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by Curlew

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Still 03:36
Funny Money 06:24
Leaven 04:06
Call 03:08
Ludlow 04:10
Still Still 03:39
Song of New 07:12


"...Led by saxophonist and composer George Cartwright, a mainstay of New York's downtown scene who has worked with everyone from Fred Frith and Bill Laswell to Wayne Horvitz and cellist Tom Cora, Curlew deals in a raw, muscular brand of avant-fusion that retains all the gritty energy of punk rock and marries it to the free-spirited complexity of avant-garde jazz and the skronky abandon of downtown experimentalism.
The center doesn't always hold, of course, and there are some disappointing moments on Mercury; "Call," for example, loses shape eventually and stops being very interesting about halfway through. But the vaguely martial, mid-tempo strut of "Late Date" gives way beautifully to the almost ethereal weirdness of "There Is," and the subtly complex rhythmic shifts and bop-flavored melody of "Ludlow" are also impressive.
Best of all, perhaps, is the gently, lovely slide-guitar solo that leads into the sturdy groove of "Song of New" at the end of the program. Highly recommended." – AllMusic

In the words of Option, "Curlew is the best and most obstinately committed band to emerge from New York's Knitting Factory-based alternative music scene...".

Curlew was formed in 1979 by George Cartwright, the group's leader, saxophonist, and main composer. Cartwright's compositions are at once direct and mysterious, possessing a clarity and focus that show both Ellington and Ornette assimilated in a most unique way.

Curlew somehow manage to combine r’n’b swagger and groove with free jazz and wild soloing into a whole that is immediately identifiable as nothing other than Curlew! Curlew are well known and well respected for almost 25 years of exciting work. Mercury is their 10th release; may they rock for another 25!

"As a unit Curlew is focused and structured...(they are) a finely tuned machine with a sparkling identity."
– All About Jazz


released September 16, 2003

George Cartwright : saxophones
Chris Parker : electric keyboards and piano
Dean Granos : guitar
Fred Chalenor : bass
Bruce Golden : drums

Recorded and mixed at The Terranium Studios, Minneapolis, MN by Jason Orris.


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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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