The Ian Carey Quintet+1 (with Adam Shulman, piano; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Sheldon Brown, woodwinds; Fred Randolph, bass; Jon Arkin, drums; and Carey on trumpet) has been bringing its blend of original creative jazz to venues across the Bay Area for over 13 years. Begun in a two-year biweekly run at San Francisco's House of Shields in 2002 (during which they developed a deep chemistry in over 60 performances), the group expanded its repertoire, eventually becoming a vehicle for Carey's adventurous compositions and arrangements.
The group has released four albums on Kabocha Records: 2006's Sink/Swim ("An exciting set of music with a heavy-hitting lineup of musicians" —Greg Bridges, KCSM Jazz 91), 2010's Contextualizin' ("I can’t stop playing this CD” —Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com), 2013's Roads & Codes, which received 4-½ stars from DownBeat Magazine and was featured on many critics’ “Best of 2013” lists, and 2016's Interview Music, featuring the 55-minute title suite composed by Carey and commissioned by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. (More about their albums here.)
The Quintet+1 has appeared at many venues around the Bay including The Sound Room, California Jazz Conservatory, and Chez Hanny, and appeared at San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music's SFMusic Day in September 2016. In 2017, Carey was awarded a New Jazz Works grant by Chamber Music America to compose a major new work for the group, Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite, which will be premiered at the SFJAZZ Center's Joe Henderson Lab on Sunday, November 4, 2018.
WOOD/METAL/PLASTIC, the new ensemble from Ian Carey, "combines the delicately calibrated dynamics of a chamber ensemble with alternating sections of close voicings and free improvisation, a tricky marriage that requires keen ears and bountiful imagination." (Andrew Gilbert, Berkeleyside). This brand new septet features luminaries from across the Bay Area's jazz, classical, and new music scenes (including bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, violinists Alisa Rose and Mia Bella D’Augelli, cellist Jessica Ivry, and drummer Jon Arkin), premiering a new book of compositions by Carey commissioned by InterMusicSF (formerly San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music). The project’s influences range from chamber jazz pioneers Jimmy Giuffre and Charles Mingus, to chamber music titans including Villa-Lobos and Ravel, to free improvisation adventurers Ornette Coleman and Steve Lacy, while staying true to Carey’s love of dense counterpoint and lush harmonies.
The group held its premiere performance at The Sound Room in Oakland in September 2017, and appeared at California Jazz Conservatory in November 2017 with the Nathan Clevenger Group in a program of "New Music for Septets."
Ian Carey's TAKOYAKI 3 (with Adam Shulman, B3 organ; Jon Arkin or Bryan Bowman, drums; and Carey on trumpet) is the streamlined, street-food-style version of Ian Carey's successful Quintet+1. The group's repertoire includes original compositions from Carey's and Shulman's albums, rarely-heard tunes by composers like Lennie Tristano, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Nichols, Billy Strayhorn, Steve Swallow, Thelonious Monk, and Neil Young, as well as some of the band's favorite standards.
TAKOYAKI 3 has been heard at venues around the bay including Yoshi's Lounge, the Acutal Cafe, the Garden Gate Center, and Rose Pistola.
Mainstays on the Bay Area jazz scene, Ian Carey and Ben Stolorow have released highly regarded albums as leaders but found their way to the duo format after several satisfying gigs together last year. They chose to capture their singular improvisational ensemble on record, and Carey’s Kabocha label released the inventive results in 2014 as Duocracy ("a lively trip down a straightahead path, deriving a refreshing joy from the familiar sights" —DownBeat).
Focusing on classic tunes by master songsmiths like Gershwin, Kern, and Rodgers and Hart, as well as less-well-known gems by composers from Henry Mancini to Thelonious Monk, Carey and Stolorow emphasize intimacy, interplay, and spontaneity.
"Carey has a wonderful sound, strong and rich. Stolorow is a thoughtful accompanist, and full of ideas. These chaps have found a nice musical place with this duo effort, and the results are thoroughly enjoyable." —Jersey Jazz
"Carey and Stolorow... created a marvelous album here of effortless swing, deciding to keep the duo loose and limber, unencumbered by involved arrangements… they take great music one step further, capturing a roomy sound. The music comes out gentle, almost like lullabies." — John Shelton Ivany, JSI Top 21
"Carey’s got a big, fat and wondrous tone and he fills the room while Stolorow mixes stride chords and bop lines to perfection." — Jazz Weekly
Based on a shared love of free jazz and group improvisation, IJKL brings together trumpeter Ian Carey's long-time collaborators alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen and drummer Jon Arkin, along with acclaimed bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa ("one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene" —San Jose Mercury News) in this adventurous new quartet.
The group is dedicated to performing a new book of compositions by Carey, inspired by classic and current legends of free improvisation including Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, Jimmy Giuffre and others.
The group has performed at the Make Out Room's Monday Make Out experimental music series, and the Oakland Freedom Jazz Society's series at Studio Grand in Oakland.