Check out the 2023 July issue of The Bluegrass Standard for a great article on The Crooked Jades (page 56). Thank you Kara Martinez Bachman, Author for this insightful piece on our roots, evolution, new album and what's ahead for the band.
The compact disc comes in a beautiful and eco-friendly 6 panel Digi-pak w/8 page booklet. The artwork and design is done by none other than Bob Ciano. Responsible for some of the most provocative, beautiful album covers ever designed for Blue Note, CTI and Kudu Records during the 1960s, 70s. and 80s.
Across the wide seas, distant mountains, and the vast complexity of the soul, The Crooked Jades new release “Empathy Moves The Water" emphasizes the lonesome in "High Lonesome" music. The band’s old-time roots reflect the cultural melange and longing implicit in the shadows of America - from haunting ballads punctuated by hypnotic fiddles that express digital isolation and humanity lost in a rapidly changing land, to the high energy revival songs inspired by early rural gospel blues. Reaffirming their reputation as an innovative old-time string band closer in spirit to Tom Waits and Nick Cave, The Crooked Jades create a unique and soulful modern sound by exploring the roots of Americana and interweaving the diverse musical influences of Europe and Africa.
With a bold vision and drive to innovate and inspire, the Crooked Jades release their brand new album “Empathy Moves The Water" on their own label, Jade Note Music. Largely recorded at Berkeley’s famous Fantasy Studios, this new album is produced by the highly celebrated Bruce Kaphan. The band once again features their signature mix of inspired re-arrangements of rare and obscure old-time gems and beautiful original compositions, all played on vintage and eclectic instruments, including Hawaiian slide, Vietnamese jaw harp, harmonium, ukulele, banjo, ukulele, arco bass, and minstrel banjo.
- Ryland and Spencer (Rise and Bloom Again) (Trad/Arr. Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Featherbed (Trad/Arr. Emily Mann, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Down to the River (Inspired by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Arr. Lisa Berman, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Yellow Mercury 4 (Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Going Across the Sea (Trad/Arr. Erik Pearson, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- The Water Spirit According to Mike (Erik Pearson, Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Empathy Moves the Water (Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Mike in the Wilderness (Trad/Arr. Emily Mann, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Long Time Traveling (Trad/Arr. Bruce Kaphan, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Wade in the Water (Trad/Arr. Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Am I Born to Die / Long Time Traveling (Trad/Arr. Megan Adie, Emily Mann, Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Pretty Little Shoes (Trad/Arr. Emily Mann, Jade Note Music, BMI)
- Yellow Mercury 3 (Jeff Kazor, Jade Note Music, BMI)
making progress on their 9th album, projected for an early spring 2018 release. The band’s following have been clamoring for this, and one fan in particular is helping to make it possible. He was so impressed with the Crooked Jades performance at the California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival this year, that he became a benefactor to financially sponsor the new recordings with the band’s present configuration.
The Jades are also pleased to announce a NEW ALBUM! in the works to be released in conjunction with their anniversary celebration tours in the Spring and Fall of next year. Also look out for the Bright Land documentary by Charlie Steiner slated for release this summer. Shot in New York 2011 leading up to the premiere at New York’s Joyce Theatre, the film follows the dancers and musicians during rehearsals and right into opening night and really showcases the nitty-gritty process of this unique collaboration between modern dance and old-time music.
West coast CD release tour in September, San Diego, LA, Los Osos and Pleasanton. And in October the Crooked Jades will be in Nevada and down to N. California, Auburn, Arcata, Ukiah and in the beginning of November we will be home at the Freight and Salvage.
THE CROOKED JADES SOUNDTRACK FOR BRIGHT LAND WITH KATE WEARE COMPANY
Jade Note Music CJ009
This San Francisco-based band boldly goes where no old-time string band has gone before. The Crooked Jades new release “Bright Land” is a soundtrack of 20 songs and tunes for a 50-minute work of contemporary dances set to old-time music composed and re-arranged by The Crooked Jades. The project all started when acclaimed New York-based modern dance maven Kate Weare came out to see the Jades on their “Shining Darkness” tour at Café du Nord in San Francisco. A stranger to the band at the time, they all noticed her right away because she was inspired to get up and dance, not to a fast-driving fiddle tune like most audiences, but to a mournful Roscoe Holcomb ballad called Moonshiner. Later she told the band that she was moved by the skill, edge and depth of their music and felt inspired as a choreographer. So that’s what sparked this unlikely collaboration. And it really came to feel like the perfect union as the band was in turn inspired to reframe compositions to join Crooked Jades’ hypnotic old-time music with Kate Weare’s boldly poetic modern dance.
This show supports Rick’s critically acclaimed new release “Our Blood” on Merge Records in stores August 2nd.
Richard Buckner has a significant history with The Crooked Jades, having co-produced and performed on two ground-breaking envelope-pushing albums, “The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 1 and 2”.
Jeff Kazor, Lisa Berman and Erik Pearson are looking forward to stretching outside of their string band element playing drums, keyboards, and electric guitars along with the usual suspects – banjo, slide/dobro and harmonium. David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights (The Clean) from New Zealand co-headline
Jeff Kazor will be continuing on with Richard Buckner for the rest of the US tour dates:
8.16.11 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
8.17.11 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall (with Crooked Jades trio)
8.19.11 Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
8.20.11 Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
8.23.11 Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar
8.24.11 Chapel Hill, NC – The Arts Center
8.25.11 Arlington VA – IOTA Club & Café
8.27.11 Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House
8.28.11 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hal
Bright Land continues to be our main project and has been extraordinary. Collaborating with brilliant choreographer Kate Weare and her talented passionate modern dancers has been the most challenging and gratifying experience to date. Thanks to Warren Hellman’s interest and generous financial support, The Crooked Jades were able to go into the studio to record the intricately composed Bright Land soundtrack after the live shows at ODC and are now in the middle of post production with a projected winter completion for a spring 2012 release.
Also look for the Bright Land documentary by Charlie Steiner slated for release at the end of this year. Shot in New York last summer leading up to the premiere at New York’s Joyce Theatre, the film follows the dancers and musicians during rehearsals and right into opening night and really showcases the nitty-gritty process of this unique collaboration between modern dance and old-time music.