JazzTimes: Garrison Fewell + Michael Musillami

August 28, 2009

The resurgent JazzTimes shows two of our guitarists, Garrison Fewell and Michael Musillami, some love in the newly arrived August/September issue, making its return to active publishing status that much sweeter.

Variable Density Sound Orchestra should be on jazz education syllabi worldwide,” declares Michael J. West in his review of Fewell’s latest release on Boston’s Creative Nation Music. “It demonstrates how even free improvisation depends on musicians listening closely to each other. Guitarist Garrison Fewell’s septet uses some compositional structures, but the real backbone comes from developing and responding to each other’s spontaneous ideas. The products of that chemistry are gorgeous.”

In his review of the Michael Musillami Trio +3’s From Seeds (Playscape Recordings), Chris Kelsey writes, “Vibist Matt Moran, alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller join guitarist Musillami in performing his creative, forward-thinking compositions. The music is exceptional in all respects, from the fiery but respectful readings of Musillami’s tortuous compositions to the inspired solo work by one and all…Musillami is at his best when exploiting his nuanced quasi-acoustic sound, as he lays down long, unpredicatable freeboppish lines. Alessi and Moran are excellent, and Ehrlich is brilliant—his playing here is fresh and impassioned.”

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Variable Density Sound Orchestra Reviewed At AllAboutJazz.com

February 19, 2009

John Sharpe’s review of guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell’s newly released Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music) is now available at AllAboutJazz.com

He writes, “Delights abound on every track and while there is no doubting the serious intent, this recording must have been as much fun to make as it is to listen to.”


New Garrison Fewell And Ayn Inserto CDs Out Today

February 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is the official street date for the two latest releases from Boston’s Creative Nation Music, guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell‘s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) and The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s Muse (CNM 015).

Fewell’s second release for the label, following 2008’s The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010), Variable Density Sound Orchestra is the self-titled debut of his newest working ensemble. The group features Eric Hofbauer (guitars and percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and percussion), Achille Succi (bass clarinet and alto saxophone), John Voigt (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums) and Alex Fewell (percussion).

Muse, the follow-up to The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s self-released 2006 debut, Clairvoyance, is built around the theme of celebrating those who inspired her.  It features arrangements of three pieces by special guest George Garzone and original compositions honoring Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Foster and Steve Lacy among others.

Both releases are part of the label’s ongoing fifth anniversary celebration in 2009, which also includes a package tour of New England and the forthcoming launch of a new series of rare, never-before-released and reissued music called The Hub Collection.


Creative Nation Music To Release New CDs From Garrison Fewell And Ayn Inserto In February

December 10, 2008

On February 17th, Boston’s Creative Nation Music will begin the celebration of its 5th anniversary with the release of two new recordings, Garrison Fewell‘s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) and The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s Muse (CNM 015).  This is Fewell’s second release for the label, following 2008’s The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010) with fellow guitarist Eric Hofbauer, and the label debut of Ms. Inserto’s longstanding 17-piece ensemble featuring special guest, George Garzone.  Founded in early 2004, Creative Nation Music is a respected outlet for new releases from the Boston jazz scene’s most distinctive musical personalities.

Variable Density Sound Orchestra is the self-titled debut of Fewell’s newest working ensemble featuring Hofbauer (guitars and percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and percussion), Achille Succi (bass clarinet and alto saxophone), John Voigt (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums) and Alex Fewell (percussion).  As the band’s name implies, its original music, composed and conceived by Fewell, explores a wide range of textures and musical interactions.  “The goal,” he explains, “is to create balance, allowing neither soloists, collective instant composing, or pre-composed material to dominate too long.”

“Guitarist Garrison Fewell has never stopped moving forward on his musical journey from accomplished post-bop guitarist to free-jazz explorer,” writes music journalist Ed Hazell in the liner notes.  “Here, on his most fully realized and personal recording in the free jazz idiom to date, you can still hear the thoughtfulness, tenderness, and intimacy; careful listening; and the rigorous construction of line and feel for melody that have marked all his albums.  The Variable Density Sound Orchestra is a group well suited to realizing Garrison’s concepts and compositions.”

Fewell’s distinguished career as a performer and educator spans more than 30 years.  He has toured all around the world, including Africa, Canada, the Carribbean, Europe, South America and the United States.  His groups have featured such prominent musicians as Cameron Brown, George Cables, Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, Khan Jamal, Charlie Kohlhase, Cecil McBee, John Tchicai and Matt Wilson among many others.  Also an internationally respected jazz educator, Fewell has been a Professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music since 1977, given clinics at more than 40 European conservatories, written lessons for various guitar magazines and authored three jazz textbooks, including his latest, Jazz Improvisation For Guitar: A Melodic Approach (Berklee Press).

Muse is the follow-up to The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s self-released 2006 debut, Clairvoyance, which featured special guests Garzone and Ms. Inserto’s teacher and mentor, Bob Brookmeyer.  “There’s an energetic creative force on the horizon named Ayn Inserto, and based on this debut album, she’s Maria Schneider on steroids,” wrote reviewer Harvey Siders in JazzTimes.  Critics called it an “auspicious maiden voyage” (Jack Bowers, Cadence) and the music “new and unconventional, striking a different chord than what one usually expects from a big band project” (Edward Blanco, AllAboutJazz.com). 

This latest release, built around the theme of celebrating those who inspired her, features a mix of commissioned works, arrangements of three Garzone pieces and original compositions honoring Brookmeyer, Frank Foster and Steve Lacy among others.  “Her genius is that while her music is harmonically sophisticated, there is a sweet, flowing energy that makes it accessible and enjoyable for any palette,” writes Garzone in the liner notes.  “You can feel the personal touch in each piece ranging in emotions from remembrance to merriment, and hear the gratitude she has to each influence in her life.”

Ms. Inserto founded her ensemble, which features both Boston and New York-based musicians, in 2001 after receiving her Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from New England Conservatory.  The group has since performed at venues such as The Berklee Performance Center and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  A faculty member at both Berklee College of Music and Longy School of Music in Boston, Ms. Inserto has been commissioned by IAJE/ASCAP, California State East Bay and the Harvard University Jazz Band among others, and her music has been performed by a variety of ensembles at conferences, festivals and universities across Italy and North America.