Brandon Ross


So much in the improvisatory arts is determined by the choices of collaborators, environment, and performance goals. Guitarist, composer, and conceptualist Brandon Ross regularly creates situations with other musicians and artists to push their collective creativity to new destinations. The Phantom Station ensemble is a vehicle that Ross returns to with soundesign artist, Hardedge, to embark upon adventurous, uncharted musical journeys.

The idea behind Phantom Station was to assemble an “individual-directed” ensemble that could engage in an open musical discourse and instantaneous music- making without the borders of genre or preconceived musical ideas. One of the results of one of these meetings was recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut and is presented as Off The End, a fascinating document of spontaneous creation with an incredible cast of musicians, including cornetist Graham Haynes, keyboardist David Virelles, and drummer JT Lewis.

Haynes and Ross have known each other since Ross arrived in New York City in the early 1980s. They eventually made plans to record and perform duet material while the cornetist lived in Paris in the 90’s. Ross’s relationship with drummer JT Lewis is also a long and fruitful one, as they remain engaged in many musical settings, most importantly their avant power trio Harriet Tubman, with bassist Melvin Gibbs. The most recent addition to Ross’s collective fold is Cuban-born, US-based keyboard player David Virelles, who Ross met through a mutual affiliation with composer Henry Threadgill in 2014. The two hit it off and gradually began to perform together inviting each other into various projects.

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