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Michael Formanek Goes Big on “The Distance”

Michael Formanek: The DistanceThe Distance is jazz double bassist/composer Michael Formanek’s latest, this time featuring his 19-musician big band, Ensemble Kolossus.

“I wanted a large, rich, chewy sound with this music – and the ensemble’s rhythm section is particularly big, with piano, marimba, guitar, bass and drums,” Formanek said of the album, which was recorded in December in Brooklyn, New York. “I also wanted a lot of different colors and textures, with some sharp edges occasionally. With the way this group works, there’s a lot of written material but also a lot of freedom in how we get from one point to the next. Things are riskier than with the usual big band.”

The Ensemble Kolossus’ conductor, Mark Helias, is also a double bassist, and Formanek deeply appreciated his presence. “Mark was such a positive force on this record,” Formanek said. “It was wonderful to have a musical mind like his to help keep the music on track while I concentrated on playing bass in the rhythm section.”

Check out more about the album:

The Distance is available on CD and as a digital download (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

The Distance Track List:

  1. The Distance
  2. Exoskeleton (Prelude)
  3. Exoskeleton Parts I-III (Impenetrable/Beneath the Shell/@Heart)
  4. Exoskeleton Parts IV-V (Echoes/Without Regrets)
  5. Exoskeleton Parts VI-VII (Shucking While Jiving/A Reptile Dysfunction)
  6. Exoskeleton Part VIII (Metamorphic)