AAJ-NY: Joe Morris Quartet + Eri Yamamoto Trio

December 29, 2009

In addition to the results of the annual Best of 2009 feature, the January issue of AllAboutJazz-New York also includes new reviews of AUM Fidelity‘s latest releases, the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth and the Eri Yamamoto Trio’s In Each Day, Something Good (coming January 12th).

“Longtime Morris collaborators Jim Hobbs (saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums) all shine throughout this record,” writes reviewer Wilbur MacKenzie of the former. “Hobbs’ solo on ‘Animal’ is nothing short of astounding in its abstract lyricism, replete with throaty vocalizations, dramatic use of negative space and a gradually expanding phrase structure. Morris’ compositions linger in the ear, as the ensemble dynamics in the improvisations always develop and enrich the evocative themes.”

“Yamamoto’s playing, unhurried and unforced, nevertheless demonstrates an active imagination and gift for melody,” declares Robert Iannapollo, “her improvisations avoid sweeping theatrical gestures in favor of focused introspection, in the spirit of someone who stops along the way to pore over the small details of everyday life that often elude those who hurry on. Displaying an intuitive rapport based on umpteen hours of on-the-job repartee, the trio recalls the close commerce and intimate atmosphere of Bill Evans’ classic group, the musical equivalent of an isosceles triangle.”

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AAJ-NY: Best Of 2009

December 29, 2009

AllAboutJazz-New York published its annual Best of 2009 feature in the new January issue and we’re very proud to say our clients are well-represented.

Special congratulations to those recognized as the year’s best in the following categories:

Albums of the Year
Darcy James Argue, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)
Bill Dixon, Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records)
David S. Ware, Shakti (AUM Fidelity)

Debut Albums
John Hébert, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records)
Darius Jones Trio, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity)

Vocal Releases
The Fay Victor Ensemble, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)

Large Ensemble Releases
Darcy James Argue, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)

Albums of the Year – Honorable Mention
Cleaver/Parker/Taborn, Farmers By Nature (AUM Fidelity)
Harris Eisenstadt, Canada Day (Clean Feed)
Garrison Fewell, Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music)
KLANG, Tea Music (Allos Documents)
Michael Musillami Trio + 3, From Seeds (Playscape Recordings)


AAJ-NY: Garrison Fewell + John Hébert

December 2, 2009

The December issue of AllAboutJazz-New York arrived this weekend and with it new reviews of guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell‘s latest, Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), and bassist/composer John Hébert‘s debut, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records).

“For the descriptively-titled Variable Density Sound Orchestra,” writes Lyn Horton, “guitarist Garrison Fewell has assembled a group whose members expertly develop the thematic content central to the pieces on the album. Even when the musical lines tend to go in multiple contrapuntal directions, the group behaves as one coherent unit, highlighting certain instruments.”

Stuart Broomer calls Hébert “a musician whose bass is confident in the foreground and whose compositions consistently merge strong musical ideas with forceful emotions. While he has already distinguished himself as a bassist, this is a striking debut as a bandleader for Hébert, the group’s sound, empathy and collective identity all testifying to his focused originality.”


Fay Victor Ensemble Tonight At Roulette (NYC) + Sunday At The Rotunda (Philly)

October 1, 2009

Vocalist/composer Fay Victor and her longstanding quartet, The Fay Victor Ensemble, will celebrate their new release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), tonight at Roulette in New York.

A second CD release show will follow at The Rotunda in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Critical praise for the disc, and Ms. Victor’s innovative approach to creative improvised music, continues to roll in.

“Fay Victor’s second recording of original material, The FreeSong Suite, peers into the NYC-based vocalist’s challenging and rewarding world of captivating vocal work and stirring spontaneity,” explains PopMatters.com’s Andrew Zender, “further augmenting [her] status as a musician and composer who is rewriting the rules of vocal jazz.”

“Each piece on The FreeSong Suite gradually unfolds, emerging from a tapestry of improvisation to reveal precisely executed transitions, grooves and ensemble passages,” writes AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Wilbur MacKenzie. “Victor scats, vocalizes, chips, mumbles and sings bluesy chromatics or angular displays of dexterity, delivering the unexpected with beauty, depth and innovation.”

The Jazz Session‘s Jason Crane adds, “Vocalist Fay Victor will amaze you. Her voice is strong and expressive, and her musical conception is unlike anything I’ve heard recently. Or maybe ever. From free improv to the blues to alt-rock and back again, The FreeSong Suite is easily one of my top 10 records of 2009.”

Learn more at http://fayvictor.wordpress.com


John Hébert Featured In AllAboutJazz-New York

September 11, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

Andrey Henkin’s feature on bassist/composer John Hébert in the September issue of AllAboutJazz-New York is now available online.

In this article, Hébert discusses his influential experiences working with the legendary Andrew Hill and its impact on his own work as a leader. His debut recording, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records), was released in June.

Hébert and the band from that record, also called Byzantine Monkey, will celebrate the release with back-to-back nights at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe starting September 25th.

These performances will feature saxophonists Michaël Attias and Tony Malaby, flautist/clarinetist Adam Kolker, percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and drummer Michael Sarin.


AAJ-NY: KLANG’s Tea Music

August 5, 2009

Kurt Gottschalk reviews Tea Music (Allos Documents), the forthcoming debut release from clarinetist/composer James Falzone‘s quartet KLANG, in the August issue of AllAboutJazz-New York.

The group features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy.

The conceptual framing here is the love for a cup of tea (several of the
compositions also carry titular references) and the music is appropriately cerebral yet relaxing..the quartet…works exceedingly well together as a group. With 12 tracks and three of the four members contributing compositions, they maintain a nicely coherent feel throughout.

“The conceptual framing here is the love for a cup of tea,” he writes, “and the music is appropriately cerebral yet relaxing…the quartet…works exceedingly well together as a group. With 12 tracks and three of the four members contributing compositions, they maintain a nicely coherent feel throughout.”

Earlier in this same issue, David R. Adler chose the disc, which officially hits the streets on August 25th, as one of his six recommended new releases of the month.

A mainstay at various festivals, concert series and venues around Chicago since 2006, KLANG will celebrate the Benny Goodman centennial at the invitation of the Chicago Jazz Festival on September 6th, mark the release of Tea Music at The Hideout on September 23rd and then embark on its first tour in mid-November.


AAJ-NY Reviews The Thirteenth Assembly’s (Un)sentimenal

June 29, 2009

Sean Fitzell reviews The Thirteenth Assembly‘s debut CD, (un)sentimental (Important Records), in the July issue of AllAboutJazz-New York.

“Guitarist Mary Halvorson, violist Jessica Pavone, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Tomas Fujiwara have longstanding duo and trio permutations and to end their concerts, they convene as a quartet and have forged a distinct identity from the subgroups within,” he explains.

“With committed performances drawn from intertwined histories and diverse stylistic influences, The Thirteenth Assembly exemplifies how a practical strategy can reveal a novel creative opportunity.”