All Music Guide Reviews The Fully Celebrated

April 28, 2009


Michael G. Nastos’ early review of The Fully Celebrated’s Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity) is now posted at AllMusic.com 

“Spare music yet fully formed,” he writes, “this talented trio provides interesting sounds all listeners of creative improvised music should thoroughly enjoy.”

The Fully Celebrated, formerly known as The Fully Celebrated Orchestra, is alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Django Carranza.

Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones, the band’s first recording in four years, hits the streets May 26th.

CD release celebrations are scheduled for Thursday, May 28th at Barbès (Brooklyn, New York) and Friday, May 29th at Ryles Jazz Club (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

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Firehouse 12 To Present The Noah Preminger Quartet April 24th

March 25, 2009
Photo by Matthew Fried

Photo by Matthew Fried

On Friday, April 24th, Firehouse 12 will present a two-set performance by tenor saxophonist/composer Noah Preminger and his quartet. The Hartford native and widely acclaimed wunderkind is on the road building on the success of his 2008 debut, Dry Bridge Road (Nowt Records), which earned Best Debut of the Year honors in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Poll. His group features the veteran talents of pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Jeff Davis.

In a recent feature in the Boston Globe, Siddhartha Mitter wrote, “all the evidence thus far says Preminger is ahead of the game. He plays with not just chops and composure, but already a distinct voice: His approach privileges mood and reflectiveness, favoring weaving lines that can be complex but are also concise, without a trace of over-playing or bravado.” Other critics have called him “a young and exciting saxophonist who, at the age of 22, seems calm, cool and collected” (Michael P. Gladstone, AllAboutJazz.com) and “a composer of wit, substance, and intrigue whose music requires close listening to reveal all the intricacies therein” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide).

A 2008 graduate of Boston’s New England Conservatory, where he studied with such notable musicians as Rakalam Bob Moses and Danilo Pérez, Preminger moved to New York this past summer and currently resides in Brooklyn. In addition to his own band, he is already working with a number of established leaders, including Dave Allen, Bruno Råberg and his producer and mentor, John McNeil. “Noah Preminger may be in his early 20s but the maturity of his musical choices shows he’s a good listener and very talented,” explains the Hartford Courant‘s Richard Kamins. “Dry Bridge Road is a very strong start to what one hopes is a long and creative career.” 

2009 Spring Jazz Series Schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Tickets and more information available at:
http://firehouse12.com/performance_space_calendar.asp


The Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds Coming May 19th

February 24, 2009

Playscape Recordings is proud to announce the May 19th street date of the first release on its 10th anniversary schedule, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds (PSR#020109). 

The follow-up to 2007’s The Treatment (PSR#050607), his trio’s critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, this release finds guitarist/composer Michael Musillami augmenting his seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran. 

The full group will tour the Northeast U.S. in support of the record in May and the core trio will tour Western Europe in late March.

“Composing and arranging all new music for a cohesive group that combines vibes, trumpet, and alto with a guitar trio meant taking things to a whole new level,” explains Musillami in the From Seeds liner notes. 

“Joe, George and I have come to trust each other completely on the stand.  The drama and constant shifts in environments can be both frightening and beautiful, and I didn’t want to lose any of the close interaction we’ve developed over the past seven years.  I needed three players with the sound, experience and confidence to not only play this music, but also put their stamp on it without taking away from what the trio does best.  Marty, Matt and Ralph were perfect choices.”

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his most recent, The Treatment, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, PointofDeparture.org). 

It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in AllAboutJazz.com, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal). 

“His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator.  In addition to his flagship trio with Fonda and Schuller, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe and released three CDs since 2002, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring such prominent collaborators as Cameron Brown, Thomas Chapin, Drew Gress, Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. 

He is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School and founder/director of the esteemed Playscape Recordings label, which has released more than 40 distinctive recordings over the past decade.  Learn more at http://www.michaelmusillami.com


David S. Ware’s New CD, Shakti, Released Today

January 27, 2009

 Today is the official street date for eminent saxophonist/composer David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM052) on AUM Fidelity.

This release, Ware’s fifth for the label and his first studio date since 2003, marks the recorded debut of a new working ensemble, his first since the disbanding of the long-lived and prolific David S. Ware Quartet (1989-2006).

