Firehouse 12 To Present The Darius Jones Trio November 20th

October 21, 2009
Photo by John Sharpe

Photo by John Sharpe

On Friday, November 20th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present a two-set celebration of New York-based alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones‘ long-awaited debut CD, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity). Described by Jones as “a sonic tone poem about me and my life growing up in the South,” the record draws on such early influences as his Jamaican father’s love of reggae, the revelatory vocal music of the church and countless hours of listening to everything from classical to rock on the radio. Recently heralded as “a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com), Jones brings this diverse and passionate music to life with his mentors, the eminent master musicians Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums).

“On Man’ish Boy,” writes PointofDeparture.org’s Ed Hazell, “alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. Jones has a big, fleshy, lived-in tone, with a vibrato that owes as much to Johnny Hodges as it does to Albert Ayler. It’s defiant, vulnerable, proud, and weary; there is laughter and sobbing in it.” Jason Crane, host of The Jazz Session and columnist at PopDose.com, adds, “For his debut statement, 31-year-old Jones wanted to tell his story. To talk about what it means to be poor and black and struggling and intelligent in this day and age. Jones has fit all that and more into an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel.”

Jones came to New York from his native Virginia in 2005 and has since displayed his distinctive musical voice in a wide variety of genres. Pianist/composer Matthew Shipp writes, “He is one of those rare talents that when you first hear him you scratch your head, because it’s all there—the concept, the virtuosity, a real improvisational mind. I feel really good about the future of this music knowing that a real and pure talent like Darius exists.” In addition to his own trio, Jones actively performs with Lewis Barnes’ Hampton Roads, the Cooper-Moore Trio, William Hooker’s Bliss (East), Little Women, Mike Pride’s From Bacteria to Boys and Mara Rosenbloom’s Arrival Quartet. He is also a teacher and producer of records by Korean jazz vocalist Sunny Kim and country-folk artist Mary Bragg. Learn more at http://www.myspace.com/blackdajones

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

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Darius Jones Trio And Joe Morris Quartet On AUM Fidelity

October 13, 2009

AUM Fidelity is proud to announce the October 13th release of the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM057) and the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth (AUM058).

The first is alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones‘ debut recording as a leader featuring Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums).

What the critics say:

“A phenomenal debut, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) presents the singular artistry of Darius Jones; a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim from the jazz underground.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

“…an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel. The best music tells you something not only about the musicians, but about yourself. Man’ish Boy is that kind of record. It’s not just good. It’s important. And we are the richer for its existence.”
Jason Crane, PopDose.com

“On Man’ish Boy, alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. It’s defiant, vulnerable, proud, and weary; there is laughter and sobbing in it. He imbues simple melodies and phrases with huge emotional weight.”
Ed Hazell, PointofDeparture.org

The other is the second release from guitarist/composer Joe Morris‘ quartet featuring Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums). It’s also the third AUM Fidelity release this year to feature Morris in a prominent role (David S. Ware’s Shakti and Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife are the others).

What the critics say:

“Morris is clearly an original.”
Andy Hamilton, The Wire

“To my ears, it’s one of his best. There are moments when this band flat-out swings (Gray, again, brings the joy of propulsion to the forefront); yet, the quieter moments are among the most melodic of Morris’s long career (and he does that without the music sounding ‘commercial’). In a year that has already produced many strong CDs, this Joe Morris Quartet release should make a lot of ‘Best of..’ lists and deservedly so.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant

“No one plays the guitar like Joe Morris, with sharply articulated, single-note lines delivered in a dry tone. Besides the clarity of the playing itself, what stands out is the cogency of Morris’s melodies and the tight unison lines of Morris and Hobbs that puts one in mind of the playing of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Easily one of my favourite albums of this fast-waning year.”
Mike Chamberlain, HOUR

“Morris is a master of mixing total improvisational freedom with a realization that swing can be just as liberating as skronk, that a clean tone can say as much as, if not more than, a coruscating flood-tide of noise. Indeed, this album is so pretty that its adventurousness may slip right by on the first few listens. In other words, it’s worth spending time with and getting to know.”
Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com

“…Morris maintains a singular approach to the guitar, placing him in the upper echelon of present day improvisers. A brilliant follow-up to Beautiful Existence, and considerably more accessible than some of his more abstract efforts, Today On Earth is a stellar highlight in an exceptional, eclectic discography.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

Jones and his trio will celebrate their new release with a performance at AUM Fidelity’s artist showcase at Abrons Arts Center on Thursday night. Morris and his quartet will perform tomorrow night at The Local 269.


