Composer and multireedist Andy Laster grew up on the south shore of Long Island. He studied short fiction writing at the University of Michigan and jazz at Seattles Cornish Institute before moving to New York City in 1985. His first recording, Hippo Stomp, appeared on the Sound Aspects label in 1989. This album was followed by two more Sound Aspects releases, Twirler and the first eponymously named CD by Hydra, one of Lasters key ongoing projects in the 1990s. Interpretations of Lessness, based on a poem by Samuel Beckett, was released in 1997 and was named one of the years top ten jazz recordings by Billboard Magazine. Window Silver Bright was released in 2002, with an expanded version of his Lessness ensemble. While leading these two groups, Laster contributed to collaborative ensembles Orange Then Blue and New and Used, as well as performed in Erik Friedlanders Topaz; the Julius Hemphill Sextet; the Pink Noise Saxophone Quartet; Bobby Previte's Weather Clear, Track Fast; and Matt Darriaus Ballin the Jack. He has also performed with Mark Helias, Hank Roberts Birds of Prey, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Marty Ehrlich, Dave Douglas, Elliot Sharp, Roy Nathanson, Satoko Fujii Orchestra, and Brian Carpenters Ghost Train Orchestra. Laster's chamber music has been premiered at New York City venues including Advent Lutheran Church, the Cornelia Street Cafe, and Roulette. He has been awarded residencies at the Blue Mountain Center and the Djerassi ...
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