I’m thrilled to announce that
the latest Catharsis protest album,
Find the Common, Shine a Light,
is now available on Greenleaf Music!
The album is our response to growing political and social turmoil, and an urgent call for change
After 6 years of regular touring and performing, Catharsis, continues to evolve our collective sound while speaking out about our troubled times on Find the Common, Shine a Light. With six years of recording and extensive touring under their belt, the band stays true to our “potent blend of cinematic sweep and lush, ear-grabbing melodies” (Los Angeles Times) while opting for a more layered and multifaceted approach in the studio.
IN THE PRESS
“The album is unpretentiously intelligent and profoundly moving.”
“A project that could speak both to the current state of political unrest and to music’s ability to overcome it”
“Find The Common, Shine A Light, is a powerful work that brings in new interpretations of popular song as well as originals that breathe and seethe on our behalf.”
“Though it may be political, Find the Common, Shine a Light has reach. It moves Catharsis from an appealing band with a brilliant single idea to a group that can do just about anything.”
Become the Water
If I told you here
and now is all we have, would you still hear
me? What if we are blind,
all of us, imagining
there was a time
when great was real.
Our weakest link
is fear of losing greatness.
Get on stage before the curtain
falls, before the blind
messiah opens fire.
We are here to elevate, to greater.
Find the common, shine
a light. Become the water.
Put out the fire.
Through all the noise,
why do we only hear
what we already know?
Why don’t we think
the other side is here with us?
Why don’t we hear the sirens
wailing for us all?
Why don’t we fight
for greater common, not against
our people? Are we not here
to elevate us all?
Why do we let our fear
be greater than our greatness?
Where fear is king, compassion
is a beggar. Dethrone
the blind and elevate the kind.
Find the common, shine
a light. Become the water.
Put out the fire.
Azul Infinito, which features Ryan Keberle’s signature band, Catharsis, includes the vocals of Chilean singer Camila Meza, alongside a frontline of Keberle and GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, Peruvian-born bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Eric Doob, creates a continuity of sound and aesthetic that could only have resulted from constant playing (often monthly around New York) for the past four years. From this continuity, they breathe as one and express a band aesthetic.
For Keberle, American music’s emotional power, which stems from the blues, is reflected in similarly cathartic afrocentric musical elements found in South American music. Fittingly, Jorge Luis Borges, the noted Argentine writer, called the cathartic act of experiencing art an “evento estético” or “aesthetic event.” As on past records, Keberle’s goal is to allow the listener to feel something through his thoughtful compositions and songs. “I hope this record conveys the influence that South American music has played in my life, and allows listeners to experience their own aesthetic event,” says Keberle. “Each original song on this record is either dedicated to, or directly influenced by, a specific South American composer with whom I’ve had the pleasure to play.”
Azul Infinito press highlights:
“5 new jazz albums you need to hear…inventive, fun, and polished — and never self-indulgent (a jazz rarity)” – Billboard
“A strikingly original album…Keberle’s most fully realized statement yet.” – AllAboutJazz.com
“Azul Inifinito is [Ryan Keberle & Cartharsis’] best and most ambitious recording to date…propulsive and infectious, grooving and gorgeous.” – PopMatters.com
“Entrancing and exceptionally well-crafted tracks that expansively convey a wide range of emotions…a message that needs to be heard and experienced.” – The Ottawa Citizen
“even if you don’t know a chacharera from a bullerengue, Azul Infinito captivates with its distinctive arrangements and skein of cultural fusions and juxtapositions” – JazzTimes
“These may be art songs, but they’re art songs that invariably lead to next-level propulsion” – Down Beat
“A compelling marriage of aesthetics…simultaneously muscular and tender” – New York City Jazz Record
“Dynamic and worldly” – The New York Times
“one of the best jazz records of the year so far, and the band kicks ass” – The Brooklyn Rail
“one of the most hypnotic record starts I’ve heard this year” – Vancouver Province
released March 4, 2016
Most jazz musicians avoid repetition dogmatically. But when Ryan Keberle realized he’d been playing the same eight-note phrase in all his recent warm-ups, the trombonist embraced his inclination. “As I started playing it more and more, I realized I wasn’t thinking of anything else,” he says. “You can reach a real state of mindfulness through repetition.” Keberle built the phrase into “Without a Thought,” the complex but gracefully flowing centerpiece of his new album, Into the Zone. It’s his first for Greenleaf Music—and arguably the most personal document yet from a trombonist and bandleader better known for his soloist role in famed large ensembles.
