AMG Reviews Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife

June 26, 2009

Phil Freeman’s review of the forthcoming Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray recording, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), is now posted at

He writes, “There’s a lot of Ayler in Cancura’s tone; he’s a powerful player with a strong sense of melody, always retaining an essential cohesion within his solos, even at their most fervid. Gray is all over the kit, guiding the other two men and maintaining a forceful momentum…Morris’ bass playing is as fascinating as ever. This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians.”

The record officially hits the streets July 14th.

Avant Music News Picks: John Hébert + Carl Maguire’s Floriculture

June 26, 2009 has selected the new June releases from John Hébert and Carl Maguire’s Floriculture on Firehouse 12 Records among its Picks of the Week.

NY Times: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture At Monkey Town

June 25, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Ben Ratliff reviews Tuesday night’s CD release performance by Carl Maguire’s Floriculture at Brooklyn’s Monkey Town in today’s New York Times.

The band, which features Maguire (keyboards), Stephanie Griffin (viola), Oscar Noriega (clarinets), John Hébert (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums), was performing music from its new release, Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records).

Improvised Communications To Represent Darcy James Argue

June 25, 2009
Photo by Ben Anaman

Photo by Ben Anaman

Improvised Communications is pleased to announce it has been retained as the exclusive media contact for New York-based composer/bandleader Darcy James Argue. This new partnership, which builds on a relationship that began with the promotion of Argue’s acclaimed 2009 debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), will officially begin July 1st. Argue’s 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society, will next perform in New York on July 15th at Le Poisson Rouge and September 18th at Jazz Gallery. The band will also take part in a four-ensemble big band festival, curated by Argue, on October 19th at Brooklyn’s The Bell House.

Infernal Machines has been called “a potent debut” (Nate Chinen, New York Times), “a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future” (Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek), “a seven-track marvel of imagination” (David R. Adler, Time Out New York) and “a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless” (Troy Collins, “Infernal Machines ably demonstrates what all the fuss has been about,” adds reviewer John Eyles. “Darcy James Argue has created a big band for the twenty-first century that builds on the strengths of the past while using the genre to produce dynamic contemporary music.”

Argue is one of the most visible and respected musicians in New York, as well as one of the jazz world’s most prolific and influential bloggers. In addition to the critical success of Infernal Machines, recent career highlights include three nominations in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards and performances at such notable European venues as the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the legendary Moers Festival in Germany. The recipient of a variety of commissions and composition awards, Argue accepted his latest, the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award, in May at Canada’s National Jazz Awards in Toronto. Learn more at

New Trumpet Underground 2009 Begins Tomorrow

June 25, 2009
Nadje Noordhuis

Nadje Noordhuis

New Trumpet Underground 2009, the first Festival of New Trumpet (FONT) Music event of its 7th annual concert season, begins Friday night at Cornelia Street Cafe.

Curated by Taylor Ho Bynum and Chris DiMeglio, this three-day event shines the spotlight on younger, lesser-known and experimental trumpet players.

Schedule for New Trumpet Underground 2009

Friday, June 26th at 9:00 p.m.
Greg Bobulinski G-Men
Josh Berman’s Old Idea
Leron Thomas

Saturday, June 27th at 9:00 p.m.
Nadje Noordhuis Quartet
Jordan McLean’s Piano Music and Song Trio

Sunday, June 28th at 8:30 p.m.
Russ Johnson Quartet

These performances, including the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece by Ms. Noordhuis, will be augmented by daytime educational offerings from Laurie Frink and John McNeil as part of FONT Music’s Workshop Series.

Fay Victor’s The FreeSongSuite Coming September 22nd

June 24, 2009

On September 22nd, New York-based vocalist/composer Fay Victor will release her sixth recording as a leader, The FreeSong Suite (GAM 0091), on her own Greene Avenue Music label. The follow-up to 2007’s Cartwheels Through The Cosmos (ArtistShare AS 0061), this is her second recording of all-original music written for her longstanding working quartet, The Fay Victor Ensemble, featuring guitarist Anders Nilsson, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Michael “TA” Thompson.

The FreeSong Suite documents Ms. Victor’s new stream of consciousness approach to creative vocal music, which accentuates spontaneity and improvisation by removing traditional boundaries between individual songs and genres. The recording features three long-form pieces made up of smaller compositions that flow in and out of each other as a running dialog. As in all of her ensembles, the vocalist and instrumentalists operate on equal terms, constantly shaping and directing the music through their balanced explorations.

“The beauty of Victor, who’s the absolute antithesis of polite vocal jazz, is her blending of soulful delivery with avant-garde tactics,” explains’s Managing Editor, John Kelman. “Cartwheels Through the Cosmos is that rarity amongst contemporary vocal jazz releases: an album that doesn’t rely on a tired repertoire and looks, instead, for innovation in every corner. Her fearless exploration of a myriad of musical nexus points makes [it] an album for those who normally stay away from vocal jazz.”

“Taking jazz singing forward with a unique form of expression,” declares Cadence reviewer Jim Santella, “Fay Victor delivers with authority. She reaches out with open arms to celebrate the freedom that comes with singing what you feel.” Jazzwise reviewer Selwyn Harris agrees, writing, “This New York-based vocalist actually stretches the definition of jazz vocals with Betty Carter, Hendrix and Sun Ra’s song-based cosmic poetry all in the mix.” “It’s rather like performing acrobatics atop a moving roller coaster,” adds JazzTimes‘ Christopher Loudon. “It’s tough. It’s gutsy. It’s brilliant.”

A New York native who spent her childhood summers in Trinidad, and seven years of her adult life as a member of the renowned Dutch jazz scene, Ms. Victor has been one of the city’s most active vocalists since her return in late 2003. Since then, she has collaborated with a wide variety of bandleaders, instrumentalists and fellow vocalists, including current projects with Ernst Glerum, Misha Mengelberg, Dom Minasi, Roswell Rudd, Tyshawn Sorey, Tomas Ulrich and Wolter Wierbos. In addition to The Fay Victor Ensemble, she also leads Fay Victor’s Jazz Vault and co-leads The ExPosed Blues Duo with Anders Nilsson. Learn more at

The Convergence Quartet Live At The Rainbow

June 23, 2009
Taylor Ho Bynum performing with The Convergence Quartet

Taylor Ho Bynum performing with The Convergence Quartet

The Convergence Quartet‘s April 29th performance at The Rainbow, as part of Birmingham Jazz‘s monthly Jazz Club series, can now be heard via the organization’s online jukebox.

The concert was part of the intercontinental band’s extensive tour of the U.K. in late April and early May.

The group features cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist Dominic Lash and drummer Harris Eisenstadt.