December 23, 2009
The Boston Phoenix‘s resident jazz aficionado Jon Garelick reflects on his 10 favorite moments of the year in this week’s issue.
Two of those moments are related to Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music) and the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity).
“Call what Garrison Fewell does composition or simply strategies for improvisation,” Garelick writes. “Whatever, the guitarist formerly known as one of Boston’s most eloquent inside players has become one of its leading experimenters. On this year’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), Fewell gathered some superb improvisers—among them frequent guitar-duo partner (and CNM honcho) Eric Hofbauer, New York trumpeter Roy Campbell, and Italian bass-clarinettist Achille Succi—and they, following his spare instructions and often graphic scores, created a suite of ‘variable density’ and unforced lyricism, all with compositional integrity.”
“Alto-saxophonist Jones, 31, now lives in Brooklyn (natch),” Garelick continues, “but he hails from rural Virginia, and he likes churchy old blues, boogie-woogie, and the kind of folkish tunes that Albert Ayler used to write. On Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity), his music sounds older than old—ancient, in fact—but also completely up to the minute. Working with Boston drummer Bob Moses and New Yorker Cooper-Moore (who plays piano and his homemade diddley bow), Jones delivers forceful melodies with a just-discovered freshness. The trio’s show at Outpost 186 in October was a standout.”
August 28, 2009
The resurgent JazzTimes shows two of our guitarists, Garrison Fewell and Michael Musillami, some love in the newly arrived August/September issue, making its return to active publishing status that much sweeter.
“Variable Density Sound Orchestra should be on jazz education syllabi worldwide,” declares Michael J. West in his review of Fewell’s latest release on Boston’s Creative Nation Music. “It demonstrates how even free improvisation depends on musicians listening closely to each other. Guitarist Garrison Fewell’s septet uses some compositional structures, but the real backbone comes from developing and responding to each other’s spontaneous ideas. The products of that chemistry are gorgeous.”
In his review of the Michael Musillami Trio +3’s From Seeds (Playscape Recordings), Chris Kelsey writes, “Vibist Matt Moran, alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller join guitarist Musillami in performing his creative, forward-thinking compositions. The music is exceptional in all respects, from the fiery but respectful readings of Musillami’s tortuous compositions to the inspired solo work by one and all…Musillami is at his best when exploiting his nuanced quasi-acoustic sound, as he lays down long, unpredicatable freeboppish lines. Alessi and Moran are excellent, and Ehrlich is brilliant—his playing here is fresh and impassioned.”
February 24, 2009
Heard weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Jazz Show block on Chicago’s WNUR 89.3 FM is one of the most respected in all of radio.
As is their tradition, the programmers have voted on their Top 40 recordings of 2008, and released the results to coincide with their annual Phoneathon.
We’re pleased to report that Nicole Mitchell’s Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12 Records) topped the list.
The following client releases were also included:
#08: Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records)
#10: William Parker Quartet, Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)
#14: William Parker, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM Fidelity)
#27: The Roy Campbell Ensemble, Akhenaten Suite (AUM Fidelity)
#30: Bill Dixon, 17 Musicians In Search of a Sound: Darfur (AUM Fidelity)
Congratulations to all the artists and labels recognized in this poll.
February 19, 2009
John Sharpe’s review of guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell’s newly released Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music) is now available at AllAboutJazz.com
He writes, “Delights abound on every track and while there is no doubting the serious intent, this recording must have been as much fun to make as it is to listen to.”
February 17, 2009
Today is the official street date for the two latest releases from Boston’s Creative Nation Music, guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell‘s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) and The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s Muse (CNM 015).
Fewell’s second release for the label, following 2008’s The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010), Variable Density Sound Orchestra is the self-titled debut of his newest working ensemble. The group features Eric Hofbauer (guitars and percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute and percussion), Achille Succi (bass clarinet and alto saxophone), John Voigt (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums) and Alex Fewell (percussion).
Muse, the follow-up to The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra’s self-released 2006 debut, Clairvoyance, is built around the theme of celebrating those who inspired her. It features arrangements of three pieces by special guest George Garzone and original compositions honoring Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Foster and Steve Lacy among others.
Both releases are part of the label’s ongoing fifth anniversary celebration in 2009, which also includes a package tour of New England and the forthcoming launch of a new series of rare, never-before-released and reissued music called The Hub Collection.
January 29, 2009
Tomorrow night, Boston-based guitarist/composer Garrison Fewell and his newest working ensemble, the Variable Density Sound Orchestra, will celebrate their forthcoming self-titled debut on Creative Nation Music with a two-set performance at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theater in Cambridge, MA (Central Square).
The group, which features Roy Campbell (trumpet and flute), Achille Succi (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Eric Hofbauer (guitar), John Voigt (bass) and Miki Matsuki (drums), will be joined by special guests, Steve Swell (trombone) and Dmitry Ishenko (bass).
Variable Density Sound Orchestra (CNM 014) officially hits the streets on February 17th.