Time Zones

Although they live in different parts of the United States, the musicians who comprise Esthesis Quartet have found common ground in their love of improvised music and their willingness to take creative risks. On their newest album, Time Zones, the band once again pushes the musical envelope with seven original compositions that explore a range of concepts and moods.

Esthesis Quartet’s first album, the eponymous Esthesis Quartet, was released in 2021.

The quartet comprises four accomplished musicians and educators who met at various festivals, conventions, and sessions around the States. They are Elsa Nilsson – flute, Dawn Clement – piano & vocal, Emma Dayhuff – bass, and , Tina Raymond – Drums. The concept for the quartet began during the first Covid lockdown. Geographically dispersed, they met via Zoom to share their compositions. From there, they experimented with recording pieces and free improvisations by remotely layering parts.

Nilsson hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, but has been living in Brooklyn, NYC, for over a decade. She actively works as a bandleader and side woman in a myriad of creative music projects. She has released seven albums as a leader and is currently an adjunct professor at The New School College of Performing Arts. Clement is one of the most sought-after musicians working today. She has recorded six albums as a leader and is the recipient of the CMA Performance Plus grant to compose for Esthesis Quartet. Clement is the Area Coordinator of the Jazz and American Improvised Music Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver, a program founded by the late Ron Miles. Dayhuff is the most recent bassist to graduate from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance in Los Angeles. She is only the fifth woman ever to participate in the prestigious program and has performed around the world with many top jazz artists like Herbie Hancock, Victor Goines, David Murray, among others. Currently residing in Chicago, she has conducted master classes in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cuba, and Australia. Los Angeles-based Raymond is an accomplished drummer, composer, bandleader, and educator. The Director of Jazz Studies at California State University Northridge, Raymond received DownBeat Magazine’s Educator Achievement Award in 2020. She is president elect of California Alliance for Jazz and has toured the US, Europe and Asia as a leader and side woman.

Recorded in Los Angeles. The album playfully explores the experience of four musicians working together while each living in different time zones. It album opens with “Blue Light,” composed by Clement. Being a working mother, Clement often finds herself working late at night and into the early hours of the morning when she is finally alone and the evening lights grow dim. The tune features an improvised conversation between flute and drums. Raymond wrote “Brush Fire” as a reaction to the 2018 Woolsey fire that burned nearly 100,000 acres across two counties. The arc of the tune reflects the arc of the fire, which started off as a small brush fire but then quickly developed into a major conflagration, which is represented by Nilsson’s frenetic flute solo and Raymond’s high energy drumming. Clement sings on her composition “The New Yorker.” Inspired by the poem “Scylla and Charybdis” by contemporary poet Megan Fernandes, Clement had in mind a good friend and collaborator who moved to Paris. “Hollywood” is a feisty blues number by Clement featuring solos by Nilsson, Raymond, and Clement. It was written for the spirited drummer Matt Wilson. Raymond was inspired to write “Serial” after listening to the podcast of the same name. Raymond captures the feel of the murder mystery who-done-it with an angular melody and a bass line that is reminiscent of theme songs from 1960s television detective shows like Peter Gunn. Nilsson’s “First Light” captures the gentle moments immediately after waking and before the weight of the world intrudes on one’s consciousness. It was written to hold onto and extend those moments of beauty and peace. “Getting Through,” also by Nilsson, is about the process of pushing through hard things, both internal and external. In the quartet’s first rehearsal, Nilsson said to Dayhuff, “Go as fast as you want!” The result encapsulates the openness to exploration inherent in the band.

The album releases on March 10th on Ears & Eyes Records. It will be featured on World of Jazz 572. Elsa Nilsson has previously featured on World of Jazz 534 with her most recent releases as a leader.

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