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

December 7, 2009

The new Critics’ Choice column in today’s New York Times features a review of Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records) by Ben Ratliff.

“The low notes in Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra loom like great whales,” he writes, “powering through the best of its long, patient, texture-obsessed performances. They’re played by double-bass and contrabass clarinet; above them floats a cloud of brass, directed and defined by Mr. Dixon’s own trumpet-playing. [He] has some deep and original thoughts about abstraction in music, and doesn’t leave beauty behind…a few of these pieces—especially ‘Motorcycle ’66: Reflections & Ruminations,’ ‘Adagio: Slow Mauve Scribblings’ and ‘Allusions I’—have a majesty for which you have to write in your own meaning.”

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KLANG’s Midwest CD Release Tour Begins November 17th

October 20, 2009
Photo by David Sampson

Photo by David Sampson

On Tuesday, November 17th, clarinetist/composer James Falzone and his Chicago-based quartet KLANG will embark on a six-date Midwest tour in support of their acclaimed debut CD, Tea Music (Allos Documents). The group, which also features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy, will open the tour in Lexington, Kentucky and work its way back through Ohio and Wisconsin to the tour-ending hometown gig at The Hungry Brain.

Tour Itinerary:

11/17 :: Al’s Bar (Lexington, KY)
11/18 :: Thomas More College (Covington, KY)
11/19 :: Bela Dubby (Cleveland, OH)
11/20 :: Robinwood Concert House (Toledo, OH)
11/21 :: The Sugar Maple (Milwaukee, WI)
11/22 :: The Hungry Brain (Chicago, IL)

Critics have called Tea Music “excellent” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) and “possibly the best jazz CD I’ve heard this year” (François Couture, Monsieur Délire), while also noting the “thoughtful and stylish music” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times) and “bold playing, smart compositions and empathetic group interactions” (Glen Hall, Exclaim!).

“The music, written by different players, is sly and smart, centered on composition and cleverly precise,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Mark Corroto. “Their collective approach to improvisation is passionate and sharp; Falzone’s orderly clarinet and Adasiewicz’s crisp vibraphone travel to another plane. It’s an extraordinary recording from an outstanding quartet.”

Dusted‘s Marc Medwin adds, “While it has some of the hip lightness associated with many genre-busting acts hailing from [Chicago], coolness of approach is tempered by deep compositional concerns. 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.”


Fay Victor In The Sunday New York Times

October 11, 2009
© DADZI

© DAZDI 2009

We’re very pleased to report that today’s New York Times features a review of The Fay Victor Ensemble’s The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music) by Ben Ratliff.

“A jazz singer who makes her notes slow, wide and meaningful—she often sounds like an evening-out of Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln—Fay Victor uses a great and simple concept on The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)…a studio recording organized like a live set. This means the band flows from one song into another, without knowing where it’s going next…these songs have distinct melodic character: fascinating ballads with Anders Nilsson’s country-bluesy guitar soloing, drum chants, some careful free improvising.”


James Falzone’s KLANG At The Hideout Tomorrow Night

September 22, 2009

On Wednesday, September 23rd, clarinetist/composer James Falzone‘s three year-old working quartet KLANG will celebrate the release of its debut studio recording, Tea Music (Allos Documents), with a hometown performance at The Hideout in Chicago.

The band, which delivered a “particularly moving” (Aaron Cohen, DownBeat.com) tribute to Benny Goodman at the Chicago Jazz Festival earlier this month, features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy.

Together they pick up the Swing Era thread of pairing clarinet and vibes, while also exploring a collective interest in the innovative sounds of Jimmy Giuffre’s early small groups of the mid-1950’s.

“The music, written by different players, is sly and smart, centered on composition and cleverly precise,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Mark Corroto. “Their collective approach to improvisation is passionate and sharp; Falzone’s orderly clarinet and Adasiewicz’s crisp vibraphone travel to another plane. It’s an extraordinary recording from an outstanding quartet.”

Critics have also called Tea Music “thoughtful and stylish music” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times) and “possibly the best jazz CD I’ve heard this year” (François Couture, Monsieur Delire), noting the “bold playing, smart compositions and empathetic group interactions” (Glen Hall, Exclaim.ca).

Dusted‘s Marc Medwin adds, “The players’ performances blend to give the band a unique voice, one rooted in swing and cool but cognizant of all events transpiring since.”

