"One of Portland's brightest lights." - Downbeat
"Says more than most singer-songwriterswithout any words at all."
- Willamette Week
"A truly unconventional approach to improvised music that puts other third-streamers to shame" - WNYC
"A strong focus on ensemble playing over individual virtusity"
- Dave King (The Bad Plus)
"This is that album that you leave in your car stereo for a month on purpose."
- Scott Borne, music director WWOZ
"The first time I saw Portland's Blue Cranes live, I walked away trying to compare what I'd seen to anything I'd encountered before. I couldn't do it, and I still can't - the band is a force of nature.... Call it "creative music" or "post-jazz" or whatever you like, but the Blue Cranes sound is steeped in the ideas and concepts of jazz....a beautifully improvised sonic experience."
- NPR/A Blog Supreme
Since their formation in 2007, Blue Cranes have become a key player in the Portland, Oregon creative music/DIY scene and one of the most exciting groups to keep tabs on in the Northwest. They’ve developed a singular musical voice grounded in melody and explosive improvisationsmarking off their unique microcosmic territory in “post-jazz/jazz-not jazz” circles, ala comparable bands like The Bad Plus, The Claudia Quintet, Happy Apple, Wayne Horvitz, Janel & Anthony, etc.
The members of the quintet - Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Keith Brush on double bass, Ji Tanzer on drums - bring a wide array of various musical experiences to their group-centered aesthetic. The band take an evolutionary step forward on their fourth full-length release.
Swim is a departure from Blue Cranes' previous, and in some ways simpler, albums. More than half of the album incorporates arrangements for a string trio, and other tracks include other musical guests - cementing the group's love affair with a lush sonic palette.
Steered dutifully by producer Nate Query of The Decemberists, it is a window into the emotional space of a group struggling with and celebrating the ephemeralness of life. The sounds on Swim, both churning and calming, will please fans of adventurous jazz and avant-garde new music and mark the ripening moment of a band who have been working towards this moment for years.
LP (outside of USA)