|NATHAN HANSON / CHRIS BATES
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Longtime friends and frequent live collaborators, Nathan Hanson and Chris Bates, connect for a duo recording; Weights and Measures.
The new release from Shifting Paradigm Records, out January 27, showcases the musical empathy and deep listening that the duo are known for.
Time has a slippery fluidity, especially since the coronavirus pandemic and the murder of George Floyd caught our collective attention. It can be difficult to recall whether something happened last week or two years ago. The sudden shift in our daily routines presented a concept for saxophonist Nathan Hanson and bassist Chris Bates to explore. It made it possible for them to document part of the complexity of the moment, a year after covid cancelled all of their concerts and rearranged how they did almost everything, ten months after George Floyd’s murder, and in the midst of the trial. Surely another way to observe the flow of time was called for.
It was strangely comforting for Hanson to discover that John Nystrom proposed, in 1859, a new system of weights, arithmetic, coinage, music notation and timekeeping (including a sixteen month year). Many of these titles derive from his writings.
On the eighth of Suvenary, according to Nystrom’s calendar, the duo spent the day recording in the 100 year old sanctuary of Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill in St. Paul, across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol. The grand acoustics of the room, and the heavy equipment traffic just outside contributed an ambiance that is felt as much as heard. Their agenda was to learn where the music would take us.
Hanson and Bates have been playing together for thirty years or more, and yet, this is their first recording together. Weights and Measures is a document that quantifies a response to the losses and the blessings, and the disorientation of the moment.
This album is very different from anything I’ve released before and I think you will enjoy the results. Follow the link above to preorder your copy and listen to a sample track. Big thank yous to Caleb Anderson for recording and mixing. David Bates for mastering. Jamie Brewick for graphics. Lara Hanson for the cover art. Benny Moreno for the photo. Zacc Harris and the Shifting Paradigm label for putting this out, and Nathan for being a true friend and deep collaborator!
CD Release concert is planned for February 12th, 4 pm at Christ on Capitol Hill in St. Paul. More details forthcoming. If anyone wants to book a house concert for this duo we would gladly try to figure out a way to play for you. Please email me.