Into the Zone press highlights:
“a potent blend of cinematic sweep and lush, ear-grabbing melodies.” – Chris Barton, LA TIMES
“striking new CD” – Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe
“accessible and thoughtful, lyrical and cerebral…Keberle and his bandmates weave their voices together with supple ease and understated grace to conjure a collective sound that embraces the listener while rewarding closer attention.” – Shaun Brady, Downbeat
“a delight…The title track shows Keberle shares the taste for soft-edged minimalist grooves which seems to be the hallmark of New York-based musicians, in every style. But not many of them could conceive the lovely melodic curve that curves and droops over the top” – Ivan Hewitt, The Daily Telegraph
This EP is a rarity for jazz record releases today (in my opinion). A real working band (we’ve played on a monthly basis for almost 2 years now); playing live for thousands of listeners (albeit via the radio airways); we already had one gig under our belt the day of the performance so the band was super loose, in a tight kind of way, by the time of our WNYC performance; AND (this is the kicker) the music was captured by the highest quality vintage ribbon mics and sound board. These mics, by the way, are particularly great for brass instruments. Not too mention we had a great roady (Matt Merewitz) to keep us in line and provide us emotional support and Mexican breakfasts.
The result is a spontaneous, fresh, and cohesive live recording. I can honestly say its one of the highest quality live recordings (from musical and sonic perspectives) that I’ve ever been a part of and my band-mates agree.
Oh, and did I mention it has been mastered specially for digital downloads??
released 31 July 2013
Ryan Keberle – Trombone, Compositions, Arrangements
Mike Rodriguez – Trumpet
Jorge Roeder – Bass
Eric Doob – Drums
Recorded and Mixed live at WNYC on March 18, 2013
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper
Album Cover photo by Amanda Gentile
Album design by Ryan Keberle
Used by permission from New York Public Radio and WNYC. For Soundcheck/WNYC: Host: John Schaefer, Executive Producer: Joel Meyer, Engineer: Paul Schneider
On his third CD, Music Is Emotion, Keberle combines that wealth of influence and experience into a bold group sound with the debut of his pianoless quartet, Catharsis. The band comprises some of the most compelling up-and-coming voices in jazz – trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Eric Doob – for a vigorous set of melodic invention, heavy groove, and a subtle indie rock sensibility.
“When you boil down everything else that you love about music, it really comes down to the emotional connection that people make with it,” Keberle says. “Good American popular music has this inherent emotional connection because of the history of the blues in our musical society. With all the social media and technology these days, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find that interaction on a personal level. So I’ve been trying to capture that more consciously in my own music.”
Music is Emotion press highlights:
“Trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle’s album Music Is Emotion (Alternate Side Records) introduces his piano-less quartet Catharsis and a sound so full of imaginative interplay and boundless energy that the band seems much larger” – Thomas Staudter, Downbeat
“In forming Catharsis, a piano-less quartet with two horns, bass and drums, Keberle left his self-admitted comfort zone, but it did him some good; this already-stellar artist reaches a new artistic peak with Music Is Emotion.” – Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
When I sat down with Ryan to talk to about this record, I could not resist asking him about “the trombone problem” — i.e., the instrument’s lamentable underrepresentation in jazz, dating from pretty much the end of the big band era. I know many serious jazz musicians and fans who don’t own a single trombonist-led album — not even stone classics like The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson or Grachan Moncur’s Evolution.
Trombonists themselves are acutely aware of this, even legends like Bob Brookmeyer: “Sax players got all the girls because they were seated in the front row. Trumpeters got all the money because they were driving the band from the back row. Trombones sit in the middle and develop an interior life.” (Brookmeyer, I should point out, ditched the slide instrument in favor of the valve trombone early on.) But the trombone problem is about more than just lousy PR — there are fearsome technical obstacles to playing fluently in a contemporary jazz language on the trombone. Which certainly didn’t stop Ryan from trying: “I was one of those guys who didn’t listen to trombone records for a long time. For many years I was transcribing all saxophones and trumpets, then I got into pianists like Brad Mehldau and guitarists like Kurt Rosenwinkel… but really, you can’t play that stuff on trombone. You can play some of it, sure, but ultimately it’s going to sound like an approximation, rather than something that really stands on its own.” However, at the ripe age of 29, Ryan has finally made his peace with his horn: “I’ve had a realization —I’m glad I play the trombone. I feel very much in touch with it. I’ve stopped trying to play like a saxophone or a piano. Now, I’m listening to myself more. What I’m playing is what I’d be singing.”
The results of this shift in approach are evident in his dark, unburnished tone, the seamless flow of his phrasing, the architectural curve of his solos, his magnetic sense of groove, and most of all in his commitment to melody.
