"One of Portland's brightest lights." - Downbeat

"Says more than most singer-songwriters—without any words at all." - Willamette Week

"A truly unconventional approach to improvised music that puts other third-streamers to shame" - WNYC

"A strong focus on ensemble playing over individual virtusity" - Dave King (The Bad Plus)

"This is that album that you leave in your car stereo for a month on purpose." - Scott Borne, music director WWOZ

"The first time I saw Portland's Blue Cranes live, I walked away trying to compare what I'd seen to anything I'd encountered before. I couldn't do it, and I still can't - the band is a force of nature.... Call it "creative music" or "post-jazz" or whatever you like, but the Blue Cranes sound is steeped in the ideas and concepts of jazz....a beautifully improvised sonic experience." - NPR/A Blog Supreme


RUNE 364

Reed Wallsmith • Joe Cunningham • Rebecca Sanborn • Keith Brush • Ji Tanzer

Since their formation in 2007, Blue Cranes have become a key player in the Portland, Oregon creative music/DIY scene and one of the most exciting groups to keep tabs on in the Northwest. They’ve developed a singular musical voice grounded in melody and explosive improvisations—marking off their unique microcosmic territory in “post-jazz/jazz-not jazz” circles, ala comparable bands like The Bad Plus, The Claudia Quintet, Happy Apple, Wayne Horvitz, Janel & Anthony, etc.

The members of the quintet - Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Keith Brush on double bass, Ji Tanzer on drums - bring a wide array of various musical experiences to their group-centered aesthetic. The band take an evolutionary step forward on their fourth full-length release.

Swim is a departure from Blue Cranes' previous, and in some ways simpler, albums. More than half of the album incorporates arrangements for a string trio, and other tracks include other musical guests - cementing the group's love affair with a lush sonic palette.

Steered dutifully by producer Nate Query of The Decemberists, it is a window into the emotional space of a group struggling with and celebrating the ephemeralness of life. The sounds on Swim, both churning and calming, will please fans of adventurous jazz and avant-garde new music and mark the ripening moment of a band who have been working towards this moment for years.

Swim press release

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For press and media: cover art and high resolution images are available below for download (click thumbnail, right-click image and select "Save As.."). Please credit the photographer (when available) and "Courtesy of Cuneiform Records". For more information, click here.

Swim press release

12/21/2013: Cuneiform Year in Review: 2013
5/29/2013: Cuneiform Artists Tour the USA West Coast Summer (May-Sept) 2013
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Cuneiform Records 2014

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