TORCH comprises Brian Chin, trumpet; Eric Likkel, clarinets; Ben Thomas: vibes, bandoneón, and percussion; and Steve Schermer, bass. Conservatory trained, and yet jazz informed, all members of this Seattle based quartet are improvisers and also write for the group. The group’s name is inspired by the Thomas Mann quote, “Art is the sacred torch that must shed its merciful light into all life’s terrible depths.”
TORCH’s self-titled first full-length album features the varied and vibrant sounds of their composer collective. As an advocate for collaboration, TORCH works with visual artists, dancers, and creatives of all types to inspire socially conscious art. A voyage of thirteen selections spanning forty minutes represents a wide representation of the diverse styles and influences of this ensemble from 20th century classical to contemporary jazz, European post-rock, and Argentine tango. From the modern tango inspired opening track “Tangent 7”, to the Bartok-inspired “Air” and Satie/Stravinsky adaptations, TORCH has landed solidly as a contemporary chamber ensemble worthy of note.
Member Brian Chin adds: “With enough repertoire for five records, we decided to create an album that could speak to some of the best of what we do while holding together as a stand alone recording.”
Physical and digital distribution for TORCH is through their own Common Tone Records imprint, and is now available through CDBaby, Bandcamp, Amazon, Spotify, and through their website TorchTheMusic.com. It will also soon be available on iTunes.
The album was engineered by Floyd Reitsma (Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam) on August 30-31, 2017, at Nickerson Studios, Seattle, WA. It was self-produced by TORCH, and mastered by Ed Brooks.
Tangent 7 (Ben Thomas) 3:08
Air (Brian Chin) 4:01
The Surface of an Emerald (Ben Thomas) 1:45
Tennis (Erik Satie | Eric Likkel) 0:49
Yachtie (Erik Satie | Eric Likkel) 3:55
Fire (Ben Thomas) 3:01
Nana (Manuel de Falla | Brian Chin) 3:29
Valse d’Alchimie (Eric Likkel) 1:44
Larghetto-Land (Igor Stravinsky | Brian Chin) 2:13
Lento Bash (Igor Stravinsky | Brian Chin) 3:39
Picardy (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence) (Trad. French | Eric Likkel) 3:57
April 21 (Rabbit) (Ben Thomas) 5:16
For more about TORCH, please visit TorchTheMusic.com.