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Michael Formanek

Biography

Born in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA in 1958, Michael Formanek offers proven that he is able to do everything: bassist, composer, improviser, bandleader, collaborator, educator, and first-call sideman to numerous of the very most highly regarded performers in creative jazz. He is a main presence on the brand new York and East Coastline creative jazz picture because the 1990 launch of his debut recording like a leader, WIDELY OPEN Spaces, in the Enja label. Formanek got already established himself a skilled sideman in ensembles led by famous brands Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman, Fred Hersch, and Attila Zoller, but WIDELY OPEN Areas was the initial documenting that uncovered the bassist’s capability to create widely assorted compositions emphasizing the solid skills of his personal ensemble users (in cases like this saxophonist Greg Osby, violinist Tag Feldman, guitarist Wayne Krantz, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield). In 1992, Enja released Formanek’s second documenting, Extended Computer animation, which featured exactly the same bandmembers as WIDELY OPEN Spaces aside from one essential difference: a change in saxophonist from Osby to Tim Berne. From your unison bass-sax collection in the starting measures from the 1st tune “Liar’s Internet,” the compatibility of Formanek and Berne was apparent; they might continue a successful musical collaboration for the rest of the 10 years and beyond. Prolonged Animation also exposed Formanek’s skill on paper compositions of higher length and difficulty compared to the generally shorter vignettes on WIDELY OPEN Spaces. Exactly the same 12 months that Prolonged Animation premiered, Formanek, Berne, and Hirshfield joined the studio room to record Loose Cannon for Italian maker Giovanni Bonandrini’s Spirit Notice label. This trio program, with bass and sax squarely in the limelight, additional cemented the nascent Formanek-Berne romantic relationship. Loose Cannon premiered in 1993, as Formanek came back towards the studio room for another Enja program, this time along with his largest group however. The septet on Low Profile included Formanek and Berne alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas, multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, trombonist Ku-umba Frank Lacy, drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith, and pianist Salvatore Bonafede. Using its rest of high-energy improvisational passages and intricate ensemble agreements, Low Profile was viewed by many critics among the most powerful innovative jazz CDs of 1994. On the other hand, Tim Berne made a decision to touch Formanek for Bloodcount, his quartet also offering saxophonist/clarinetist Chris Swiftness and drummer Jim Dark. In Sept 1994, the four music artists, plus guitarist Marc Ducret, documented several evenings of concerts for Stefan Winter’s JMT label; the causing music premiered in 1995 on the trio of common Bloodcount CDs: Lowlife, Poisoned Thoughts, and Memory Choose. The demise of JMT emerged immediately after, but Bloodcount continuing to record (minus Ducret) for Berne’s brand-new Screwgun label. Formanek made an appearance on three Bloodcount recordings released by Screwgun: the Bloodcount Unwound three-CD container set (1996), in addition to Discretion and Saturation Stage (both 1997). Still under agreement to Enja, Formanek documented Nature from the Beast, his 4th recording for the label, in 1996. The Compact disc was released the next 12 months and presented a primary quartet including trumpeter Douglas, trombonist Steve Swell, along with a drummer with whom Formanek have been developing a especially solid rapport: Bloodcount’s Jim Dark. Also making looks on selected songs were Berne, Velocity, and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby. Everyone made an appearance on the beautiful, 12-minute “Solid Skin/Harmful Crustaceans,” sounding rather as an prolonged ensemble edition of Bloodcount. Because the 1990s drew to some close, Berne place Bloodcount on keep, but Formanek continuing his liaison using the saxophonist. They toured through the entire United States like a duo and in 1998 released the Compact disc Ornery People on the tiny Sibling label. That same 12 months, Screwgun released Am I Bothering You?, a Formanek single Compact disc that fully uncovered the bassist’s improvisational abilities and mastery of expanded techniques. Furthermore, Formanek toured in 1998 as an associate of drummer Gerry Hemingway’s brand-new American quartet, which also included trombonist Ray Anderson and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin. In the 1999 Enja Compact disc Relativity, Formanek made an appearance in a fresh collaborative trio with reedman Ehrlich and drummer Peter Erskine, sketching critical compliment for his capability to maintain a propulsive groove while also offering the ensemble with a lot of area for abstract exploration. On the June 2000 Bell Atlantic Jazz Celebration in NEW YORK, Formanek premiered North Exposure, a fresh quartet with drummer Dark, trumpeter Dave Ballou, and saxophonist Henrik Frisk. Despite all of this activity, Formanek continued to be an in-demand program bassist through the entire 1990s, carrying out on CDs by leading innovative jazz artists such as for example Jane Ira Bloom, Uri Caine, Marty Ehrlich, Wayne Emery, Lee Konitz, Kevin Mahogany, the Mingus Big Music group, the brand new York Jazz Collective, Daniel Schnyder, and Jack port Walrath. By the entire year 2000, he previously made an appearance on over 60 recordings as innovator, collaborator, or sideman. At the start of the brand new millennium, Formanek relocated with his family members from eastern Pa towards the Baltimore region after agreeing to a limited-time faculty session towards the Jazz Research Section at Baltimore’s Peabody Institute, among the oldest music conservatories within the U.S. and since 1977 a department of Johns Hopkins University or college. He was consequently appointed like a full-time faculty member, and — while carrying on to take part in several recordings like a sideman — he dedicated considerable innovative energy towards the educational arena for the rest of the 10 years, also getting fellowships and commissions for the structure of new functions. He re-emerged like a documenting session leader this year 2010 using the launch from the Rub and Extra Change from the Michael Formanek Quartet within the ECM label; furthermore to Formanek on bass (so when composer), the time highlighted saxophonist Berne, pianist Craig Taborn, and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Little Places, the next Formanek Quartet record on ECM, found its way to 2012; the record highlighted a lineup similar towards the debut released 2 yrs previously. The 2010s also noticed Formanek show up live along with his aptly called Outfit Kolossus, an 18-piece aggregation of music artists with whom he previously collaborated over time, including a fresh era of players over the Brooklyn jazz picture. In early 2014 the Cuneiform label released the eponymous debut record by Thumbscrew, a collaborative trio composed of Formanek and two Brooklyn innovative jazzers, guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, as well as the bassist made an appearance on another Cuneiform recording in October of this yr, guitarist Anthony Pirog’s Palo Colorado Desire, also offering drummer Ches Smith. In early 2016, Formanek released THE LENGTH — his third recording for ECM — with Outfit Kolossus, which incidentally also included Thumbscrew users Halvorson and Fujiwara within the lineup. And in-may of that yr, Thumbscrew’s second recording, Convallaria, premiered by Cuneiform.

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth May 7, 1958
Profession Bassist
Nationality American
Music Songs Small Places, Wide Open Spaces, Rising Tensions And Awesome Light, Slightly Off Axis, Soft Reality, The Distance, Inside The Box, Wobble And Spill, Seeds And Birdman, Exoskeleton Prelude, Tonal Suite, Parting Ways, C-Clamp Wedgie, Overhead Justice, Lickin' Center, Grand Bizarre, Fantasy Scape, Exoskeleton Part VIII, Osimodo, Fibrigade, Almost Normal, Exoskeleton Parts IV-V, Exoskeleton Parts VI-VII, Beam Me Up, Exoskeleton Parts I-III, Triangonal, Groogly, A Method to the Madness, My Funny Valentine, The Great Chase, The 12 1/2 % Solution, Lowball
Albums The Rub and Spare Change, Ornery People, Extended Animation, Am I Bothering You?, Small Places, Loose Cannon, I Remember Jaco, Nature of the Beast, The Distance, Mirage, Low Profile, Wide Open Spaces

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