Festival Of New Trumpet Music Announces Complete Schedule Of Events For Forward Flight

December 17, 2009

The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) is proud to announce the complete schedule of events for Forward Flight, a four-night celebration of the trumpet’s eclectic and integral role in contemporary music at New York’s Abrons Arts Center.

Co-curated by trumpeter Dave Douglas and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, and named after a late fifties album by Booker Little, Forward Flight will begin on Wednesday, January 13th with a FONT Music benefit concert honoring the esteemed trumpet player, and longtime FONT Music board member, Wilmer Wise. The following three nights will feature free workshop events and concerts on two stages by a diverse range of ensembles representing various countries, genres and musical traditions.

Tickets for the opening night benefit concert are $35, which also includes a membership in FONT Music and admission to the pre-concert reception. Tickets for the other three nights are $15 ($12 for students with ID and FONT Music members) per night. A festival pass, covering all non-fundraiser events, is available for $40 ($30 students with ID and FONT members).

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage
FONT Music Celebrates The Music And Legacy of Wilmer Wise
A multi-faceted event and FONT Music fundraiser featuring a pre-concert reception and performances by Dave Douglas, Wilmer Wise and a gathering of special surprise guests. Wise’s eclectic and groundbreaking body of work includes countless collaborations with many of the most prominent musicians, composers, conductors and ensembles of the 20th Century. Over the course of his 50-year career, he has worked with everyone from Pablo Casals to Placido Domingo, Philip Glass to Steven Sondheim, Rudolph Serkin to Leonard Bernstein, the Marlboro Festival Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic, Quincy Jones to Weather Report and many others in between.

Thursday, January 14th at 5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Free workshop: Oral History Project with Wilmer Wise
Veteran trumpet player Wilmer Wise will share some of the wisdom he acquired during the course of his 50-year career as a first-call trumpet player working with many of the 20th Century’s most respected names in jazz, Broadway and classical music.

Thursday, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Anti-Social Music, Inc.
The New York-based composer/performer collective Anti-Social Music, Inc., known for its own fresh and unpretentious semi-annual concert series, will present a program of world premieres, including new music written by David Durst, Bradley Kemp, Andrea La Rose and Pat Muchmore, featuring trumpeters Tim Byrnes, Chris DiMeglio, Stephanie Richards and Kelly Rossum.

Thursday, January 14th at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage
The Brass Music of Charles Wuorinen and Du Yun
The Urban Brass Quintet will present the New York premiere of Charles Wuorinen‘s Brass Quintet with the composer conducting, and The New York Trumpet Ensemble, under the direction of Mark Gould, will perform Wuorinen’s “Big Epithalamium” for eight trumpets and Du Yun‘s “Air Glow”, a 2005 FONT Music commission for five trumpets and laptop. Known as “a leading light of American contemporary music” (The New York Times), Wourinen has been one of the world’s foremost composers for more than four decades and Chinese-born Du Yun is one of its most eclectic and respected new voices.

Thursday, January 14th at 9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
The Brass Music of Ornette Coleman featuring Wilmer Wise and Lew Soloff
Distinguished trumpet player Wilmer Wise will lead a performance of chamber music composed by Ornette Coleman, highlighted by the rarely heard work, “The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin”, featuring special guest trumpeter Lew Soloff. The program will also include new arrangements of Coleman works featuring Soloff and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum created by Darcy James Argue, Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. and JC Sanford of the Pulse Composer Federation.

Friday, January 15th at 5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Free workshop: Ableton Live User Group
Co-hosted by FONT Music and the Ableton Certified Training Center, Dubspot, this free workshop will offer guidance and practice for brass players interested in using Ableton Live software in their performances.

Friday, January 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Opsvik & Jennings meets Ignite a Noise Trumpet Trio
In his review of experimental chamber-pop duo Opsvik & Jennings‘ latest recording, A Dream I Used To Remember (Loyal Label, 2009), AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins writes, “the duo’s improvisational skills are reflected in the sophisticated harmonies and concise arrangements that drive their buoyant songs. Bursting with verdant Americana, pastoral folk and nostalgic old world ambience, these pieces sit comfortably alongside the work of their indie rock brethren.” For this performance at Forward Flight, the three year-old group will join forces with the Ignite a Noise Trumpet Trio featuring three of New York’s most adventurous trumpet players, Rich Johnson, Russ Johnson and Kirk Knuffke.

