Daniel Levin Trio At Firehouse 12 Tonight

December 18, 2009

Photo by Rossetti©Phocus

Tonight, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will conclude its fifth anniversary Fall Jazz Series with a two-set performance by the Daniel Levin Trio.

Led by cellist/composer Daniel Levin, a veteran of the New Haven music scene making his sixth appearance at Firehouse 12, the two year-old group features Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Chicago-based drummer Frank Rosaly, who replaced Gerald Cleaver following the band’s 2008 debut recording, Fuhuffah (Clean Feed).

This performance, which will be recorded for possible future release, will be the fourth and final event in the band’s December tour.

Learn more in this feature in yesterday’s Hartford Courant.

The Blogosphere Hearts Joe Morris

October 29, 2009

Excerpts from recent blog reviews of the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth (AUM Fidelity):

“The music, performed by Morris (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums), holds up quite impressively under repeated listenings. The tracks are fairly long (4 over 10 minutes and only 1 under 7), but several of them move so gracefully (‘Observer’, ‘Ashes’) it’s easy to get lost in the sonic world the quartet creates. It’s been over 3 decades since Joe Morris first came to critical notice and he continues to grow as a composer and musician, creating challenging music for open minds.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant’s See! Hear!

“Joe Morris is having one of them crazy years. Nothing can seem to stop him, as he is releasing one CD after another. The latest—and best!—one is this studio session with his quartet. One of the best jazz albums of 2009.”
François Couture, Monsieur Delire

“Four of the seven tracks on Today On Earth clock in at 10 or 11 minutes, and all of that time is well spent. Of his recent releases, this album is one of the best place to start (behind the Flow Trio), since its places his adventurous improvisational chops in a setting that makes them stand out even more.”
Mike Shanley, shanleyonmusic

“…the main strength of the album is the truly wonderful compositions, which are refined, carefully structured, compelling and beautifully performed…here [Morris’] playing is much closer to the traditional jazz guitar, and I must say, it suits him well. And the band is absolutely stunning, in its pretenseless, unassuming playing, yet delivering a rare level of combined accuracy of tone and interaction, giving space, dialoguing well, giving the right emphasis at the right time, and adding loads of emotional depth: truly great. But as said, the real treat are the compositions, with themes like ‘Animal’ or ‘Observer’ that will keep ringing in your head long after you’ve stopped listening to the music.”
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz

Steve Lehman Trio At Firehouse 12 Tonight

October 9, 2009
Photo by Dominik Huber

Photo by Dominik Huber

Tonight at 8:30 and 10:00 p.m., New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present innovative saxophonist/composer Steve Lehman and his trio, featuring bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Damion Reid, performing scaled down arrangements from his acclaimed new octet release, Travail, Transformation and Flow (Pi Recordings), as well as other music.

Lehman’s record, which daringly integrates elements of spectral harmony into jazz, has collected a long list of positive reviews (including this one on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross), and led critics to call him “an inspired talent” (John Fordham, The Guardian) and “a major force in jazz’s avant-garde” (Michael J. West, Washington City Paper) who is “thinking about jazz in a new way” (Will Layman, PopMatters.com) by opening “his own corridor of exploration” (Nate Chinen, New York Times).

Learn more about Lehman, his music and his longstanding connection to the area in feature articles in this week’s New Haven Advocate and yesterday’s Hartford Courant.

Matt Wilson Quartet At Firehouse 12 Tonight

September 25, 2009

Matt Wilson Quartet

The fifth anniversary season of Firehouse 12’s Fall Jazz Series rolls on tonight with two sets from acclaimed drummer/composer Matt Wilson‘s longstanding quartet in celebration of its new CD, That Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto).

The group features Andrew D’Angelo (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Jeff Lederer (clarinets and saxophones) and Chris Lightcap (acoustic and electric bass).

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark has an up-close vivacity—not to mention a Sly Stone shout-out—that makes you salivate for a chance to hear the Matt Wilson Quartet live,” writes the New Haven Advocate‘s Christopher Arnott.

“Firehouse 12 is a perfect place to connect with the band and its music because of the intimacy of the venue and its excellent acoustics,” adds the Hartford Courant‘s Richard Kamins.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Wilson demonstrating the positive health effects of listening to jazz:

Firehouse 12’s 2009 Fall Jazz Series Begins Tonight

September 18, 2009
Photo by Kazuki Takami

Photo by Kazuki Takami

New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will launch its fifth annual Fall Jazz Series tonight with a two set performance by guitarist/composer Brandon Ross and his group, Blazing Beauty, featuring longtime collaborators Stomu Takeishi (bass) and JT Lewis (drums).

Jazz columnist Owen McNally previews the event in yesterday’s Hartford Courant.

Concerts will continue every Friday night (with a one-week break for Thanksgiving on November 27th) through December 18th when the series concludes with the final performance of the Daniel Levin Trio‘s American tour.

Firehouse 12 is an award-winning bar, state-of-the-art recording studio and unusually intimate music venue located at 45 Crown Street in New Haven’s historic Ninth Square District. For its semi-annual jazz concert series, the acoustically engineered studio space transforms into an incomparable 80-seat venue Nate Chinen called “the pre-eminent spot for improvised music in the region” in his March 2009 feature for the New York Times.

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:

John Hébert’s Debut CD Reviewed In Hartford Courant Blog

June 13, 2009

Byzantine Monkey

Richard Kamins reviewed bassist/composer John Hébert‘s forthcoming debut, Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records), this past week in his Hartford Courant blog, See! Hear!

The disc, which features Hébert’s band of the same name featuring 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), officially hits the streets on June 16th.

“First and foremost,” Kamins writes, “Hébert has his own sound, not an easy accomplishment for a bassist.  Big, rich tones and a penchant for melodic lines (even in the most frenetic pieces) makes his playing stand out. Byzantine Monkey takes the listener out of the everyday world into a landscape of mature melodies, splendid musicianship and highly creative interplay. It’s an aural landscape one can return to time and again, uncovering new paths to follow.”

Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher Preview In Hartford Courant Blog

June 10, 2009
Photo by Goran Potkonjak

Photo by Goran Potkonjak

The Hartford Courant‘s Richard Kamins previews this Friday’s two-set performance by Dutch jazz heavyweights Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 in his blog, See! Hear! this week.

This is the 13th and final event in the venue’s 2009 Spring Jazz series and will feature special guest, cornetist and Firehouse 12 Records co-founder Taylor Ho Bynum during the second set.

“It’s been quite a season,” Kamins writes. “Many of the shows had sets that sold out (some both sets) and the quality of the music was downright superb.”