Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Gene Ess celebrates the release of "Absurdist Theater" @ Blue Note NYC in September
CD Release Party
September 25th - Blue Note NYC
11:30 am Show & 1:30pm Show (Brunch)
Tix: $35.00 (price includes brunch, music, drink)
Gene Ess: Absurdist Theater featuring
Gene Ess - guitar, synth, compositions
Thana Alexa - voice, lyrics
Manuel Valera - piano, keyboards
Yasushi Nakamura - acoustic and electric bass
Clarence Penn - drums
Gene Ess is a philosopher. While most philosophers expound their thoughts with the written word, Gene Ess delineates his thinking in the most sublime of the art forms, music. Gene's previous release, Eternal Monomyth (©SIMProductions, 2015), was a musical exploration of the hero's quest proposed by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.
Now, in Absurdist Theater, Gene navigates the absence of meaning and hope. The idea of absurdism may be rooted in Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer, but it is Albert Camus's Myth of Sisyphus that best incarnates the encounter with "nothingness." With a protagonist eternally doomed to senselessness and facing the choice of escaping existence, leap of faith, or recognition, Camus "imagines Sisyphus happy," finding clarity in contentment. In the absence of meaning, absurdism teaches freedom. As Nikos Kazantzakis' epitaph read, "I have no hope. I have no fear. I am free."
For Gene, a serious musical journey is always undertaken against the backdrop of the theater of the absurd, whether the musician knows it or not; in it, the quest for meaning is replaced by contentment in the artistic pursuit of beauty. In the tradition of aesthetics, the profound power of beauty saves us from our own despair. In the Japanese bushido way, the pursuit for unattainable beauty and perfection brings balance to life.
Seeking his own expression of beauty, Gene was joined by kindred hearts and minds. He says, "A great team of musicians came through for the music. I think in this third record together, this is the best work for Thana Alexa and me as Fractal Attraction's frontline. Our collaboration has grown tighter over the years, as she has gotten to know my music.Cuban pianist, Manuel Valera did a great job. It was my first time working with him. Yasushi Nakamura is one of the best bass players I've heard. And of course, Clarence Penn is one of the best drummers in the international jazz scene."