Friday, January 15th at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage
Chicago Underground Duo
Cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Chad Taylor will celebrate the release of Boca Negra, their fifth recording for Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records. The longstanding group is known for its adventurous explorations of sound and texture, fueled by the musicians’ ability to bring more than a dozen different instruments, as well as programmed sounds, into the mix on their recordings. Its music draws on elements such as modern composition, free-form improvisation and avant-rock. Boca Negra, the band’s first recording since 2006, will be released in January 2010.

Friday, January 15th at 9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
The Low Anthem with special appearance by Dave Douglas
“At times languid and haunting, but with detours into Tom Waits-esque stomping and hollering, The Low Anthem’s music seems equally informed by Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, The Band and a late-night ride home in Joni Mitchell’s car,” explains NPR Song of the Day reviewer Bruce Warren. “Like fellow new-acoustic greats—Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper, et al.—The Low Anthem has created something strange, beautiful and new.” The Providence-based trio’s 2009 release, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch), earned Album of the Year honors at the Boston Music Awards and is listed on year-end lists in publications including the Boston Herald, The Independent, Q, Rough Trade and Uncut.

Saturday, January 16th at 5:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Free workshop: The York College Blue Notes
The York College Blue Notes, an elite high school big band-in-residence at York College/CUNY, will join with other student ensembles and members of the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble to demonstrate techniques for collective improvisation.

Saturday, January 16th at 6:00 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre
Trumpets in Traditional Folk Music: Mr. Tamerman’s Maggot and Sarah Ferholt’s Veveritse
Named after “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot”, a once popular English country dance—in the folk tradition a maggot is a bit of whimsical and extravagantly different bit of music brought on by the madness caused by an actual maggot bite—trumpeter Erol Tamerman‘s new quintet romps through fanciful jigs, reels, ballads, waltzes, polkas and more, including original compositions. Joining Tamerman are Nadje Noordhius (trumpet, flugelhorn and pennywhistle), Will Holshouser (accordian), Jaqueline Schwab (piano) and Andrew VanNostrand (guitar and bouzouki).

Veveritse is eight horn players and two percussionists exploring the Romany (Gypsy) brass band tradition of Serbia. Led by Brooklyn-based musician and educator Sarah Ferholt, the group also features Erin Bell (baritone truba), Patty Farrell (alto horn), Emily Geller (bubanj), Don Godwin (baritone truba), JR Hankins (truba), Joe Keady (tuba), Quince Marcum (alto horn), Luke Schnieders (snare drum), Greg Squared (alto sax) and Ben Syversen (trumpet).

Saturday, January 16th at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage
The Meridian Arts Ensemble featuring special guest Dave Ballou
This eclectic new music ensemble will be joined by trumpeter Dave Ballou to present the world premiere of David Sanford‘s Seven Kings, a multi-movement work for brass quintet and trumpet soloist inspired by the complex interplay in King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, commissioned by FONT Music and Chamber Music America. The program will also include music by Ballou and Mark Applebaum. The New York-based Meridian Arts Ensemble features John Ferrari (drums), Daniel Grabois (French horn), Benjamin Herrington (trombone), Brain McWhorter (trumpet), Jon Nelson (trumpet) and Raymond Stewart (tuba).

Saturday, January 16th at 9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble
Forward Flight concludes with the American debut of this international all-star ensemble featuring trumpeters Taylor Ho Bynum, Jean-Luc Cappozza, Franz Hautzinger, Joe McPhee, Itaru Oki and Herb Robertson and the world-class rhythm section of bassist William Parker and drummer John Betsch. First assembled in May 2008 for a two-night stand at Le Petit Faucheaux in Tours, France, the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble comes to the United States thanks to a grant from the CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange that will provide funding for this performance and a second at the International House in Philadelphia the following night as part of a traveling FONT Music triple-bill with The Chicago Underground Duo and The Meridian Arts Ensemble with special guest Dave Ballou.

