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Open Loose is a trio with tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby or Ellery Eskelin and drummer Tom Rainey or Gerald Cleaver. This group explores the world of open form improvisation with composed pieces interwoven into the sets. The musicians have developed a common language and connectivity which allows for very adventurous and cohesive improvising.
The Marks Brothers is a bass duo featuring Mark Dresser and Mark Helias. It has grown out of a twenty five year friendship and artistic relationship. The two Marks are very complimentary (distinctly different and compatible) both as composers and bassists. This allows for a high degree of variety and expression during their concerts. Their first CD "The Marks Brothers was released in 2001 on the W.E.R.F. label.
Attack The Future has existed in many forms since 1990. It has included at various times Michael Moore, Herb Robertson, Anthony Davis, David Lopato, Mark Feldman, Regina Carter, Abdoulaye Epizo Bongoura, Andy Laster, Chris Speed, Cuong Vu, Pheeroan Ak Laff. This group explores Helias' compositions which involve more than two voices and often times includes percussion. The fundamental idea is to keep the personnel changing to keep the new pieces coming. It also functions as an ongoing workshop to explore new Helias compositions.
Solo Bass - Mark Helias has been performing solo bass concerts for 15 years. He has developed a repertoire of his own pieces scored for bass and adaptations of pieces which he has recorded with his various ensembles. In addition to being of great interest musically, this project travels well.
BassDrumBone is a cooperative trio including the drummer and composer Gerry Hemingway, trombonist and composer Ray Anderson and Mark Helias. This group has been performing together intermittently for twenty six years. Over that time the three musicians have developed an uncanny sense of communication that allows for very free and disciplined collectivity, regardless of the compositional form being explored. The group performs pieces by all three members and has released five albums of their compositions