Taylor Eigsti Trio At Firehouse 12 Tonight

October 30, 2009

Photo by Devin DeHaven

Grammy® nominated pianist/composer Taylor Eigsti will make his Firehouse 12 debut tonight as part of the New Haven venue’s fifth annual Fall Jazz Series.

This two-set performance is part of a short tour featuring his new trio with bassist Joshua Crumbly and drummer Aaron McClendon. The group is on the road working out material for its debut CD to be released early next year.

“Everyone who hears him seems to agree: Taylor Eigsti is the most exciting progressive-mainstream pianist to come along in a very long time,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Chris May.

Critics have noted his “intelligence, emotional depth, technical assurance and buoyant swing” (Robert Doerschuk, DownBeat), calling him “the real thing” (Kevin R. Convey, Boston Herald) and “an artist who has discovered his singular viewpoint and powerfully takes command” (Thomas R. Erdmann, JazzReview.com).

AllMusic.com’s Jonathan Widran adds, “There comes a time in every former prodigy’s life when he/she has to be judged by their output as an adult. Eigsti’s just keeps getting more compelling and inspiring.”


Dusted: Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

October 29, 2009

Songs of Synastry and Solitude is full of lyrical beauty and lush melodicism,” writes Dusted‘s Adam Strohm, “but it’s smart and spare, composed with an economy that never veers into anything saccharine. Performed with aplomb, these songs, no matter their tips of the hat, sound clean and fresh, imbued with an unobtrusive slice of personality. It’s further evidence (though, by now, hardly needed) that Jessica Pavone is a vital force in New York’s music community, capable and competent of playing way out in left field, or keeping things much closer to home.”


The Blogosphere Hearts Joe Morris

October 29, 2009

Excerpts from recent blog reviews of the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth (AUM Fidelity):

“The music, performed by Morris (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums), holds up quite impressively under repeated listenings. The tracks are fairly long (4 over 10 minutes and only 1 under 7), but several of them move so gracefully (‘Observer’, ‘Ashes’) it’s easy to get lost in the sonic world the quartet creates. It’s been over 3 decades since Joe Morris first came to critical notice and he continues to grow as a composer and musician, creating challenging music for open minds.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant’s See! Hear!

“Joe Morris is having one of them crazy years. Nothing can seem to stop him, as he is releasing one CD after another. The latest—and best!—one is this studio session with his quartet. One of the best jazz albums of 2009.”
François Couture, Monsieur Delire

“Four of the seven tracks on Today On Earth clock in at 10 or 11 minutes, and all of that time is well spent. Of his recent releases, this album is one of the best place to start (behind the Flow Trio), since its places his adventurous improvisational chops in a setting that makes them stand out even more.”
Mike Shanley, shanleyonmusic

“…the main strength of the album is the truly wonderful compositions, which are refined, carefully structured, compelling and beautifully performed…here [Morris’] playing is much closer to the traditional jazz guitar, and I must say, it suits him well. And the band is absolutely stunning, in its pretenseless, unassuming playing, yet delivering a rare level of combined accuracy of tone and interaction, giving space, dialoguing well, giving the right emphasis at the right time, and adding loads of emotional depth: truly great. But as said, the real treat are the compositions, with themes like ‘Animal’ or ‘Observer’ that will keep ringing in your head long after you’ve stopped listening to the music.”
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz


Jazz.com: The Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza

October 28, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Tim Wilkins’ wrap-up of last week’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza is now posted at Jazz.com.

The event, presented by SearchandRestore.com and hosted by Darcy James Argue, took place at The Bell House on October 19th and featured Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Argue’s Secret Society.

Wilkins’ in-depth analysis includes interviews with SearchandRestore.com’s Adam Schatz and each of the bandleaders, as well as reviews of all three performances and the event’s impromptu finale.

“The evening had many surprises,” he writes, “foremost of which was the level of enthusiasm and imagination in a genre which has always been precarious for financial reasons, even in the best of times.”

In case you missed it, here‘s Nate Chinen’s New York Times review from October 21st.


Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

October 27, 2009


Today is the official street date for violist/composer Jessica Pavone‘s latest recording, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik). This release is part of the label’s Oracles series, which celebrates “the diversity and creativity of women in experimental music making.”

Inspired by the simple beauty of American folk songs, and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen‘s Songs of Love and Hate (Columbia), this recording features 11 of Ms. Pavone’s original compositions for string quartet (violin, viola, cello and double bass) performed by members of the Toomai String Quintet.

Ms. Pavone and the group will celebrate the release of the record on Tuesday, November 10th with a live performance at Roulette in New York.

“Violist and composer Jessica Pavone has been a fixture on the New York scene for over a decade. Songs of Synastry and Solitude is Pavone’s highest profile release as a composer to date, demonstrating her flair as a lyrical writer and supple orchestrator. A straightforward contemplation on the power of song, Songs of Synastry and Solitude is a timeless collection of elegant themes from a young composer of significant merit.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

“…a set of 11 original compositions that are emotionally weighty and dark, yet ultimately uplifting. While there is no direct stylistic or thematic link to Cohen’s songs, Pavone communicates the same sense of inevitability and universal suffering as the singer does, and leaves the listener with the same sense that there is hope in living—if only hope that daily suffering will be alleviated by the joy of song, love, spiritual enlightenment, and other forms of grace. This is measured, deliberate music that might be a love song, a prayer or just an acknowledgment that, as John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison once sang, you’ll never get out of these blues alive.”
James Hale, Jazz Chronicles

“In this release, she has presented compositions that are simple and stately, with a sombre grace that stands in wary contrast to Cohen’s finite pronouncements. The thoroughness and narrative direction of a songwriter inform her work, much as a good folk song would…pieces are performed with sensitivity and rigor by members of the Toomai String Quintet, projecting a sober view softened occasionally by a considered wistfulness. Pavone’s music reflects an austere but tender landscape where watchfulness orders reality.”
Nilan Perera, Exclaim!

“These 11 instrumentals are songs, too, in scale and shape, wordless distillations of feeling and reflection, brief musical narratives of relationship, star-blest or star-crossed…it’s a bittersweet chamber music evoking accord or aloneness that she is after, simply rendered and neatly crafted. The inclusion of double bass heightens both mellowness and melancholy, and it serves as a pivot for elegant dance rhythms that crop up among the wistful melodies.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire


Jimmy Giuffre Tribute Tonight At Firehouse 12

October 23, 2009
Photo by Dick Katz

Photo by Dick Katz

Tonight at 8:30 and 10:00 p.m., drummer George Schuller and guitarist Joel Harrison will pay tribute to legendary clarinetist/composer Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008) with their new sextet, Whirrr! The Music of Jimmy Giuffre, as part of Firehouse 12’s ongoing Fall Jazz Series.

This two-set performance, also featuring multi-instrumentalists Ohad Talmor and Billy Drewes, bassist Cameron Brown (a former Giuffre sideman) and trombonist/accordionist Jacob Garchik, will focus on flexible new arrangements of the innovative trio music Giuffre recorded between the mid-1950’s and mid-1970’s.

These rarely heard gems, some of which have not been performed in more than 40 years, include such Giuffre originals as “Whirrr”, “Phoenix” and “Scootin’ About”, as well as Carla Bley’s “Jesus Maria”.


Harris Eisenstadt’s CD Release Tour Begins Tomorrow

October 23, 2009


Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt is about to hit the road to celebrate his latest recording, Canada Day (Clean Feed).

The record documents his original book of music for the longstanding quintet, Canada Day, featuring Nate Wooley (trumpet), Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibraphone) and Eivind Opsvik (bass).

Check out Eisenstadt and Wooley playing a stripped-down version of the track “Kategeeper” in the Time Out New York office.

The tour begins Saturday with the first of two nights at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe and continues with concerts in Buffalo, Rochester and Toronto.

Here’s the complete schedule:

10/24 :: Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)
10/25 :: Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)
10/27 :: York University (Toronto, ON)
10/27 :: Tranzac (Toronto, ON)
10/28 :: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, NY)
10/29 :: The Bop Shop (Rochester, NY)