"THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT YOUR FATHER'S BRASS ENSEMBLE. . . ." The pieces on Uber Brass are best understood as a complete program. In fact, this CD is an outstanding example of how to create a program which is continually evolving to some defined end, in this case the evolution from pitch to texture as the primary structural parameter. Beginning with "Reddy Teddy" and "Heterodoxy," things start off in a traditional manner with a lot of acoustical counterpoint. But wait a minute! This music is not very tonal, and the musicians even seem to lose track of the pitches at times. Next we hear "Uber Brass" in which the ensemble proceeds to elicit even more tonal angst by introducing an electroacoustical environment. "Try Try Again" then tries to re-establish some measure of tonal order by sounding a repeated pitch center to rein in the musicians (no doubt some Schumacher cynicism). This is followed by a brief respite in the three movements which comprise "New Idiom Now." Here are some "nice," almost tonal brass solos, but a rather strange idea of harmony makes them sound a bit off center. Just when you thought you might get off easy, "Uber Brass 2" brings back the tonal angst along with some edgy vocalizations by Schumacher. Finally, we arrive at "Double Trio," the piece de resistance. This magnificently complex and beautiful piece completes the evolution from pitch to texture as the primary structural parameter by creating a contrapuntal environment so complex that the listener can no longer follow the contrapuntal lines and must instead focus on textural evolution. The Music Now Ensemble has explored pitch-based to texture-based music in nine tracks with some digression, a little cynicism, and a lot of teasing. Some people are going to love this and some are going to hate it, but only the dead will be passive. This is definitely not your father's brass ensemble. Steven Eversole MUSIC NOW ENSEMBLE: This ensemble is a collective of improvisers and composers of exceptional musicianship and imagination. The members of the collective perform in various combinations of players in order to offer a kaleidoscope of instrumentations consistent with the philosophy of free improvisation. Stanley Schumacher founded the ensemble in 2003 to present performances in both acoustical and electroacoustical formats and to promote the diversity and spontaneity of contemporary art music. STANLEY SCHUMACHER: From his first experience playing euphonium, through performance in a variety of band ensembles in high school and college, through a doctoral dissertation on unaccompanied brass solos, to writing compositions such as "No Technique" for three trombones, Stanley Schumacher has been immersed in music for brass instruments throughout his career as a musician. Uber Brass, featuring improvisation by trombone, trumpet, and tuba, extends his expertise in brass music into a new arena, improvised contemporary art music. Stanley has an established resume in free improvisation, having performed with Ricardo Arias, Gary Hassay, Rosi Hertlein, Evan Lipson, Hans Tammen, Todd Whitman, and many others. However, Uber Brass is his first opportunity to improvise with an all brass ensemble, adding another dimension to a lifetime of musical activity involving brass music. Stanley is director of the Music Now Ensemble and president of Musikmacher Productions. His trombone improvisation can also be heard on the first release from Musikmacher Productions, Sound Textures (MM001). At any given time, Stanley may be heard playing unorthodox music in unorthodox places throughout the Mid-Atlantic states. NATE WOOLEY: Nate Wooley, born in 1974, began playing professionally with his father at age 12 in the Pacific Northwest. After a brief stop in Denver, where he studied and played with Ron Miles, Art Lande, Fred Hess, and Hugh Ragin, Nate moved to Jersey City, NJ, where he has performed/recorded with Anthony Braxton, John Butcher, Paul Lytton, Daniel Levin, Joe Morris, Whit Dickey, Alessandro Bosetti, Jack Wright, and many others. Dave Douglas recently proclaimed Nate "the most interesting and unusual trumpet player I have heard in the last decade. . . and that is without hyperbole," at a panel discussion on new trumpet music. DAVID HOFSTRA: Tubaist and bassist David Hofstra was born in 1953 in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was educated at the University of Kansas and has, since he was sixteen, played, toured and recorded extensively in jazz, blues, and contemporary art music. Hofstra was featured in the premier issue of Bass Player magazine in the Spring of 1990. He has also been featured in jazz ensembles including Phillip Johnston's Transparent Quartet and Big Trouble, the Microscopic Septet, and with jazz greats Denis Charles, William Parker, Jemeel Moondoc, Joel Forrester, Bobby Previte, and Lou Grassi. Hofstra's blues credits include playing with Bobby Radcliff, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Rush, Earl King, James "Thunderbird" Davis, Grady Gaines, Debbie Davies, Robert Ross, and Chris Carter. He has also played with improvisers Elliot Sharp, Marshall Crenshaw, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, and Rachelle Garniez.