For Living Lovers

When it comes to music and sound, there are philosophical and physical considerations. There are the timbral dimensions and unique touch and voice characteristics of musicians, as well as the interaction between them during performances. For Living Lovers, composed by Brandon Ross and Stomu Takeishi, has spent time and effort in creating its own system to create natural sound environments and communicate. This is finally captured on their new album Revealing Essence. Brandon Ross is a well-known figure in the world guitar. He was an integral part of projects that were led by Cassandra Wilson and Leroy Jenkins, Lawrence Morris “Butch”, and Henry Threadgill. Ross has also been a leader of his own projects as well as Harriet Tubman’s collaborative ensemble with Melvin Gibbs (bassist) and JT Lewis (drummer). Ross met Stomu Takeishi, a Japanese-born bassist, while creating a new ensemble to support Henry Threadgill, an iconoclastic woodwind player and composer. Ross met Takeishi while returning from a trip in India in the mid-1990s with Threadgill. He saw Takeishi perform in an all-string ensemble with cellist Michelle Kinney, and violist Jason Hwang. Ross was struck by the bassist’s musical choices and he introduced him. Takeishi had been performing with a variety of musical polyglots including Dave Tronzo, Cuong Vu’s trumpeter, and Paul Motian’s Electric BeBop Band. Although Takeishi was not familiar with Threadgill, Ross invited Takeishi audition for Threadgill’s Make a Move group, which included drummer JT Lewis, and accordionist Tony Cedras. The duo discovered their mutual musical compatibility during the four- to five years spent learning Threadgill’s unique musical language. For Living Lovers was formed in 2000 by Ross and Takeishi. Amazingly, Revealing Essence was possible because of Ross’s connections in the visual arts. Ralph Gibson, a guitarist student and advocate of Ross’s music and a photographer, suggested a series of collaborative photography and music projects. He provided the amazing images and portraits of Ross and Takeishi for the album art. The legendary painter Eric Fischl offered Ross to be his executive producer for a new record during a conversation about music, art and life at a gallery open. This catalyzed the start of Revealing Essence. from

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