Photo by Matt Mahurin
"They Eat Trees" for string quartet. Performed by the JACK Quartet, May 2016.
"Hierophant" composed for Milton Babbitt's Centenary. Live recording at Taplin Auditorium, Princeton, NJ. September 2016.
Rosalie Kaplan (voice); Noah Kaplan (saxophone); Dov Manski (piano/synth); Kim Cass (bass)
"Mechanizmo" sonata for marimba and piano.
Steven White (marimba); Michael James Smith (piano). Performed July 2016.
A list of works is here.
Noah Kaplan is a composer and saxophonist from Topanga, CA. His music blends the dark energy of free jazz with Romantic lyricism in new realms of tonality. Kaplan has composed for the JACK quartet, PRISM quartet, So Percussion, and the American Modern Ensemble, among others. He performs in and composes for Dollshot, the art-rock band he co-leads, who recently recorded their second album, his song cycle, Lalande. He is currently collaborating with writer Hampton Fancher on a sci-fi opera. As an improviser, Kaplan has performed and/or recorded with Joe Morris, Anthony Coleman, David Tronzo, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Rinde Eckert, Mat Maneri and Joe Maneri, among many others. The Noah Kaplan Quartet’s debut album Descendants was released on HatHut Records in 2011. Their second album, Cluster Swerve, will be out on HatHut in early 2017.
Noah is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University where he is a Naumburg and Mark Nelson doctoral fellow. He graduated from New England Conservatory in 2006 with a B.M. in Jazz Performance, and received an M.F.A. in Music Composition from Princeton in 2015. He was the William and Mary Greve Foundation-John J. Tommaney Memorial Fellow in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2016.
In addition to composing and improvising, he produces new classical and experimental music for Underwolf Records. He recently edited a new English edition of Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony, which will be released on Underwolf Press in early 2017. He lives in Brooklyn.
Listen to an interview from The Jazz Session
“Kaplan is an uncanny combination of the cerebral and the impassioned, exploring precise microtones amid lines of turbulent and elemental power.”
— Stuart Broomer, The New York City Jazz Record
“He romances the sound of his saxophone like no other player.”
— Raul D’Gama Rose, All About Jazz
“High-points were . . . Kaplan’s operatic microtonalism.”
— Tom Greenland, The New York City Jazz Record
“Noah Kaplan Quartet ‘Descendants’ is a tour de force of naked, off the hook, formidable free jazz. Those who are in tune with this music, and understand the talent, imaginative horse power and commitment required to play it, will never get enough of this CD.”
– C.J. Bond, Jazz Music
“Such is Kaplan’s devout love of his craft . . . his playing is notable for its stylistic reach. Kaplan explores history through supple illusion rather than explicit evocation.”
— The Wire
“Quite the auspicious debut . . . one that is quite impossible not to be entranced by.”
— Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
“A stellar young tenor saxophonist . . . excellent.”
— Thom Jurek, Image Journal
“Kaplan keeps things imbued with a strange and intoxicating weightlessness”
— Derek Taylor’s Best of 2011, Dusted Magazine
“A marker at the edge of western tonality”
— Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times