— Darcy James Argue, 2010
Heavy Dreaming press highlights:
“the best new jazz album of 2010 [Heavy Dreaming]”
– Fred Kaplan, Stereophile
“a sumptuous and spirited disc”
– Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
“[Keberle] is clearly in the vanguard of a handful of stalwarts
re-introducing the trombone to now unaccustomed ears”
– Bob Gish, Jazz Inside
The five Keberle originals survey a range of light and dark moods, opaque and translucent harmonies. Keberle’s agile, authoritative horn cuts through like a beacon. The interplay of the two quartets is beautifully realized, and the brass treatments themselves are rich in variety – from dense four-part interludes to soaring soli unison writing, from bold foreground to subtle background. “Wedding Music” was written at the request of pianist Kris Davis and drummer Jeff Davis and performed at their nuptials by a brass trio. Keberle then expanded it for the present group. “Something Speaking,” by contrast, he scaled down from a big band arrangement for the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble. “What Goes Around” grew out of a writing exercise assigned to Keberle by master trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. (It used to have lyrics.) The ballad “When I’m Away” has an earlier provenance – Keberle wrote it at age 19. Taken together, this music reveals a sophistication and creative restlessness that is anything but common. Conversant with the tradition but current in spirit and unique in format, it gives us reason to be optimistic for Keberle’s, and jazz’s, future.
— David Adler, 2006
Ryan Keberle Double Quartet press highlights:
“neatly layered horn passages stand out throughout the disc,
which is distinguished by Keberle’s ever-cheerful solos.”
– Jazz Times
“sprawling, multi-themed approach to composition…
Double Quartet indicates Keberle’s flowering skills as a composer and arranger”
– All About Jazz
Discography as sideman
Zedd and Aloe Blacc, Candyman, TBA 2016
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Real Enemies, New Amsterdam 2016 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Thompson Fields, Artist Share 2015 *Grammy Award Winner*
Ryan Truesdale’s Gil Evans Project, Lines of Color, Artist Share 2015 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Nelson Foltz, Farewell, 2015
Dave Douglas, The Serial Sessions, Greenleaf Music 2015
Jeremy Flower, The Real Me, 2015
Stranger Cat, In the Wilderness, Independent 2015
David Bowie, Sue (Or in a Season of Crime), Parlophone 2014 *Grammy Award Winner*
Ryan Keberle & Catharsis, Into the Zone, Greenleaf 2014
Miguel Zenon, Identities are Changeable, Miel Music 2014 *Grammy Award Nominee
Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn, Second Half, Independent 2014 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Cyrus von Hochstetter, In Darkness Still, Independent 2014
Sufjan Stevens/Nico Muhly, Planetarium, TBA 2014
Rufus Reid, Quiet Pride, Motema 2013 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Alan Ferber’s Expanded Ensemble, March Sublime, Sunnyside 2013 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut, Sackbut Stomp, Yellow Sound Label 2013
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Brooklyn Babylon, New Amsterdam 2013 *Grammy Award Nominee*
Paul Carlon, La Rumba is a Lovesome Thing, Zoho 2013
David Byrne/St. Vincent, Love This Giant, Todo Mundo 2012
Sofia Rei, De Tierra y Oro, 2012
Joe Fiedler’s Big Sackbut, Big Sackbut, Yellow Sound Label 2012
Ryan Truesdale’s Gil Evans Centennial Project, Gil Evans Centennial Project, Artist Share 2012 *Grammy Award Winner*
David Berger Jazz Orchestra, Sing Me a Love Song, Such Sweet Thunder 2010
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Infernal Machines, New Amsterdam 2009*Grammy Award Nominee*
Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, El Viaje, PGM 2009
Paul Carlon Octet, Roots Propaganda, Deep Tone 2008
“In the Heights” Cast and Orchestra, “In the Heights”, Original Broadway Cast Recording, Ghostlight Records 2008 *Grammy Award Winner*
Madeline Peyroux, Travelin’ Light, TBA
Bjorkestra, Enjoy, Koch 2008
Alicia Keys, Superwoman, J Records 2007 *Grammy Award Winner*
Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Sky Blue, Artist Share 2007 *Grammy Award Winner*
Au Revoir Simone, The Bird of Music, Moshi Moshi 2007
Brooklyn Qawwali Party, BQP, Brook Martinez 2007
David Berger and his Sultans of Swing, Champian, Such Sweet Thunder 2007
Paul Carlon Octet, Other Tongues, Deep Tone 2006
David Berger and his Sultans of Swing, Hindustan, Such Sweet Thunder 2006
Mayra Casales, Mujer Ardiente, Afrasia 2006
Dirty on Purpose, Hallelujah Sirens, North Street Records 2006
Barbarian Horde, Your Pleasure is our Business, BarbariansMusic 2006
Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, Desconsuelo, PGM 2005
Ileana Santamaria Orchestra, What I Want, Ileana I. Santamaria 2005
David Berger and his Sultans of Swing, Marlowe, Such Sweet Thunder 2004
Fernando Otero, Plan, Twinz 2003
Pedro Giraudo, Mr. Vivo, PGM 2002
Three-Way Organ Trio, Three Way , Independent, Dublin, Ireland, 2001