Remembering 2009

November 23, 2009

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The latest can to be kicked around the jazz blogosphere (and beyond) is what records make the cut as the best of the decade.

As much as we enjoy the opportunity to reminisce about our first seven-plus years in business, and the 135 recordings we promoted for our clients in that span, we’re not quite ready to dip a toe in that nearly bottomless pool just yet.

But, we’re more than happy to shine a light on the recordings we promoted for our clients in 2009 (in order of their release).

Hopefully at least a few of these will end up on your year’s best list or at least your list for Santa.

David S. Ware
Shakti (AUM Fidelity)

Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn
Farmers By Nature (AUM Fidelity)

The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra
Muse (Creative Nation Music)

Garrison Fewell
Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music)

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)

Michael Musillami Trio + 3
From Seeds (Playscape Recordings)

The Fully Celebrated
Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity)

John Hébert
Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records)

Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records)

Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray
Wildlife (AUM Fidelity)

Tea Music (Allos Documents)

Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records)

Fay Victor Ensemble
The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)

Fonda/Stevens Group
Memphis (Playscape Recordings)

Harris Eisenstadt
Canada Day (Clean Feed)

Darius Jones Trio
Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity)

Joe Morris Quartet
Today On Earth (AUM Fidelity)

Jessica Pavone
Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

Bill Dixon
Tapestries For Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records)

Exclaim!: John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey + Carl Maguire’s Sided Silver Solid

August 6, 2009

David Ryshpan reviews Firehouse 12 Records‘ latest releases in the new issue of Exclaim!

He calls bassist/composer John Hébert‘s Byzantine Monkey “a strong debut of a new band of old colleagues.” The group, which is also called Byzantine Monkey, features saxophonists Tony Malaby and Michaël Attias, flautist/clarinetist Adam Kolker, drummer Nasheet Waits and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.

In his review of Sided Silver Solid, the second release from keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire’s longstanding group Floriculture, he writes, “the new, expanded version of the group provides him with a vast range of colours at his disposal, and Maguire dispatches the various combinations effectively.”

He adds, “The front line of violist Stephanie Griffin, with her background in contemporary classical music, and Oscar Noriega’s alto sax and clarinets blend in novel ways with Maguire’s piano, bolstered by the rock solid rhythm section of bassist John Hébert and drummer Dan Weiss. The tunes are marked by angular yet captivating melodies.”

Free Jazz: Joe Morris’ Wildlife + Carl Maguire’s Sided Silver Solid

August 4, 2009
Photo by Joshua Ponte

Carl Maguire's Floriculture by Joshua Ponte

Last week, while we were away enjoying an all-too-rare vacation from our electronic devices, Stef Gijssels reviewed both Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray’s debut, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), and Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records), the second release from Carl Maguire’s Floriculture, on his popular blog, Free Jazz.

He succinctly sums up Wildlife by writing,Luther Gray is great. Morris as unpredictable as ever —and I always welcome his lyricism on bass. Cancura is a guy to watch. Enjoy!”

“Carl Maguire creates a musical experience that is really out of the ordinary,” Gijssels declares, “mixing lots of extended techniques, with cinematic imagery, eery sounds and beautiful soloing. It is different, and no matter how much you listen to it, you will discover new things. A great record.”

NY Times: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture At Monkey Town

June 25, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Ben Ratliff reviews Tuesday night’s CD release performance by Carl Maguire’s Floriculture at Brooklyn’s Monkey Town in today’s New York Times.

The band, which features Maguire (keyboards), Stephanie Griffin (viola), Oscar Noriega (clarinets), John Hébert (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums), was performing music from its new release, Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records).

Reminder: Floriculture At Monkey Town 6/23

June 22, 2009
Photo by Joshua Ponte

Photo by Joshua Ponte

Keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire and his longstanding group Floriculture will celebrate the release of their second recording, Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records), at Brooklyn’s Monkey Town on Tuesday, June 23rd at 8:00 p.m.

Reservations are recommended for this event, which will feature the band collaborating with visual artist, Joshua Ponte.

Floriculture, which has performed Maguire’s sophisticated compositions around New York since 2001, features Stephanie Griffin (viola), Oscar Noriega (clarinets), John Hébert (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums).

New CDs From Maguire And Hébert Out Today On Firehouse 12 Records

June 16, 2009

Firehouse 12 Records is proud to announce the June 16th release of its first two recordings of 2009.

Sided Silver Solid (FH12-04-01-009) is the second recording by keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire’s longstanding group Floriculture and its first as a quintet with new members Stephanie Griffin (viola) and Oscar Noriega (clarinets). The group, which has performed Maguire’s sophisticated compositions around New York since 2001, also features John Hébert (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums).

Hébert makes his long-awaited debut as a bandleader on Byzantine Monkey (FH12-04-01-010) after nearly a decade as one of New York’s most in-demand sidemen. The record documents his sextet of the same name featuring frequent collaborators Michaël Attias (alto and baritone saxophones), Tony Malaby (tenor and soprano saxophones), Adam Kolker (flutes and bass clarinet), Nasheet Waits (drums) and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion).

Carl Maguire’s Floriculture will mark the release of Sided Silver Solid a week from tonight on June 23rd at Monkey Town in Brooklyn.

The CD release party for Byzantine Monkey will be a two-night affair at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe on September 25th and 26th.

Reminder: Firehouse 12 To Present Carl Maguire’s Floriculture June 5th

June 4, 2009
Photo by Joshua Ponte

Photo by Joshua Ponte

On Friday, June 5th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present the penultimate event of its 2009 Spring Jazz Series, the CD release celebration for Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records), the new recording by Carl Maguire’s Floriculture.  The longstanding group, led by New York-based keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire, features violist Stephanie Griffin, multi-instrumentalist Oscar Noriega, bassist John Hébert and drummer Dan Weiss.  Sided Silver Solid is the follow-up to band’s 2005 debut, Floriculture (Between the Lines).

Critics called Floriculture “as exciting a debut release as any in the last few years” (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings), noting “Maguire’s amazing compositions” (Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez,, “a kind of rigorous enthusiasm in play that was seriously exciting” (Brian Olewnick, Bagatellen) and “an overwhelming percentage of the attributes that make for stimulating listening” (Nic Jones,  The New Yorker adds, “Floriculture pulls off its new-jazz improvisation and lyrical abstraction with panache.”

Based in New York since 1995, Maguire, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, has studied piano with Marilyn Crispell, Fred Hersch and Ursula Oppens, improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell and composition with Mark Dresser.  Known for his abilities on piano, Rhodes and accordion, he has led Floriculture, his main focus as a bandleader, for the past eight years, in addition to performing and recording with a wide variety of other groups, such as the Laurel Anders Orchestra, Barbez, Butch Morris’ New York Skyscraper, Brett Sroka’s Ergo, the Tyshawn Sorey Quartet and The Wau Wau Sisters.  Learn more at

2009 Spring Jazz Series schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Tickets and more information available at: