AAJ: Bill Dixon’s Tapestries For Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12)

December 28, 2009

In his new review, posted on Christmas Day, AllAboutJazz.com’s John Sharpe calls Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records) “undoubtedly one of the events of the year.”

“It follows hot on the heels of two other important orchestral works in 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur (AUM Fidelity, 2008) and Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey, 2007),” he continues, “but surpasses both through the insight 109 minutes of music and a half hour documentary film affords into Dixon’s universe. Each track is a treasure trove of cohesive detail executed to wonderful effect. While full explication is beyond the scope of this review, this is essential listening for anyone interested in the state of contemporary jazz orchestration.”

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AllAboutJazz.com: Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude

December 11, 2009

In the December edition of his AllAboutJazz.com column, Live in New York, Martin Longley reviews the November 10th CD release party for Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik), violist/composer Jessica Pavone‘s latest recording, at Roulette.

Songs Of Synastry And Solitude uses a string quartet to realize a set of compositions that surely had the sound of a singer reverberating between Pavone’s lobes whilst she was penning them. The art of the song appears to be precisely what she’s addressing, but using the tools of the chamber recital…pieces make up what feels like a suite, with their sustained mood and growing weight. A beautifully miserable mood was lingeringly woven, a dark air which is in keeping with Pavone’s acknowledged immersion in the wry-humoured poetry of Leonard Cohen.”


More Reviews For KLANG’s Tea Music

August 20, 2009

Tea Music (Allos Documents), the studio debut from the Chicago-based quartet, KLANG, continues to collect positive reviews leading up to its August 25th release.

The group, led by clarinetist/composer James Falzone, features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy.

Together Falzone and Adasiewicz form a dynamic front-line, recalling the ebullience of Goodman and Hampton, the introspection of Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, and Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson’s spiky interplay.
A limber rhythm section, Roebke and Daisy drive the ensemble with quicksilver shifts in mood and tone. Brisk and economical, they underscore the delicate tonality of Falzone’s woody clarinet and Adasiewicz’s shimmering, metallic vibes with supple nuance and elastic timing. An adventurous yet accessible effort from the Windy City’s finest young improvisers, Tea Music is another compelling album in a long line of stellar releases documenting the new Chicago scene.

“Together Falzone and Adasiewicz form a dynamic front-line,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “recalling the ebullience of Goodman and Hampton, the introspection of Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, and Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson’s spiky interplay. A limber rhythm section, Roebke and Daisy drive the ensemble with quicksilver shifts in mood and tone…they underscore the delicate tonality of Falzone’s woody clarinet and Adasiewicz’s shimmering, metallic vibes with supple nuance and elastic timing.”

Dusted‘s Marc Medwin adds, “The musicianship itself is first-rate, the group able to stop on a dime throughout. The players’ performances blend to give the band a unique voice, one rooted in swing and cool but cognizant of all events transpiring since.”

Finally, in a post on his blog, Monsieur Délire, earlier this week, François Couture declared, “Oh, what a nice jazz record, possibly the best jazz CD I’ve heard this year. Clarinetist James Falzone had seduced me in 2006 with his The Sign and the Thing Signified. This album by his quartet KLANG hits me right on the pleasure bone again.”


AAJ: KLANG’s Tea Music

August 11, 2009

Tea Music
In his new review of KLANG‘s forthcoming studio debut, Tea Music (Allos Documents), AllAboutJazz.com’s Mark Corroto writes, “The music, written by different players, is sly and smart, centered on composition and cleverly precise.”

He continues, “Their collective approach to improvisation is passionate and sharp; [James] Falzone’s orderly clarinet and [Jason] Adasiewicz’s crisp vibraphone travel to another plane. It’s an extraordinary recording from an outstanding quartet.”

A mainstay of Chicago’s creative music scene since 2006, KLANG also features bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy. The group will celebrate the Benny Goodman centennial at the invitation of the Chicago Jazz Festival on September 6th and mark the release of Tea Music at The Hideout on September 23rd before embarking on its first tour in November.


AAJ Review: Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines

May 5, 2009


Troy Collins’ review of  Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records) is now posted at AllAboutJazz.com.

Drawing inspiration from classic stalwarts like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra as well as pioneering post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise, Argue tastefully incorporates electric guitars, Fender Rhodes and electric bass into traditional big band instrumentation, extending the innovations of such visionaries as Don Ellis, Gil Evans and George Russell.
Straddling the pastoral opulence of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra and the visceral brio of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra and Satoko Fujii’s various big bands, Argue has succeeded at creating a magnificent chimera. His harmonically rich blend of contrapuntal horn voicings, atmospheric electronic textures and post-minimalist rhythms surpass the early fusion experiments of his predecessors, yielding a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless.
 A masterful tunesmith, his dramatic sense of pacing borders on the cinematic, and his instinct for arranging multiple voices into colorful pitch sets exudes kaleidoscopic detail worthy of Ellington.

“Drawing inspiration from classic stalwarts like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra as well as pioneering post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise,” Collins writes, “Argue tastefully incorporates electric guitars, Fender Rhodes and electric bass into traditional big band instrumentation, extending the innovations of such visionaries as Don Ellis, Gil Evans and George Russell.”

He adds, “Straddling the pastoral opulence of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra and the visceral brio of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra and Satoko Fujii’s various big bands, Argue has succeeded at creating a magnificent chimera. His harmonically rich blend of contrapuntal horn voicings, atmospheric electronic textures and post-minimalist rhythms surpass the early fusion experiments of his predecessors, yielding a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless.”


AAJ Contributors Pick Their Favorite 2008 Releases

January 16, 2009

AllAboutJazz.com has posted a compilation of “Best of 2008” lists from 36 of its contributors. 

We’re proud to report the following client releases were named amongst the various writers’ top tens:

Jason Adasiewicz, Rolldown (482 Music)
The Blueprint Project with Han Bennink, People I Like (Creative Nation Music)
Bill Dixon, 17 Musicians In Search Of A Sound (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity)
Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer, The Lady of Khartoum (Creative Nation Music)
Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12)
William Parker Quartet, Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)
Mario Pavone, Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings)
Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) 
Eri Yamamoto Trio, Redwoods (AUM Fidelity) 

Congratulations to all the musicians and labels recognized for their work in 2008.


Michael Musillami Trio + 3 To Make New York Debut, Record New CD in Early 2009

November 20, 2008

 

On Saturday, January 31st, guitarist/composer Michael Musillami‘s newest ensemble, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3, will make its New York debut at Cornelia Street Cafe.  The group will be performing new original music, which it will then record the following day for its forthcoming May 2009 release on Playscape Recordings.  The Michael Musillami Trio + 3 augments Musillami’s longstanding core trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his latest, 2007’s The Treatment, featuring his trio with violinist Mark Feldman, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, PointofDeparture.org).  It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in AllAboutJazz.com, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami himself has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal).  “His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator.  In addition to his flagship trio with Fonda and Schuller, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe and released three CDs since 2002, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring such prominent collaborators as Cameron Brown, Thomas Chapin, Drew Gress, Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson.  He is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School and founder/director of the acclaimed Playscape Recordings label, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009.