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

January 4, 2010

Dusted‘s Bill Meyer kicks off the new year in style with a review of Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records).

“He gives each element room to move,” Meyer writes, “and each personal/instrumental combination enough space for their interactions to be clearly perceived. Despite the size of the band on Tapestries (which includes Michel Côté on bass and contrabass clarinetist, cellist Glynis Lomon, bassist Ken Filiano, percussionist Warren Smith, and Rob Mazurek, Stephen Haynes, Graham Haynes, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornets and trumpets), each contribution stands out so clearly that this music sounds even more transparent than that of Vade Mecum and Papyrus, the multi-volume recordings for two-to-four musicians that Dixon made during the 1990s. Each part, no matter how small, is played with conviction and sensitivity so to fit into the bigger picture.”

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Dusted: Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

October 29, 2009

Songs of Synastry and Solitude is full of lyrical beauty and lush melodicism,” writes Dusted‘s Adam Strohm, “but it’s smart and spare, composed with an economy that never veers into anything saccharine. Performed with aplomb, these songs, no matter their tips of the hat, sound clean and fresh, imbued with an unobtrusive slice of personality. It’s further evidence (though, by now, hardly needed) that Jessica Pavone is a vital force in New York’s music community, capable and competent of playing way out in left field, or keeping things much closer to home.”


Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day Out Today

October 6, 2009


Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt‘s latest release, Canada Day (Clean Feed), officially hits the streets today.

The record, the Toronto native’s eighth as a bandleader, is the debut of his primary working ensemble, also called Canada Day, featuring Nate Wooley (trumpet), Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibraphone) and Eivind Opsvik (bass).

It documents his original book of music for the group, which was written for the specific musical personalities of these musicians and developed in live performances in New York and beyond over the past three years.

“The material on the group’s self-titled album is as exciting as it is diverse,” declares Dusted‘s Marc Medwin, “with any clichés about group telepathy sounding entirely appropriate. Precision and spontaneity make every gesture simultaneously soloistic and supportive as the structures wend their complex but catchy ways forward. He’s the lynchpin of an exciting aggregate.”

“Drawing upon some of the best new talent in the Brooklyn scene,” explains AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “Eisenstadt’s formidable quintet is as capable of adventurous timbral explorations as they are of in-the-pocket swing. Blending a mid-’60s Blue Note vibe with elastic post-rock grooves and subtle West African influences, Eisenstadt successfully unites his assorted interests into a cohesive ensemble sound. An accessible blend of inside and outside traditions delivered by an empathetic young ensemble, Canada Day is a welcome addition to the burgeoning discography of one of the new generation’s leading composers.”

AllMusic.com’s Michael G. Nastos adds, “A composer of great depth and diversity, Eisenstadt proves a fine trap drummer for this recording, and a formidable bandleader who deserves more recognition in both areas. The cohesion of the ensemble, glued by the steady, steaming, streaming rhythms of Eisenstadt, keeps the listener focused and compelled to hear more…this is a strong candidate for Top Ten status in the category of best jazz CDs of 2009.”

You can learn more about Eisenstadt, Canada Day, and his many other projects in a new interview by Clifford Allen posted yesterday at AllAboutJazz.com

And, the band will be celebrating its new release with Northeast tour dates in New York, Toronto, Buffalo and Rochester starting October 24th. Details are available here.


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


KLANG’s Tea Music Released Today

August 25, 2009

Today is the official street date for Tea Music (Allos Documents), the debut studio recording from the Chicago-based quartet, KLANG.

“While it has some of the hip lightness associated with many genre-busting acts hailing from that city,” writes Dusted‘s Marc Medwin, “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.”

The three year-old group, featuring clarinetist James Falzone, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy, picks up the swing era thread of pairing clarinet and vibes, while also exploring its 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,” declares 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.”

KLANG has a busy fall schedule of performances in Chicago and beyond.

Before officially celebrating its new record at The Hideout on September 23rd, the group will help celebrate the Benny Goodman centennial at the Chicago Jazz Festival on September 6th, as well as at preview events around the city in late August.

In November, the band will embark on a Midwest tour culminating in a hometown performance at The Hungry Brain on November 22nd.

Check out the band’s complete itinerary here.


More Reviews For KLANG’s Tea Music

August 20, 2009

Tea Music (Allos Documents), the studio debut from the Chicago-based quartet, KLANG, continues to collect positive reviews leading up to its August 25th release.

The group, led by clarinetist/composer James Falzone, features vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy.