Learn more at http://allosmusica.org


NY Times: KLANG’s Tea Music

August 30, 2009

The Chicago-based quartet KLANG, led by clarinetist/composer James Falzone, continues to collect accolades for its studio debut, Tea Music (Allos Documents), released earlier this week.

In today’s New York Times, Ben Ratliff writes, “the band plays music that’s controlled on the surface and wriggling inside: tight, cruising arrangements of thoughtful and stylish music, with vibraphone shimmers and Mr. Falzone’s handsome tone over bass and drums that rumble freely, without fixed rhythm, but that never make a big deal out of it. (Once in a while, in an allotted area, Mr. Falzone really stretches out, playing hard, gestural solos, getting almost wild in small spaces.)”

He adds, “The band is having everything at once, of course: structure and freedom, tunes and the open imagination.”

KLANG, which also features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy, will perform in Chicago tonight at The Hungry Brain and tomorrow night at Skylark as a preview of its upcoming concert commemorating the Benny Goodman centennial at the Chicago Jazz Festival on September 6th.

The official release concert for Tea Music will happen at The Hideout on September 23rd, followed by a week-long tour of the Midwest in November.


Firehouse 12 To Present The Matt Wilson Quartet September 25th

August 26, 2009

Matt Wilson Quartet

On Friday, September 25th, Firehouse 12 will present New York-based drummer/composer Matt Wilson and his longstanding quartet as part of the venue’s fifth annual Fall Jazz Series. Wilson’s band has played at prominent venues and jazz festivals all over the world and currently features Andrew D’Angelo (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Jeff Lederer (clarinets and saxophones) and Chris Lightcap (acoustic and electric bass). This performance is part of the group’s September tour in support of its latest release, That’s Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto).

“There’s a deep sense of play in Matt Wilson’s quartet,” writes the New York Times‘ Ben Ratliff. “It’s full of feints, slang, sentimentality and a peaceful lack of inhibition; its loose ensemble feeling has a grace born of practice…there’s a specific kind of gentle humor in this band, as there has been since its beginning, 13 years ago. The performance spills over with personality.” About.com’s Jacob Teichroew adds, “For fans of avant-garde jazz, That’s Gonna Leave A Mark is a must-own. But the album’s appeal isn’t limited to those with experience with the genre. One of Matt Wilson’s strengths is making easily relatable music that doesn’t sacrifice its integrity.”

In a career that spans two decades and over 100 releases, Wilson has earned a reputation as one of the most respected and prolific drummers in jazz today. He has performed and recorded with such notable figures as Paul Bley, Andrew Hill, Lee Konitz, Cecil McBee, Mario Pavone and Dewey Redman among many others, as well as long list of his contemporaries. His current projects include collaborations with Ray Anderson, Dena DeRose, Mark Dresser, Frank Kimbrough and Myra Melford. Wilson has toured and recorded as a leader since 1996, primarily with the Matt Wilson Quartet and Arts & Crafts. That’s Gonna Leave A Mark is his eighth recording for the Palmetto Records label. Learn more at http://mattwilsonjazz.com

2009 Fall Jazz Series Schedule:

09/18 :: Brandon Ross & Blazing Beauty
09/25 :: Matt Wilson Quartet
10/02 :: Mauger: Rudresh Mahanthappa/Mark Dresser/Gerry Hemingway
10/09 :: Steve Lehman Trio
10/16 :: Gretchen Parlato Band
10/23 :: Whirrr! The Music of Jimmy Giuffre
10/30 :: Taylor Eigsti Trio
11/06 :: ODE: Larry Ochs/Trevor Dunn/Lisle Ellis/Michael Sarin
11/13 :: The Peter Evans Quartet
11/20 :: Darius Jones Trio
12/04 :: Mary Halvorson Quintet
12/11 :: Amy Cervini Quartet
12/18 :: Daniel Levin Trio

Tickets and more information available at:
http://firehouse12.com/performance_space_calendar.asp


NY Times Reports JazzTimes Will Resume Publishing

July 12, 2009

In a story that will run in Monday’s print edition, the New York Times‘ Ben Ratliff reports that JazzTimes has been sold and will resume its publication schedule with an August issue.

Ratliff, who interviewed the magazine’s editor, Lee Mergner, earlier today, also writes the publication plans to retain Managing Editor Evan Haga and that “arrangements are being made to pay contributors what they are owed.”

UPDATE 7/13: Howard Mandel confirms the sale in an interview with Madover Media‘s company director, Joan Lynch, who explains, “we believe in print, in the web, and in delivering the best product we can, hoping to keep Jazz Times the publication aficionados want.”