Towards the Center of Everything
by Sam Crowe
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Towards the Center of Everything: Promo Video
About: Towards the Center of Everything
Release Date: April 29, 2013: Worldwide Physical & Digital
Towards the Center of Everything is the second solo album from internationally acclaimed pianist & composer Sam Crowe (and debut WWR release), featuring a set of original compositions by the leader and a true genre-mash of styles, epic colors and moods with improvisation as it's focus, boasting a line up of literally some of the most exciting and cutting edge young improvisers in the world. Recorded in two days at the famed Systems Two Studios in NYC, the album features Crowe on Piano, Fender Rhodes & Keyboards, NYC-based Will Vinson on Alto Saxophone, the Award winning London-based Adam Waldmann on Soprano Saxophone, rising star British guitarist Will Davies, the uber-creative Alan Hampton on both double & electric bass, one of the most in demand drummers on the planet in Mark Guiliana and special guest Emilia Martensson on vocals.
The album is a no holds barred continuation and development of the textures and epic themes heard on Crowe's critically acclaimed debut album Synaesthesia with an added New York sensibility to the performances. There are rock and 'drum and bass' influences as well as an ever-present folk feeling to some pieces which weave a narrative through moody and modal harmony. This is cinematic music of the now; the result of Crowe's lifetime pursuit to almagamate his ever-evolving palette of musical influences from across the genre-spectrum, both past and present, with improvisation as the central and guiding thread.
"A musical odyssey that defies musical genres."
"A powerful artistic statement... A real musical intelligence at work...An album that should ensure that Sam Crowe’s star continues to rise."
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann
"Want to be cheered up? Want out of the corrupt, soulless, commodified, unfeeling, number-obsessed, money fixated, fearful, prejudiced superficiality that is today’s Western existence? Buy Towards The Center Of Everything, press play and escape to a wholly better world!"
The Jazz Breakfast
"This is multi-faceted music by a composer who wants the best of all worlds."
CD of the Week, Evening Standard
"New Season Highlight. The best Whirlwind release so far? Well that depends on your criteria, but for me it is, based on the life in the performance and the quality of the compositions and improvising group interplay. A robustly creative album."
4 Stars, Marlbank
"Crowe’s compositions are superbly constructed and executed by a killer band that navigates them with ease and panache with Davies, in particular, turning in consistently great solos."
"The pianist's excellent debut album, Synaesthesia, was a standout release for 2010, and after some early listens we're pleased to report that its impending follow-up lives up to those same high standards. Engagingly melodic and intelligently constructed throughout."
Jazz UK Magazine
“The excellent Davies whose unclichéd guitar playing does much to add a distinctive quality to the Crowe group sound. Davies really soars here.”
The Jazz Mann
“There is some inspired guitar soloing from British newcomer Will Davies that is reminiscent of John Scofield.”
Recommended new release, June 2013
"An impressive effort that has a real drive and free-flow energy about it. Thoroughly recommended."
4 Stars, Jazzwise
"A fierce musical intellect"
"Some of New York’s finest young musicians have been enlisted for the session which was recorded in the Big Apple and the all original compositions are deceptively simple, yet immediately infectious and that bodes well for the future."
4 Stars, UK Vibe
"Crowe's influences are manifold- jazz, classical, folk, triphop, rock. His visionary writing and powerful melodies fused them into a new whole, an urban urgency mixed with the pastoral gentleness."
"It's a set of robust originals in which Crowe writes impressively for the sax/guitar voicings that made Synaesthesia stand out, and his tunes are lifted here by the extra firepower. The backbeat-driven title track features Vinson's soulful alto and Davies's shapely reflections; the chiming, floaty Gaia engages Crowe and Hampton in an elegant dance; and Guiliana's hip-hop precision marshals the riff-melody of The Global Brain."
"Crowe's music reintroduces adventure, quirk, charm, and, yes, color into modern jazz. Enormously satisfying"
Manchester Evening News
"Crowe is a class act, both as composer and pianist."
Vortex Jazz Review