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Both Are True

by Webber/Morris Big Band

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    4-panel digipak designed by Brian Henkel.

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Duo 1 00:48
Rebonds 03:21 video
Coral 10:06 video
Foggy Valley 03:47
Duo 2 01:25
Reverses 11:39


In 2015, Anna Webber and Angela Morris brought together their arsenal of skills as composers-performers-conductors to form the Webber/Morris Big Band, an ensemble of eighteen stellar New York improvisers who bring their combined artistic vision into reality.

While the band’s instrumentation - trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and rhythm section - may be seen as typical, the music is rooted in minimalism, noise, pop, and the sounds of today. Integrating improvisation and composed material in unorthodox ways and using extra-musical sources - such as poetry or mathematics – here the traditional big band sound mutates into something unpredictable and exciting.

The album features nine original compositions by Webber and Morris, including a piece that integrates a text from Maya Angelou. This is big band music for the here and now from a band at the top of their game.

Track Details:
1. Climbing On Mirrors
Solo: Charlotte Greve
Composed by Anna Webber

2. Duo 1
Composed and performed by Anna Webber and Angela Morris

3. Both Are True
Solos: Jay Rattman, Anna Webber, Patricia Brennan
Composed by Angela Morris

4. Rebonds
Solo: Dustin Carlson
Composed by Anna Webber

5. Coral
Solo: Adam O’Farrill
Composed by Angela Morris

6. And It Rolled Right Down
Solos: Adam Schneit, Reginald Chapman, Jake Henry
Composed by Angela Morris

7. Foggy Valley
Solo: Angela Morris
Composed by Anna Webber, Angela Morris, and Nathaniel Morgan

8. Duo 2
Composed and performed by Anna Webber and Angela Morris

9. Reverses
Solo: Kenny Warren
Music and lyrics by Anna Webber
Text by Maya Angelou


released April 3, 2020

Angela Morris: conductor, tenor saxophone, flute
Anna Webber: conductor, tenor saxophone, flute
Jay Rattman: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Charlotte Greve: alto saxophone, clarinet
Adam Schneit: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Lisa Parrott: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
John Lake: trumpet, flugelhorn
Jake Henry: trumpet, flugelhorn
Adam O’Farrill: trumpet, flugelhorn
Kenny Warren: trumpet, flugelhorn
Tim Vaughn: trombone
Nick Grinder: trombone
Jen Baker: trombone
Reginald Chapman: bass trombone
Patricia Brennan: vibraphone
Dustin Carlson: guitar
Marc Hannaford: piano
Adam Hopkins: bass
Jeff Davis: drums

Production Credits:
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Produced by Angela Morris, Anna Webber, and Nathaniel Morgan
Mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen
Art and design by Brian Henkel

Recorded on Nov 27, 2018 by Stephe Cooper at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, NY except tracks 2, 7, 8 recorded on October 20, 2019 by Nathaniel Morgan at Buckminster Forest
Edited and mixed by Nathaniel Morgan at Buckminster Palace

Compositions © Anna Webber (SOCAN/ASCAP) and / or © Angela Morris (SOCAN/ASCAP)
“Foggy Valley” © Anna Webber (SOCAN/ASCAP), Angela Morris (SOCAN/ASCAP), and Nathaniel Morgan (ASCAP)
“Reverses” © Anna Webber (SOCAN/ASCAP) and Caged Bird Legacy (ASCAP)

Press Quotes:

"Jazz shibboleths all come in for a questioning here. Passages of long, open harmony are common; sometimes those become lengthy stretches of collective improvisation, musicians conversing at a low simmer, resisting the typical urge to raise the temperature or set a course."
- Giovanni Russonnello, New York Times, Best Jazz Albums of 2020

