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'Rob Clearfield writes songs of breath-taking beauty and he's a wonderful pianist, too!" ~Marilyn Crispell (ECM Records; Anthony Braxton Quartet) "Leslie Beukelman has such a natural way about her singing. Her pitch, her range, her sound, her interpretation is extraordinary.' ~Maria Schneider (Grammy Award Winning Artist) 'Fresh, super-cool,' ~Grazyna Auguscik (GMA Records) 'Rob Clearfield...is a star in the making. Drawing on disparate influences-progressive and modern rock, gospel and straight jazz-First Morning is the result of his collaboration with vocalist Leslie Beukelman, whom he met at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Together they create both tender, spellbinding beauty, as on 'Your Voice-Part 1,' and pulsating, assertive dynamics, as on 'Simple Unfolding.' The closing track, 'Song for a Child,' is an earnest jazz lullaby, with Clearfield's piano sketching streaks of twilight.' ~Louis R. Carlozo (Christian Century; Chicago Tribune) Debut recording from one of Chicago's most promising young bands. Born of the long-standing collaboration of vocalist Leslie Beukelman and keyboardist/composer Rob Clearfield, Information Superhighway continues to explore and create interesections of sophisticated art music and accesible pop music. Alongside bandmates John Smillie on drums and Patrick Mulcahy on bass, these seven tracks wind their way through everything from modern jazz to singer/songwriter folk-pop to prog rock to luscious soundscapes to ambient indie post-rock. Leslie Beukelman-voice Rob Clearfield-keyboards, guitar Patrick Mulcahy-acoustic bass John Smillie-drums Information Superhighway highly recommends these influences and inspirations: Brian Blade Fellowship Theo Bleckmann-Oragami Norah Jones-Come Away With Me Kings of Convenience-Quiet is the New Loud Brad Mehldau-Largo, Places Ben Monder-Excavation Radiohead-Kid A, Hail to the Theif Maria Schneider-Concert in the Garden, Allegresse Sigur Ros-( ) Bobo Stenson Trio-Serenity Yes-Close to the Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans.
1) Your Voice Part 1
3) Simple Unfolding
6) Northerly Island
7) Song for a Child