Format: Cassette Digital
“What one imagines the great Art Ensemble of Chicago would have sounded like if asked to write a ‘hit.’” –Piotr Orlov, AFROPUNK
Bottle Tree is a new collaboration conjured from the Southside Chicago storefront chapel of singer/scholar A.M. Frison and composer/cornetist Ben Lamar Gay. With Italian expat Tommaso Moretti on traps, the sound-rendered folklore of Bottle Tree embodies a heart beating to West African mutated funk with the spirit of avant-garde jazz and a Motown-molded melodic mind — like a futuristic fantasy of Stevie Wonder backed by Don Cherry and Novos Baianos in the early 1970s.
Since early 2016 Chicagoans have been getting to know A.M. Frison as the musician in residence at Theaster Gates’s Stony Island Arts Bank, where weekly he leads improvised performances, choir practices, ceremonial drums and Incantations with the Sunset Society. In Spring 2017, Frison returns to his hometown of St. Louis for a creative writing fellowship with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.
Ben Lamar Gay is a Southside Chicago-born composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist; an under-the-radar jazz scene staple known for his roots in the AACM, sideman steadies with Mike Reed, Ernest Dawkins, and Joshua Abrams, and as an organizer of a summer city program that teaches beatmaking to kids in parks.
produced & arranged by Ben Lamar Gay
lyrics & vocals by A.M. Frison
drums by Tommaso Moretti
mixed by David Allen @ Decade Music Studios in Chicago, IL
mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk @ Stereophonic Mastering
artwork by A.M. Frison