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.”’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

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:

Reminder: Firehouse 12 To Present The Donny McCaslin Trio This Friday

December 8, 2008


On Friday, December 12th, Firehouse 12‘s 2008 Fall Jazz Series will conclude with a two-set performance by acclaimed tenor saxophonist/composer Donny McCaslin and his trio featuring bassist Hans Glawischnig (Ray Barretto, Stefon Harris, Miguel Zenon) and drummer Johnathan Blake (Tom Harrell, Russell Malone, Jaleel Shaw).  The group will be celebrating its debut release, Recommended Tools, McCaslin’s seventh recording as a leader and his first on frequent collaborator Dave Douglas’ label, Greenleaf Music.  The disc features nine original McCaslin compositions inspired by influences ranging from Bill Frisell to Hermeto Pascoal to Igor Stravinsky.

“A brilliant take on the hallowed tenor trio tradition,” writes reviewer Troy Collins, “Recommended Tools is not only a high water mark for McCaslin, but one of the most beguiling records of the year.”  DownBeat‘s John Corbett agreed, writing, “It’s a terrific outing, with solid original material at the service of a ferocious player and a great rhythm section.  There’s nothing frivolous, no errors of judgment—just energizing jazz in a lean setting with lots to love.”  “McCaslin’s blowing may be brawny,” added Steve Greenlee in JazzTimes, “but it is equally thoughtful.  His work is blistering and beautiful, sometimes in the same moment.”

Inspired by his musician father, McCaslin began playing tenor saxophone at age 12.  Early in his professional career, following studies at the Berklee College of Music, he toured for four years with the Gary Burton Quintet before moving to New York in 1991, where he quickly found work with Eddie Gomez and the jazz fusion group, Steps Ahead.  He has since performed and recorded with a long list of notable bandleaders, including Pat Metheny, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, George Schuller and Luciana Souza among many others, though he is perhaps best known for his recent membership in the Dave Douglas Quintet.  In addition to his extensive work as an in-demand sideman, McCaslin has led his own groups for the past decade, recording for the Arabesque, Criss Cross, Naxos and Sunnyside labels.  

2008 Fall Jazz Series Schedule:

09/19: Steve Lantner Trio
09/26: Conference Call  
10/03: Ned Rothenberg’s Sync
10/10: Shakers n’ Bakers   
10/17: Josh Roseman’s Execution Quintet
10/24: Bad Touch
10/31: Magic
11/07: George Schuller’s Circle Wide
11/14: Jamie Baum Septet
11/21: Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
12/05: The Flatlands Collective
12/12: Donny McCaslin Trio

Tickets and more information available at:

AUM Fidelity To Release New Cleaver/Parker/Taborn CD In February

December 4, 2008


aum053_cvr_webOn February 10th, AUM Fidelity will release Farmers by Nature (AUM053), the recorded debut of the year-old collective trio of drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn.  This live and entirely improvised recording documents the all-star ensemble’s most recent performance at The Stone in New York on June 19th, 2008.  The group will return to The Stone on January 16th.

Conceived by Cleaver, this communion of notable improvisers was founded to create a distinctive brand of music based on spontaneously sowing seeds of sound and bringing them to full blossom.  Its first two performances took place in late 2007, laying the groundwork for a highly anticipated return to the stage the following summer.  Each concert is a unique experience as the musicians adapt the group’s continually evolving sound to the demands of the moment at hand.

Most recently heard together on record as three-quarters of the Rob Brown Ensemble on that group’s 2008 release, Crown Trunk Root Funk (AUM044), these acclaimed New York-based musicians have worked together in a variety of settings.  The musical relationship between Cleaver and Taborn stretches back to their college days, working together in the early 1990’s as part of Detroit’s storied jazz scene.  Parker and Cleaver first recorded together in groups led by pianist Matthew Shipp, and Cleaver appears on Parker’s 2008 orchestral release, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM047).’s Troy Collins recently noted these three frequent collaborators “demonstrate their affable interplay with fluid invention.”

