Reminder: Michaël Attias Quintet At Firehouse 12 This Friday

April 30, 2009
Photo by Richard Gartrell

Photo by Richard Gartrell

On Friday, May 1st, New York-based saxophonist/composer Michaël Attias will make his Firehouse 12 debut as part of the venue’s ongoing 2009 Spring Jazz Series

Fresh off a two-week stint performing his original live electronic score for the Yale Repertory Theater’s production of Dostoevsky’s “Notes From The Underground” in late March and early April, Attias will return to New Haven with his new quintet. 

The group expands his longtime trio, Renku, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer/percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, to include French horn player Mark Taylor and pianist Jacob Sacks.

Mary Halvorson Performances In May

April 30, 2009

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has a busy performance schedule in May, beginning with a six-stop European tour featuring a collective trio with Peter Evans and Weasel Walter.

Her schedule will also also include performances at The Stone with Marc Ribot’s Sun Ship (as part of his 55th birthday celebration) and MAP on consecutive Thursdays, and the CD release party for Crackleknob‘s self-titled debut CD on HatHut at the Issue Project Room on Brooklyn.

She’ll conclude the month with two Italian dates with Butch Morris.

Weasel Walter/ Peter Evans/ Mary Halvorson Tour
05/06: Les Instants Chavires (Paris, France)
05/07: Ausland (Berlin, Germany)
05/08: Immerhin (Wurzburg, Germany)
05/09: Lendwirbel Fest (Graz, Austria)
05/10: The Rhiz (Vienna, Austria)
05/11: Siraly (Budapest, Hungary)

Marc Ribot’s Sun Ship
05/14: The Stone (New York, NY) 

05/21: The Stone (New York, NY)

05/24: Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY)

Laurence “Butch” Morris Folding Space: Modette & Other Songs
05/30: Teatro Rossini (Lugo, Italy)
05/31: Teatro Comunale (Modena, Italy)

Firehouse 12 To Present Ben Allison & Man Size Safe May 29th

April 29, 2009
Photo by Todd Chalfant

Photo by Todd Chalfant

On Friday, May 29th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present acclaimed bassist/composer Ben Allison with his newest ensemble, Man Size Safe, as part of the venue’s ongoing 2009 Spring Jazz Series.  The band, which takes its name from a secret storage vault in former Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, mixes joyous exuberance and good-humored irreverence with textured grooves and the occasional political jab.  Allison will be joined for this two-set performance by Jenny Sheinman (violin), Shane Endsley (trumpet), Steve Cardenas (guitar) and Michael Sarin (drums). 

Critics called Man Size Safe’s 2008 debut, Little Things Run The World (Palmetto Records), “one of the best jazz releases of the year” (Time Out Chicago), noting that its “combination of folk intrigue, jazz sophistication and rock ’n’ roll punch is a rare but entirely welcome one” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes).  “Allison’s facility for conjuring lush soundscapes from a limited instrumental palette places him in a rarefied league,” wrote’s Troy Collins.  “Bittersweet melodies, rich contrapuntal harmonies and syncopated cross-rhythms all coalesce under the banner of jazz improvisation…Allison offers a buoyantly optimistic view of American music informed by non-Western traditions.”

Regarded as “one of New York’s more interesting jazz bandleaders” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times) for more than a decade, Allison is also an active sideman and a mainstay in a variety of categories in DownBeat‘s annual readers’ and critics’ polls.  He has appeared on over 40 recordings and written music for film, television and radio, including the theme for NPR’s On the MediaLittle Things Run The World is his eighth and latest recording as a leader.  It stayed in the weekly CMJ Jazz Chart’s Top 20 for over four months and was included in best-of-the-year lists in such publications as, Billboard, the Boston Globe, DownBeat, JazzTimes, the New York Times and the Village Voice.  

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:

All Music Guide Reviews The Fully Celebrated

April 28, 2009

Michael G. Nastos’ early review of The Fully Celebrated’s Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity) is now posted at 

“Spare music yet fully formed,” he writes, “this talented trio provides interesting sounds all listeners of creative improvised music should thoroughly enjoy.”

