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Free Jazz and Improvised Music

FM38  A Day at the Circus!
The Perihelion Quartet
1. Overture 7:05
2. Tag Team 1 3:36
3. A Horse Of A Different Color 4:40
4. Pyrotechnic Dreams 4:16
5. Freaks Of Nature 6:21
6. Tag Team 2 4:00
7. Funtasm In The Round 9:21
8. Bulls-eye! 4:27
9. Tag Team 3 3:59
10. Dangerous Turns 7:34
11. Above The Net 3:37
12. The Lion's Share 3:47

Recorded live at Clayton Studio, March 11 & May 6, 2015
Engineer: Tazu Marshall
Mix: Tazu Marshall & Jay Zelenka
Mastering: Tazu Marshall
Produced by JZ/Freedonia Music
Cover Art: With kind permission of Sue Kment
Photo and tent card created by Sue Kment
Original card design by Jennifer Wambach © 2016

©(P) 2016 Greg Mills/Freedonia Music All rights reserved.
Made in St. Louis USA.
Tracy Andreotti: cello
Henry Claude: percussion
Greg Mills: piano
Dave Stone: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
A celebratory cycle of free improvisations deriving and departing from the euro-classical avant-garde. Piano, percussion, reeds & cello are voices from the depths of uncivilized dreams proclaiming a fantastic bestiary, a surreal circus.
Accolades for The Perihelion Quartet
"top-quality improvisations....putting technical expertise at the service of all-enclosing instants of creativity, Perihelion emancipate the consenting listener in new ways....punching the solar plexus of mental occlusion."
--Massomo Ricci, Touching Extremes, June 26, 2017


Tracy Andreotti holds a Masters in Cello Performance from the St. Louis Conservatory and over the years has studied with Rhonda Rider, George Neikrug, Pete Spurbeck & Leslie Parnas. She currently serves as principal cellist for both the Winter Opera and the Union Avenue Opera, a position she has held for twenty years. During this time she has been principal cellist with various local orchestras including the St. Louis Philharmonic, the New City Chamber Orchestra, and the Gateway Festival Orchestra and has performed with chamber music groups and string quartets including a seven year stint with the award-winning contemporary music ensemble, Synchronia. For the last ten years she has worked with the Trinity Piano Trio which she co-founded. In addition to Classical music, Tracy has played jazz performing standards and original tunes. She has gigged with traditional tango bands and played in Native American flute festivals throughout the USA. From 2009 to the present she has been a member of The Todd Mosby Group. In the realm of avant-garde/free improv music Andreotti co-founded the ongoing Experimental Art Night series in 2011 performing with local and national musicians including members of Alarm Will Sound. She was a member of the free improve trio Kierkegaard Youth for ten years and is one half of the free improv duo for cello and percussion, the Steve and Jennifer Project. For the last twenty years Andreotti has participated in New Music Circle concerts and workshops playing free improv with Jack Wright, Michael Schumacher, LaDonna Smith and Evan Parker among others. More recently she founded the improvising Vernacular String Trio in 2014. In 2015 she curated the Three Nights In September Festival of free improv music and for the last 4 years has worked with St. Louis poet laureate, Michael Castro providing improvised accompaniment in numerous performances. In 2015 Andreotti co-founded the Perihelion Trio.

Henry Claude is a freelance Percussionist/Composer/Instrument Inventor and Builder based in St Louis MO. He teaches Percussion and Percussion Ensemble at Washington University, and is also the Music Director of the Washington University Dance Division. Henry has been a regularly engaged percussionist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for more than thirty Years. He is the Principal Timpani/Percussion with Union Avenue Opera, and Timpanist of Kantori/Bach at the Seminary. Henry founded and was the director for 25 years of the 'Nuclear Percussion Ensemble' a group dedicated to the performance of percussion music from all over the world using a vast array of both traditional and found/invented instruments. He plays in the improv duo for cello and percussion, the Steve and Jennifer Project, with Tracy Andreotti. Henry has been a member of the Perhelion Quartet since 2015.

Dave Stone holds a degree in Jazz Performance from Webster University where he studied saxophone with Paul DeMarinis. After graduating, Stone worked with unsung home-town jazz greats, drummer Joe Charles and tenor-man Jimmy Sherrod. In 1996 he formed the award winning Dave Stone Trio which in its twenty year history has become a fixture on the St. Louis Jazz Scene. Stone joined veteran reed-man Jerry Green for several years early in the millennium fronting for the St.Louis Jazz X-Tet. More recently he can be heard playing tenor at the Wednesday Night Kranzberg Jazz Sessions run by bassist Bob DeBoo, a special performance workshop open to younger (under 21) players. As a working jazz musician, tenor and soprano saxophones are his instruments of choice but when not playing jazz he is a relentless free improviser often heard on baritone sax and soprano, alto and bass clarinet as well. Over the last fifteen years he has a history of performance with guitarist/electronic musician Chris Smentkowski's group Brain Transplant, Jay Zelenka's Free Jazz Posse, and his own free improv ensemble, Dave Stone & Friends. In addition to solo shows he appears somewhat regularly in duos and trios with a variety of musicians and sound artists including Kevin Harris, Nathan Cook, and Jeremy Kannapell to name a few. Over the years Stone has performed on occasion with such notables as Milo Fine, Ken Vandermark & Jeb Bishjop and more recently Chris Corsano, Daren Gray, Evan Parker and Peter Evans. In 2015 he joined Andreotti and Mills forming the Perihelion Trio. Stone characterizes improvised music and particularly free improv as "the music with the most opportunity for achieving a completely intuitive approach...this is what I'm going for in my playing".

Greg Mills studied classical piano performance at the St.Louis Institute of Music and privately with Gail Delente and Jules Gentils. Mentored in jazz performance and theory by St.Louis Black Artist Group bassist Carl Arzinia Richardson, he gigged with Richardson performing jazz standards as the duo Epoxy in the mid 1970's. In the late 1970's he was associated with James Marshall's Human Arts Ensemble. In 1980 Mills teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Jay Zelenka and for the next ten years performed and recorded as the improvising duo EXILES, amalgamating influences of the indigenous musical cultures of India and Africa with free improv and elements of the Euro-classical avant-garde. Exploring exotic tunings and extended raga-like duet performances for kalimba led Mills to adapt the Indian raga form to piano, creating a unique body of music in performances and recordings. During this period Mills expanded his repertoire to include mallet keyboards, percussion and drum set and began developing what is today a virtuoso command of the melodica, a wind keyboard usually treated as a novelty instrument. Mills stands virtually alone as a proponent of the melodica's more advanced musical possibilities. In the late 1990's he joined bassist Eric Markowitz performing improvised music with the Jay Zelenka Trio. Throughout his thirty plus years of public performance, free improv on solo piano has been his mainstay while continuing to explore directed approaches to improvisation as diverse as ragas and tone rows. In the last few years Mills has continued his solo output, co-founded the Perihelion groups (trio, quartet, and ensemble), and curated a series of performances for solo improviser (Soliloquy) and duo improvisation (Just The Two Of Us). As leader of the Perihelion Trio and its larger contingents Mills has organized numerous concerts in 2015-2016 while recording several new CDs including solo piano (Mosaique) and a duets project showcasing his skill as an accompanist. Mills current focus is the continuing discovery and exploitation of new approaches to improvised music and the development of new techniques for improvising on the piano.

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