2010 NYC Winter JazzFest

January 7, 2010


Three of our clients’ ensembles, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (also playing two sets at Jazz Gallery the following night), the Mary Halvorson Trio and the William Parker Quartet, will be part of the highly anticipated 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest this weekend.

The two-night extravaganza will feature over 50 performances at five different venues in the West Village.

Argue and his acclaimed 18-piece big band will kick off Friday night’s festivities at (Le) Poisson Rouge at 6:20 p.m.

Parker’s all-star quartet, which features Lewis Barnes (trumpet), Rob Brown (alto saxophone) and Hamid Drake (drums), is a last-minute 10:30 p.m. addition to Saturday’s line-up at Sullivan Hall.

Ms. Halvorson’s longstanding trio, with bassist John Hébert and drummer Tomas Fujiwara (sitting in for Ches Smith), will also perform on Saturday night. Their set at Kenny’s Castaways is scheduled to start just after midnight.


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)


Darcy James Argue + John Hébert On Jim Macnie’s Top 10 Jazz CDs Of 2009 List

December 22, 2009

Jim Macnie (DownBeat, Village Voice, et al.) listed his Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2009 yesterday on his blog, Lament for a Straight Line, and we’re proud to report Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) and John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records) made the cut.

“The composer-arranger has an artistic GPS system built into his chest,” writes Macnie of Argue. “The way his seven extended pieces flow from one passage to another is deeply inspired, and the methods behind his integration of electric guitar storms and a gaggle of horns are sage. Best part: the big band constantly throws its listeners curve after curve without sounding fractured or episodic.”

In his blurb about Hébert, Macnie writes, “One of the era’s most gripping bassists puts reeds and flutes up front for a freebop session that stretches from ancient Cajun artifacts to abstract ballads lyrical enough to have fallen from Don Cherry’s pen. What the pieces lack in compositional distinction, they make up for in textural richness. And atmosphere—mood means a lot to Hebert.”


Mary Halvorson Quintet Goes Into The Studio

December 19, 2009

Fresh off her week-long tour of Europe, guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson heads into the studio today at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 to record the follow-up to her highly acclaimed 2008 debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records).

The session will feature her newest group, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to her longstanding trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith.

The as-yet-untitled recording is expected to be released in the Fall.


LondonJazz: Mary Halvorson Trio At Vortex 12/14/09

December 17, 2009

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Earlier this week, LondonJazz posted a review of the Mary Halvorson Trio’s Monday night performance at Vortex. The show was part of the group’s December tour of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.

“Even when she’s leading, she doesn’t overwhelm with fast licks,” notes the reviewer. “More likely she’ll interject an insistent pulsed semitone clash, or a repeated melodic or scalar fragment. But there is always an underlying sense of control and of the structure. She’s calling the shots, but with undemonstrative, unshowy playing, and virtually no looping or effects…a fascinating and worthwhile snapshot of a defiant, confident, edgy, genre-crossing strand of contemporary music.”


Mary Halvorson Quintet At Firehouse 12 Tonight

December 4, 2009

Image by Jon Vachon

Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson and her newest ensemble, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, will perform tonight at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 as part of the venue’s ongoing 2009 Fall Jazz Series.

The group, which adds two horns to the longstanding trio that recorded Ms. Halvorson’s highly regarded 2008 debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), features Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), John Hébert (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).

This will be the band’s final performance before going into the studio later in the month to record all new material for its forthcoming 2010 release on Firehouse 12 Records.

Check out this preview in the New Haven Advocate and WNYC’s review (with lots and lots of pictures) of the group’s performance earlier in the week at Barbès in Brooklyn.


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.”