Ben Holmes Quartet - Anvil of the Lord
Skirl Records is pleased to announce the release of trumpeter/composer Ben Holmes' second full-length album as a leader, Anvil of the Lord. Featuring fellow Brooklyn musicians Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Matt Pavolka (bass) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums), the album presents nine original compositions, which feature the group's improvisational prowess and conceptual unity. "One of NYC's best young trumpet players" (AllAboutJazz), Holmes' first release as a leader (2009's Ben Holmes Trio) emphasized his roots in the melodies and rhythms of American and Eastern European music, especially jazz, klezmer, and music from the Balkan peninsula. The record garnered praise for its "lyric generosity and clarity" and "measured pace that favors patient, melodic exploration" in Downbeat Magazine. The compositions featured on Anvil of the Lord present a development to his approach, incorporating elements of rock, Romantic classical harmony, film music, free improvisation and more to provide a shifting set of textures to facilitate the quartet's fast-paced interplay and spontaneity. Holmes describes his writing "inspired by things like Czech folklore, poor Amtrak service, the swimming holes of New Jersey, the films of John Carpenter, portentous budget documents from right before the economic collapse, crime reports from the late 19th Century, déjà vu, love, death, taxes, and other things that might not be apparent since the music is all instrumental".