TONY’s The Volume Spotlights Upcoming Hébert CD

May 28, 2009

Byzantine Monkey

In a new post from this morning, Time Out New York‘s music blog, The Volume, shines a light on bassist/composer John Hébert’s forthcoming debut, Byzantine Monkey, on Firehouse 12 Records.

Also included is a streaming version of the second track on the record, “Acrid Landscape”.

The disc officially hits the streets on June 16th.

The Fully Celebrated Live In Brooklyn & Boston

May 28, 2009
Photo by Lillian Shrank

Photo by Lillian Shrank

The Fully Celebrated will fully celebrate their new CD, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity), at tonight’s concert at Barbès in Brooklyn and tomorrow night’s show at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA.

In his CD review in this week’s Time Out New York, Steve Dollar writes, “Boston free-bird Jim Hobbs and his trio, the Fully Celebrated, get it, and the proof is in its latest sweat-soaked album, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones. The disc has that airy, open feel and loose-limbed instinct that make the music immediately appealing, as well as an Ornette-ish pedigree in Hobbs’s darting alto saxophone flights. Timo Shanko’s basslines sometimes recall the clean harmonic mesh and folksy charm of Charlie Haden, but with drummer Django Carranza, the rhythm section glides seamlessly from dubby textures to bucket-of-blood swagger.”

For more early reviews, check out, All Music Guide, the Boston Phoenix and Music & More.

Ben Allison & Man Size Safe At FH12 This Friday

May 27, 2009
Photo by Todd Chalfant

Photo by Todd Chalfant

On Friday, May 29th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present acclaimed bassist/composer, and New Haven native, 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 Media. Little 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:

KLANG’s Debut CD, Tea Music, Coming August 25th

May 27, 2009

Tea Music

Chicago-based clarinetist/composer James Falzone is proud to announce the August 25th release of Tea Music (Allos Documents 003), the debut studio recording of his three year-old working quartet, KLANG, featuring vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy.  All four members compose for the group, which picks up the swing era thread of pairing clarinet and vibes, while also exploring its collective interest in the innovative sounds of Jimmy Giuffre‘s early small groups of the mid-1950’s. 

Tea Music takes its name from Falzone’s penchant for drinking tea while composing and is the first opportunity for the rest of the world to hear one of Chicago’s most respected local groups on the rise.  A mainstay at various festivals, concert series and venues around the city since January 2006, the group will celebrate the Benny Goodman centennial at the invitation of the Chicago Jazz Festival on September 6th, mark the release of its debut at The Hideout on September 23rd and then embark on its first tour in mid-November.

“Klang is the German word for sound or sonority,” Falzone explains, “and I often think of the sound of something, whether that be a group, a composition or a musician, before anything else.  The mixing of vibes and clarinet is a sound explored famously by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton in the pre-bop era, and then taken up again by Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson.  There is something in the acoustic make-up of the two instruments that allows them to blend well.”

“As for the Giuffre connection,” he adds, “I’ve always been taken with his early groups, before the trios with Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer, and well before the trios with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, though I love those trios, too.  The earlier groups had a way of using the drums that was less about time keeping and more about making the drums  another element of counterpoint.  And, his unique approach to his instrument has fascinated, confused and delighted me beyond explanation since I heard The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet at 12 years old.  The guys in KLANG are all as into him as I am—everyone here in Chicago is, actually.”

Critics have called Falzone “an articulate and interesting composer” (Jerry D’Souza,, “thoughtful and thought-provoking” (Duncan Heining, Jazzwise), “witty, piquant and eminently listenable” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “an already important Chicago voice” (Matthew Lurie, Time Out Chicago).  In addition to founding KLANG, and his own group, Allos Musica, he is a member of Keefe Jackson’s Project Project and Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra’s Flatlands Collective among other ensembles.  His most recent recording is 2007’s The Sign and the Thing Signified (Allos Documents). 

Learn more at

The Fully Celebrated’s AUM Fidelity Debut Released Today

May 26, 2009

Today is the official street date for The Fully Celebrated‘s seventh recording, and AUM Fidelity debut, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM054). Led by saxophonist Jim Hobbs, and formerly known as The Fully Celebrated Orchestra, the group has been a fixture on Boston’s jazz scene for more than two decades.

For its first recording in four years, the founding line-up of Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Django Carranza returned to the studio to document eight new quintessentially eclectic compositions. CD release concerts are scheduled for May 28th at Barbès in Brooklyn, New York and May 29th at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Skillfully mixing reggae beats and Dub technology into the mix,” writes’s Troy Collins, “this session adds a new wrinkle while maintaining their core appeal—catchy, mercurial tunes buoyed by visceral improvisation. Hobbs, the leader and primary songwriter, is one of his generation’s most gifted altoists; his ability to effortlessly glide between pitches and microtones enables a boundless capacity for tonal expression. Filled with memorable melodies, stirring interplay and a wealth of sonic variety, Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones is a welcome return from one of the most resourceful saxophone trios working today.”

Hartford Courant: Michael Musillami Trio + 3 At Firehouse 12

May 25, 2009

The Hartford Courant‘s Chuck Obuchowski reviewed the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s Friday night CD release event for From Seeds (Playscape Recordings) at Firehouse 12 in Sunday’s paper.

“Musillami writes intricate, complex jazz compositions with built-in spaces to allow for lengthy improvisation,” wrote Obuchowski. “In concert, as in the studio, he surrounded himself with musicians who share his fondness for musical adventure. The evening’s final tune, ‘Graphite,’ served as the most powerful example of Musillami’s egalitarian approach; it featured interactive improvised passages by all six musicians in different combinations.”

He added, “Musillami has developed a very distinctive guitar voice over the years. His early work was fluent and well-executed, but in recent years his playing has matured, along with his writing ability.”

New Darcy James Argue Reviews

May 25, 2009

Check out these new reviews of Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records) at, Hour and Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides.