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Band World Jazz


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"Jazz’ effect on the world, or the world’s effect on jazz."

It’s a dead heat what is bigger: Jazz’ effect on the world, or the world’s effect on jazz. The dividends from innumerable overseas tours by jazz giants are still coming in; for instance, four of the artists that knocked my socks off in 2007 - Anat Fort, Roni Ben-Hur, Anat Cohen and Ehud Asherie - are all natives of Israel, bitten by the jazz bug in their home country. But there’s more than enough recorded evidence of jazz being influenced by music from around the world. The latest local entry is You Are Here, the debut disc from multi-instrumentalist Steve Gorn, bassist John Davey and percussionist Brian Melick - collectively known as Globetrotting.
There aren’t many degrees of separation in this trio: Melick appeared on Davey’s disc Sound Bites (Lil’ Pumpkin Records, 2006), while Gorn was introduced to Davey’s work - and vice versa - by Carleton Clay, the president of the Catskill Conservatory. Gorn and Davey have performed as a duo, but adding Melick to the mix as created a chemical reaction that is as beautiful as it is intense. A portal to places the listener may never have seen is opened, and Globetrotting is beckoning: “Step through. What have you got to lose?”
Melick’s chimes and Gorn’s clarinet evokes wind blowing across the desert as “Be, Hear, Now” opens the disc. The piece’s title reminds one of “Eats, Shoots, Leaves”, but this is not an editing error. If anything, it can be interpreted two ways - either as an invitation (“Come into this space. See what can be seen”) or as a request (“Be alive. Be ‘in the moment.’ Listen, and hear what you are listening to.”). Either way, you close your eyes, feel the heat, and see the caravan… or the camp, or the oasis, or whatever comes to your mind. Whatever the music evokes for you, you know that you’re in a new environment, filled with new sounds and experiences.
That feeling is reinforced as Globetrotting unfolds its multi-stop travelogue: “Fair Trade” is a jumping Latin fiesta, with a protagonist determined to dance through his pain; the Asian influenced “Boatman’s Song” takes you down a peaceful river, past farms and fields and a different way of life; Gorn’s bansuri flute on the title track transmits the allure of a woman beckoning you from a doorway on a Middle Eastern street that just might be meaner than it seems; “Charakeshi” puts you in front of a structure that can’t be explained - a pyramid, or an abandoned temple - and lets you solve the riddle. Regardless of the original musical influence or the potential scenario, Globetrotting’s message remains the same: “This is not what you’re used to? Acclimate! And keep your eyes and ears open, because lessons are waiting around every corner!”
Gorn’s bewitching reeds and flutes set each scene, frequently acting as primary narrator. There’s a lovely breathiness to Gorn’s woodwinds that gives his sound a feeling of the everyman: The group composition “Ububambu” conjures a vision of a tribesman playing high, piping flute around the fire as the village gathers for the evening meal.
While Gorn is usually in the foreground, Melick works primarily in the background, and what he does is quite magical, as he embellishes each musical environment until the image is complete: He injects wonderful mystery into Karl Berger’s “Kafi”, and adds a tinge of Africa and Asia to Davey’s soul-jazz comp “Big Blue”.
Davey alternates between solo and foundation, and handles both with equal dexterity. His in-the-clear bowing on “Disembodied Souls” literally saws through everything, including pretension; conversely, he can grab your attention with a single, sonorous note, and his two-note figure on “Udubambu” is all the piece needs to move ahead with all appropriate speed.
“There You Go” revisits the disc’s opening statement, taking you back to where you came in. “The journey is over,” the group seems to be saying. “What have you learned?” One thing we learn from You Are Here is that Globetrotting’s music is a fully-functional, visceral experience that will fill you with joy and wonder. It also reminds us that applying jazz’ improvisatory aesthetic to non-Western musical structures can create something unique and beautiful. After all, that’s what happened Here.
J HUNTER is a former announcer/producer for radio stations in the Capital Region and the Bay Area, including KSJS/San Jose (where he was Assistant Music Director/Jazz programming), Q104 WQBK/Albany, and WSSV/Saratoga. He has also written music and theatre reviews for the Glens Falls Chronicle. He currently resides in Clifton Park.

"What a wide open world jazz really is"

“John Davey has a special way with the bass. Anyone listening to him could tell he has the right touch...Original and compelling  music, reminding us what a wide open world jazz really is”
- Mark Bialczak, Syracuse Post-Standard

"Liquid Grace"

“Steve Gorn plays with liquid grace. He is a master of sound-magic. May the world discover his gift!”
- Paul Winter

"An absolute gem of a recording"

This is an absolute gem of a recording, where the group moniker provides credence to the ethnocentric fusion of jazz and world music via the trio’s worldly permutations. Here, world music denizen Steve Gorn uses bansuri flutes and saxes to conjure up notions of exotic environs and the unearthing of hidden treasures. In addition, percussionist Brian Melick provides the often-supple rhythmic element amid bassist John Davey’s fluent lines. But it’s an organic brew consisting of mystical jazz-world music intonations and phrasings, largely sprinkled with whimsical melodies.

On “You Are Here,” Gorn (flute) and Davey harmonize the primary theme that is constructed within a North African vibe. Yet they temper the climate some, during the enchanting motifs communicated on the serene piece titled “Disembodied Souls.” And Gorn fuses the jazz element via his breezy and drifting soprano sax choruses on “There You Go.” Nonetheless, these rather spiritualized performances enable the mind’s eye to wander towards a state of solstice, regardless of the various metrics or pulses. Overall, this multifaceted and endearingly appealing effort warrants repeated spins.
– Glenn Astarita


"Unique and remarkable"

GlobeTrotting is a unique and remarkable trio. Their new album "You Are Here", is an engaging adventure in organic interplay, dynamic grooves, and lyrical liquid melodic free-flights. - Paul Winter, Recording Artist

"You Are Here documents a meeting by design."

Globetrotting’s You Are Here documents a meeting by design. Brought together on the suggestion of a mutual friend, reed player Steve Gorn, percussionist Brian Melick, and bassist John Davey, whose artistic inclinations have led them to perform, compose, and teach the elements of Western and non-Western music and have matched their talents with musicians like banjoist Bela Fleck, jazz pianist Mike Holober and singer-songwriter Paul Simon, have transduced elastic energy to notes and tones on their first release as a trio.

“Be, Here, Now” opens like a recitative, with a shimmering cascade of metal followed by the hollow-sounding musings of Gorn on clarinet. The tune then lopes against the steadfast underpinning of Davey’s bass line. “Fair Trade” is a short ripple with a bouncy flair, enhanced by Gorn’s rustled melody on bansuri flute. “Udubambu” exemplifies the deft fingerwork of Melick on udo drum, which throbs as Gorn plays the role of dervish on flute. “Kafi,” written by vibist Karl Berger, has a cavernous feel to it. Much of the space is parted open by the plaintive, contrapuntal dialogue between Gorn and Davey.

The weight behind the 11 compositions of You Are Here is no weight at all. Gorn, Melick, and Davey provide space and quiet when needed but instinctively allow a measured amount of depth.

- Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson, jazz broadcaster at WXBC, 540 AM at Bard College - Chronogram

"Spiritually-driven, world-focused music"

Spiritually-driven, world-focused music that leans toward the inspirational territory is certainly not a new creative force in Jazz. Globetrotting presents its first work as a collective on You Are Here, with eleven group compositions woven in the textures of a global environment.
A gorgeous reflective piece, “Be, Hear, Now” commences the program in a moving fashion, with tinkling percussion shading an unfolding bass groove and Gorn’s mellow clarinet, a vibe also present on pieces like the hypnotic search of Karl Berger’s “Kafi” or the Davey feature, “Disembodied Souls” featuring the trio’s inner-dwelling perspective. Gorn’s array of flutes and his mastery at pulling each drop of emotion from the performances is quite gripping, with some of the standout tracks being the Asian-influenced “Boatman’s Song”, the glistening “Where Were You?” or the playful “Charakeshi.” A moving groove is never too far out of reach for the program, as the majority of these pieces take their heart from
Melick’s impressive percussionisms. A Latinized, reverbed-out flute excursion, “Fair Trade,” the snaky, Arabic-tinged “You Are Here,” or the closing trek of “There You Go,” a solid feature for Gorn’s soprano, Davey’s pliant bass and Melick’s hand drumming skills. But one thing is for sure, the guys know how to have fun, with the best sample of their joyous music-making coming on the clarinet bounce of “Big Blue,” with its rubbery bass and funky drum groove. A wonderful outing from musicians who frequently step outside comfortable boundaries in search of a greater meaning that offers listeners a window into a place where Jazz takes on wordly pastiches.
Jay Collins
- Cadence Magazine

"Unique musical sensibilities"