"The music here is a triumph, suggesting again that creativity is served most fully when barriers to access and involvement fall and stay down. The barriers busted by Both Are True are stylistic and mental. Here is a jazz band that is tightly arranged and gorgeously free, a new music ensemble that improvises and plays with precision, a complex modern idiom rendered with scuffed-up life. Soon, I suspect this kind of thing will be increasingly common, and new-century musicians innovate and incorporate diversity with more and more sense of fun. But, right now, at least, the Webber/Morris Big Band jumps out like a joy.”
- Will Layman, PopMatters

"The way in which Angela Morris and Anna Webber marry the strange and familiar is fascinating."
- Dave Sumner, Bandcamp Daily, Best Jazz on Bandcamp: April 2020

"Both Are True is a compelling assemblage of intense ideas brought to exciting fruition."
- Martin Johnson, JazzTimes

"Webber and Morris make a powerful statement ... this debut album that throws down the gauntlet for current big band possibilities."
- Winnipeg Free Press

"They extend the tradition through adventurous arrangements spiced with the unpredictability of improv, by co-opting the nimbleness of a much smaller group, and reveling in non-standard techniques."
- John Sharpe, All About Jazz

"... riveting and mercurial debut"
- Dan Oullette, Downbeat Magazine

"The music never swings in a conventional way. Instead, it drifts along, elements emerging then fading away again, with solos appearing like an animal emerging from the mist in the middle of a forest, gazing impassively at you, then retreating." -
Phil Freeman, Stereogum, Best of Jazz, April 2020

"Every time the saxophonists Anna Webber and Angela Morris create a piece of music together, they seem to be picking apart their 19-piece ensemble and reassembling it from scratch."
- Giovanni Russonello, New York Times Playlist

"What strikes this listener most is the writing’s disjointedly distinctive - sometimes unfathomable - sounds and textures, as well as the music’s unpredictable flow."
- Michael Ullman, Arts Fuse

"Both Are True dazzles with musical fireworks, humor, a wildly creative harmonic palette, discipline, and delight. This is a groundbreaking work that establishes a unique, present-future identity for the Webber/Morris Big Band."
- Thom Jurek, All Music

"Any fan of creative, forward-thinking jazz, from any size ensemble, should find this album essential listening."
- Phil Freeman, NYC jazz Record

"Integrating written and improvised material in new ways, Webber and Morris take the big band concept into fresh territory. This is an accomplished conjoint effort."
- Jazz Trail

“Over the course of 58+ minutes, so much happens. Voices step out of the songs, the different sections take on various roles, the music is both introspective and communal, emotional and cool, pulsating and ruminative, yet always alive."
- Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“Webber and Morris achieve a kind of small-group intimacy in their band's playing, and while their project is part of a continuum, their compositions pull from genres outside jazz, from minimalism to experimental. Such accomplishments are especially noteworthy when nineteen players are involved as they are on this debut recording.”
- Textura

“This is a singular and compelling recording. And just like that, we have our first album of the year candidate. Bravo.”
- Avant Jazz News

"Anna Webber and Angela Morris are a pair of unclassifiable multi-instrumentalists – they each play tenor saxophone and flute, among other things — who recently joined forces to form a big band. It should come as no surprise that this ensemble does a few things differently; I expect that some heads will turn when their debut album, Both Are True, sees release."
- Nate Chinen, WBGO

“…a jagged-edged band that has begun to turn musicians’ heads.”
- Giovanni Russonello, New York Times

“They write to take full advantage of the ensemble, working in dynamics that only a big band could manage. (…) In a sense, the Webber/Morris Big Band is a distillation of the community they discovered and have helped develop.”
- Kurt Gottschalk, Musicworks


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Webber/Morris Big Band New York, New York

Anna Webber and Angela Morris, two composer-performers whose music overturns expectations for the jazz big band, have co-led this ensemble of stellar New York improvisers since 2015. The band’s instrumentation is a jazz staple, but the composers’ respective pieces are equally rooted in minimalism, pop, noise, and other music of the past century or so. ... more

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