Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife Released Today On AUM Fidelity

July 14, 2009

Today is the official street date for Wildlife (AUM056), the debut of the new collective ensemble of the same name featuring Joe Morris, Petr Cancura and Luther Gray.

It is also Morris’ first release as a leader/co-leader for the label since his 2001 solo guitar recording, Singularity (AUM018), and the second of the three 2009 releases on the label to feature him in a prominent role. The others are David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM052) and the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today on Earth (AUM058), coming in October.

The band will celebrate its release this Friday night at Barbès in Brooklyn and at The Local 269 in Manhattan on Monday, August 10th.

Here’s a sample of this record’s enthusiastic reception thus far:

“This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians.”
Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com

“The album’s four long tracks were spontaneously conceived and Mr. Morris steers the action with bullish clarity, whether he’s plucking tangled clusters or walking four beats to the bar. His rapport with Mr. Gray, a regular colleague, runs impressively deep. More surprising is his bond with Mr. Cancura, a relative newcomer (to me, at least) whose robust exertions on alto and tenor access free-jazz legacies from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Nate Chinen, New York Times

“…a thoroughly assured outing. Certainly no one takes the back seat, but Cancura’s engagement with various post-bop options is undoubtedly the heart of this group’s vitality. It’s his robust sound and its dynamic presence that galvanises Gray and Morris, who are clearly loving it.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire

“This music is collectively improvised, the result of a spontaneous process made with a deep awareness of decades of free jazz practice…the players are free to be themselves, to draw at will from a continuum of ideas about how to interact, and to perhaps show a side that they don’t elsewhere.”
Bill Meyer, Dusted

“The trio’s congenial interplay is superlative, whether careening through the quicksilver changes of ‘Nettle’ or extrapolating the somber motifs of ‘Crow.’ A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

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AllMusic.com: Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines

June 29, 2009


“If you enjoy the efforts of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Carla Bley, Maria Schneider, Guillermo Klein, NOJO or Jason Lindner’s big band in modern times,” writes Michael G. Nastos in his newly posted review of Infernal Machines at AllMusic.com, “you’ll surely enjoy this finely crafted effort from Argue, supported by a combination of New York veterans and newcomers.”

He adds, “The combined layering of sounds, vibrant color palate, and marvelous inventive writing makes for some startling and satisfying original music played by some very impressive musicians.”


AMG Reviews Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife

June 26, 2009


Phil Freeman’s review of the forthcoming Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray recording, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), is now posted at AllMusic.com.

He writes, “There’s a lot of Ayler in Cancura’s tone; he’s a powerful player with a strong sense of melody, always retaining an essential cohesion within his solos, even at their most fervid. Gray is all over the kit, guiding the other two men and maintaining a forceful momentum…Morris’ bass playing is as fascinating as ever. This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians.”

The record officially hits the streets July 14th.


The Fully Celebrated Live In Brooklyn & Boston

May 28, 2009
Photo by Lillian Shrank

Photo by Lillian Shrank

The Fully Celebrated will fully celebrate their new CD, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity), at tonight’s concert at Barbès in Brooklyn and tomorrow night’s show at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA.

In his CD review in this week’s Time Out New York, Steve Dollar writes, “Boston free-bird Jim Hobbs and his trio, the Fully Celebrated, get it, and the proof is in its latest sweat-soaked album, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones. The disc has that airy, open feel and loose-limbed instinct that make the music immediately appealing, as well as an Ornette-ish pedigree in Hobbs’s darting alto saxophone flights. Timo Shanko’s basslines sometimes recall the clean harmonic mesh and folksy charm of Charlie Haden, but with drummer Django Carranza, the rhythm section glides seamlessly from dubby textures to bucket-of-blood swagger.”

For more early reviews, check out AllAboutJazz.com, All Music Guide, the Boston Phoenix and Music & More.


Michael Musillami’s From Seeds Released Today

May 19, 2009


Playscape Recordings is proud to announce today’s release of the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds, the first title released in the label’s 10th anniversary year.

The follow-up to 2007’s The Treatment, his trio’s critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, this release finds guitarist/composer Michael Musillami augmenting his seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

The group will celebrate the new disc this week with performances at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 (May 22), Teaneck’s The Puffin Foundation (May 23) and New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe (May 24).

What the critics are saying:

“Building on the jazz tradition with graceful strides, From Seeds is one of Musillami’s finest efforts, and a high water mark for a label whose longstanding dedication to quality is documented in each release.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

“[Musillami] continues to assert himself not only as a very competent performer, but especially as one of the most innovative composers on the scene. This sextet is potent, equally as able to turn on a dime, ride with the wind, or hop aboard a freight train of steaming power and perseverance…a marvelous new music recording of great depth and vision that retains its vibrancy upon repeated plays…highly recommended.”
Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

“As much as any of their trio dates, From Seeds shows Musillami, Fonda and Schuller to be one of the finest working units in jazz today, with or without the ‘+3’.”
 —Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz-New York

“If you have been impressed with the guitarist’s mature and intelligent compositions, here are six more. If you have listened over the years, you already know that Musillami is an intrepid arranger and when given the opportunity to score his music, he does so with wit and polish. From Seeds is an aural delight, one more stellar recording from Michael Musillami.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant


AMG Review: Harris Eisenstadt’s Guewel

May 8, 2009

Michael G. Nastos’ review of drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt‘s most recent recording, Guewel (Clean Feed Records), is now posted at AllMusic.com.

“Eisenstadt’s vision for this music, the arrangements he has certainly painstaking produced, and how this incredible band executes them to the max, results in some fabulous, truly original music that deserves many repeat listenings,” writes Nastos. 

“Guewel (the Wolof term for griot story tellers or hereditary musicians) is an essential modern recording that deserves all the accolades one can bestow, and is highly recommended to all progressive jazz and world music listeners without reservation.”


All Music Guide Review: Michael Musillami’s From Seeds

May 4, 2009

Michael G. Nastos’ review of the Michael Musilliami Trio + 3’s forthcoming release, From Seeds (Playscape Recordings), is now posted at All Music Guide. The disc, which features Musillami’s new sextet with Ralph Alessi, Marty Ehrlich, Joe Fonda, Matt Moran and George Schuller, officially hits the streets on May 19th.

“Moving further into the realm of truly original modern creative music,” Nastos writes, “[Musillami] continues to assert himself not only as a very competent performer, but especially as one of the most innovative composers on the scene. This sextet is potent, equally as able to turn on a dime, ride with the wind, or hop aboard a freight train of steaming power and perseverance…a marvelous new music recording of great depth and vision that retains its vibrancy upon repeated plays…highly recommended.”

Catch the group live on tour May 22-24 at Firehouse 12, The Puffin Foundation and Cornelia Street Cafe.