Interviewing Joe Morris

October 16, 2009
Photo by Dylan Morris

Photo by Dylan Morris

It’s Joe Morris‘ world and we’re just working in it. Or at least that’s what you might think given the guitarist/bassist’s prolific output these days, which includes appearances on nearly two dozen recordings since the beginning of 2008.

We’re pleased to say that his recent efforts as a leader-co-leader, not to mention his sideman work on David S. Ware’s latest recording, Shakti, for AUM Fidelity have been among his most well-received of the bunch.

Three new interviews with Morris were posted this week exploring his career, and the latest Joe Morris Quartet recording, Today On Earth, from different angles. Please check them out at le son du grisli, The Jazz Session and

John Hébert To Weekend At Cornelia Street Cafe

September 24, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

Bassist/composer John Hébert will celebrate his long-awaited debut release as a leader, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records), with a two-night stand at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe starting tomorrow night.

Hébert’s sextet, also called Byzantine Monkey, will feature saxophonists Michaël Attias and Tony Malaby, multi-instrumentalist Adam Kolker, percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and drummer Michael Sarin (sitting in for Nasheet Waits for these two dates).

Known as “an indispensable presence on the local scene” (Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York) and “a bassist of deep intuition and extensive experience as a sideman” (Nate Chinen, New York Times), Hébert is one of the busiest bassists in New York and a regular in the Rising Star Acoustic Bass category of DownBeat’s annual Critics Poll for the past three years.

“On his first album as a leader he displays a sonic vision that’s all his own,” writes DownBeat‘s Peter Margasak, “even while sticking mostly to a support role. The leader has written nine lovely themes, some ebullient, some sorrowful, some fragile, and he directs his cohorts to elucidate and dance around the melodies with a mix of freedom and communicativeness. In particular, the intertwining lines of Tony Malaby, brawny and fat, and Michaël Attias, lithe and stinging, provide an exuberant dance on contrast.”

The Hartford Courant‘s Richard Kamins adds, “Byzantine Monkey takes the listener out of the everyday world into a landscape of mature melodies, splendid musicianship and highly creative interplay. It’s an aural landscape one can return to time and again, uncovering new paths to follow.”

Mario Pavone Live Review In AAJ-NY

February 5, 2009

AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Editorial Director Andrey Henkin reviews the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s January 7th performance at Iridium in the February issue, available now.

The band, which features saxophonist Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Gerald Cleaver, was celebrating its debut release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings). 

“Mario Pavone has been steadily creating his own compelling body of work for decades,” writes Henkin. “The churning rhythms were a roiling backdrop for the unique approaches of Malaby and Greene, the legacy of Joe Henderson taken in two very different directions. Even when the two horns sat for the earlier piece ‘East Arc’, Pavone’s compositional ethic was clear: he wants his music to keep generating momentum as it plunges forward. This mission suits Malaby particularly well, giving him the opportunity to apply his specific brand of virtuosic belligerence to some especially meaningful statements.”

This concert was also reviewed the following day by Ben Ratliff in the New York Times.

Ancestors And Shakti Reviewed In March DownBeat

February 4, 2009







The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) and David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) each receive four-star reviews in the current issue of DownBeat.

In his review of Ancestors, Bill Shoemaker notes the “smart, well-hooked compositions and a sterling rhythm section rounded out by Peter Madsen and Gerald Cleaver.”  He adds, “Like its predecessors, the album has a rallying spirit and a progressive bead on traditional practice.  It is what jazz needs from its eminent leaders.”

Michael Jackson writes, “As with Sonny Rollins, although Ware is an entirely different player, there is an uncompromising individuality to Ware’s approach.”  He also singles out William Parker’s “deep-pawed bass”, Joe Morris’ “bulbous, bell-like sound” and Warren Smith’s “surround-sound polyrhythmic forest of splashes and rumbling toms”.

Ben Ratliff Reviews The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet at Iridium

January 9, 2009
Photo by Michelle V. Agins for The New York Times

Photo by Michelle V. Agins for The New York Times

Today’s New York Times features a live review of the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s performance at Iridium last night.

The group was celebrating its November release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings).

Reminder: Mario Pavone at Cornelia Street Cafe (Tonight) + Iridium Jazz Club (Wed)

January 2, 2009

Bassist/composer Mario Pavone will play two New York gigs in a week’s time, starting tonight at Cornelia Street Cafe with his Deez To Blues Sextet.  

Wednesday night at Iridium, he will celebrate the release of his latest release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings), with his Double Tenor Quintet featuring Jimmy Greene and Tony Malaby.

Learn more in these listings by Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen (New York Times), David R. Adler (Time Out New York) and Jim Macnie (Village Voice).

Mario Pavone And William Parker On Jazz On 3’s Best Jazz CDs Of 2008 Program

December 23, 2008







BBC 3’s Jazz on 3 dedicated last night’s episode to rounding up its choices for the best CDs of 2008, which included the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) and the William Parker Quartet’s Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity).

The entire episode can be heard via streaming audio from the show’s Web site for six more days.