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The Memphis Years

by George Cartwright

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Some Nuance 05:56
J'acuzzi 04:10
He Who'd Ask 02:33
Clumsy 04:31
Make Idea 08:25
Zero Street 11:33


The Memphis Years is the second solo release by composer/saxophonist George Cartwright, best known as the leader of Curlew. The Memphis Years pays tribute to Cartwright’s five-year involvement in Memphis' well known music scene, and features some of that city’s best musicians. Cartwright returns to the collaboration he first employed on Curlew's A Beautiful Western Saddle with noted lyricist Paul Haines [Tropic Appetites, Escalator Over The Hill] and vocalist Amy Denio. Curlew guitarist Davey Williams also appears. The result is a blending of strictly composed songs sung by Denio and composed and semi-improvisational jazz-oriented instrumentals that might be comparable to the certain aspects of the ESP label sound updated. Cartwright fuses these seemingly disparate styles into an eloquently coherent musical experience.

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"Cartwright is best known as the leader of the adventurous rock/jazz group Curlew. This recording is a change of pace from that sound, even if it is not a new direction for Cartwright, being the second collaboration among the saxophonist and poet Paul Haines and singer Amy Denio. Haines' words are as bizarre as ever, although five of the tracks are strictly instrumentals. ...
While the musical styles are all over the place, from avant-garde jazz to free fusion to avant-folk, Cartwright is in stellar form, and the players from Memphis are a blast, particularly pianist Chris Parker and flugelhorn player Tom Clary. One of the rare, successful meetings of poetry and song, this recording encompasses enough crossover appeal to reach a wide audience." – AllMusic


released January 18, 2000

Music by George Cartwright
Words by Paul Haines

Amy Denio : vocals
George Cartwright : alto, tenor, soprano saxophone
Jim Spake : baritone, tenor, soprano saxophone (baritone and soprano solos, tenor of 2)
Chris Parker : piano
Doug Garrison : drums and percussion
Kevin Sheehan : acoustic bass (1, 5, 7, 9)
Tim Goodwin : acoustic and electric bass (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12)
Tom Clary : flugelhorn (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12)
Lawrence Miller : tenor saxophone (2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12; lead and solo on 6)
Scott Thompson : trumpet (1)
Special Guest
Davey Williams : electric guitar (6, 10, 12)


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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.

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