Music for the nostalgic reptile
Peter Kerlin
Peter Kerlin
Taylor Bergren-Chrisman
Brent Cordero
Sam Sowyrda
Cesare Papetti
Amy Cimini
Jessica Pavone
Karen Waltuch
Emily Manzo
Mike Pride
Charles Burst
Catalog Number: 
new music
double bass
music for dance

Brooklyn, NY

Release Date: 
Nov 19, 2013
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Salamander, the debut album by Brooklyn bassist-composer, Peter Kerlin (Solar Motel Band, Christy & Emily, Source of Yellow) takes the listener through five bass-driven compositions scored for two vibraphones, two basses, organ, drums, percussion, and viola. The range of each piece's compositional core reaches from the through-composed "Bulbs" and "Snake Eats Electric Blanket" to the open cosmic jazz expression of "Ballad of the Bewildered Herd." Along the way, post-rock staples like Stereolab and Tortoise and Krautrock luminaries Can, Faust and Neu! serve as jumping off points, as well as Terry Riley, Sonny Sharrock, and Eric Dolphy. It’s a soaring, melodic flow of ecstatic energy that sweeps the listener along a sustained ride.

Salamander -- whose title refers to the animal in medieval lore that can survive fire, highlighting the poetic, mythological, naive contradiction of humankind's relationship with nature -- is Kerlin's first foray into a more ambitious compositional work, employing detailed notation as well as guided improvisational passages.

The ensemble features the contributions of lauded Brooklyn area players such as Mike Pride (Bacteria to Boys, Period, Dynamite Club), Taylor Bergren-Chrisman (Golem, The Dollars) Jessica Pavone (composer and frequent collaborator with Mary Halvorson), Amy Cimini (Anthony Braxton, Till by Turning, Starring), Sam Sowyrda (Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Dan Deacon), Cesare Papetti (Firebird Ensemble), Emily Manzo (Christy & Emily, Till by Turning) and Karen Waltuch (John Cale, Cynthia Hopkins).

As a bass player, Kerlin has worked with a range of artists such as Ted Leo, Chris Forsyth, Nate Wooley, Ryan Sawyer, Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust, Christy & Emily, Source of Yellow, and many others.  


"Kerlin's unique and enlivening compositions honor the modern jazz and nouveau chamber strata. … [T]he musicians articulate numerous viewpoints, enhanced by a little roughhousing in spots. The strings section closes it out with a gruff and steely imprint. Moreover, the band transcends a softly woven melody into an ostinato motif that seemingly comes out of nowhere, signifying one of many subtle surprises on this irrefutably persuasive offering." [FULL ARTICLE]
Glenn Astarita

"How about chamber jazz with an ambient funk edge? Wrap your brain around that. … Peter Kerlin is a formidable instrumentalist and a composer with unlimited potential. The assembled octet performs like a well oiled machine and adds a vibrant edge to some of the most free thinking improvisational music of the year. A great ride!" [FULL ARTICLE]
Brent Black

“Kerlin shows just what the [electric bass] can do when in the hands of a first rate instrumentalist, composer, arranger and group leader. … A piece will usually start with one or two instruments and as it progresses, accrue in number until the full unit is operating. The effect can be hypnotic. … ‘Ballad Of The Bewildering Herd’ consists of the band playing a repeated phrase that builds to a remarkable Faustian climax.”
Robert Iannapollo