SAM GENDEL AND ANTONIA CYTRYNOWICZ - LIVE A LITTLE Vinyl LP

SAM GENDEL AND ANTONIA CYTRYNOWICZ - LIVE A LITTLE Vinyl LP

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Sam Gendel and Antonia Cytrynowicz didn’t set out to make a record – it just happened. LIVE A LITTLE, a collection of songs resulting from one late summer afternoon in Gendel’s Los Angeles home, is less an album and more a moment. The ten tracks here were recorded mostly in one sitting, fully improvised, in the order in which they appear. It was the first and last time the songs have been played – a snapshot of an idea, an artifact of inspiration, at once both a beginning and an end.

At the time of recording, Cytrynowicz was only eleven years old. The younger sister of Gendel’s significant other and creative partner Marcella, Cytrynowicz is an artist in her own way. She has no formal musical training, but is the product of a creative family and is someone who makes art the way many kids do – in the purest way, simply because they are moved to. On LIVE A LITTLE, she spontaneously crafted all the melodies and lyrics on the spot as Gendel played alongside her. Cytrynowicz’s musicality is sophisticated, strange, and other-worldly, and the resulting record is experimental jazz colliding with some sort of fantasy universe.

Because of that, LIVE A LITTLE is a stand-out amidst Gendel’s extensive and varied catalog. Over the years, the multi-instrumentalist has been known for his prolific musical output as both a sought-after collaborator and as a solo artist. During 2021 alone he collaborated with Vampire Weekend, Maggie Rogers, Moses Sumney, Laurie Anderson, and Mach Hommy, as well as released Notes With Attachments with Blake Mills & legendary bassist Pino Palladino. In the same year he also released the 52-track Fresh Bread, as well as the follow-up to the acclaimed Music for Saxophone & Bass Guitar with Sam Wilkes. Then Mouthfeel / Serene, AE-30, Valley Fever Original Score, and singles “Isfahan” and “Neon Blue.” LIVE A LITTLE, though, exists on its own island. For one, the majority of Gendel’s work under his own name skews instrumental, but here the playfulness of his saxophone and nylon-string guitar work alongside the twinkle of Cytrynowicz’s voice. It’s the sound of unapologetic imagination running amok – and really, more than anything, the sound of having fun.