False Harmonics #6:
Fly or Die & Irreversible Entanglements

The sixth iteration of False Harmonics features two of the most exciting and unique voices representing the future of jazz. Former Pioneer Works Music Resident Jaimie Branch will premiere music from her newly released album FLY or DIE II in tandem with International Anthem labelmates, Irreversible Entanglements, a liberation-oriented free jazz collective formed in early 2015 at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event.

Jaimie Branch, of New York, is an avant-garde trumpeter and composer known for her “ghostly sounds,” says The New York Times, and for “sucker punching” crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out. Her classical training and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Presenting music from FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise, the follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed Fly or Die, Branch continues to push her distinctive style of composition to new heights while also stepping forward as vocalist for the first time to an increasingly evocative effect. Accompanying Branch for the album release will be cellist Lester St. Louis, bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Chad Taylor.

Irreversible Entanglements, a jazz quintet with members based in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., is comprised of vocalist Camae Ayewa, bassist Luke Stewart, alto saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpet player Aquiles Navarro, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. The group continuously explores a variety of free jazz compositions while being guided by the tone of Ayewa’s poetic narrations of Black trauma, survival, and power. The message is the undeniable essence of the music. Though free jazz with voice is an uncommon approach in the modern day landscape of the genre, the spirit and subject the band channels and explores represent a return to a central tenant of the sound as it was founded—to be a vehicle for Black liberation. As creative and adventurous as any recording of contemporary avant-garde jazz but offering listeners no abstractions to hide behind, this is music that both honors and defies tradition, speaking to the present while insisting on the future.