Learn more about FONT Music at http://fontmusic.org

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Festival Of New Trumpet Music To Honor Wilmer Wise January 13th

December 15, 2009

Wilmer Wise

On Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 p.m., The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) will honor esteemed trumpet player Wilmer Wise with a special concert and reception at Abrons Arts Center in New York. This festive presentation, which will feature performances by FONT Music co-founder Dave Douglas, Wise himself and a number of surprise special guests, will serve as both a fundraiser for the organization and the opening night of Forward Flight, its third and final event of the 2009-10 concert season. Forward Flight, which celebrates the eclecticism of the trumpet in contemporary music with a variety of concerts and free workshops on both of Abrons Arts Center stages, will continue through Saturday, January 16th.

Tickets for the opening night benefit concert are $35, which also includes a membership in FONT Music and admission to the pre-concert reception, and can be purchased here. Tickets for the other three nights are $15 ($12 for students with ID and FONT Music members) per night and can be purchased at (212) 352-3101 or online. A festival pass is also available for $40 ($30 students with ID and FONT members). Passes can be purchased here. The Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street (at the corner of Pitt Street) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Venue information is available at (212) 598-0400 and http://www.abronsartscenter.org

FONT Music is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that sustains trumpeters and new trumpet music by commissioning composers, producing concerts, presenting workshops and panels, and supporting music programs in New York City’s public schools. Founded in 2003 by trumpeters for trumpeters, the organization and its diverse programs are currently overseen by Douglas and a volunteer board featuring some of contemporary trumpet music’s most celebrated practitioners.

It has presented over 200 concerts by emerging artists and creative pioneers alike at venues all over New York, commissioned new works from more than a dozen young trumpet players and paid tribute to a variety to the instrument’s legendary performers. “By definition,” adds the New York Times‘ Nate Chinen, “the Festival of New Trumpet Music prizes a spirit of innovation; that ‘new’ in the title is no accident.” Learn more about FONT Music at http://fontmusic.org

About Wilmer Wise:

More than two decades before Wynton Marsalis was famously straddling the worlds of jazz and classical music in the 1980’s, trumpeter Wilmer Wise was blazing a trail for musicians with the versatility to perform in settings ranging from jazz to Broadway to the highest levels of the classical music establishment. As an African-American musician of advanced abilities and an impressive classical pedigree coming onto the scene in the years leading up to the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Wise carved a unique path as the only black trumpet player in the ensembles he performed with in the early days of his career.

Fifty years and a wealth of experience later, his eclectic and groundbreaking body of work includes faculty positions at Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory and countless collaborations with many of the most prominent musicians, composers, conductors and ensembles of the 20th Century. Working with everyone from Pablo Casals to Placido Domingo, Philip Glass to Steven Sondheim, Rudolph Serkin to Leonard Bernstein, the Marlboro Festival Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic, Quincy Jones to Weather Report and many others in between, Wise has truly been there and done that.

Born in Philadelphia on December 21st, 1936, Wise began playing the trumpet when he was eight years old. His first teacher was Anthony DelCampo, a general music teacher at the local high school who also taught Wise’s fellow Philadelphians, Eddie Fisher and Mario Lanza. DelCampo’s class featured students on various instruments, giving Wise early experience playing with other musicians, transposing music into various keys and reading in different clefs thanks to the teacher’s insistence that the students learn solfeggio.

Growing up, his main musical influences at home were his mother’s player piano, which his sister also practiced on, and the radio shows favored by his father, including live broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic. He was also a fan of cornetist James F. Burke, a veteran of Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman’s famous band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, thanks to Burke’s performances as a soloist with the The Cities Service Band of America, which had its own weekly radio show from 1948-1954. Little did he know at the time that he would fulfill his childhood dreams by performing with both Burke (as a member of the Trenton Symphony) and the New York Philharmonic in the coming years.

Wise went on to study for six years with the legendary Sigmund Hering, a forty-year veteran of the Philadelphia Orchestra and widely considered the most influential trumpet teacher of his day, as well as Hering student Gil Johnson, Sam Krauss and Nat Prager, before turning professional in 1960. He began his career as the only black musician in the orchestras for the Broadway show previews in Philadelphia, including Showgirl with Carol Channing, and also performed as a guest soloist with groups such as Quincy Jones’ band as they passed through town. In the early 60’s, he also joined the trumpet section of Johnny Lynch’s Club Harlem Band of Atlantic City, which already included Johnny Coles and Lamar Wright.

In 1965, Wise began a five-year stint as the Baltimore Symphony’s Assistant Principal Trumpet. In a city that was slow to accept racial integration, the only place he could live was the Mount Royal Hotel, a well-known haven for African-American entertainers such as Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor, who Wise already knew from his days in Philadelphia. That same year, he also joined the Symphony of the New World, a fully integrated orchestra that featured both black and white performers, as well as men and women. The group, which also featured Joe Wilder on first cornet, was sponsored in part by the Ford Foundation and played its own concert at Carnegie Hall. 1965 was also the year he toured Europe as first trumpet in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra, conducted by Rudolf Serkin, and played on the ensemble’s famous recordings with cellist Pablo Casals.

One of the first jobs he got upon relocating to New York in 1970 was playing in the American Symphony conducted by Leopold Stokowski. A year later, he played in his first show on Broadway, Lovely Ladies and Kind Gentlemen, an unmemorable flop that actually led to a more lucrative job at Madison Square Garden. Wise would go on to become a first-call trumpeter on Broadway, playing lead trumpet in more than 30 shows, including five of Steven Sondheim’s biggest hits and their original cast recordings. He also played lead trumpet on the only recording of West Side Story conducted by Leonard Bernstein, as well as on many of Philip Glass’ movie soundtracks. His most long-lasting job was as the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s principal trumpet, a position he held for more than three decades until his retirement in 2003.

“At nearly 73, he is still playing at the top of his game,” declares cornetist/composer and fellow Festival of New Trumpet Music board member, Taylor Ho Bynum. “Wilmer shows that all these streams of contemporary music are deeply intertwined; that American music is not about the differences between genres, but the conversations and exchanges amongst them. It’s a great honor to work with him on the FONT Music board, and to hear him and fellow trumpet legend Lew Soloff perform Ornette Coleman’s ‘The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin’, and talk about his long and prestigious career as part of the free FONT Music Workshop Series, is going to be amazing. I’m so glad we’ll be able to honor him, hear him play and give him the recognition he deserves at this year’s Forward Flight event. ”


FONT Music To Present Four-Night Event At Abrons Arts Center In January

November 19, 2009

The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) will present Forward Flight, the third and final event of its 7th annual performance season, from Wednesday, January 13th through Saturday, January 16th at New York’s Abrons Arts Center.

This four-night celebration of the eclecticism of the trumpet in contemporary music, curated by Dave Douglas and Taylor Ho Bynum, will feature events on two stages, including performances by a diverse range of ensembles, three free FONT Music Workshop Series events and an opening night tribute to unheralded veteran trumpet player, Wilmer Wise.

The program will include world premieres of music from the New York-based composers collective Anti-Social Music (ASM) and composer David Sanford, whose piece, “Seven Kings”, was commissioned by FONT Music with support from Chamber Music America to be performed by the Meridian Arts Ensemble with guest soloist Dave Ballou. And, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Mark Gould, will present the New York premiere of Charles Wuorinen‘s Brass Quintet.

Headlining events will include indie folk band The Low Anthem with a special appearance by Dave Douglas, a celebration of the Chicago Underground Duo‘s new CD, Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey), a rare performance of Ornette Coleman’s “The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin” by Wilmer Wise and the American debut of the Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble, featuring an all-star cast of trumpet players from America, Austria, Japan and France, presented with support from CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange.

Forward Flight is a collection of performances designed to highlight the forward-looking trajectory of current brass music,” Douglas explains. “The name is taken from a late fifties album by Booker Little, and like that trumpeter it shows the wide ranging possibilities for this instrument. In the context of alternative folk and rock, in contemporary classical composition, in international hybrids of improvised music and electronics, brass instruments continue to breathe air into the expansion of contemporary trends.”

He adds, “FONT Music is for the first time becoming a membership organization, and this festival feels like a part of that step. In our own community, longtime board member Wilmer Wise will be feted with a ceremony and special performance on January 13th. When combined with a series of workshops free to the public, this seems like a big step in a very special year for FONT Music as an organization and as a music festival.”

