Evan Arntzen, renowned multireedist, vocalist and bandleader, presents his third album as a bandleader, Countermelody. This uplifting new release is a celebration of the interplay, collective improvisation and soulful counterpoint that played such a big role in Black American Music emanating from New Orleans in the first half of the 20th century. During a time when convening is all but impossible, Countermelody brings the gaiety of live music to the recorded realm.
Countermelody brings early-jazz-exuberance to an eager present in a release which author and Louis Armstrong historian, Ricky Riccardi, calls “the very definition of timeless” in the album’s liner notes. Arntzen’s Dot Time Records debut features many of his own astounding arrangements of early New Orleans and Chicago jazz compositions written by such luminaries as Kid Ory, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Bennie Moten. The release also features wonderfully innovative compositions by Arntzen, Halloran and Kellso. Aside from thirteen hi-fidelity tracks, listeners will also be treated to tracks that were recorded to wax cylinder, a medium that actually predates when much of this music was composed.
Recorded on October 2nd and 3rd, 2020, the group of stellar musicians featured on Countermelody gathered together to create music that will inspire listeners everywhere to get up, share joy and dance.