January 4, 2010
Dusted‘s Bill Meyer kicks off the new year in style with a review of Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records).
“He gives each element room to move,” Meyer writes, “and each personal/instrumental combination enough space for their interactions to be clearly perceived. Despite the size of the band on Tapestries (which includes Michel Côté on bass and contrabass clarinetist, cellist Glynis Lomon, bassist Ken Filiano, percussionist Warren Smith, and Rob Mazurek, Stephen Haynes, Graham Haynes, and Taylor Ho Bynum on cornets and trumpets), each contribution stands out so clearly that this music sounds even more transparent than that of Vade Mecum and Papyrus, the multi-volume recordings for two-to-four musicians that Dixon made during the 1990s. Each part, no matter how small, is played with conviction and sensitivity so to fit into the bigger picture.”
December 7, 2009
The new Critics’ Choice column in today’s New York Times features a review of Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records) by Ben Ratliff.
“The low notes in Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra loom like great whales,” he writes, “powering through the best of its long, patient, texture-obsessed performances. They’re played by double-bass and contrabass clarinet; above them floats a cloud of brass, directed and defined by Mr. Dixon’s own trumpet-playing. [He] has some deep and original thoughts about abstraction in music, and doesn’t leave beauty behind…a few of these pieces—especially ‘Motorcycle ’66: Reflections & Ruminations,’ ‘Adagio: Slow Mauve Scribblings’ and ‘Allusions I’—have a majesty for which you have to write in your own meaning.”
December 4, 2009
Bill Tilland reviews trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon’s Tapestries For Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records) in a new post on the BBC’s Web site.
“Both his compositions and his own playing tend to be very painterly,” he writes, “with extensive use of space and silence, tonal colours, instrumental juxtapositions and aural gestures: smears, burrs, squeaks, rasps and vocalisations. Each piece has a distinct texture, shape and sense of movement. The music defies classification and is sometimes ‘difficult’, but Dixon’s academic sensibilities are clearly energised by a soulful, passionate aesthetic.”
He adds, “Tapestries is not for the timid or intellectually complacent listener, but anyone prepared to meet Dixon’s music halfway will reap some significant rewards.”
December 3, 2009
Late in the day yesterday, Destination: Out posted its review of Tapestries for Small Orchestra, Bill Dixon’s new three-disc set on Firehouse 12 Records, and with it an exclusive download of an alternate take of the track “Motorcycle ’66”.
The review calls the set “thoroughly stunning” and goes on to add, “Dixon presents gorgeous, slow-moving tableaus, highlighting the range of sounds and textures that the trumpets and cornets can produce. Charged yet sedate, unhurried in the extreme yet never ponderous, it’s mature music that is all too aware of the passing of time; the passing of time is in part what this music is about.”
November 23, 2009
AllAboutJazz.com’s Managing Editor John Kelman posted his review of vocalist/composer Fay Victor‘s latest release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), over the weekend.
“Once again,” he writes, “Victor’s soulful, emotive delivery combines with avant-tinged invention, placing her alongside great vocal innovators like Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, Sheila Jordan…a truly creative singer with the chops to accomplish whatever she wants, but the good taste to ensure that substance always trumps style.”
He adds, “With an ensemble that twists and turns the music in response to, and as a catalyst for, Victor’s own unbound improvisational acumen, The Freesong Suite is a vocal album that stands well above the pack; a welcome respite from the unwieldy preponderance of unimaginative vocal jazz albums hitting the market.”
November 20, 2009
Mike Chamberlain reviews the Fay Victor Ensemble‘s new release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), in this week’s issue of Montreal’s arts weekly, hour.
“What you hear on this album is raw and quirky and powerful and full of feeling and surprise and particularities that reflect universal human truths,” he writes. “One of the unique listening experiences of this or any other year.”
Ms. Victor will be performing with multiple ensembles at this weekend’s Vision Festival fundraiser, 28 Hours of Innovative Art, and on Monday at The 55 Bar with her group, Fay Victor’s Jazz Vault.
November 17, 2009
Firehouse 12 Records is proud to announce the release of eminent trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon‘s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (FH12-04-03-008), a three-disc set that includes two audio CDs of new original music and a DVD featuring the documentary film, Bill Dixon: Going To The Center.
Made possible in part by a grant from the LEF Foundation‘s Contemporary Work Fund, and the support of the Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music), this project documents the three-day recording process at Firehouse 12’s state of the art recording studio from start to finish, offering unprecedented access into Dixon’s creative process.
The session, which produced eight new tracks, features Dixon (trumpet and electronics), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, flugelhorn, bass and piccolo trumpets), Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn and electronics), Stephen Haynes (trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn), Rob Mazurek (cornet and electronics), Glynis Lomon (violincello), Michel Côté (contrabass clarinet and bass clarinet), Ken Filiano (double bass and electronics) and Warren Smith (vibraphone, marimba, drums, tympani and gongs).