Shakti presents a distinctive selection of Ware compositions written specifically for this group, which features guitarist Joe Morris, bassist William Parker and drummer Warren Smith, as well as a new interpolation of “Antidromic” from 1997’s Wisdom of Uncertainty (AUM001).

Here’s a sample of the press response thus far:

“Those who enjoy the music of David S. Ware can easily relate to this excellent recording of his new music concept, backed by equally extraordinary players who perfectly understand his vision and purpose.”
Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

“Ware projects total conviction in the central role, his improvisations towering and incandescent.”
Andy Hamilton, The Wire

“Joined by erstwhile bassist William Parker, Ware finds accord in two new ensemble mates, iconic guitarist Joe Morris and legendary drummer Warren Smith. A refreshingly lyrical and emotionally committed performance by masterful improvisers, Shakti ebbs with soulful intensity and inspired interplay, making this one of the most compelling, yet accessible, recordings of Ware’s career.”
Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com

As you likely know, the release of this recording, which was intended to kick-off a year of celebrating Ware’s 50th anniversary as a saxophone player, comes at a time of declining health and the news he is in immediate need of a kidney transplant.

Thanks to all who have expressed their well wishes, especially those who have help spread the call for potential donors across cyberspace.  I hope to have positive news to share in the coming days and weeks.


Reminder: Michael Musillami Trio + 3 To Make NYC Debut January 31st

December 31, 2008

 On Saturday, January 31st, guitarist/composer Michael Musillami‘s newest ensemble, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3, will make its New York debut at Cornelia Street Cafe.  The group will be performing new original music, which it will then record the following day for its forthcoming May 2009 release on Playscape Recordings.  The Michael Musillami Trio + 3 augments Musillami’s longstanding core trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his latest, 2007’s The Treatment, featuring his trio with violinist Mark Feldman, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, PointofDeparture.org).  It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in AllAboutJazz.com, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal).  “His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”


Reminder: Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet At Iridium January 7th

December 23, 2008

 On Wednesday, January 7th, acclaimed bassist/composer Mario Pavone and his newest working ensemble, the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet, will celebrate the release of their November debut, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings), with a two-set performance at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club. Pavone will also perform in New York a few days earlier on Friday, January 2nd at Cornelia Street Cafe with the sextet featured on his 2006 release, Deez To Blues (Playscape Recordings).

“The towering twin tenor approach is the focal point for Ancestors,” explains the All Music Guide‘s Michael G. Nastos, “utilizing two of the finest young, experienced, and individualistic saxophone players in modern jazz music—Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene. Add the under-appreciated but awesome pianist Peter Madsen and the reliable juggernaut of a drummer, Gerald Cleaver, and you have the makings for a truly superior combo, one of the best Pavone has ever fronted. While Pavone’s recordings are generally reliable and pointedly original, this effort is close to his very best, and deserves consideration for best jazz CD of 2008.” 

“On his day,” declared veteran jazz reviewer Brian Morton in Point of Departure, “Mario Pavone is one of the very best – and when on his game, by far the best – small-group composer/leaders working on the East Coast.” 

Critics have called him “a smart composer” (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and “a protean bassist” (Paul Blair, Hot House) who “never fails to implant an effective hook” (Bill Shoemaker, DownBeat) and “continues to move the tradition forward with every record” (John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com). 

His music has been described as “exciting and stimulating” (Jay Collins, Cadence), “sensitive and probing” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant) and “full of smart angular swagger” (Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise).

The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet will perform at Iridium Jazz Club on Wednesday January 7th at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets, $25, are available for sale at (212) 582-2121. Tickets, directions and further venue details are also available at http://iridiumjazzclub.com/info.php

The Mario Pavone Deez to Blues Sextet will perform at Cornelia Street Cafe on Friday, January 2nd at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per set with a one-drink minimum. Reservations can be made at (212) 989-9319 and further venue info is available at http://corneliastreetcafe.com. The band will feature Mario Pavone (bass), Charles Burnham (violin), Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet), Lauren Sevian (baritone saxophone), Peter Madsen (piano) and Michael Sarin (drums).