Cylinder on Clean Feed
Cylinder on Clean Feed

Cylinder is a collaborative quartet based in San Francisco. It’s comprised of Darren Johnston on trumpet, Aram Shelton on alto saxophone and clarinet, Lisa Mezzacappa on bass and Kjell Nordeson on drums. All four members of Cylinder compose for the group to create a body of work that is stylistically diverse while rooted in creative jazz and free improvisation. Each player is distinguished in their own right with their playing and writing being documented on various recordings. 

it remains totally unpredictable, leading to increasing moments of enjoyment with each listen – Free Jazz Blog

Cylinder seem to utilize the space around them and gives you a look inside the mind of a well focused quartet with a multitude of ideas. – JazzWrap

Track Listing: The Ear That Was Sold to a Fish, Sung by Dogs, The Deep Disciplines, Crossings, Shells, Four Thoughts, Skipped Rocks, Sink Town, Earthworm. Total Time 52:06. Clean Feed CF219. CD in gatefold sleeve. 2011. 

Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter Darren Johnston has built a web of alliances, from avant-guard excursions with the likes of the ROVA saxophone quartet, Fred Frith, and Myra Melford, to straight-ahead jazz outings with the likes of bassist Marcus Shelby, to a wildly soulful repertoire of Serbian, Macedonian, Greek, and Romani tunes with Brass Menazeri. His latest CD of original compositions on Clean Feed records, “The Edge of the Forest,” was recently given four stars by four different writers in the “Hot Box” in Down Beat magazine. The CD features Ben Goldberg, Sheldon Brown, Devin Hoff, and Smith Dobson V. In that same issue, Darren was listed as a “rising star” in the critic’s polls. Currently, Darren’s focus beyond Cylinder, Brass Menazeri, and his quintet is on his “Nice Guy Trio”, which features the versatile Rob Reich on accordion and Daniel Fabricant on bass.

Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Franciso-based bassist, composer, and musical instigator. An active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch and Nightshade, and co-leads the collective duo B. with Jason Levis. She has cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, new media and public music/art with artists Deborah Aschheim and Jon Brumit, filmmaker Mark Wilson, and poet Oni Buchanan. Lisa studied bass with Michael Formanek, improvisation with Henry Threadgill and Myra Melford, and has workshopped with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Bob Moses, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and David Murray, among others. She has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi’s, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; and the Montreal Jazz Festival; Canada. She currently performs in more than a dozen original jazz, pop, improv and chamber ensembles, working with bandleaders Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Graham Connah, Cory Wright, and Ross Hammond.

Kjell Nordeson divides his time between Stockholm and San Francisco. He has a BA from Stockholm University, and has studied classical percussion at Ingesund School of Music with Björn Liljeqvist, former principal percussionist of the Stockholm Philharmonic. Together with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, he formed AALY Trio in 1986. AALY Trio became one of the leading groups in the Swedish experimental scene in the 90’s. Nordeson has toured extensively in North America, Europe, North Africa and Japan with various groups. He has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Ken Vandermark, Joe Morris, William Parker, Paul Rutherford, Gerry Hemingway, Frank Gratkowski, Stefano Scodanibbio, and many others.