Creative Nation Music Festival Coming March 28-29th

February 26, 2009

On Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th, Boston’s Creative Nation Music will present the first Creative Nation Music Festival at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

The official local celebration of the label’s fifth anniversary, and the culmination of its four-state package tour of New England, the festival will feature seven bands over the course of two nights. 

The first night, hosted by Creative Nation Music recording artists, Quartet of Happiness, will be headlined by special guests, Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDtK). 

Sunday night will be hosted by guitarist and Creative Nation Music founder, Eric Hofbauer, and conclude with the official Boston CD release party for Muse (CNM 015), the new recording by The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra with special guest George Garzone. 

The festival’s other performers will be the 1980’s-loving saxophone duo Ronald Reagan, the jazz-cum-avant-rock band Scurvy and Creative Nation Music recording artists, the Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer Duo and Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band.

Saturday, March 28th at 7:00 p.m.
Ronald Reagan
Quartet of Happiness
Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Sunday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m.
Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer Duo
Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band
The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra with special guest George Garzone

The Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre is located at 820 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square.  Tickets will be available at the door for $15 per night ($10 with student ID) and $22 for a festival pass ($15 with student ID) that includes a free CD. Event details and more information about Creative Nation Music can be obtained at

Exclaim! Reviews Farmers By Nature

February 25, 2009

A new review of Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn’s Farmers By Nature (AUM Fidelity) is now posted here.  

Exclaim! contributor Nilan Perera, who recently reviewed the new David S. Ware release, Shakti, also on AUM Fidelity, writes:

“What sets this CD apart is the degree of dynamism found in the music. Each player seems to be acutely aware of the progression of the music and adheres to the methodology by which one can play well by not playing at all. This is music of diversity, thoughtfulness and commitment, and an object lesson in spontaneous composition.”

Firehouse 12 To Present The Jimmy Greene Quartet March 27th

February 25, 2009

On Friday, March 27th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present a two-set performance by saxophonist and Hartford native Jimmy Greene‘s five year-old working quartet.  The group, featuring pianist Xavier Davis (Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Freddie Hubbard), bassist Reuben Rogers (Charles Lloyd, Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves) and drummer Eric Harland (Taylor Eigsti, Dave Holland, Kurt Rosenwinkel) will be on tour celebrating Greene’s forthcoming April release, Mission Statement (RazDaz Recordz/Sunnyside). 

“Greene is without doubt one of the most striking young tenors of recent years,” declared reviewer Tony Hall in Jazzwise.  Critics have credited him with a “broad range of acumen, as a player, composer, and rearranger” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide), “a formidable technique, an expressive tone and a fertile imagination” (David Franklin, JazzTimes) and “a kind of agitated grace that is symptomatic of a multi-faceted musician who’s really coming into his own” (Nic Jones, 

“Greene exudes a combination of unbridled passion and gentle, natural swing when he solos,” adds the Hartford Courant‘s Chuck Obuchowski.  “No matter how intense his playing becomes, it retains a welcoming, accessible quality.”

A graduate of Bloomfield High School, and alumnus of both the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts and The Hartt School of Music, where he currently teaches, Greene, now 34, left the Hartford area for New York in 1997 to tour and record with jazz legend Horace Silver.  He has since worked with such notable bandleaders as Kenny Barron, Avishai Cohen, Harry Connick, Jr., Chick Corea, Tom Harrell, Lewis Nash, Kendrick Oliver, Mario Pavone and Steve Turre. 

His own quartet has performed at major jazz venues all over New York and throughout the United States, and he has recorded under his own name for the CrissCross, RCA Victor and NuJazz Records labels.  Mission Statement is his seventh release as a leader.  

2009 Spring Jazz Series schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Tickets and more information available at:

WNUR Jazz Show’s Best of 2008

February 24, 2009

Heard weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Jazz Show block on Chicago’s WNUR 89.3 FM is one of the most respected in all of radio.  

As is their tradition, the programmers have voted on their Top 40 recordings of 2008, and released the results to coincide with their annual Phoneathon

We’re pleased to report that Nicole Mitchell’s Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12 Records) topped the list.

The following client releases were also included:

#08: Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records)
#10: William Parker Quartet, Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)
#14: William Parker, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM Fidelity)
#27: The Roy Campbell Ensemble, Akhenaten Suite (AUM Fidelity)
#30: Bill Dixon, 17 Musicians In Search of a Sound: Darfur (AUM Fidelity) 

Congratulations to all the artists and labels recognized in this poll.

The Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds Coming May 19th

February 24, 2009

Playscape Recordings is proud to announce the May 19th street date of the first release on its 10th anniversary schedule, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds (PSR#020109). 

The follow-up to 2007’s The Treatment (PSR#050607), his trio’s critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, this release finds guitarist/composer Michael Musillami augmenting his seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran. 

The full group will tour the Northeast U.S. in support of the record in May and the core trio will tour Western Europe in late March.

“Composing and arranging all new music for a cohesive group that combines vibes, trumpet, and alto with a guitar trio meant taking things to a whole new level,” explains Musillami in the From Seeds liner notes. 

“Joe, George and I have come to trust each other completely on the stand.  The drama and constant shifts in environments can be both frightening and beautiful, and I didn’t want to lose any of the close interaction we’ve developed over the past seven years.  I needed three players with the sound, experience and confidence to not only play this music, but also put their stamp on it without taking away from what the trio does best.  Marty, Matt and Ralph were perfect choices.”

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his most recent, The Treatment, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, 

It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal). 

“His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator.  In addition to his flagship trio with Fonda and Schuller, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe and released three CDs since 2002, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring such prominent collaborators as Cameron Brown, Thomas Chapin, Drew Gress, Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. 

He is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School and founder/director of the esteemed Playscape Recordings label, which has released more than 40 distinctive recordings over the past decade.  Learn more at

Taylor Ho Bynum & Harris Eisenstadt On Facebook

February 23, 2009

Please check out the new Facebook pages for our clients, cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt.

Mary Halvorson Trio On YouTube

February 23, 2009

Video clips from the Mary Halvorson Trio’s November 12th CD release party for Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) at Barbès in Brooklyn.

“Dragon’s Head”

“Screws Loose”

“One Nine Two Six Four Two Dies”