AAJ-NY: Best Of 2009

December 29, 2009

AllAboutJazz-New York published its annual Best of 2009 feature in the new January issue and we’re very proud to say our clients are well-represented.

Special congratulations to those recognized as the year’s best in the following categories:

Albums of the Year
Darcy James Argue, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)
Bill Dixon, Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records)
David S. Ware, Shakti (AUM Fidelity)

Debut Albums
John Hébert, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records)
Darius Jones Trio, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity)

Vocal Releases
The Fay Victor Ensemble, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)

Large Ensemble Releases
Darcy James Argue, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)

Albums of the Year – Honorable Mention
Cleaver/Parker/Taborn, Farmers By Nature (AUM Fidelity)
Harris Eisenstadt, Canada Day (Clean Feed)
Garrison Fewell, Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music)
KLANG, Tea Music (Allos Documents)
Michael Musillami Trio + 3, From Seeds (Playscape Recordings)

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Boston Phoenix: The Year In Jazz

December 23, 2009

The Boston Phoenix‘s resident jazz aficionado Jon Garelick reflects on his 10 favorite moments of the year in this week’s issue.

Two of those moments are related to Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music) and the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity).

“Call what Garrison Fewell does composition or simply strategies for improvisation,” Garelick writes. “Whatever, the guitarist formerly known as one of Boston’s most eloquent inside players has become one of its leading experimenters. On this year’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), Fewell gathered some superb improvisers—among them frequent guitar-duo partner (and CNM honcho) Eric Hofbauer, New York trumpeter Roy Campbell, and Italian bass-clarinettist Achille Succi—and they, following his spare instructions and often graphic scores, created a suite of ‘variable density’ and unforced lyricism, all with compositional integrity.”

“Alto-saxophonist Jones, 31, now lives in Brooklyn (natch),” Garelick continues, “but he hails from rural Virginia, and he likes churchy old blues, boogie-woogie, and the kind of folkish tunes that Albert Ayler used to write. On Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity), his music sounds older than old—ancient, in fact—but also completely up to the minute. Working with Boston drummer Bob Moses and New Yorker Cooper-Moore (who plays piano and his homemade diddley bow), Jones delivers forceful melodies with a just-discovered freshness. The trio’s show at Outpost 186 in October was a standout.”


AAJ-NY: Garrison Fewell + John Hébert

December 2, 2009

The December issue of AllAboutJazz-New York arrived this weekend and with it new reviews of guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell‘s latest, Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), and bassist/composer John Hébert‘s debut, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records).

“For the descriptively-titled Variable Density Sound Orchestra,” writes Lyn Horton, “guitarist Garrison Fewell has assembled a group whose members expertly develop the thematic content central to the pieces on the album. Even when the musical lines tend to go in multiple contrapuntal directions, the group behaves as one coherent unit, highlighting certain instruments.”

Stuart Broomer calls Hébert “a musician whose bass is confident in the foreground and whose compositions consistently merge strong musical ideas with forceful emotions. While he has already distinguished himself as a bassist, this is a striking debut as a bandleader for Hébert, the group’s sound, empathy and collective identity all testifying to his focused originality.”


Remembering 2009

November 23, 2009

Image from TheDailyGreen.com
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)

KLANG
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)


JazzTimes: Garrison Fewell + Michael Musillami

August 28, 2009

The resurgent JazzTimes shows two of our guitarists, Garrison Fewell and Michael Musillami, some love in the newly arrived August/September issue, making its return to active publishing status that much sweeter.

Variable Density Sound Orchestra should be on jazz education syllabi worldwide,” declares Michael J. West in his review of Fewell’s latest release on Boston’s Creative Nation Music. “It demonstrates how even free improvisation depends on musicians listening closely to each other. Guitarist Garrison Fewell’s septet uses some compositional structures, but the real backbone comes from developing and responding to each other’s spontaneous ideas. The products of that chemistry are gorgeous.”

In his review of the Michael Musillami Trio +3’s From Seeds (Playscape Recordings), Chris Kelsey writes, “Vibist Matt Moran, alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller join guitarist Musillami in performing his creative, forward-thinking compositions. The music is exceptional in all respects, from the fiery but respectful readings of Musillami’s tortuous compositions to the inspired solo work by one and all…Musillami is at his best when exploiting his nuanced quasi-acoustic sound, as he lays down long, unpredicatable freeboppish lines. Alessi and Moran are excellent, and Ehrlich is brilliant—his playing here is fresh and impassioned.”


Previewing Our Clients’ Fall Performances

August 21, 2009
Mary Halvorson Trio by Peter Gannushkin

Mary Halvorson Trio by Peter Gannushkin

Here’s a preview of our clients’ Fall 2009 live dates in support of recent, current or forthcoming recordings.

