Descendants (2011)
hatOLOGY 688 

Noah Kaplan saxophone
Joe Morris guitar
Giacomo Merega electric bass
Jason Nazary drums

Awarded the “CHOC” in Jazz Man Magazine, Paris (their highest recommendation)

Featured in Derek Taylor’s Best of 2011, Dusted Magazine

“Noah Kaplan Quartet ‘Descendants’ is a tour de force of naked, off the hook, formidable free jazz.  Those who are in tune with this music, and understand the talent, imaginative horse power and commitment required to play it, will never get enough of this CD.”
– C.J. Bond, Jazz Music

“[Descendants] reveals an original voice, both as saxophonist and composer.  There are moments when [Kaplan] channels some inner bar walker, building tremendous rhythmic momentum with restricted melodic means.  While microtones are central to Kaplan’s conception, it’s his strong ties to roots musics, to blues, gospel and middle-Eastern modality- that gives this work its depth.”
– Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure

“Quite the auspicious debut . . . one that is quite impossible not to be entranced by.”
– Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

“A marker at the frontier of western tonality”
– Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times

“The transparency of the quartet’s intent and mode of operation allow hearing inside the music, from which details of descent and association emerge. In response, memory, and imagination, memory’s mirror, suggest familiar analogies – such as the guitar’s Appalachian folk arpeggios in “Pendulum Music,” the tenor saxophone’s vocalization and the raga-like development of “Descent,” the bluesy edge of “Esther,” the multiple meters in “Rat Man.” Or the way “Wolves” comes together – the fluid electric bass fitting hand-in-glove with the guitar’s fluttering modalities, the groove and textural incident of the drums, the soprano saxophone’s shofar cry. As the improvisational mode coheres, everything relates to melody, even the rhythm section, urging without forcing, alert to alternatives in the moment.”
– Art Lange (excerpt from Descendants liner notes)

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Purchase from The Jazz Loft (USA) or Harmonia Mundi (UK)


Dollshot (2011)
Underwolf 001 

Rosalie Kaplan voice
Noah Kaplan saxophone
Wes Matthews piano + prepared piano
Giacomo Merega bass + prepared bass guitar

Named one of the Top 10 albums of 2011 by esteemed critic/author Francis Davis (rhapsody.com)

“Updates of classical music are a risky proposition, rarely delivering a thrill equal to the original.  Here’s an interesting exception.  The songs are expanded on, but much of their original superb harmony is retained, as are their moods, generally a sort of fin de siècle brooding that’s carried over to the originals by Matthews and N. Kaplan and the jazz standard “Here’s That Rainy Day (Burke- Van Heusen).  It’s haunting in an ominous way that Dresdon Dolls can only dream of.”
– The Big Takeover

“Dollshot are a local quartet who cover an unusual selection of songs by modern classical composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Francis Poulenc & Charles Ives, as well as an old jazz standard and a couple of originals. It is rare to hear a local ensemble cover such odd material, but this is no regular quartet… I really dig that it is adventurous, often restrained, simultaneously forcing us to look closer at the crafty arrangements. Dollshot is/are one of the most unexpected gems I’ve heard recently.”
– Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“What lurks in the layers riled into service of harsh and uncertain gaiety that cracks the fence is the delivery system of Dollshot beyond the billowing mortality of duty and pain.  The Siamese rivalry of piano and bass; the craft of the former a Ulysses of keys, the strings of the latter the buoyant sea, both locked to the siren’s song and the dragon’s reed.”
– Hampton Fancher (excerpt from Dollshot liner notes)

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Purchase from Underwolf Records

Featured On:

Watch the Walls Instead (2012)
Underwolf 002 

Giacomo Merega electric bass
Noah Kaplan  tenor and soprano saxophones
Marco Cappelli  guitars
with
Anthony Coleman  piano
Mauro Pagani  violin 

Named #8 on Lucid Culture’s ”20 Best Jazz Albums of 2012″ list

Featured on Mark Corroto’s “Best Music Releases of the First Half of 2012″ list  (All About Jazz)

Featured on David Adler’s “Recommended New Releases” list in the New York City Jazz Record, August 2012

“ . . . you can get absolutely lost in this.  While it isn’t catchy music by a long shot, it’s inescapably gripping, simply one of this year’s best jazz albums.  It’s a must-own for fans of free jazz, and for anyone who plays improvised music, it’s packed with inspiration.” – Lucid Culture, NYC

“This is engaging work, in a constant process of self-definition, as unpredictable as one could hope free improvisation to be.” — Stuart Broomer, The New York City Jazz Record 

“There’s something chilling and distinctly sci-fi about the atmospheric improvisations by bassist Giacomo Merega, guitarist Marco Cappelli, and saxophonist Noah Kaplan on this stark, freewheeling affair.  Add the minimalist, atonal piano tinkling of Anthony Coleman and two dissonant tracks featuring violinist Mauro Pagani and you’ve got a startling display of spooky, tension-filled free jazz performed by a wide-open, deep-listening crew of mavericks.” — Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes 

“Guest Anthony Coleman sits in on seven tracks, dribbling and bouncing notes against the liquidized saxophone tones of Kaplan and the bobbing electric notes of Merega. Where are we? Clues are found in the partial science fiction short story liner notes of Sparrow. Planet Zelurion or Earth? Perhaps when the trio grows to quintet, with violinist Mauro Pagani the answer is clearer. The sounds of Cappelli and Pagani’s echoey eeriness delivering us into the great quiet of deep and very dark space.”  – Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

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Purchase from Underwolf Records

Ad Faunum (2012)
NotTwo 872-2

Joe Moffett  trumpet
Noah Kaplan  saxophone
Giacomo Merega  electric bass
Jacob William  double-bass
Luther Gray  drums 

“The interplay of Moffett and Kaplan on these wholly improvised pieces often recalls Don Cherry’s classic free jazz partnerings with Pharaoh Sanders and Albert Ayler, the latter most notably on the brilliantly sustained dirge of “The Other Species”.
– Stuart Broomer, New York City Jazz Record

Purchase from NotTwo Records

The Light and Other Things (2008)
Creative Nation Music #012, Reissued Underwolf 004 (2012)

Giacomo Merega electric bass, prepared bass
David Tronzo electric guitar, prepared guitar
Noah Kaplan tenor and soprano saxophones

“Nobody I hear has even shot at what these guys hit. They cut the chain of the brain from the dog of the ear; Simultaneously sought, caught and freed.”
– Hampton Fancher, writer/filmmaker (Blade Runner)

“This is a record packed with background and metaphor, none with which the listener must be familiar, because the music within conveys a radiant emotionality.”
– Karla Cornejo, All About Jazz: New York

“Inspired in part by the work of Swiss-German painter Paul Klee (1879-1940), the trio puts forward a music of high abstraction, with suggestive hints of tonality and tempo and an emphasis on contrasting timbres….From the radio static of “destruction and hope” to the banjolike effects of “red balloon” and the stark single-line interplay of “chorale and landscape”, we hear a perspicuous melding of electric and acoustic, crowded and sparse, sonically harsh and disarmingly melodic.”
– David Adler, Jazz Times

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Purchase from Underwolf Records

© 2011 Noah Kaplan