Forward Flight schedule:

Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 p.m.
FONT Music Celebrates the Music and Legacy of Wilmer Wise
Featuring Dave Douglas, Wilmer Wise and several special guests

Thursday, January 14th at 5:00 p.m.
Free workshop: Oral History Project with Wilmer Wise
Anti-Social Music
The New York Trumpet Ensemble directed by Mark Gould
Wilmer Wise

Friday, January 15th at 5:00 p.m.
Free workshop: Ableton Live User Group co-hosted by Dubspot
Opsvik & Jennings plus the Ignite A Noise Trumpet Trio
Chicago Underground Duo
The Low Anthem with special appearance by Dave Douglas

Saturday, January 16th at 5:00 p.m.
Free workshop: Group improvisation with the York College Blue Notes
Mr. Tamerman‘s Maggot and Sarah Ferholt‘s Vevertise
Meridian Arts Ensemble with Dave Ballou
Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble

Thursday, Friday and Saturday night events will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a free workshop followed by an early performance in the Blackbox Theatre and headline performances at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Tickets for the opening night benefit concert are $35, which also includes a membership in FONT Music and admission to the pre-concert reception. Tickets for the other three nights are $15 ($12 for students with ID and FONT Music members) per night. All tickets can be purchased at https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/702215.

A festival pass is also available for $40 ($30 students with ID and FONT members). Passes can be purchased at https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/store/209

The Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street (at the corner of Pitt Street) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Venue information is available at (212) 598-0400 and http://www.abronsartscenter.org

About FONT Music:

FONT Music is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that sustains trumpeters and new trumpet music by commissioning composers, producing concerts, presenting workshops and panels, and supporting music programs in New York City’s public schools. Created by trumpeters for trumpeters, the organization and its diverse programs are currently overseen by Artistic Director Dave Douglas and a volunteer board featuring some of contemporary trumpet music’s most celebrated practitioners.

Founded in 2003 by Douglas and Roy Campbell, FONT Music has presented over 200 concerts by emerging artists and creative pioneers alike at venues all over New York. It has also commissioned new works from more than a dozen young trumpet players, paid tribute to such legendary performers as Louis Armstrong, Don Cherry and Woody Shaw, and presented world premiere performances of music by a long list of notable composers that includes Anthony Braxton, Laurence “Butch” Morris and Wadada Leo Smith.

Its acclaimed efforts have been called “a grand highlight of the musical season” (The New Yorker), “one of the most exciting and diverse of NYC’s annual music festivals” (Time Out New York), “a key showcase for some of the most exciting horn players on the planet” (Chicago Reader) and “an expectedly stellar and eclectic schedule of genre-blurring commissions and exploratory collaborations” (JazzTimes). “By definition,” adds the New York Times‘ Nate Chinen, “the Festival of New Trumpet Music prizes a spirit of innovation; that ‘new’ in the title is no accident.”

Learn more about FONT Music at http://fontmusic.org


David S. Ware In The New York Times

October 17, 2009
Photo by Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Photo by Joshua Bright for The New York Times

In today’s New York Times, Susan Dominus tells the story of eminent saxophonist David S. Ware‘s recent kidney transplant, his relationship with donor Laura Mehr and his triumphant return to performing this past Thursday night.


AUM Fidelity Artist Showcase Tomorrow Night

October 14, 2009

David S. Ware, William Parker and Darius Jones

Tomorrow night at Abrons Arts Center in New York, AUM Fidelity will celebrate three notable events on one stage: the release of alto saxophonist Darius Jones‘ debut recording as a bandleader, eminent saxophonist David S. Ware‘s triumphant return to performing after a highly publicized kidney transplant in May, and the first performance of bassist William Parker‘s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra in more than four years.

Jones, the label’s most recent signing, will be performing in support of his October 13th release, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM057). Ware, who unveiled his latest all-star quartet on January’s Shakti (AUM052), before being temporarily sidelined by an urgent and successful search for a kidney donor, will mark his 50th anniversary playing saxophone with a special solo performance. Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, last heard in New York at Vision Festival X in 2005, will present the world premiere of a new composition entitled, “Subsequent Illumination Inscriptions/Light Cottage”, dedicated to George Russell.

Doors open at 7:30 and the music begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are still available in advance and at the door (as space allows).


Darius Jones Trio And Joe Morris Quartet On AUM Fidelity

October 13, 2009

AUM Fidelity is proud to announce the October 13th release of the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM057) and the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth (AUM058).

The first is alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones‘ debut recording as a leader featuring Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums).

