BJUR 056 Sam Sadigursky - Follow the Stick (320k mp3)

BJUR 056.jpg
BJUR 056.jpg

BJUR 056 Sam Sadigursky - Follow the Stick (320k mp3)


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Sam Sadigursky - clarinet, bass clarinet
Bobby Avey - piano
Chris Dingman - vibraphone
Jordan Perlson - drums
Jason Palmer - trumpet (2, 5, 9, 13)
Ljova - viola (7)

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"Sadigursky reinvents the clarinet for the 21st century"  

- London Jazz News


"Gracefully high-minded explorations of poetic form" 

- Nate Chinen, The New York Times


"Entrancing...hypnotic...a musical world full of riches and you should partake in this feast"  

- Richard Kamins,



- Jazz Magazine (France)



Sam Sadigursky, a first-call sideman and bandleader across a broad spectrum of music, and an award-winning composer (Chamber Music America, The Jerome Foundation), debuts a brand new band on his new recording, Follow The Stick, to be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on November 6, 2015. Follow The Stick is a sophisticated collection of original music from one of the most respected musicians on the New York scene. It is also Sam's "coming out party" as a clarinetist, which he has put front and center as of late. He explains, "It was a natural evolution in many ways, both practically and creatively. I started on saxophone, but began studying clarinet pretty early as well ­ my father is a classically trained clarinetist and accordionist from the Soviet Union, who now plays mostly Klezmer and Eastern European folk music. I remember interviewing him for a 5th grade project and asking him what some of his dreams in life were, and he told me about wanting to learn to play jazz clarinet, something he's always loved. About four or five years ago something really clicked for me with the instrument and I've put most of my energies into it, and people have been calling me more and more for my clarinet playing since then. Unlike the endless sea of jazz saxophone players, there aren't that many improvisers today playing clarinet at a high level, so it's allowed me to really create a little niche for myself, and creatively, I feel there's so much more room to explore with it. I really feel that it's my voice as an instrumentalist."


This new recording follows up Sadigursky's five acclaimed The Words Project albums on New Amsterdam Records, where the music is based on text and poetry. With Follow The Stick we now have an opportunity to hear why Sadigursky is considered a "musician's musician", and so revered as a collaborator/sideman. "The Words Project material sort of allowed me to hide behind the singers. There's not that much stretching out on those albums, since I was always conscious of this larger compositional scheme, being faithful to the text and not allowing it to get overshadowed by the music," said Sadigursky. "We stretch on this one."


The music on Follow The Stick is comprised of new, and some not so new, original compositions, plus a modern take on the Glenn Miller hit, "String Of Pearls". Originally, Sadigursky planned on writing all new music for this group; things with a more overt sort of swing associated with this instrumentation (clarinet, trumpet, vibraphone, piano & drums), such as "Do The Dance", but, "when I started to fish through old notebooks for ideas I found so many nearly-completed old tunes of mine that never had life breathed into them. Having focused on those vocal albums for nearly ten years, there is still a huge backlog of instrumental material that I'm sifting through. However, I did write some new tunes for the group, things like 'Deadly Sins' and 'Math Music', and these might better reflect my thinking today - lots of meter changes and metric modulations - where many of the older tunes are more lead-sheet oriented and open," explained Sadigursky.


"Follow The Stick" is musician's slang for following a conductor, but it also applies to the clarinet, which has been subjected to a host of (mostly) derogatory nicknames, due primarily to its unforgiving nature as an instrument (i.e. the licorice stick, the agony stick, etc.). "The clarinet is such an unyielding instrument - the technical difficulty of it can be really controlling; as a player you often have to follow wherever it wants to go. There's just a lot more to trip over technically on it. Really though, I just liked the sound of those words, their directness and the sarcastic suggestion of dictatorship, which is of course so counter to music­making. Plus, I wanted this to be a real band, so I figured the first thing that any band needs is a name," said Sadigursky.