#6tags - Beth Custer

[#jazzandmore #clarinetsarecool #jazzfunkafrorockwaltz #unusualbeauty #stellarimprov #soundsculpture]

Few artists (that we’re aware of, anyway) have done so much, for so long, at such a high level, and received such little recognition, as San Francisco-based clarinetist and bandleader, Beth Custer.

We first heard of Beth via her work with Trance Mission, the acclaimed “4th World” quartet founded in 1991. But it’s her solo and ensemble work since then that we’ve found particularly engaging. Whether she’s performing with Clarinet Thing, Vinculum Symphony, The Beth Custer Ensemble or accompanying My Grandmother, a banned Soviet-era silent film, Beth forges a matchless musical path based in jazz but featuring elements of world, rock, classical, avant and other genres.

If you were to ask us to make a list of artists that epitomize the Conduit aesthetic — basically the best music you’ve never heard of — Beth Custer would be right at the top.

Give her a listen and let us know what you think. Pretty good, eh?

Here’s a video of “Red Helicopters,” off Inclement Weather, the one album she recorded under the name Eighty Mile Beach.