Born: September 22, 1868 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Combining influences from Duke Ellington, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Melt Banana, bassist and composer Adam Lane stretches the terms jazz and chamber Music beyond convention. His blend of music and performance art takes listeners on a meticulously orchestrated joyride, with horns, strings, electronics, spoken word, and the occasional vacuum cleaner. As a composer he has been recognized by critics world wide as innovative (Signal to Noise) and forward thinking, (Jazziz) and as a player he has contributed to important new recordings by artist such as John Tchicai and Tom Waits.
Forthcoming projects include FO(U)R BEING(S) by the Adam Lane Quartet, featuring John Tchicai, Paul Smoker, and Barry Altschul (C.I.M.P), DUO MUSIC with Blaise Siwula (Cadence Jazz) and NOWHERE ZEN: Chamber Works and Solo Statements (Evander Music), all to be released in late summer 2002. He will be recording a cd of duo music with John Tchicai in Oct. 2002 to be released on the C.I.M.P label.
In October of 1999 Lane's recording Hollywood Wedding was released on Cadence Jazz Records to critical acclaim. The recording features 10 of Lane’s original compositions performed by 6 different ensembles under his leadership. The ensembles range from a large 20 piece improvising orchestra with a mix of traditional jazz interments, electronics, processing, and risqu? vocalizing, to electric chamber to acoustic trios to Mingus-style small big bands.
Sam Prestiani of Jazziz magazine described Lane’s work on Hollywood Wedding as pushing beyond predictability, and said further, Lane's confidence and confrontational prowess as well as his abiding sense of lyricism and heavy-groove power place him in the lineage of forward-jazz adventurism. Jon Morgan of Signal to Noise magazine said, Those who listen to [Hollywood Wedding] will hear an ambitious composer who clearly has the goods, one who can command a large ensemble with daring eloquence or just as quickly blow the roof off the joint with unleashed cacophony.
Also released on Cadence Jazz was NO(W) MUSIC with his band THE FULL THROTTLE ORCHESTRA. The Orchestra has been active with the same personnel for 4 years making it one of the only continually active creative music ensembles in the Bay Area. The band features Jeff Chan and Aaron Bennett on reeds, Darren Johnston on trumpet, John Finkbeiner on guitar, Vijay Anderson on percussion, Adam Lane on bass and electronics and guest guitarist Myles Boisen. The band combines all the characteristics of Lane’s variegated writing style including a shifting creative aesthetic that might draw inspiration from Cecil Taylor and early Black Sabbath at the same time. With both guitarist Finkbeiner and Lane freely utilizing electronics and processing, the rhythm section might shift from their traditional role to a sound that is closer to David Tudor in the same tune. All members of the band are active composers and bandleaders in their own rights, with each maintaining projects in creative music as well as straight-ahead jazz.
In April 2000 he was featured on a new recording by free jazz pioneer John Tchicai. JOHN TCHICAI'S INFINTESIMAL FLASH, was released on Buzz records to critical acclaim. Wire magazine reviewed ININTESIMAL FLASH in July 2000 saying, Lane’s work is particularly impressive, spinning dense waves of string-strum around Tchicai’s keening lines.
Lane’s collaboration with Tchicai continued on his own FO(U)R BEING(S) CD on C.I.M.P. This project includes legendary drummer Barry Altschul, and trumpet virtuoso Paul Smoker and features 6 of Lane’s compositions. This record is straight-ahead free jazz, with music developed for maximum collective improvising activity. Tchicai and Lane will continue their collaboration on a new duo cd they will record in Oct. 2002 for the C.I.M.P label.
Lane has also composed a variety of works for chamber ensembles. His piece MINI PIG 2000 was commissioned by the California Ear Unit and performed at LACMA in January of 2000. The piece, scored for violin, piccolo, bass clarinet, piano, amplified processed double bass,electric bass with distortion and drum kit, utilizes this traditional ensemble in drastically untraditional ways, making the EAR unit sound closer to a blend of Cecil Taylor and Hardcore punk than the usual chamber ensemble sound. Lane has written two other works for the California Ear Unit, both of which have been performed as part of the Arcosanti Young Composers Conference: ELVIS’ TOMB IS EMPTY, performed at Arcosanti in 1997 and FIRE UP THE PIG, in 1998. Both pieces utilize amplified strings with distortion, electronics, vocal screams through a megaphone, muliphonic woodwind parts, a percussion part that includes a vacuum cleaner, and at times deafening volumes; taking the ensemble into sonic space not usually explored by conventional chamber players or chamber composers.
Lane currently divides his time between New York and San Francisco. In NY he performs regularly with a trio featuring Louie Bellogenis and Lou Grassi, and works in the Andrew Drury Quartet featuring percussionist Drury?s compositions with Lane, guitarist Brad Shepik, and saxophonist Briggan Krauss.
Lane has a BA in music from Wesleyan University where he studied with Anthony Braxton, and an MFA from CalArts where he studied with Wadada Leo Smith and Daniel Rothman. In 1996 he was awarded a Paternings scholarship for study at the Darmstadt School for New Music. At Darmstadt he attended master classes in composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Klaus Huber, Mathias Spahlinger, and studied double bass with Italian virtuoso Stefano Scodanibbio. He is recipient of numerous awards and grants for composition and performance including the 2002 New Langton Arts Bay Area Creative Artist award and the 2000 Julius Hemphill Award for outstanding large ensemble composition.