Jessica Pavone’s Songs Of Synastry And Solitude

December 11, 2009

In the December edition of his column, Live in New York, Martin Longley reviews the November 10th CD release party for Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik), violist/composer Jessica Pavone‘s latest recording, at Roulette.

Songs Of Synastry And Solitude uses a string quartet to realize a set of compositions that surely had the sound of a singer reverberating between Pavone’s lobes whilst she was penning them. The art of the song appears to be precisely what she’s addressing, but using the tools of the chamber recital…pieces make up what feels like a suite, with their sustained mood and growing weight. A beautifully miserable mood was lingeringly woven, a dark air which is in keeping with Pavone’s acknowledged immersion in the wry-humoured poetry of Leonard Cohen.”


Spearmint Music: Jessica Pavone Interview

December 1, 2009

Photo by Jessica Pavone

This past Wednesday, New York-based musician, writer and WKCR DJ Kurt Gottschalk posted an interview with violist/composer Jessica Pavone on his blog, Spearmint Music, as part of the ongoing series, High Bias, which asks prominent musicians to answer a dozen standard questions.

Her latest record, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik), was released October 27th.

Remembering 2009

November 23, 2009

Image from
The latest can to be kicked around the jazz blogosphere (and beyond) is what records make the cut as the best of the decade.

As much as we enjoy the opportunity to reminisce about our first seven-plus years in business, and the 135 recordings we promoted for our clients in that span, we’re not quite ready to dip a toe in that nearly bottomless pool just yet.

But, we’re more than happy to shine a light on the recordings we promoted for our clients in 2009 (in order of their release).

Hopefully at least a few of these will end up on your year’s best list or at least your list for Santa.

David S. Ware
Shakti (AUM Fidelity)

Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn
Farmers By Nature (AUM Fidelity)

The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra
Muse (Creative Nation Music)

Garrison Fewell
Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music)

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)

Michael Musillami Trio + 3
From Seeds (Playscape Recordings)

The Fully Celebrated
Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity)

John Hébert
Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records)

Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
Sided Silver Solid (Firehouse 12 Records)

Joe Morris/Petr Cancura/Luther Gray
Wildlife (AUM Fidelity)

Tea Music (Allos Documents)

Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records)

Fay Victor Ensemble
The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)

Fonda/Stevens Group
Memphis (Playscape Recordings)

Harris Eisenstadt
Canada Day (Clean Feed)

Darius Jones Trio
Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity)

Joe Morris Quartet
Today On Earth (AUM Fidelity)

Jessica Pavone
Songs Of Synastry And Solitude (Tzadik)

Bill Dixon
Tapestries For Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records)

JazzTimes: Taylor Ho Bynum, Darius Jones and Jessica Pavone

November 16, 2009

The December issue of JazzTimes arrived this weekend and with it reviews of three of our clients’ most recent releases, Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings’ Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records), the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity) and Jessica Pavone’s Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik).

Michael J. West called Madeleine Dreams‘ title track “a six-movement suite that intriguingly blends chamber classical, beatnik jazz, indie-rock and free improvisation, dominated by violin (Jason Kao Hwang), viola (Jessica Pavone), cello (Tomas Ulrich) and stately, evocative moods. Vocalist Kyoko Kitamura recited magical-realism vignettes, based on an acclaimed novel by Bynum’s sister, that blur the line between reality and the world of dreams…it’s a fun listen.”

Jones, 31, is a hotshot we should keep our eyes and ears on,” declared Steve Greenlee. “He’s got a raw but disciplined sound, a head full of ideas and a heart full of talent. On his debut album, he plays sweetly, melodically, plaintively, raucously and discordantly. He plays outside and in. He goes from blues to swing to free and back again. He never wastes a note or a breath.”

Jessica Pavone has begun making a name for herself in the world of modern improvised music,” wrote Mike Shanley, “but those words only go so far when trying to describe her work. Performed by members of the Toomai String Quintet (Pavone doesn’t appear on the disc), the music doesn’t reside in the frenetic free zone where the composer sometimes dwells. Each track averages about four minutes in length, with many going through a few different sections, yet the whole work flows together like a complete, compelling composition.”

Jessica Pavone CD Release Concert At Roulette Tonight

November 10, 2009

Tonight at Roulette in New York, violist/composer Jessica Pavone will leave the playing to the Toomai String Quintet, as the group performs selections from her new release, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik).

The record, part of the label’s Oracles series celebrating “the diversity and creativity of women in experimental music making,” is a collection of string quartets (violin, viola, cello and double bass) inspired by the simple beauty of American folk songs, and modeled after singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate (Columbia).

Critics have called the music “simple and stately, with a sombre grace” (Nilan Perera, Exclaim!), “wordless distillations of feeling and reflection” (Julian Cowley, The Wire) and “patient and clear, occasionally swinging and always heartfelt” (Time Out New York).’s Troy Collins adds, “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.”

Jessica Pavone Interview

November 5, 2009
Photo by Erica Magrey

Photo by Erica Magrey

Roulette has posted an interview with violist/composer Jessica Pavone on its blog in advance of her upcoming concert on November 10th.

Ms. Pavone and the Toomai String Quintet will be celebrating the release of her new CD, Songs of Synastry and Solitude (Tzadik).

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

October 29, 2009

Songs of Synastry and Solitude is full of lyrical beauty and lush melodicism,” writes Dusted‘s Adam Strohm, “but it’s smart and spare, composed with an economy that never veers into anything saccharine. Performed with aplomb, these songs, no matter their tips of the hat, sound clean and fresh, imbued with an unobtrusive slice of personality. It’s further evidence (though, by now, hardly needed) that Jessica Pavone is a vital force in New York’s music community, capable and competent of playing way out in left field, or keeping things much closer to home.”