Josh Sinton – baritone saxophone and songs
Jason Ajemian – acoustic bass
Chad Taylor – drums and percussion
slow learner was recorded on feb. 6th & 7th, 2017 at Greenwood Underground, Brooklyn, NY
& engineered (tracking & mixing) by Eivind Opsvik
mastering by Randy Merrill at Sterling Sound
all songs copyright 2017 Sinzheimer Muzik BMI
musicianer would like to thank: their partners (you know who you are), Eivind (for the big ears and sweet keyboards), Mike & Álvaro (for believing)
Liner notes by Greg Tate –
Barisax is a rather beastial formulation as the reed family goes. The Glorious Monster In The Bell of the Horn that poet and scholar Larry Neal once warned us about. It’s not here to soothe you croon you or to kill you softly. The beastly barisax is here to feast, to chew up the scenery. Quite the character this barisax, so full of such gumptious guile, wry gristle and beatific brimstone. This horned goad is here to stalk, to balk, to street walk and hopscotch chalk, here to stagger and swagger like a Brobdingnagnian if not an Egyptiana, Nubian or Kushite.
The barisax likes to kick bass and throw its weighty low end theories around. Barisax wrangler Josh Sinton is well aware of all the blustery chest-puffing tendencies of this barisax beast. And though an able multi-instrumentalist like many a youngun player who knows his Art Ensemble of Chicago from his Anthony Braxton, and his Rova Saxophone Quartet from his Maceo Parker, Sinton has now decided drawn a line in the sand–to exclusively deploy the bari and starts a ruckus between his bullying barisax and the other more well-mannered reeds in his arsenal. The punisher that is the barisax even takes being called out a ‘slow learner’ as a badge of honor. He chooses to sift through the mountains of evidence with a Hercules Poirot-like eye for epicurean fancies.
In the infamous take of the hot bull on a mountainside surveying the ripe field below, the barisax is that veteran bull advising the duo to walk not run down and bark, skronk, snark, shale, rattle&roll them all.
Sintons’s Personal Barisax has a lot to say about all this existential jazz stuff too: whether the universe is actually devoid of meaning or form, what to do when the glorious monster comes to you hard in your dreams, how to think about aligning the social justice-seeking horn with Black Lives Matter and razing of Cain and the raining of outrage down upon the Jim Crow redux bantustan of Ferguson, Missouri, and its wondering whether there is such a thing as good bacon in such a place as that and even the paralysis of analysis which continues to make the American left so bereft of focus and conviction.
Sinton’s cohorts, drum major Chad Taylor–who continues to readily snack on rococco rim shots, hankering backbeats and freedom swinging mood rings and bassist Jason Ajemian–a man of graceful thump-knowledgy and pulsing flow charts–certainly know the score here. The whyfores and whereby of its vectors, directional angle and deliberate ambling gait; it’s sly, shaggy dogg way of bellycrawling through the nation’s underbrush in search of Bethlehem or something less akin to Biblical signs. As if Nat Turner were on the wing, you may sometimes hear the occasional rolling on the floor and gnashing of teeth. The proclivity for bellowing out Afrocentric passages from Melville, Hawthorne and Poe. Full on bouts of speaking in brutish yet decorous tongues in polite gallery and salon settings. The blunt replies to those stones in one’s passage way that keep on popping up when various pediments refuse to line up in the rear view. The urges which force one to rise up, buckle down, lean forward, assume smithereens blowing stance and upon collective command, smite such obstacles with ghostly, radical gusto.
If Archie Shepp were here to assess the intentions lurking within this Sinton dude and his gloriously monstrous barisax-led crew, Brother Shepp would most likely and quite plainly state, ”Take this ex-cannibal’s kiss and turn it into a revolution.” You know how The Sinton Crew and Uncle Archie do.