What the critics say:

“A phenomenal debut, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) presents the singular artistry of Darius Jones; a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim from the jazz underground.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

“…an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel. The best music tells you something not only about the musicians, but about yourself. Man’ish Boy is that kind of record. It’s not just good. It’s important. And we are the richer for its existence.”
Jason Crane, PopDose.com

“On Man’ish Boy, alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. It’s defiant, vulnerable, proud, and weary; there is laughter and sobbing in it. He imbues simple melodies and phrases with huge emotional weight.”
Ed Hazell, PointofDeparture.org

The other is the second release from guitarist/composer Joe Morris‘ quartet featuring Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums). It’s also the third AUM Fidelity release this year to feature Morris in a prominent role (David S. Ware’s Shakti and Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife are the others).

What the critics say:

“Morris is clearly an original.”
Andy Hamilton, The Wire

“To my ears, it’s one of his best. There are moments when this band flat-out swings (Gray, again, brings the joy of propulsion to the forefront); yet, the quieter moments are among the most melodic of Morris’s long career (and he does that without the music sounding ‘commercial’). In a year that has already produced many strong CDs, this Joe Morris Quartet release should make a lot of ‘Best of..’ lists and deservedly so.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant

“No one plays the guitar like Joe Morris, with sharply articulated, single-note lines delivered in a dry tone. Besides the clarity of the playing itself, what stands out is the cogency of Morris’s melodies and the tight unison lines of Morris and Hobbs that puts one in mind of the playing of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Easily one of my favourite albums of this fast-waning year.”
Mike Chamberlain, HOUR

“Morris is a master of mixing total improvisational freedom with a realization that swing can be just as liberating as skronk, that a clean tone can say as much as, if not more than, a coruscating flood-tide of noise. Indeed, this album is so pretty that its adventurousness may slip right by on the first few listens. In other words, it’s worth spending time with and getting to know.”
Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com

“…Morris maintains a singular approach to the guitar, placing him in the upper echelon of present day improvisers. A brilliant follow-up to Beautiful Existence, and considerably more accessible than some of his more abstract efforts, Today On Earth is a stellar highlight in an exceptional, eclectic discography.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

Jones and his trio will celebrate their new release with a performance at AUM Fidelity’s artist showcase at Abrons Arts Center on Thursday night. Morris and his quartet will perform tomorrow night at The Local 269.


Just Confirmed: Darius Jones Trio At Outpost 186 October 19th

October 8, 2009
Photo by Carrie Villines

Photo by Carrie Villines

On Monday, October 19th, New York-based alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones will celebrate his anxiously awaited debut recording, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) on AUM Fidelity, featuring noted master musicians Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums), with a performance at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

The event, which is being presented by the venue’s subconsciouscafe series, will begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission is a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Jones conceived Man’ish Boy, which officially hits the streets October 13th, as “a sonic tone poem about me and my life growing up in the South.” Inspired by his poor, but musically diverse and love-filled childhood on a farm in his native Virginia, Jones wrote eight compositions that draw on a diverse range of concepts, sonic materials and rhythms he encountered during his youth.

This eclectic tapestry of influences includes his uncle’s saxophone playing, his Jamaican father’s love of reggae, the revelatory vocal music of the church and countless hours of listening to everything from classical to rock on the radio.

In his review of the record, AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins calls Jones “a prodigiously talented instrumentalist whose Southern roots shine through on this vivacious debut,” and “a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim from the jazz underground.”

Jason Crane, PopDose.com reviewer and host of The Jazz Session, describes Man’ish Boy as “an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel. It’s not just good. It’s important. And we are the richer for its existence.”

“On Man’ish Boy,” adds Point of Departure‘s Ed Hazell, “alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. Jones and his trio with pianist Cooper-Moore and drummer Rakalam Bob Moses create a modern music drawn from an exclusively African American tradition…Jones and company reach back to into the pre-jazz African American folk, spiritual, and blues traditions to inform their music. It’s Jones’ ability to make those deep connections to a long tradition and absorb them thoroughly into his own music that helps give the album its heft and beauty.”

Jones’ trio, which last performed together at the 2009 Vision Festival in New York this summer, will also be performing at AUM Fidelity’s label showcase at New York’s Abrons Arts Center on October 15th and at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 on November 20th.

To learn more about Jones and his music, check out this new interview, posted today at rvanews.com, and please check back with us often for more of the media response to Man’ish Boy following its release next week.