The Fully Celebrated, formerly known as The Fully Celebrated Orchestra, is alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Django Carranza.

Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones, the band’s first recording in four years, hits the streets May 26th.

CD release celebrations are scheduled for Thursday, May 28th at Barbès (Brooklyn, New York) and Friday, May 29th at Ryles Jazz Club (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

Darcy James Argue Featured In Newsweek

April 25, 2009
Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Composer Darcy James Argue is featured in the May 4th issue of Newsweek.

“For a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future, look to Darcy James Argue, a 33-year-old Brooklynite who has composed a batch of manifestoes that draws on past legacies, and adds a little postpunk energy to boot,” writes Seth Colter Walls.

“Argue’s tunes can command your attention anywhere—no small feat in our media-saturated world. He and his 18-piece Secret Society band pull off the trick by pairing electro-influenced rhythms with fuzzed-out guitars, fearsome horns and chamber-music voicings in the woodwinds. For all this panstylistic erudition, though, Argue’s music still swings hard whenever it wants.”

Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), the debut studio release from Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, will be released May 12.

The official CD release party will be May 8th at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, to be followed by live dates at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam (May 28th), Domicil in Dortmund, Germany (May 29th), the Moers Festival in Moers, Germany (May 31st), and the International House in Philadelphia, PA (June 5th) as part of the Ars Nova Workshop series.

Argue, a Vancouver native, will also premiere a new, specially commissioned work at Canada’s National Jazz Awards on May 14th to be performed by the all-star Darcy Hepner Jazz Orchestra.

AUM Fidelity To Release Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray’s Wildlife July 14th

April 24, 2009
© 2008 cees van de ven

© 2008 cees van de ven

AUM Fidelity is proud to announce the July 14th release of Wildlife (AUM056), the debut recording from the new collective ensemble of the same name featuring Joe Morris on bass, Petr Cancura on alto and tenor saxophones and frequent Morris collaborator Luther Gray on drums.  Conceived by Morris, the trio’s acclaimed elder statesman, Wildlife features four collectively improvised tracks that defy expectation with their cohesive structure and warm, inviting sound.

“The natural environment, the sonic landscape, and the awareness of our individual and collective abilities combine to support the creation of the music we play,” writes Morris in the liner notes.  “Intuition and technique are both used deliberately here; we don’t separate them or qualify their values, either.  You can only play what you know how to play, but you can learn something new on the spot, too.  Our goal is to make the music soar, bounce and swing; to sing, wail and lament; to search and discover; to describe the obvious and uncover the surprises; to let it exist as it is; and to make it new so the experience of listening keeps evolving.”

Wildlife, Morris’ first release on AUM Fidelity since his 2001 solo guitar recording, Singularity (AUM018), marks his long-awaited return to the label, which plans to release another new Morris project later in the year.  One of his many recent forays as a bassist, this is Morris’ first of three forthcoming recordings with Cancura (Richie Barshay, Rakalam Bob Moses, Danilo Pérez), who he calls “a great musician with all of the skills, imagination, versatility and artistry he needs to be one of the great saxophonists of his generation.”  Gray (David Bond, Taylor Ho Bynum, Steve Lantner), Morris’ rhythm section collaborator in a variety of ensembles since 2002, rounds out the trio.

The Convergence Quartet’s UK Tour Dates

April 23, 2009

The Convergence Quartet

The Convergence Quartet, featuring cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, pianist Alex Hawkins, bassist Dominic Lash and drummer Harris Eisenstadt, will embark on a week long tour of the United Kingdom starting this Saturday.

04/25: Bristol Cube (Bristol)
04/26: Rising Sun Arts Centre (Reading)
04/27: Vortex Jazz Club (London)
04/28: Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Cardiff)
04/29: Rainbow Club (Birmingham)
04/30: Afternoon workshop @ Oxford University (Oxford)
04/30: Denis Arnold Hall @ Oxford University (Oxford)
05/01: University of Gloucestershire (Cheltenham)
05/02: Churchill College Recital Rooms (Cambridge)
05/03: Colchester Arts Centre (Colchester)