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Blaise Siwula

Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Born: February 19, 1950    

Blaise Siwula

Born 02-19-1950 in Detroit, MI I have been involved with the arts for most of my life. I began studying the alto sax at the age of 14 in middle school and have been playing/ studying in varying capacities since. After periodic explorations of drama, poetry, architecture, visual art, a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. and a stint in Europe, I arrived in NYC in 1989 with my family and an alto sax. In the past 18 years I have been actively involved with the NYC Improv Scene: Amica Bunker, the Improvisers Collective and most recently the C.O.M.A. series at ABC No-Rio recent as in the past 10 years As a composer I have incorporated traditional musical scoring techniques with visual/graphical and performance oriented presentations and a simple philosophy- sound and vision are inter-related in life and art resulting in communication. Although primarily an alto saxophonist I play a number of reed, flute, percussion and string instruments at varying degrees of competency per composition requirements and recently began including computer altered sound files in performance as background for improvisation. Currently my instruments of choice are: Alto, Tenor & Soprano Saxophones Bb Clarinet, Eb Alto Cl & Bb Bass Cl...
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Gordon Marshall March 2011 THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD Human beings spend their lives trying not to be alone. Once they find company, they begin the elusive search to rediscover their initial solitude. In music, the solo recording reflects this contradictory quest. In many ways it is the most intriguing form, both for fan and artist, and once finally attempted, it is charged with a discernible aspiration to retrieve the ensemble format. First to come to mind on the first track of tenor saxophonist Blaise Siwula’s Live in London, “Stutter’s Waltz”, is Peter Brötzmann in the stammering orgies of deep tones and harmonics. Siwula invokes Albert Ayler on the second track, “On the Plains of Brooklyn”, with a simple, folk-like melody that slowly deconstructs into darker, earthier tones, closing, as Ayler often did, anthemically. “Transparent Dialogue” is a paradigm of what Siwula does all along: he attacks the problem inherent in a single-instrument excursus by engaging in dialogue with himself. Often, as suggested, this involves the play of lighter and darker, of higher and lower tones; but also, as in this tune, short staccato bursts contrasted with longer, legato lopes. Siwula is a master duettist and he has no trouble transposing this knack to a self-on-self context. Again, melody and barrages of sound walls stack up against one another swimmingly, as Siwula always hints at harmony even in his noisiest squawks and his tunefulness is ever tempered by a robust, muscular delivery.

Ken Waxman from his review on the Fulgornatus CD released on Konnex 2010 Employing a light vibrato and constricted tone, Siwula’s playing is memorable in that he gets his message across by implying rather than wallowing in emotion…. “Turned Time in Retrograde” for instance, finds Siwula’s saxophone honks and flattement accelerating to a staccato interface, with Gilbert’s dobro-like twangs first chasing then complementing the reed work. Warmer-toned on clarinet, the veteran player’s glissandi stretch upwards to a roughened lyricism that perfectly matches the guitarist’s slurred fingering and ringing strokes.

Wilbur MacKenzie All About Jazz NYC

Saxophonist Blaise Siwula has been a constant presence in the creative music scene in New York for decades. His ongoing Sunday concert series COMA (Citizen’s Ontological Music Agenda) at ABC No Rio has been a great spot to catch many of the city’s best improvisers over the years.

Recorded a decade ago in Tucson, Arizona, Live at The Matt Bevel Institute, Siwula’s duo with guitarist and composer Dom Minasi, is an electrifying experience, their two instruments blending exquisitely.

Siwula’s “Tendencies in Tandem” opens the album, a quick survey of dense sound clusters, austere unison phrases and quick melodic lines reminiscent of classic Ornette Coleman

Ken Weiss jazzimprov on Big Hearts cd Blaise Siwula and Katsyuki Itakura Blaise Siwula ia a veteran of the downtown New York City avant garde scene, known for his mean alto saxophonebut also able to shine on clarinet and tenor which he demonstrates on this remarkable recording. He is a master of extended technique, utilizing all elements of his horns to probe harmonies and explore potentially rich areas while never neglecting the song’s imbedded melody

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    Now Matter

    Not On Label
    2011
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    Live In London

    Not On Label
    2010
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    Live at The Matt Bevel Institute

    re:konstruKt
    2010
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    Projection: Zero

    Not On Label
    2008
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    Brooklyn Moments

    Not On Label
    2007
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    New York Moments

    Konnex Records
    2007
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    Eight Duets 2002 - 2003

    Not On Label
    2005
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Alto Sax Borgani Alto Sax MarkVII Alto Sax Conn 6m Tenor Sax Borgani Curved Soprano Sax Bb Cl Selmer Depose 1928 Eb Cl Pedler Bass Cl Selmer

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