JT Track Premiere: Nicole Mitchell’s “A Sound”

Flutist/composer offers a taste of her "Maroon Cloud" album, out Aug. 10

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Nicole Mitchell (photo by Marek Lazarski)

JazzTimes is pleased to premiere Nicole Mitchell’s “A Sound,” a track from the flutist/composer’s latest album, Maroon Cloud, out Aug. 10 on FPE Records.

The album comprises an eight-part suite that was recorded live at National Sawdust in Brooklyn on March 29, 2017, as part of John Zorn’s Stone Commissioning Series. (“A Sound” is the sixth part of the piece.) Besides Mitchell, the band includes pianist Arúan Ortiz, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalist Fay Victor. As Mitchell observes, the absence of drums presents an opportunity for the musicians to find “other ways of coming together.”

In Mitchell’s reading, the title Maroon Cloud refers to many things, but most importantly, it describes what we see when we close our eyes—a point when we stop looking at what’s around us and begin to imagine other possibilities. “Imagination, especially black imagination, is a really vital and undervalued resource,” she says. “It’s very clear that we can’t continue in the same direction that we’ve gone, but we need to return to the source of where imagination and creativity come from, because if we don’t have another vision, then we can’t implement it, and we can’t make a different future. What makes us special as human beings is our ability to imagine things that don’t even exist yet.”

For more information on Nicole Mitchell, visit her website.

Check out Nicole Mitchell’s Before & After listening session with JazzTimes.