Just Confirmed: Darius Jones Trio At Outpost 186 October 19th

October 8, 2009
Photo by Carrie Villines

Photo by Carrie Villines

On Monday, October 19th, New York-based alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones will celebrate his anxiously awaited debut recording, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) on AUM Fidelity, featuring noted master musicians Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums), with a performance at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

The event, which is being presented by the venue’s subconsciouscafe series, will begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission is a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Jones conceived Man’ish Boy, which officially hits the streets October 13th, as “a sonic tone poem about me and my life growing up in the South.” Inspired by his poor, but musically diverse and love-filled childhood on a farm in his native Virginia, Jones wrote eight compositions that draw on a diverse range of concepts, sonic materials and rhythms he encountered during his youth.

This eclectic tapestry of influences includes his uncle’s saxophone playing, his Jamaican father’s love of reggae, the revelatory vocal music of the church and countless hours of listening to everything from classical to rock on the radio.

In his review of the record, AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins calls Jones “a prodigiously talented instrumentalist whose Southern roots shine through on this vivacious debut,” and “a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim from the jazz underground.”

Jason Crane, PopDose.com reviewer and host of The Jazz Session, describes Man’ish Boy as “an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel. It’s not just good. It’s important. And we are the richer for its existence.”

“On Man’ish Boy,” adds Point of Departure‘s Ed Hazell, “alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. Jones and his trio with pianist Cooper-Moore and drummer Rakalam Bob Moses create a modern music drawn from an exclusively African American tradition…Jones and company reach back to into the pre-jazz African American folk, spiritual, and blues traditions to inform their music. It’s Jones’ ability to make those deep connections to a long tradition and absorb them thoroughly into his own music that helps give the album its heft and beauty.”

Jones’ trio, which last performed together at the 2009 Vision Festival in New York this summer, will also be performing at AUM Fidelity’s label showcase at New York’s Abrons Arts Center on October 15th and at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 on November 20th.

To learn more about Jones and his music, check out this new interview, posted today at rvanews.com, and please check back with us often for more of the media response to Man’ish Boy following its release next week.


Jazziz: The Fully Celebrated + Michael Musillami

September 24, 2009

The new Fall 2009 issue of Jazziz features reviews of The Fully Celebrated’s Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity) and the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds (Playscape Recordings).

“The album feels fresh and playful,” writes Michael Roberts about the former, “displaying the creative exuberance typically associated with young players in the joy-of-discovery phase. [Alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs’] approach empasizes wit, accessibility and a willingness to venture into disparate stylistic territories…the longtime bandmates can do more than genre-hop. The Fully Celebrated’s heady blend brims with a vitality that hasn’t ebbed with the passage of time.”

“Guitarist Michael Musillami performs one of the best high-wire acts in jazz,” declares Ed Hazell, “walking the line between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ without ever losing his poise. There’s no predicting the direction of any given tune. Arrangements make consistently imaginative and effective use of the horns. Seamlessly assembled and performed, From Seeds features not such a trio plus three as a fully realized sextet.”


Cleaver/Parker/Taborn’s Farmers By Nature Out Today

February 10, 2009

Today is the official street date for Farmers by Nature (AUM Fidelity), the recorded debut of the two year-old collective trio of drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn.

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.

This live recording documents the all-star ensemble’s performance at The Stone in New York on June 19th, 2008.

Here’s a sample of the media response thus far:

“…these three musicians interrogate one another with patience and poise.”
Nate Chinen, New York Times

“All three are staunchly subtle and interactive players, so the improvisations stay on track even when they partake of tempestuous density.”
Time Out New York

“Fully improvised, the trio’s poetic abstractions have a pastoral side that comes from digging the soil and growing something valuable. It’s a testament to rumination, and whether they’re storming or floating, the kinetics are the compelling kind.”
Jim Macnie, Village Voice

“This lively collaborative trio, convened but not really led by drummer Gerald Cleaver, delights in free improvisations full of a remarkable variety of color, texture, energy, and melody. Yet despite the wide range and contrasts, the music never loses its coherence or sense of purpose…everyone is listened to and supported and offers up suggestions and ideas that turn into fruitful directions for the band to explore. Like the farmers of the album’s title, this trio excels at planting kernels of sound and letting the music flower and flourish.”
Ed Hazell, Point of Departure

“…enthralling music that is organic and spontaneous. The sheer movement and constant exchange of ideas flows like a tidal wave of energy. When taken in its entirety, it is simply stunning.”
Mark F. Turner, AllAboutJazz.com


PoD Reviews David S. Ware + Cleaver/Taborn/Parker

February 6, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

The February issue of Point of Departure features reviews of AUM Fidelity’s two latest releases, David S. Ware’s Shakti and Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn’s Farmers By Nature.