[Updated 9/12/09]

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society:

09/17 :: New Languages Festival (Brooklyn, NY)
09/18 :: The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
10/19 :: Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza @ The Bell House (Brooklyn, NY)
11/25 :: Iridium Jazz Club (New York, NY)

AUM Fidelity:

09/11 :: Joe Morris’ Wildlife @ Outpost 186 (Cambridge, MA)
10/14 :: Joe Morris Quartet @ The Local 269 (New York, NY)
10/15 :: David S. Ware/Darius Jones Trio/William Parker & Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra @ Abrons Arts Center (New York, NY)
11/20 :: Darius Jones Trio @ Firehouse 12 (New Haven, CT)

Taylor Ho Bynum:

09/19 :: Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings @ The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
09/25 :: Positive Catastrophe @ New Languages Festival (Brooklyn, NY)

Creative Nation Music:

09/05 :: Fewell/Hofbauer Duo @ Outpost 186 (Cambridge, MA)
09/23 :: Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band @ Cambridge YMCA Theater (Cambridge, MA)
09/30 :: Fewell/Hofbauer Duo @ OM (Cambridge, MA)
10/03 :: Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra @ Outpost 186 (Cambridge, MA)

Harris Eisenstadt & Canada Day:

09/16 :: Clean Feed Fest IV @ Cornelia Connelly Center (New York, NY)
10/24 :: Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)
10/25 :: Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)
10/27 :: York University (Toronto, ON)
10/27 :: Tranzac (Toronto, ON)
10/28 :: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, NY)
10/29 :: The Bop Shop (Rochester, NY)

James Falzone’s KLANG:

08/30 :: Chicago Jazz Festival preview @ Hungry Brain (Chicago, IL)
08/31 :: Chicago Jazz Festival preview @ Skylark (Chicago, IL)
09/06 :: Chicago Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL)
09/23 :: The Hideout (Chicago, IL)
11/18 :: Thomas Moore College (Covington, KY)
11/19 :: Bela Dubby (Cleveland, OH)
11/20 :: Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor, MI)
11/21 :: The Sugar Maple (Milwaukee, WI)
11/22 :: The Hungry Brain (Chicago, IL)

Firehouse 12 Records:

09/19 :: Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings @ The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
09/25 :: John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey @ Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)
09/26 :: John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey @ Cornelia Street Cafe (New York, NY)

Mary Halvorson/Jessica Pavone Duo:

10/25 :: Studio Odeon (Bruxelles, Belgium)
10/27 :: Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome, Italy)
10/29 :: Vooruit (Gent, Belgium)
10/31 :: Botticino Jazz Festival (Botticino, Italy)

Mary Halvorson Trio:

12/07 :: Cafe Wilhelmina (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
12/08 :: Stadtgarten (Cologne, Germany)
12/09 :: Alter Schl8hof (Wels, Austria)
12/11 :: Jazz Dock (Prague, Czech Republic)
12/13 :: Venue TBA, (Ueberlingen, Germany)
12/14 :: The Vortex Jazz Club (London, England)
12/16 :: Rote Fabrik (Zurich, Switzerland)

Mary Halvorson Quintet:

09/11 :: International House (Philadelphia, PA)
12/02 :: Barbès (Brooklyn, NY)
12/04 :: Firehouse 12 (New Haven, CT)

Jessica Pavone & The Toomai String Quintet:

11/10: Roulette (New York, NY)

Playscape Recordings

10/15 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Bucharest, Romania
10/16 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Sibiu, Romania
10/17 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Dunajska Streda, Slovakia
10/19 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Budapest, Hungary
10/20 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Budapest, Hungary
10/21 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Muenster, Germany
10/22 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Katowice, Poland
10/23 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Katowice, Poland
10/24 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Nurnberg, Germany
10/25 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Brussels, Belgium
10/26 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Neustadt, Germany
10/27 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Bergneustadt, Germany
10/28 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Dornbirn, Austria
10/29 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Leverkeusen, Germany
10/30 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Oberengstringen, Switzerland
10/31 :: The Fonda/Stevens Group in Saignelegier, Switzerland

Fay Victor Ensemble:

10/01 :: Roulette (New York, NY)
10/04 :: The Rotunda (Philadelphia, PA)


New Cadence Reviews

July 16, 2009

Cadence_cvr
The Jul/Aug/Sep 2009 issue of Cadence arrived to subscribers this week, and with it a number of enthusiastic reviews of our clients’ recent recordings.

Here are a few highlights:

In his review of Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), Phillip McNally writes, “Using the blues and improvised melody, Fewell’s sextet creates something like a completely tonal yet free music…the results are solid, approachable and at the same time richly complex…I for one would love to catch this Variable Density Sound Orchestra live.”

“I unhestiatingly give Muse my highest recommendation,” declares David Kane in his review of The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s second release. “She claims Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer as muses but, to my ear, she has already equaled and perhaps surpassed these august icons in sheer musical sophistication. It’s quite clear on the evidence of this recording that Ayn Inserto has a bright future ahead of her.”

Jay Collins calls David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) “intensely personal, with a spiritual directness that looks to India, but, also, with an outcome that is surprisingly accessible. Ware remains faithful to his sense of purpose and direction, while also offering sounds that are palatable enough for folks that may have been overwhelmed by previous work.”

“This band has an impressively wide range of textures to draw upon,” explains Stuart Kremsky in his review of William Parker’s Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM Fidelity). “The infectious and insistent rhythms of the ensemble draw you right in, and the pleasing density of the band keeps you there. Parker’s projects as a leader invariably result in some of the most rewarding and creative music being made by anyone, and this gem is no exception.”