'Cosmic Adventure' Trailer
“Listening to Scott's playing makes me very happy because the future of modern jazz violin is in very good hands. He displays a musical maturity in this album which is surprising considering his young age, drawing inspiration from deep inside and not rehashing what others have played before him, which makes his style original. He is surrounded by great players, all top musicians who help make this album a strong musical statement.” Jean Luc Ponty
Cosmic Adventure, the new album from virtuoso violinist Scott Tixier will be released on September 9, 2016.
To bring this momentous recording to life, Scott enlisted an all-star ensemble of fellow visionaries including Yvonnick Prene (harmonica), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Luques Curtis (bass), Justin Brown (drums) and special guests Pedrito Martinez (congas) and Chris Potter (saxophone).
Scott Tixier’s new recording, Cosmic Adventure, celebrates the mystical nature of life. There are inconceivably immense and unpredictable experiences that can be realized within one’s lifetime. It is the absorption of material and immaterial influences yielded by these events and relationships that helps one discover new worlds or new ways of navigating in the cosmos of existence. It is about breaking free from the self-imposed isolation of criticism, the pursuit of perfection and the fear of failure. The adventure occurs when you expel the pressures of competition and expectations to truly explore your place in the greater cosmos.
Violinist Scott Tixier has found himself amongst some of the most fantastic individuals and intriguing situations. His journey has been extraordinary, a truly cosmic adventure.
The French born Tixier moved to New York in 2007 with an unparalleled musical pedigree. His violin playing has been lauded by many important and highly respected musicians, including Pat Metheny, Jean Luc Ponty and Mark Feldman. He had already garnered experience in the jazz world playing with Jon Hendricks, Tigran Hamasyan and Lonnie Plaxico. By the age of 15, Tixier had already opened for Maceo Parker, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones and in 2012, Scott was honored to open for Herbie Hancock alongside his brother, pianist Tony Tixier, at Jazz En Tete.
Since that time, the 30 year-old violinist has found himself in many eclectic musical settings, from Anthony Braxton’s recent opera Trillium J, sideman gigs with Natalie Cole, Christina Aguilera, and Gladys Knight to two years of touring with soul legend Stevie Wonder, not to mention his work in film and television. For the past 10 years, Tixier has been developing a new sound inspired by these collaborations both inside and outside of the jazz world, making him a multidimensional musician with a new voice on jazz violin.
Tixier’s first, well-received, Sunnyside recording Brooklyn Bazaar celebrated his then newly found home. His new recording, Cosmic Adventure, his first as a leader in four years, celebrates the serendipitous nature of life as a spiritual journey, with joy and hope but also sorrow and despair.
It was while appearing at a festival in France in 2012 that Tixier met pianist/composer Donald Brown. The young violinist hit it off immediately with the Art Blakey Jazz Messenger alum, and highly regarded arranger, during a six hour after hours hang. It was during his preparation to record that Tixier decided that having Brown produce the record would be ideal. Furthermore, Tixier’s partnership with engineer Dave Darlington and Brown ensured a well executed recording session.
The electrifying new band that Tixier showcases on his recording is made up of some of the leading lights of this new jazz generation. Having played with Tixier since he and Tixier were teenagers, harmonica virtuoso Yvonnick Prene is the perfect foil for Tixier’s violin. Pianist Glenn Zaleski is a friend and neighbor, not to mention one of the best emerging pianists in New York. The varied and instinctual playing of bassist Luques Curtis matches his tremendous tone, while the incredible ability and maturity of Justin Brown’s drumming is suited perfectly for the ensemble, because he can deliver energy and dynamics without overpowering the violin.
The compositions on Cosmic Adventure follow a trajectory, all having been written one after another. They are meant to mirror events and moods, both good and bad. The outcome is an eclectic and moving collection of originals and two arrangements of well picked standards.
The recording begins with the stirring “Maze Walker,” written as a study on life’s tendency to make one search for meaning, as if finding the end of a maze. The opening track features conga master Pedrito Martinez, as does the optimistically penned “Dig It,” a tribute to Stevie Wonder, with the sound of his harmonica in mind. The insistent “100,000 Hours” is all about drive and commitment to making oneself a better person (or musician, for that matter).
Django Reinhardt’s classic “Troublant Bolero” is performed beautifully as a ballad and for quite possibly the first time with piano and drums. Tixier commissioned the exuberant and swinging “Mr. Tix” from his longtime friend Prene. Next, Tixier re-arranged the classic Erroll Garner chestnut “Misty,” taking a number of chances to make the piece feel more contemporary.
