*This is a Vinyl LP*
Release Date: 2022
Label: Sinking City Records
- Primetime A Go-Go
- Claptrap Clapback
- Step Pyramid
- Carnival 2019
- Refinery Skies
Doubles is the new album by New Orleans-based Basher, led by nationally-recognized composer and saxophonist Byron Asher. While previously recording primarily in the contemporary jazz idiom, this collection expands his sonic palette, incorporating glittering synth textures, driving soulful grooves and expansive, creative improvisation. Defying genre, these songs land somewhere between instrumental pop, art rock, and improvised music with a distinctly New Orleans vibe.
Within their hometown creative music scene, they’ve became blithely known as a “free jazz party band.” While in high school, some buddies gave Asher the nickname Basher against his wishes, it quickly became his primary name. At the time, he felt that the unwanted moniker only contributed to his general unpopularity as an “art nerd” and “smart kid.” The name of this band is a reclamation of that time in his life. And the name came first –– the music heard on this recording is his interpretation of what a band named Basher should probably sound like.
In the band, he is joined by internationally-acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and saxophonist Aurora Nealand (Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck), synthesist and pianist Daniel Meinecke (Quiana Lynell), and a two-drum set Cajun percussion section made up of Lafayette, LA native Brad Webb (Extended) and Lafayette, LA-based Zach Rhea.
The album title Doubles at once references the metaphysical duality of our collective reality and a popular Trinidadian street food. But ultimately, it’s about the doubled instrumentation across the ensemble – 2 saxophones, 2 drum sets and 2 (or more!) synths.
According to Asher, “The artwork for this release is a photograph of two near twins on Mardi Gras Day 1979, taken by NYC-based and internationally renowned street photographer Harvey Stein. For those who have experienced this special day in the Louisiana calendar, the parallel between the music here, especially the jubilant ‘Carnival 2019,’ and the image of these doubling revelers is clear. For those who have not, perhaps it’s time to mark your calendar for the final day before Lent and come visit.”
released September 30, 2022
Byron Asher, tenor saxophone
Aurora Nealand, alto saxophone
Daniel Meinecke, synthesizers
Brad Webb, drums
Zach Rhea, drums
Produced by Jeff Albert and Byron Asher
Mixed by Jeff Albert
Mastered by Jeff Albert
Recorded by Andrew Gilchrist at House of 1000Hz, New Orleans, LA, April 2021
All songs by Byron Asher BMI except A1, A3, B1, B5 improvised by Asher/Meinecke/Nealand and B3 improvised by the ensemble.
Front cover photograph by Harvey Stein, ©Harvey Stein 2020
Back cover photograph by Asher
Art Direction by Camille Lenain, camillelenian.com
Layout by Brice White
Special thanks to Scott and Brice, Jeff, Goat, Camille and Noé, and all of our family, friends and lovers.