To me the ultimate attainment for composers/performers who strive to tune their ears to the musical universe surrounding them is for material to emerge in which the whole idea of “fusion” becomes more or less irrelevant, because it has become so natural that it transcends the idea of novelty. To me this is a process – defined loosely as the ‘development of unique musical sensibilities’ – that is necessary for the successful mastery of any musical endeavor, or, for that matter, any creative/artistic endeavor. It’s just that in the case of the “Globetrotting” musicians, the palette is so interesting, so full of possibilities and so vast. But in the end it’s all just music, and to me that’s the supreme challenge – one that I feel this Trio has solved exquisitely! So, whether you tune in to the group’s soulful rendition of Karl Berger’s “Kafi “ (the only identifiable “outside” composition), to the wildly inventive opening of John Davey’s “Disembodied Souls”, to the more conventional sounds of “Big Blue” (also from Davey’s pen) or any of the other eight selections from this album, I feel that you are in for a rare treat. And I am glad to join the company of those who are thankful for this musical gift and who anxiously await the next chapter in the life of “Globetrotting!”

- Carleton Clay, composer/educator/trumpeter/concert producer,
is president of The Catskill Conservatory, Professor Emeritus at SUNY Oneonta,
and resides in Central New York
- - Carleton Clay, composer/educator/trumpeter/concert producer,


GlobeTrotting - "You Are Here" (2007)
John Davey - "SoundBites"(2005) , "9 views from the bridge" (2001)
Steve Gorn - “Colors of the Mind”, “Priyageeta”
Brian Melick - “Percussive Voices”.



GlobeTrotting, New World Music and Improvisation is a co-operative music ensemble featuring
Steve Gorn, playing Bansuri (North Indian bamboo flute), clarinet and soprano saxophone, John Davey, playing double-bass, and Brian Melick, playing percussion (congas, udu drum, slit drum, cymbals, bells and whistles, frame drum). Their concerts feature original compositions by both Gorn and Davey, as well as improvisations influenced by cultures from around the world. GlobeTrotting released their debut CD “You Are Here” in the Fall of 2007 on Lil’ Pumpkin Records. The CD was recorded by Scott Petito at NRS Studios in Catkill, NY.
Steve Gorn, whose flute is featured on the 2004 Academy Award winning Documentary film, “Born into Brothels”, has performed Indian Classical Music and New American Music on the bansuri bamboo flute, soprano saxophone and clarinet in concerts and festivals throughout the world. His teachers include Sri Gour Goswami of Kolkata and Pandit Raghunath Seth, and he performs regularly with Pandit Samir Chatterjee and Pandit Barun Kumar Pal. Well known to audiences in India and the West, he has been praised by critics and leading Indian musicians as one of the few westerners to have captured the subtlety and beauty of Indian music. As an innovator in the field of contemporary world music, he is featured on Paul Simon’s Grammy nominated CD, “You’re The One”, and has toured and recorded with Jack DeJohnette, Paul Winter, Tony Levin, Glen Velez, Krishna Das, Alessandra Belloni, John Lindberg, Badal Roy and Layne Redmond. His recent recordings are “Colors of the Mind” and “Priyageeta”. He has just toured with Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures and was featured on the CD "Dream Garden"
John Davey has recorded his first CD as a leader, entitled "Sound Bites", in 2005, featuring pianist Jeremy Wall and guitarist Chuck D'Aloia, as well as Brian Melick. His chamber-jazz string trio FROM THE BRIDGE, released their debut CD “9 views from the bridge” in the Spring of 2001. The recording features nine compositions of John Davey. He has studied with jazz bassists Gary Peacock, Dave Holland and Mark Helias. He performed for three years with his quartet THE BRIDGE, appearing at The Syracuse JazzFest in 1995 and 1996. He has performed with The Catskill Symphony, jazz pianists Mike Holober and Francesca Tanksley, saxophonists Al Galodoro, Brian Patneaude, Erica Lindsay and J.R. Montrose, the late percussionist Collin Walcott, drummer Jeff Siegel and jazz cellist Hank Roberts. He has produced the concert series THE JAZZ COMPOSERS AND IMPROVISORS PROJECT, featuring some of the best jazz musicians in Central NY, The Hudson Valley and NYC. He recorded and performed with the New Jersey based jazz trio INTERWEAVE for ten years.They recorded a critically aclaimed album “Expedition”. He teaches jazz bass at SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, where he also teaches Jazz Combo and Jazz Theory.
Brian Melick is much in demand in the Capital District , performing, recording and presenting workshops. He performs with the Celtic-folk ensemble The McKrells, singer-songwriter Cathy Ryan and flamenco guitarist Maria Zemantoukis. He first teamed up with Davey over twelve years ago, performing with the Roop Verma Ensemble, an experimental group blending western jazz with Indian ragas. He is featured on John Davey’s CD “Sound Bites”, and has his own CD of multi-tracked percussion compositions “Percussive Voices”.