PoD’s editor/publisher Bill Shoemaker writes, “There are plenty of saxophonists who have a commanding presence; few have as many ways of establishing it as Ware. Shakti is both a successful turning of the page for Ware, as well as a reminder of just how compelling a figure he remains.”

In his review of Farmers by Nature, Ed Hazell notes, “everyone is listened to and supported and offers up suggestions and ideas that turn into fruitful directions for the band to explore. Like the farmers of the album’s title, this trio excels at planting kernels of sound and letting the music flower and flourish.”


Creative Nation Music To Release New CDs From Garrison Fewell And Ayn Inserto In February

December 10, 2008

On February 17th, Boston’s Creative Nation Music will begin the celebration of its 5th anniversary with the release of two new recordings, Garrison Fewell‘s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) and The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s Muse (CNM 015).  This is Fewell’s second release for the label, following 2008’s The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010) with fellow guitarist Eric Hofbauer, and the label debut of Ms. Inserto’s longstanding 17-piece ensemble featuring special guest, George Garzone.  Founded in early 2004, Creative Nation Music is a respected outlet for new releases from the Boston jazz scene’s most distinctive musical personalities.

Variable Density Sound Orchestra is the self-titled debut of Fewell’s newest working ensemble featuring Hofbauer (guitars and percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and percussion), Achille Succi (bass clarinet and alto saxophone), John Voigt (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums) and Alex Fewell (percussion).  As the band’s name implies, its original music, composed and conceived by Fewell, explores a wide range of textures and musical interactions.  “The goal,” he explains, “is to create balance, allowing neither soloists, collective instant composing, or pre-composed material to dominate too long.”

“Guitarist Garrison Fewell has never stopped moving forward on his musical journey from accomplished post-bop guitarist to free-jazz explorer,” writes music journalist Ed Hazell in the liner notes.  “Here, on his most fully realized and personal recording in the free jazz idiom to date, you can still hear the thoughtfulness, tenderness, and intimacy; careful listening; and the rigorous construction of line and feel for melody that have marked all his albums.  The Variable Density Sound Orchestra is a group well suited to realizing Garrison’s concepts and compositions.”

Fewell’s distinguished career as a performer and educator spans more than 30 years.  He has toured all around the world, including Africa, Canada, the Carribbean, Europe, South America and the United States.  His groups have featured such prominent musicians as Cameron Brown, George Cables, Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, Khan Jamal, Charlie Kohlhase, Cecil McBee, John Tchicai and Matt Wilson among many others.  Also an internationally respected jazz educator, Fewell has been a Professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music since 1977, given clinics at more than 40 European conservatories, written lessons for various guitar magazines and authored three jazz textbooks, including his latest, Jazz Improvisation For Guitar: A Melodic Approach (Berklee Press).

Muse is the follow-up to The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s self-released 2006 debut, Clairvoyance, which featured special guests Garzone and Ms. Inserto’s teacher and mentor, Bob Brookmeyer.  “There’s an energetic creative force on the horizon named Ayn Inserto, and based on this debut album, she’s Maria Schneider on steroids,” wrote reviewer Harvey Siders in JazzTimes.  Critics called it an “auspicious maiden voyage” (Jack Bowers, Cadence) and the music “new and unconventional, striking a different chord than what one usually expects from a big band project” (Edward Blanco, AllAboutJazz.com). 

This latest release, built around the theme of celebrating those who inspired her, features a mix of commissioned works, arrangements of three Garzone pieces and original compositions honoring Brookmeyer, Frank Foster and Steve Lacy among others.  “Her genius is that while her music is harmonically sophisticated, there is a sweet, flowing energy that makes it accessible and enjoyable for any palette,” writes Garzone in the liner notes.  “You can feel the personal touch in each piece ranging in emotions from remembrance to merriment, and hear the gratitude she has to each influence in her life.”

Ms. Inserto founded her ensemble, which features both Boston and New York-based musicians, in 2001 after receiving her Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from New England Conservatory.  The group has since performed at venues such as The Berklee Performance Center and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  A faculty member at both Berklee College of Music and Longy School of Music in Boston, Ms. Inserto has been commissioned by IAJE/ASCAP, California State East Bay and the Harvard University Jazz Band among others, and her music has been performed by a variety of ensembles at conferences, festivals and universities across Italy and North America.