Iron Year – 2018

October 26 2018 – Slow and Steady Records

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Iron Year – bandcamp
Iron Year – Spotify

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(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) — Slow & Steady Records announces the release of Richard Sears’ fifth album, Iron Year. Richard Sears, Roman Filiu, Dayna Stephens, Bryan Carrott, Martin Nevin, Craig WeinribSears expands on the compositional palette from his previous album, Altadena, with new material written after moving to New York City in 2015, realized primarily for sextet. Iron Year takes its name from the Hart Crane poem, “To Brooklyn Bridge“, a meditation on human labor and aspiration.

“The achievement is seen in this fantastic bridge, and the way its splendor endures the harshness of weather, the hopelessness of night, and the cyclical mundanities of being a New Yorker,” says Sears. “That heavenliness is, in the case of the bridge, ‘vaulting the sea,’ cutting the night’s lamplight by its ‘rip-tooth,’ ‘forsaking our eyes’ in its grand assembly. At the risk of being strident, these words encourage us to aspire to something beyond ourselves, and thus ‘lend a myth to God’.”

Iron Year features saxophonists Roman Filiu and Dayna Stephens (both friends and mentors of Sears), vibraphonist Bryan Carrott (who Sears met through playing with the Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra in 2016), bassist Martin Nevin (a longtime collaborator), drummer Craig Weinrib (Henry Threadgill, Ravi Coltrane, and David Virelles) and Richard Sears on piano.

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The melancholy quality to the melodies of Iron Year make this music smoulder like mad, like a fireplace that is mostly embers but still kicks out enough heat to fill up the room.  It’s an effect that holds tight when Richard Sears‘ sextet picks up a headwind, but it’s especially true when they settle into a patient hard bop cadence.  The combination of melancholy and propulsion is a potent one, and it makes for the perfect kind of album for standing in a window and watching the rain fall… just before deciding, screw it, I’m going to the bar to have a drink… and these melodies stick with you the entire time.  Music from Brooklyn, NY.

-David Sumner, 2019
BirdIsTheWorm.com

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O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,
 
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path—condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.
 
Under thy shadow by the piers I waited
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year …
 
O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

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Excerpt from “To Brooklyn Bridge”
by Hart Crane, 1933

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Media and Publicity: Stephen Buono