The Planck temperature. The temperature at which matter ceases to exist, and conventional physics breaks down. According to Nova, at this point, “strange things, unknown things, begin to happen to phenomena we hold near and dear, like space and time.” Also an apt description for what happens when you mix the cerebral flamboyance of Frank Lacy ’s trombone with Andrew Drury’s kaleidoscopic percussion, and the big broad bass sound of Kevin Ray.
The great tradition of Jazz includes the reinterpretation of the works of its master composers. Because of the complexity and originality of the interpretive method, this makes a repertory-focused ensemble far more than a “cover band.” But in the case of 1032K, this approach is highly unique.
Rather than focusing upon the more traditional masters – Ellington, Monk, Miles, etc. – this remarkable trio has, in addition to their own compositions, selected a compelling repertoire from some of the less-often played, but powerfully innovative composers and players of modern Jazz. Among these are Sam Rivers, Albert Ayler, Roswell Rudd, Henry Threadgill and Reggie Workman, along with unique takes on Mingus, Strayhorn and Jimi Hendrix.
The members of 1032K are most qualified to explore this territory, having worked with a veritable who’s-who of the modern era. McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Julius Hemphill, Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bobby Watson, John Hicks, Lester Bowie, Greg Osby, Charles Gayle and the Mingus Big Band are only a partial list of the great artists with whom the members have performed extensively. 1032K offers a delightfully singular and most enjoyable voyage in modern Jazz history, while making a good bit of their own on the way.
In keeping with the character of their name, the NY City Jazz Record hailed them as a “triumph of spirit over matter.” All About Jazz called them “an explosive and exciting fusion of talent,” and described their debut album, That Which is Planted, on Oliver Lake’s Passin’ Thru label, as a “brilliant and near perfect record, a vivid and imaginative masterpiece, that showcases a band at the height of its powers.” In addition to well received shows throughout North America, in 2015 they were commissioned by Lincoln Center to arrange and perform their “Hard Time Killin’ Floor Suite,” their interpretation of the work of Skip James for trio plus vocals and electronics.
After studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston and Rutgers University in New Jersey, Frank Lacy (#3 2015 Downbeat critics poll, trombone, #2 Rising Star, vocals) toured with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Henry Threadgill, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, The Eurythmics, Carla Bley and Don Pullen. He was a member of the first Bobby Watson Horizon Band and spent a year and a half as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Frank was an integral part of Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy as a singer, arranger and trombonist, and a member of the big bands of McCoy Tyner and David Murray. He is currently one of the longest serving members of the Mingus Big Band. He has two cds on the Enja label: Tonal Weights and Measures, and Settegast Strut.
Andrew Drury is a percussionist, composer, improviser, and educator whose work is animated by a tendency toward exploration and expansion, balanced with a love of tradition, lyricism, humor, theater, and narrative. His formative years were devoted to jazz, centering on studies with Dave Coleman in Seattle and Ed Blackwell at Wesleyan University, and playing experiences with artists ranging from Wadada Leo Smith and Wayne Horvitz to the Basie-era trombonist Dickie Wells and a teenage Brad Mehldau. In addition to “conventional” techniques he employs friction and air pressure in combination with a variety of gears, clamps, construction site detritus, and metal objects to conjure an extreme range of frequency and texture from the drums. He has become one of very few drummers known for circular breathing and bowing a metal dust pan.
Drury plays with a wide range of musicians including Jason Kao Hwang, TOTEM, Iron Dog, Steve Swell, Jack Wright, and others. His four cds as a bandleader feature Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Briggan Krauss, and Chris Speed among others. He has performed internationally and on more than 40 recordings with Christine Abdelnour, Michel Doneda, Peter Evans, Charles Gayle, Darius Jones, Mazen Kerbaj, Denman Maroney, Andrea Neumann, Angelica Sanchez, Jenny Scheinmann, and Nate Wooley to name a few.
While many young musicians were embracing the retrospection of the period, Kevin Ray was hearing the adventurous call of The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill, The World Saxophone Quartet, Andrew Cyrille and other artists who held innovation higher than preservation. Supporting himself in the early 90s with a straight gig managing a division at Forbes Publishing, Kevin continued to study and play and toward the end of the decade came into contact with one of his spiritual mentors, Andrew Hill.
“Andrew gave me the confidence to become truly serious about becoming a musician,” Ray explains, and he played regularly with the pianist. In addition, he has performed and recorded with other outstanding artists such as John Hicks, Allen Lowe, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, John Stubblefield, Ray Anderson, Matt Shipp, Elliott Sharp, Hamiet Bluiett, Nels Cline, Ursula Oppens, Ken Peplowski, J.D. Allen, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. He has also performed in the premieres of major works by a wide range of composers, including Lee Hyla, Joe McPhee and Leroy Jenkins.