The bouncy “Nil’s Landing” is for Tixier’s young, guitar-rocking brother, so naturally it is an exciting bebop tune with unique rhythm changes. The moving “King of Sorrow” is for his recently passed grandmother, who never recovered from her husband’s death 30 years prior, though Tixier sees a lesson in her pain: Don’t get consumed in sorrow, take a look at the world around you. The grand finale is the joyful “Beam Me To Mars,” an optimistic piece written for people who dream big. The track features saxophone titan Chris Potter, who Tixier connected with on the streets of Brooklyn during a chance encounter.
Performing on an instrument that has become a rarity in contemporary jazz, violinist Scott Tixier has put his individuality to his advantage. There have been ups and downs on the way to where he is, which is natural on all of life’s paths. Overall, he has enjoyed and wants to share the bounty of his Cosmic Adventure.
"Scott Tixier swings with rare authority and ingenuity on Cosmic Adventure. An invigorating set from the future of jazz violin." Read here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Proclaimed as "Rising Star Violin," and "Best New Artist," by the premier jazz magazines, it is a wonder he found time to make this record. Then again, it is the accumulation of all the above that makes for adventuresome listening to the French violinist that is taking the jazz world by storm. Read full review here!
In Cosmic Adventure, Tixier is able to place the cosmos on a spectrum, shifting from one mood to the next, and from intricate details to grandiose melodies without missing a beat. Read full review here!
THE VILLAGE VOICE
His second album on Sunnyside Records, aptly named Cosmic Adventure, dropped on September 9, denoting his current attitude of openness and growth. Tracks such as "Dig It," featuring Pedrito Martinez, are verdant with energetic percussion and piano melodies while those like "Troublant Bolero" are more more poignant and reflective. Full feature here.
Knighted by Jean-Luc Ponty, here is certainly coming the future of modern jazz violin.
Further than a cosmic adventure, we discover a new galaxy, with no recognizable landmarks, light-heading us with enchantment. Read here. Read more here.
The blending of violin and harmonica is unique, giving the group plenty of styles to choose from. Tixier’s 2012 release, Brooklyn Bazaar, showed how he can string songs together, making a cohesive set no matter how dissimilar the individual sounds might be. This one’s not as straightforward. Read more here.
MICHAEL J. WEST
"Cosmic Adventure is a fresh, thoroughly enjoyable recording!" Full review here.
Un disco che conserva un notevole equilibrio tra scrittura e improvvisazione e trova il suo apice nella conclusiva Beam me to Mars grazie al maestoso sax di Chris Potter capace di far esplodere verso lo spazio “l’avventura cosmica” di Scott Tixier”. Read here.
"Surrounded by like minded young players that know the way as well, this is killer stuff from start to finish that sounds like all the great fusion fiddle records before commercial concerns came to bear. A winner throughout." Read here.
"“Cosmic Adventure” is more than a collection of tunes by masterful players, but a true testament to his abilities as a soloist, a band leader and a composer." Read here.
RAUL DA GAMA
JAZZ DA GAMA
This is a miraculous album, one in which Scott Tixier balances poetry with a deep sense of form and also, in one fell swoop, makes a case for the future of the Jazz violin. Read more.
I was very impressed with both the strong cover songs. Scott distinguished himself in these arrangements, as a brilliant musical reconstructor, creatively reinterpreting well-known standards and recreating the atmosphere in their versions of classic jazz language of modern jazz.. Read here!
WNPR - JAZZ CORRIDOR
His delight with his second release as a leader reflects the sense of euphoria that energizes the new CD. Its ebullient, expansive, expressive range is drenched in the sheer beauty of Tixier’s rich tone, flawless, tensile strength intonation, fluent improvisations and flair for composing, showcased here by his six original compositions among the CD’s nine selections. Full feature here.
"He's a rather mystical cat, reminds me, in fact, of a jazz version of Lenny Kravitz, in his all-encompassing musical worldview and even in his look. It's been four years since his debut as a leader. He's taken his time for a reason." Read here.
Violinist Scott Tixier and I are at Colson Patisserie in Brooklyn, and he’s telling what it’s like to be on tour with Stevie Wonder. “Sometimes, if we are hanging out at a bar and it’s four in the morning, Stevie will just go over to the drums and start playing.” Tixier scrolls through his phone to find a photo of him on stage with Wonder. He leans across the table and drops to a near-whisper. “Man. It’s crazy.” Read more.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Mr. Tixier is a violinist whose sonic palette, like his range of interests, runs open and wide; on his new album, “Cosmic Adventure,” he traces a line through chamber music, Afro-Cuban groove and modern jazz. Read here.