Today Book of Rhapsodies Vol. II is being released! Recorded over the course of two years in four different locations: Brooklyn Recording, Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco, Q Division Studios in Boston, and Trout Recording in Brooklyn. Twelve new arrangements by Brian Carpenter for orchestra and choir mixed by Danny Blume.
"The voices add a lush new dimension...sassy, funny, and sometimes quite beautiful...an outstanding piece of work" -- 4.5 stars by Jerome Wilson of All About Jazz. Order your copy on iTunes or our online store: http://bit.ly/2xS70E4
If you're in or near the NYC area, don't miss our last show with the Book of Rhapsodies band on Saturday February 28th before heading into the studio to record. We'll be recording Book of Rhapsodies Volume II and all of the music can be heard live on the 28th. This will be one of the last opportunities to hear this material live for a long while.
On this show we'll be debuting new arrangements of strange and beautiful chamber works penned by Alec Wilder, Raymond Scott, Charlie Shavers, and Reginald Foresythe, as well as a special treat...a couple lost pieces from a completely unknown bandleader and composer from the '30s and '40s recently discovered by Irwin Chusid (the man responsible for rediscovering Raymond Scott in the late '80s.) We can't wait to debut these pieces live (and tell you who it is.)
Don't miss this exciting show of all new arrangements. We play a set at 9 and the wonderful Carte Blanche closes the show.
Saturday February 28 Jalopy Theater 315 Columbia Street (Red Hook) Broooklyn 8pm doors / 9pm show
Yours Brian Carpenter & the Ghost Train Orchestra
While we're on the subject of Book of Rhapsodies, we should mention our recent run-in with Radiolab. Over the past 12 months, tracks from Book of Rhapsodies were featured over several episodes of the hugely popular NPR radio show produced by WNYC. Radiolab is an innovative radio program dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of science and philosophy, among other things.
While the weird and wonderful music from Book of Rhapsodies perfectly fit the quirky, inquisitive nature of the programs, the music wasn't credited. In fact, almost none of the music used in Radiolab was credited. Because much of the music played is so interesting, many fans of the show (including me) would write to ask what it was they were hearing but usually got no response. After hearing our recordings on several episodes, I contacted the programmers at WNYC directly to request crediting the music played on the show.
Thanks to many of our fans who reached out to Radiolab in support of musicians, Jad Abumrad called us to say he would not only credit Ghost Train Orchestra but make an effort to credit all of the music played on the show. In fact, Jad credits original music on the latest show from last week. Here's hoping they continue that trend.
Here are links to just a few of the best episodes where music from Book of Rhapsodies is played:
We've mailed out all of the rewards except for the t-shirts and the box sets. The box sets should be sent out later this week. The t-shirts will be a longer wait -- I apologize for the delay on those, but we will get them to you as soon as we can.
Since our release in October, Book of Rhapsodies has been receiving all kinds of praise. Davis Inman of Downbeat writes in the Editor's Picks "Carpenter and his collaborators find plenty of new life in these old charts and 78s...down a rabbit hole to a bizarre, charming world of nearly forgotten music from the 1930s." Andrew Velez from the NYC Jazz Record writes "This is an amazing ensemble, playing music like no others these days. There hasn’t been big band music as exciting as this since forever...GTO is creating its own electrifying musical gold."
Phil Freeman of Burning Ambulance raves "Book of Rhapsodies is out this month, and it's nuts in the best possible way. Carpenter is on a mission to make 21st Century listeners aware of just how much awesome music was being made in the early decades of the 20th...a hell of a lot of fun." Lucid Culture describes it as a "joyous, vaudevillian ride...with a couple additional, absolutely killer tracks from the Raymond Scott catalog."
Here are some fantastic photographs from our CD release show at SubCulture taken by Peter Gannushkin. You can see the entire set here and more of Peter's work at downtownmusic.net.
October means Halloween and Halloween means the Ghost Train Orchestra. You can hear our rendition of Raymond Scott's "New Years Eve in a Haunted House" in the video below, complete with werewolves and various screams of horror...
We are excited about Saturday night! Advance tickets are still available for our CD release party, among David Adler's top ten jazz shows in the Village Voice this month. Saturday night we'll be performing Book of Rhapsodies at a great new venue, SubCulture in Manhattan. We'll have the augmented 11-piece orchestra with bassist Michael Bates and guitarist Avi Bortnick. And we're excited to have a rare performance by the acclaimed Raymond Scott Orchestrette opening the show. Advance tickets are available here.
GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA "Book of Rhapsodies" CD RELEASE
We'll be selling a few of the below gorgeous 11x22 silkscreen posters created by James Weinberg at this show only, and holding a raffle at the door to win a free one. The posters are 11" x 22" printed on black paper with white and metallic silver ink.
See you Saturday!
Ghost Train Orchestra Brian Carpenter, trumpets, voice, harmonica, conducting Dennis Lichtman, clarinet Andy Laster, alto saxophone, flute Petr Cancura, tenor saxophone, clarinet Mazz Swift, violin, vocals Emily Bookwalter, viola Curtis Hasselbring, trombone Ron Caswell, tuba Avi Bortnick, guitar Cynthia Sayer, banjo Michael Bates, bass Rob Garcia, drums
All of you inside the country should have received at least the first shipment of your reward packages by now. Let me know if otherwise. The international shipments went out late last week.
Advance tickets are going fast for our CD release show on Saturday October 26th at a great new venue, SubCulture in Manhattan. We'll be performing Book of Rhapsodies with an 11-piece orchestra plus voices. We are hugely excited to have a rare performance by the acclaimed Raymond Scott Orchestrette opening the show. $15 advance tickets are available here.
We'll be selling a few of these gorgeous 11x22 silkscreen posters created by James Weinberg at this show only, and holding a raffle at the door to win a free one.
The 7-piece Raymond Scott Orchestrette performs radical reinventions of the legendary composer's animated tunes. Besides such favorites as "Powerhouse" and "The Penguin", the Orchestrette features lesser-known works such as "Coming Down to Earth," "Naked City," and "A Street Corner in Paris." The Orchestrette also performs acoustic renditions of Scott's later electronic works, such as Soothing Sounds for Baby's "Little Miss Echo" — rarely heard artifacts the composer himself never performed outside the studio.
I have a connection with the Raymond Scott Orchestrette as I worked with one of its prestigious members, Brian Dewan, several years ago on a record called Dreamland with the band Beat Circus. Brian played his incredible electric zither (which he plays with the RSO) and created this incredible artwork for the cover:
Brian Dewan and Irwin Chusid (one of the key people responsible for rediscovering the work of Raymond Scott) both contributed to the three-hour radio documentary I produced last year on Raymond Scott called "Imagination and Innovation". You can now listen to the entire program here. Here's a slideshow and montage of the Raymond Scott Orchestrette assembled by Jeff Winner: