29th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 13-16 October, 2016

Digital Primitives


Cooper-Moore - diddley-bow, perc, fl, ashimba, mouth bow, hoe-handle harp
Assif Tsahar - ts, bcl
Kresten Osgood – dr

In the opinion of critics, it does not matter how many times you have been listening to these nuggets of avant-garde before, you experience the communal feeling of participating in a magical ritual, and the feeling of inspiring elation that lasts after the concert. Digital Primitives find its own common ground between the old and the futuristic, the traditional and the inventive, the intuitive and the disciplined.

The trio’s experiments evoke experiments of Art Ensemble of Chicago and Lester Bowie. The group have created their own aesthetics: concise, collaborative storytelling compositions, respectful for the blues and modern jazz legacies but fascinated by rock, folk and world music, inventive and imaginative in its sound vocabulary.

Fascinating as it is, sometimes the best inspiration for a fresh, new kind music can be rooted in some very old and simple ideas.

The group’s exotic sound comes from one of the most striking musicians on New York jazz scene – Cooper Moore, a multiintrumentalist, composer, teacher and multimedia artist.

He is best known as William Parker, David S. Ware and Susie Ibarra’s pianist, but the biggest intrigue is his experiments with hand-crafted instruments produced from assorted rubbish, namely diddley-bow, a one-string bass he calls ‘twinger’, three-stringed banjo, xylophone alike ‘ashimba’, bamboo flute, ‘mouth bow’, etc. Many of them remind archaic African instruments.

Thus it is just natural, that one of trio’s newest programmes African Soul invites to visit the Black continent in the company of the native music elite.

Cooper Moore makes his instruments as an antediluvian man – from the stuff he finds around. “If I would need to perform and would not have an instrument, I would construct an instrument in a few hours regardless of where I am”, claims the artist.

Cooper Moore has been a major catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. As a child prodigy he played piano in churches near his birthplace in his native Virginia. He earned a B.A. in Music Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and later studied composition-arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

His performance roots in the realm of avant-jazz music date to the New York City Loft Jazz era in the early-mid 70s. His first fully committed jazz group Apogee was formed in 1970 with saxophonist David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Later he worked as a teacher – taught children music, worked and performed with theatre and dance projects. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context.

The artist also works in Triptych Myth with Tom Abbs and Chad Taylor. He tours in Europe and the USA.

Digital Primitives’ ideas are born not only in Cooper Moore’s laboratory – the trio’s unique style would not be possible without Assif Tsahar’s saxophone contributions.

Few young jazz players generate the kind of buzz among New York cognoscenti that Israeli saxophonist Assif Tsahar has over the past couple of years. He is singularly original and emotionally affecting.

Assif Tsahar is a saxophonist and bass clarinettist based in New York, where he’s become an integral part of the city’s improvised music scene since moving there in 1990. He has played as part of Cecil Taylor’s Orchestra, Butch Morris’ Conduction, William Parker’s Little Huey Orchestra and with Hamid Drake, Susie Ibarra, Rashied Ali, Warren Smith, Wilbur Morris, Le Quan Ninh, John Tcikai, Fred Anderson, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Gerald Cleaver, Agusti Fernandez, Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler.

In addition, he is co-founding and producing the Vision festival and running the Hopscotch Records label.

On Vilnius Jazz stage Kresten Osgood, the busiest drummer on Danish jazz scene, will substitute Chad Taylor, the regular drummer of Digital Primitives.

Kresten Osgood is also frequenting New York jazz scene. He is a member of saxophonist Dr. Lonnie Smith’ Blake Tartare, recorded with Americans Oliver Lake, Dam Rivers and Paul Blay.

He has performed with Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzman, John Tchicai, Henry Grimes, Fred Anderson, Marshall Allen, William Parker, Tim Berne, Brad Mehldau, Django Bates, Josh Redman and other jazz coryphées.

He gives around 300 annual performances in Denmark, organises annual festival Musketeer Festival where representatives of various music styles team up. Kresten Osgood is a founding member of ILK (Independent Label of København), a record label promulgating new jazz.

He has released more than thirty albums, eight of which as a leader.

Apart from the Django D’or Award Kresten Osgood has received several other awards such as Musician of the Year by the Danish critics and a couple of Danish Jazzgrammys. 

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