New Haven was lucky to have the guitarist, cellist, and composer, Benjamin Shirley (not to mention friend), live here for a number of years before he moved to Atlanta. Last summer, as a farewell gesture of sorts, Ben composed a series of pieces for the Scrimshaw Ensemble (Ben – guitar, Carl Testa – bass, Adam Matlock – accordion, myself – cello) which were performed and recorded along with a series of duos with each ensemble member plus vocalist, Anne Rhodes.
Ben’s compositions, from my perspective, reflect his love of Brazilian music as well as his experience and knowledge of Anthony Braxton’s work, among other factors. You can stream the release below or download by clicking through to the Bandcamp site. If you like it, consider throwing a few dollars Ben’s way to support him. And stay tuned for news of a June Broadcloth + Carl Testa tour which will likely include a reprisal of this material.