The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore, the third album in a trilogy by singer/songwriter Kristo Rodzevski and his group of jazz progressives, will be released by Much Prefer Records on May 25, 2018. Mixed by celebrated producer Bill Laswell, “The Rabbit…” represents the fulfillment of a musically adventurous idea: Assemble seven world-class improvisers in a studio, establish an environment for pure music-making, and capture all on tape. By partnering with core collaborators Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Michael Blanco (bass), then inviting contributions from Kris Davis (piano), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Brian Drye (trombone), Kristo fermented an intoxicating brew. The bubbling inventions are spontaneous performances without overdubs. Thematically, the album continues themes established in Kristo’s first two releases of this trilogy, Batania (2015) and Bitter Almonds (2017). While those trilogy installments examined the deep feelings for his Macedonian grandmother and mother, “The Rabbit…” explores a transition, the fading significance of his past to his life in the USA.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Kristo to discuss the creation of the final act in this sonic trilogy and how the inner workings of this team of experimenters and improvisers created another album that speaks to the feelings and emotions unlike many other releases. We talk about how rich and full an album of few takes and all different can feel. We get into how tracks were selected as the one to use, how Mr. Laswell took to listening to the original stories and ideas behind the tracks and added a little tweak here or there to accentuate the tales. There’s an eye opening chance to learn a little about one of the tracks and how it makes me feel and maybe we learn a little about the why I feel that way too. The art of the album cover, the physical piece of art that accompanies the music was also created in a very similar fashion as the music….. one take from open-minded communicators makes for brilliant art, all around.