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“Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art” CD and Show Due

Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art, an original work by saxophonist, composer and arranger Chris Byars that premiered at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art last October, will be released on Smalls Records on March 11. Byars will also perform the work again at the Rubin on April 28th. The piece will accompany a slideshow cast on a cherry wood backdrop and the performers themselves.

“Adding visual arts to a musical concept offers a unique activity for the music listener, creating an internal dialogue between brain centers that don’t always work together,” explained Byars on the fruition of the piece. “Our recent project, Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art, adds an element of the exotic. The art and culture of the Himalayas is emerging from obscurity since the opening of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Using images on loan from this vast collection, we provide an interpretation of the colors, curves, and themes shown in paintings and sculptures that date back 500 years. Our music includes the sounds and concepts of Asian culture without departing from the jazz idiom; these are truly ‘Jazz Pictures.'”

This collaboration of music and visual art will extend to the CD package, which includes an 8″x14″ foldout poster of all the artwork used in the suite. Also included are pictures from the live performance at the Rubin with the artwork photo-cast on and behind the band.

Recorded on October 29, 2007 at NOLA studios in NYC, Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art was engineered by Jim Czak and Bill Moss. Byars has altered his quartet for this album, featuring Ari Roland on bass, John Mosca on trombone, Stefan Schatz on drums, dholak (a North Indian hand drum) and gongs, and special guest James Byars (Chris’s father) on oboe and English horn. Byars mans alto, tenor & soprano sax, flute and meditation bell.

Originally Published