New Face of Jazz (Random House, July 2010)
"I'm thinking of Greg Ward, whose long and searching alto saxophone solo in 'Third Option' is one of the best things I've heard on record this year."- Ben Ratliff, The New York Times (4/27/10 review on Mike Reed's People, Places & Things)
"Ward has moved from talented newbie to forceful younger statesman as quickly as his mercurial style goes from liquid to edgy. He appears on more than a dozen albums and works in bands ranging from free jazz (TBD Improvisation Orchestra) to West African dance music (Occidental Brothers) to the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble to his eclectic new quartet Fitted Shards." - Neil Tesser, Jazziz
"Manages to fully invoke both backstreet grit and jazz sophistication."- David Whiteis, JazzTimes
Chicago saxophonist/composer Greg Ward (now based in NYC) is an integral player in a number of distinct coteries of the contemporary music scene. In addition to leading his bands, Fitted Shards and The Greg Ward Sextet, Ward recently recorded with electronica artist Prefuse 73, arranged and conducted orchestra for Lupe Fiasco, received a commission from the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra (for a concerto for jazz quartet and string orchestra), and will be recording and performing with renowned rock group Tortoise. In 2002, the late saxophone legend Fred Anderson hand-picked Ward to curate the Wednesday night jam sessions at his club The Velvet Lounge. Ward has also worked with artists such as Von Freeman, Frank Wess, Al Jarreau, Carl Allen, Rufus Reid, Jeff Parker, Brian McNight and Hamid Drake, performing extensively at major venues and festivals in the States and abroad. He is currently a member of the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things, Blink, Loose Assembly, The Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, Hamid Drake's Bindu, and Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls. He has recorded for the Roguart, 482 Music, Thirsty Ear, Clean Feed, and Delmark labels.
Ward's diverse musical interests have led him to explore the world of classical and crossover music as a composer and performer. Recent commissions include a chamber work for ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), a new ballet for the Peoria Ballet Company, and a septet for Gallery 37's Downtown Sound Gallery Composer's Series. In June of 2007, he composed a quartet for sax, cello, guitar, and percussion (Infatuation With the Flame) that was performed as a part of the International Contemporary Ensemble's ICE Fest 2007 and as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series.
The path to recording his debut CD, South Side Story (available on 19/8 Records on September 28, 2010), began after an intense period of study of composition and orchestration with some of the best teachers in the world (Ward studied orchestration with Cliff Colnot and composition with Sebastian Huydts), and the subsequent explorations with contrasting genres and sounds, discovering unique ways of combining them, and ultimately arriving at a true representation of himself; all that he is as a person and an artist; and all that he loves. "I'm convinced that this is the only way you can really speak to people", said Ward. "I composed a set of music that soulfully combined some of the many sounds and styles that have influenced my musical development while still leaving room for my bandmates to interpret the music through their own experiences. Then I assembled the band which features Jeff Greene (bass) and Quin Kirchner (drums) from the band Blink, and rounded out the quartet with Rob Clearfield (keys/synth/guitar). We are Fitted Shards, which, I believe, is a term that describes what all music is: many ideas, sounds, and experiences all fitted together to create something unique and beautiful." After a full year of developing the sound in the jazz/avant-garde scenes of Chicago, Ward felt it was time to record.
Another vital element in the conceptualization and realization of South Side Story is represented on the composition "All In". Ward explains, "This piece, and really the entire recording, is about a point in my life when I realized that the only way that I would reach people through my music and achieve my goals was to go all the way, or to be 'all in', concerning every aspect of my life, especially music. So I've put everything into my career and my life and entered into an all-or-nothing world. If I don't live this, my ideas won't be clear and the music begins to sound hesitant, and that's the opposite of what I want."
The result is a staggering juxtaposition of styles and moods that tells Ward's and Fitted Shards' collective story of their time on the South Side of Chicago. A story, a composition, and a recording, that is sometimes exciting, sad, or beautiful, but always real.
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Press Enquiries on:
Greg Ward's Fitted Shards South Side Story:
Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity
Tel 347 578 7601, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com
Please Visit www.Redcatpublicity.com and www.Gregward.org
More Information: http://www.redcatpublicity.com
Red Cat Publicity