Constant motion: Local band Tumbles celebrates second album release tonight in Nevada City
KNOW & GO
When: Tonight, Oct. 12, 8 to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Besemer Concert Hall, 11417 Red Dog Road, Nevada City
More Info: www.randymckean.com/tumble or 530-575-8218
The local African-influenced jazz group Tumble is a band in constant motion, much like the music they play — percussive, trance-inducing, their collective groove always evolving. In the year it took the band to record their first album, “Music for Trio,” and then play the CD release concert, the original three-piece ensemble had morphed into a quartet. Tonight, Oct. 12, Tumble will celebrate the release of their second CD, “Waves,” with a concert at the Besemer Concert Hall in Nevada City. And, true to form, a different, newly-energized incarnation of the band will take the stage to perform at this lovely acoustic space.
This event finds the band celebrating on two fronts: they’ll be featuring the music from “Waves,” recorded with local bass legend Bill Douglass, who was a member of the band from 2015 to 2018, and they’ll also be showcasing their new bass player of the past year, Rob Holland, whose experience as both a bassist and percussionist brings to the group a vast knowledge of Latin American and African musical traditions. Tumble began in 2014 as the trio of Robert Heirendt on mbira (the kalimba-like instrument sometimes known as the thumb piano), Sean Kerrigan on guitar, and Randy McKean on clarinets and tenor saxophone.
“Waves” brings together many local talents. Recorded by Bruce Wheelock at Flying Whale Studios in Grass Valley, Douglass’ bass work anchors the diverse set of music on the album: propulsive, multi-layered originals by Kerrigan, freer experimental compositions by McKean and Heirendt, and innovative arrangements by the group of classic tunes by Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter. Local sonic maestro Mikail Graham mixed and mastered the CD, and graphic wiz Julia Boorinakis Harper designed the stunning CD package, which features the painting “The Orient” by artist Paul Reynard. The late artist’s wife Ellen has hosted two concerts by Tumble at her home in Nevada City, at which the band discovered his work. When Heirendt approached Ellen about possibly using one of her late husband’s paintings as the cover of the new CD, she generously worked with the band to select an appropriate image. It is the first release on Cure-All Records, a new label created by McKean and former Nevada City resident David Dvorin.
For Saturday’s concert, in addition to featuring tunes from their two CDs, Tumble will also debut brand new pieces. “It’s such a cool process developing arrangements, we’re excited to play them for everyone,” says McKean. “Sean and Robert don’t bring in sheet music for the band, they’ll play us the different parts and we learn by ear. The band internalizes the music that way and it takes on a richer character by the time we perform it for audiences.”
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