Together Falzone and Adasiewicz form a dynamic front-line, recalling the ebullience of Goodman and Hampton, the introspection of Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, and Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson’s spiky interplay.
A limber rhythm section, Roebke and Daisy drive the ensemble with quicksilver shifts in mood and tone. Brisk and economical, they underscore the delicate tonality of Falzone’s woody clarinet and Adasiewicz’s shimmering, metallic vibes with supple nuance and elastic timing. An adventurous yet accessible effort from the Windy City’s finest young improvisers, Tea Music is another compelling album in a long line of stellar releases documenting the new Chicago scene.

“Together Falzone and Adasiewicz form a dynamic front-line,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “recalling the ebullience of Goodman and Hampton, the introspection of Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, and Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson’s spiky interplay. A limber rhythm section, Roebke and Daisy drive the ensemble with quicksilver shifts in mood and tone…they underscore the delicate tonality of Falzone’s woody clarinet and Adasiewicz’s shimmering, metallic vibes with supple nuance and elastic timing.”

Dusted‘s Marc Medwin adds, “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.”

Finally, in a post on his blog, Monsieur Délire, earlier this week, François Couture declared, “Oh, what a nice jazz record, possibly the best jazz CD I’ve heard this year. Clarinetist James Falzone had seduced me in 2006 with his The Sign and the Thing Signified. This album by his quartet KLANG hits me right on the pleasure bone again.”


iC Media Poll Results: Part 2

July 20, 2009

Print publications

Today we explore the results from the second of five sections of our recent survey of 50 prominent jazz writers and editors.

This section, called Web and print habits, asked about the jazz-related publications, blogs and Web sites these professionals are reading, how they access them, and if what they read there impacts their own work.

As shown in the chart above, we first asked respondents to indicate which of the eight major jazz magazines they read on a regular basis. The list, which featured English-language publications only, included AllAboutJazz-New York, Cadence, DownBeat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Signal To Noise and The Wire. We also made it possible for people to write-in any other publications as well.

The clear winner was AllAboutJazz-New York with 54.5%. The runner-up was Signal to Noise with 51.5%, followed by DownBeat and JazzTimes, which each scored 48.5%. The Wire (39.4%) and Cadence (18.2%) were next, while Jazziz and Jazz Improv each scored less than 10%.

One write-in vote each was cast for Cuadernos de JazzCoda, Improjazz, Jazz Journal and Ritmos del Mundo.

Print influence

We then asked if the coverage in these publications influenced the respondent’s own work (i.e. discovering new releases, coloring their judgement of artists/releases, etc.).

The results (above) were clear as 85.3% answered in the affirmative.

Web sites

Next we asked which jazz-related Web sites respondents visit on a regular basis, again spotlighting eight popular choices and giving people the chance to write-in any others they prefer.

AllAboutJazz.com was the clear favorite with 77.4%, with AllMusic.com finishing a close second with 61.3%. Next came Bagatellen with 32.3%, followed by Jazz.com and NPR Music, which each earned 29%. Avant Music News (16.1%), Jazz Corner (12.9%) and PopMatters (6.5%) also got multiple votes.

A significant number of write-in votes were cast for blogs, which we tackle in the next question, but Point of Departure was a popular choice (an admitted oversight on our part), as were Pitchfork and Dusted.

Web influence

Again, the majority (82.4%) indicated that the content of these sites influence their own work.

When tackling the subject of blogs, we asked respondents to list five of their favorites. Oddly enough, more than half skipped this question completely, and only 37.5% filled in all five slots. Some even dedicated one or more of the slots to expressing their dislike for reading and/or discussing blogs at all.

The calculations don’t apply to write-ins, but the most popular choices were Destination: Out, Do The Math, Free Jazz, Jazz Beyond Jazz, Lerterland and Secret Society.

Blog influence

But this time, when we asked if what they read on these blogs influenced their own work, only 44.4% said yes.

Blog access

When it comes to accessing the blogs they read, the Web is by far the most popular way with 94.1% giving that answer. Using a built-in blog reader in one’s browser and using a stand-alone RSS feed reader represented the rest of the vote with 8.8% each.

Twitter account

Finally, we asked if any of the respondents have a Twitter account.

Unlike with the blogs, everyone who took the survey answered this question, but only 35.3% said yes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third section of our survey, Personal Listening Habits, which features questions about writers’ interaction with jazz radio, their preferences for format (CD, MP3 and vinyl) when purchasing music for personal use, and the amount of music they purchase in a given year.

Please stay tuned!