Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

October 27, 2009


Today is the official street date for violist/composer Jessica Pavone‘s latest recording, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik). This release is part of the label’s Oracles series, which celebrates “the diversity and creativity of women in experimental music making.”

Inspired by the simple beauty of American folk songs, and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen‘s Songs of Love and Hate (Columbia), this recording features 11 of Ms. Pavone’s original compositions for string quartet (violin, viola, cello and double bass) performed by members of the Toomai String Quintet.

Ms. Pavone and the group will celebrate the release of the record on Tuesday, November 10th with a live performance at Roulette in New York.

“Violist and composer Jessica Pavone has been a fixture on the New York scene for over a decade. Songs of Synastry and Solitude is Pavone’s highest profile release as a composer to date, demonstrating her flair as a lyrical writer and supple orchestrator. A straightforward contemplation on the power of song, Songs of Synastry and Solitude is a timeless collection of elegant themes from a young composer of significant merit.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

“…a set of 11 original compositions that are emotionally weighty and dark, yet ultimately uplifting. While there is no direct stylistic or thematic link to Cohen’s songs, Pavone communicates the same sense of inevitability and universal suffering as the singer does, and leaves the listener with the same sense that there is hope in living—if only hope that daily suffering will be alleviated by the joy of song, love, spiritual enlightenment, and other forms of grace. This is measured, deliberate music that might be a love song, a prayer or just an acknowledgment that, as John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison once sang, you’ll never get out of these blues alive.”
James Hale, Jazz Chronicles

“In this release, she has presented compositions that are simple and stately, with a sombre grace that stands in wary contrast to Cohen’s finite pronouncements. The thoroughness and narrative direction of a songwriter inform her work, much as a good folk song would…pieces are performed with sensitivity and rigor by members of the Toomai String Quintet, projecting a sober view softened occasionally by a considered wistfulness. Pavone’s music reflects an austere but tender landscape where watchfulness orders reality.”
Nilan Perera, Exclaim!

“These 11 instrumentals are songs, too, in scale and shape, wordless distillations of feeling and reflection, brief musical narratives of relationship, star-blest or star-crossed…it’s a bittersweet chamber music evoking accord or aloneness that she is after, simply rendered and neatly crafted. The inclusion of double bass heightens both mellowness and melancholy, and it serves as a pivot for elegant dance rhythms that crop up among the wistful melodies.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire


Joe Morris’ Wildlife In Boston Tonight

September 11, 2009

Joe Morris‘ improvising trio Wildlife, featuring saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray, will celebrate its self-titled debut on AUM Fidelity tonight at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

“The trio’s congenial interplay is superlative,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins. “A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”

Critics also called the record “deeply satisfying” (Bill Meyer, Dusted), “a thoroughly assured outing” (Julian Cowley, The Wire) and “a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians” (Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com).


RUCMA Presents Morris/Cancura/Gray Tonight At Local 269

August 10, 2009


The RUCMA/Vision Performance Series will present the collective trio of bassist Joe Morris, saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray tonight at The Local 269 in New York.

The group is celebrating its recently released debut, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity).

Here’s a sample of this record’s enthusiastic reception thus far:

“This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians.”
Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com

“Mr. Morris steers the action with bullish clarity, whether he’s plucking tangled clusters or walking four beats to the bar. His rapport with Mr. Gray, a regular colleague, runs impressively deep. More surprising is his bond with Mr. Cancura, a relative newcomer (to me, at least) whose robust exertions on alto and tenor access free-jazz legacies from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Nate Chinen, New York Times

“…a thoroughly assured outing. Certainly no one takes the back seat, but Cancura’s engagement with various post-bop options is undoubtedly the heart of this group’s vitality. It’s his robust sound and its dynamic presence that galvanises Gray and Morris, who are clearly loving it.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire

“This music is collectively improvised, the result of a spontaneous process made with a deep awareness of decades of free jazz practice…the players are free to be themselves, to draw at will from a continuum of ideas about how to interact, and to perhaps show a side that they don’t elsewhere.”
Bill Meyer, Dusted

“The trio’s congenial interplay is superlative, whether careening through the quicksilver changes of ‘Nettle’ or extrapolating the somber motifs of ‘Crow.’ A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com


Wildlife An AvantMusicNews Pick Of The Week

July 23, 2009

Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), the debut recording from the new collective ensemble of the same name featuring Joe Morris (bass), Petr Cancura (saxophones) and Luther Gray (drums), is one of this week’s picks at AvantMusicNews.com.

Critics have also called it “a thoroughly assured outing” (Julian Cowley, The Wire), “a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians” (Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com) and “the result of a spontaneous process made with a deep awareness of decades of free jazz practice” (Bill Meyer, Dusted).

The band’s next live performance in support of this new release is scheduled for Monday, August 10th at The Local 269 in New York.


Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife Released Today On AUM Fidelity

July 14, 2009

Today is the official street date for Wildlife (AUM056), the debut of the new collective ensemble of the same name featuring Joe Morris, Petr Cancura and Luther Gray.

It is also Morris’ first release as a leader/co-leader for the label since his 2001 solo guitar recording, Singularity (AUM018), and the second of the three 2009 releases on the label to feature him in a prominent role. The others are David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM052) and the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today on Earth (AUM058), coming in October.

The band will celebrate its release this Friday night at Barbès in Brooklyn and at The Local 269 in Manhattan on Monday, August 10th.

Here’s a sample of this record’s enthusiastic reception thus far:

“This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians.”
Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com

“The album’s four long tracks were spontaneously conceived and Mr. Morris steers the action with bullish clarity, whether he’s plucking tangled clusters or walking four beats to the bar. His rapport with Mr. Gray, a regular colleague, runs impressively deep. More surprising is his bond with Mr. Cancura, a relative newcomer (to me, at least) whose robust exertions on alto and tenor access free-jazz legacies from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Nate Chinen, New York Times

“…a thoroughly assured outing. Certainly no one takes the back seat, but Cancura’s engagement with various post-bop options is undoubtedly the heart of this group’s vitality. It’s his robust sound and its dynamic presence that galvanises Gray and Morris, who are clearly loving it.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire

“This music is collectively improvised, the result of a spontaneous process made with a deep awareness of decades of free jazz practice…the players are free to be themselves, to draw at will from a continuum of ideas about how to interact, and to perhaps show a side that they don’t elsewhere.”
Bill Meyer, Dusted

“The trio’s congenial interplay is superlative, whether careening through the quicksilver changes of ‘Nettle’ or extrapolating the somber motifs of ‘Crow.’ A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com