Mary Halvorson Trio’s Dragon’s Head Among JazzTimes’ Top 50 Critics Picks Of 2008

December 19, 2008

The votes are in and the Mary Halvorson Trio’s Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) has earned a spot on JazzTimes‘ Top 50 Critics Picks for 2008.

The list is compiled from all the Top 10 lists submitted by the magazine’s editors and contributing writers.  

William Parker’s Double Sunrise Over Neptune (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity) and Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings) were also nominated by multiple voters.

Congratulations to all the artists and labels who were recognized as among the year’s best.

Vision Festival XIII Reviewed in the December Issue of Jazz Improv NY

December 11, 2008

This just in from our better-late-than-never bureau, writer Ken Weiss’ extensive review of Vision Festival XIII, held in New York this past June, graces the pages of the December issue of Jazz Improv NY.  

The review, which spans four pages, including an entire page of original photos, covers a wide range of performances from three of the six nights of the festival, as well as the Saturday afternoon Emerging Artist Showcase.

It’s a great way to get a feel for the diversity of this seminal week-long event, which Weiss calls “New York City’s premier annual avant-garde mystical happening.”  He adds, “this festival continues to serve as the foundation that stabilizes the city’s creative jazz music scene, offering a meeting place for fans (many of whom come from Europe each year) and fellow musicians to experience some of the current integral soundshapers and also for industry types to congregate and make new connections with artists.”

If you don’t live in New York, where the magazine is distributed free at venues and other jazz-related sites, you can download this month’s issue, with Jimmy Heath on the cover, here (PDF).  The review begins on page 10.

William Parker’s Double Sunrise Over Neptune A 2008 AllMusic Favorite

December 9, 2008

The staff at AllMusic (AMG) has chosen William Parker’s orchestral release, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity), as one of its Favorite Jazz Albums of 2008.

Earlier in the year, in his review of the record for the site, AMG’s Michael G. Nastos wrote, “While each project reaches ever higher levels, this recording from the twelfth annual Vision Festival in New York City might be close to his zenith.  The music is as stunning as any Parker has devised in his career…”

Bill Dixon’s Latest CD Among The Wire’s Top 50 of 2008

December 8, 2008

Legendary trumpeter/composer/educator Bill Dixon’s most recent release, 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity), is #19 on The Wire’s Top 50 of 2008 as listed in the January 2009 issue.  

This live concert recording, the first collection of all original orchestral music released under Dixon’s name since 1967’s momentous Intents and Purposes (RCA Victor), documents the world premiere performance of the specially commissioned, hour-long titular work at Vision Festival XII in 2007.   

Dixon’s AUM Fidelity label mate, William Parker, earned a spot on the magazine’s Best of 2008 list in the Jazz & Improv category for his own live orchestral recording, Double Sunrise Over Neptune, also specially commissioned by, and performed at, Vision Festival XII.

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson’s highly acclaimed debut as a leader, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), was also voted one of the year’s best in that category. 

Congratulations to all the artists involved and those who helped make these recordings possible.

Roy Campbell’s Akhenaten Ensemble at The Stone November 25th

November 24, 2008

On Tuesday, November 25th at 10:00 p.m., trumpeter/composer Roy Campbell will perform music from his March 2008 release, Akhenaten Suite (Arts for Art/Aum Fidelity), at The Stone in New York.  His Akhenaten Ensemble will feature Billy Bang (violin), Bryan Carrott (vibes), William Parker (bass) and Zen Matsuura (drums). 

Critics called Akhenaten Suite “a major statement ” (Ed Hazell, Signal to Noise), “a thoroughly refreshing album on several counts” (Bill Shoemaker, and “a fully formed suite, one which is worth repeated listening sessions” (Mark Corroto,  “Campbell’s is a disciplined band serving composition and improvisation with great maturity,” added Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise, “and Akhenaten Suite is a finely written and performed work from an artist in his prime.”

BBC 3’s Jazz on 3 Presents the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet Live at Vision Festival XIII

November 11, 2008

This week’s episode of Jazz on 3, which first aired in the UK on Monday night, features the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet‘s set from Vision Festival XIII in New York this past June.  

The group, which features Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Evan O’Reilly (guitar), Jessica Pavone (violin and bass guitar) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums), just released its second CD, Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY 675).

The show also features an interview with Bynum done in New York by the New York Times‘ Nate Chinen. Streaming audio of the entire program is available through next Monday.