AUM Fidelity’s 2009 release schedule, which kicks off January 27th with legendary saxophonist/composer David S. Ware‘s Shakti (AUM052), will continue with new releases by the Fully Celebrated Orchestra, Joe Morris Trio and a second Ware project celebrating his 50th anniversary playing the saxophone.  Details about each are forthcoming.  Learn more about the label and its releases at

Eri Yamamoto Trio To Give Special Intimate Performance December 3rd

December 1, 2008

On Wednesday, December 3rd, pianist/composer Eri Yamamoto and her longstanding trio, currently featuring bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi, will celebrate their recent release, Redwoods (AUM Fidelity AUM049), with a special performance at Faust Harrison Pianos‘ Midtown Manhattan showroom in New York.

Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

Because of the limited seating available, reservations are requested. Please e-mail AUM Fidelity if you plan to attend.

Critics called Redwoods “rapturous” (Will Layman,, “a pleasure” (Marc Medwin, AllAboutJazz-New York) and “a compelling program of music” (Nic Jones, All Music Guide‘s Michael G. Nastos added, “An excellent trio recording that stands apart from most others with similar instrumentation, Redwoods deserves a close listen for every smart jazz piano fan.”

Taylor Ho Bynum Tour Moves to Boston Sunday Night

November 15, 2008

Sunday, November 16th at 3:00 p.m.
Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
Hammond Performing Arts Series
The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA)
539 Tremont Street in Boston, MA (South End)
MBTA: Green Line (Copley); Orange Line (Back Bay); Bus #43

Taylor Ho Bynum, cornet; Kyoko Kitamura, voice and electronics; Jason Kao Hwang, violin; Jessica Pavone, viola; Tomas Ulrich, cello; Pete Fitzpatrick, guitar; Joseph Daley, tuba; Luther Gray, drums

Cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum will follow-up his two-night stand at New York’s Jazz Gallery with a free Sunday afternoon concert at the Boston Center for the Arts featuring his improvising chamber ensemble, SpiderMonkey Strings.

The group will be presenting the Boston premiere of Bynum’s innovative secular oratorio, Madeleine Dreams, which it will record at the end of the tour for its forthcoming 2009 release on Firehouse 12 Records.

Inspired by the novel Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt), a 2004 National Book Award finalist written by Bynum’s sister, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, the piece draws text from the book while further exploring its theme of the logic of dreams, a recurring thread in Bynum’s work as a composer.

Reminder: Firehouse 12 To Present George Schuller’s Circle Wide This Friday

November 3, 2008



On Friday, November 7th, veteran drummer/composer George Schuller will perform with his longstanding group, Circle Wide, as part of Firehouse 12’s ongoing 2008 Fall Jazz Series

The New York-based band, which features saxophonist (and Hartford native) Jimmy Greene, guitarist Brad Shepik, vibraphonist Tom Beckham and bassist Dave Ambrosio, will be celebrating the recent release of its latest recording, Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape Recordings), which pays tribute to the music of jazz legend Keith Jarrett’s seminal American Quartet of the 1970’s.  This two-set performance will feature innovative arrangements of classic Jarrett compositions, as well as brand new original music inspired by the source material.

“Embracing the lyricism inherent in Jarrett’s writing, Schuller’s ensemble offers one of the most euphorically adventurous albums in recent memory,” declared’s Troy Collins.  “Like Before, Somewhat After invokes the bittersweet intensity of Jarrett’s formative work, making this richly rewarding tribute one of Schuller’s most beautiful and accessible albums.” 

Other critics called it “a tribute album that exceeds its goals because it isn’t satisfied with a simple tip of the hat” (Mike Shanley, JazzTimes) and “one of the more delightful recordings of modern jazz made in the 2000’s, a definite candidate for Best Jazz CD of 2008, and a high watermark in Schuller’s substantial career” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide).’s Ted Gioia added, “They get past the notes on the page, and into something deeper, an elusive transcendence that defies even this glib critic.”

For more than 25 years, Schuller has worked with many of the most respected names in jazz and improvised music as a bandleader, composer/arranger, sideman and record producer.  His diverse discography as a performer features more than 50 recordings, including collaborations with Ballin’ the Jack, Ran Blake, Bill DeArango, Burton Greene, Joe Lovano, Andrew Rathbun, Tom Varner and his father, 2008 NEA Jazz Master, Gunther Schuller. 

In addition to work with his own bands, Circle Wide and The Schulldogs, Schuller currently performs with the Armen Donelian Trio, Conference Call, Free Range Rat and the Michael Musillami Trio among others.  He is also a co-producer of the documentary film, Music Inn, which explores the history of the legendary School of Jazz in Lenox, Massachusetts.  

Tickets and more information available at: