Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy One Of The Boston Globe’s Top 10 Jazz Albums For 2009

December 21, 2009

The Boston Globe‘s Living Editor, and resident jazz reviewer, Steve Greenlee chose the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity) as one of his Top 10 Jazz Albums for 2009 in Sunday’s paper.

“The young saxophonist plays both raucously and sweetly,” Greenlee noted, “and he puts every genre at his disposal, from blues to swing to free improvisation.”

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.”

Boston Globe: The Fully Celebrated At Ryles

June 2, 2009

Steve Greenlee reviews The Fully Celebrated’s May 29th Boston CD release party for Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity) at Ryles Jazz Club in today’s Boston Globe.

“The Fully Celebrated is a force to be reckoned with, in Boston and beyond,” Greenlee writes. “Much of this has to do with the power of the songwriting on the trio’s CD, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones, which it celebrated fully Friday night at Ryles. Their new album is one of the finest jazz discs of the year, full of innovative compositions, great grooves, and inspired playing.”

Shakti Reviewed By Dusted And JazzTimes

February 9, 2009

Two new reviews to report for David S. Ware’s new release, Shakti (AUM Fidelity).

“Ware’s inventiveness burns as brightly as ever,” writes Marc Medwin in his review for Dusted, “his playing encompassing every dynamic and expressive shade. Shakti is a bold new statement from a true innovator.”

In the new March issue, JazzTimes‘ Steve Greenlee adds, “he is certainly employing a broader palette than he did in his younger days. Gone is Matthew Shipp, who helped sculpt the Ware sound, replaced with guitarist Joe Morris, who plays with much more subtlety, giving Ware more breathing room for his own solos…a new direction for Ware, one that promises to be equally fulfilling.”

JazzTimes’ Top 50 CDs of 2008: Update

January 5, 2009

In its February issue, now reaching the hands of subscribers, JazzTimes lists its Top 50 CDs of 2008, as compiled from a list of ballots from its contributors. 

As you may know from our December 19th post on the subject, based on the results published on JazzTimes.com a few weeks ago, the Mary Halvorson Trio’s Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) made the list. The print version confirms this and ranks the disc at number 43.

In his related blurb, Managing Editor Evan Haga writes, “As close as you can get to ‘rising star’ in the avant-garde, Halvorson, a Braxton disciple, is that rarest of out players: A guitarist whose startling effect relies not on sonics but on jarringly angular composition and improvisation.”

What we didn’t know until now, as it was not included in the results posted online for whatever reason, is that another client release, Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings), also squeezed on to the (last but not) list at number 50.

In a reprinted excerpt from the magazine’s original review, Steve Greenlee writes, “A feeling of tethered freedom pervades Pavone’s excellent new record, which reunites him with old comrade Paul Bley on their first recording together in 35 years…What a reunion, and [Matt] Wilson fits right in. His symbiosis with Pavone is remarkable.”

So, a belated congratulations to Mario, who, btw, you can catch live celebrating his other 2008 release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings), at Iridium on Wednesday night. 

And, in a final note on this best-of issue, Nate Chinen included the June 13th performance by Kidd Jordan/Fred Anderson/William Parker/Hamid Drake at Vision Festival XIII on his list of 10 memorable performances from 2008 in his monthly column, The Gig.

Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc In Steve Greenlee’s Top 10 of 2008 (Boston Globe)

December 16, 2008

The Boston Globe‘s Steve Greenlee has named bassist/composer Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings) one of his Top 10 CD Picks of 2008.

Trio Arc documents Pavone’s first collaboration with legendary pianist, and former mentor, Paul Bley in 35 years. The release of this entirely improvised trio session, featuring frequent collaborator Matt Wilson on drums, earlier this year marked the 40th anniversary of Pavone’s recorded debut on Bley’s 1968 LP, Canada (Canada Radio).

Greenlee writes, “Their simpatico replaces any need for structured timekeeping, and together they produce a beautifully odd amalgam of sounds.”