PRISM Quartet unveils ‘Heritage/Evolution, Vol. 2’

The PRISM Quartet.  Ara Howrani
The PRISM Quartet.
Ara Howrani

The omniverous all-sax ensemble PRISM Quartet (Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy and Zachary Shemon) has unveiled the second album in its massive Heritage/Evolution commissioning project: “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2.”

Out on Aug. 13, “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2” features world premiere recordings of three new works — all commissioned by the classical PRISM Quartet — composed and performed by three jazz heavyweights: Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano and Chris Potter.

PRISM co-founder Matthew Levy contributes his own piece as well, “Forbidden Drive,” in which Lovano joins the Quartet (and which will come out as a single on July 16).

“Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2” is the first release distributed by Symphonic for PRISM’s label, XAS Records, and features liner notes written by famed host of WNYC’s New Sounds, John Schaefer.

“The intrepid PRISM is on a constant search for new ways to celebrate the saxophone and explore new musical terrain,” said PRISM Quartet in a statement. “This recording is the culmination of six years of commissioning and live performance.”

It follows PRISM’s critically-acclaimed 2015 album, “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1,” which AllAboutJazz gave five stars, calling it “a phenomenal album filled with illusion, atmosphere and great music.”

That album featured compositions and performances by Steve Lehman, Dave Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Tim Ries and Miguel Zenón.

Ravi Coltrane. Ravi Coltrane

With “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2”, PRISM teams up with saxophonists Coltrane, Lovano and Potter to explore their instrument’s dual lineages in classical music and jazz.

“But that’s just a starting point,” writes Schaefer in the album’s liner notes. “As with PRISM’s first volume in this series, the works presented here suggest a way forward that reconciles two apparently divergent traditions, from totally notated scores at one end to completely free improvisation at the other, and a dizzying array of possibilities in between.”

PRISM Quartet said “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 2” will be followed by its concerts from Sept. 12-15 in Philadelphia and New York, with Melissa Aldana, the 10th saxophonist/composer commissioned by PRISM for its Heritage/Evolution project.

The concerts will also feature jazz trumpeter Terell Stafford.

PRISM said it is commissioning a new work from Aldana for a forthcoming “Heritage/Evolution, Volume 3” album that will also feature Miguel Zenón.

For further information, please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or [email protected]

More from Around NYC