AAJ-NY: Joe Morris Quartet + Eri Yamamoto Trio

December 29, 2009

In addition to the results of the annual Best of 2009 feature, the January issue of AllAboutJazz-New York also includes new reviews of AUM Fidelity‘s latest releases, the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth and the Eri Yamamoto Trio’s In Each Day, Something Good (coming January 12th).

“Longtime Morris collaborators Jim Hobbs (saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums) all shine throughout this record,” writes reviewer Wilbur MacKenzie of the former. “Hobbs’ solo on ‘Animal’ is nothing short of astounding in its abstract lyricism, replete with throaty vocalizations, dramatic use of negative space and a gradually expanding phrase structure. Morris’ compositions linger in the ear, as the ensemble dynamics in the improvisations always develop and enrich the evocative themes.”

“Yamamoto’s playing, unhurried and unforced, nevertheless demonstrates an active imagination and gift for melody,” declares Robert Iannapollo, “her improvisations avoid sweeping theatrical gestures in favor of focused introspection, in the spirit of someone who stops along the way to pore over the small details of everyday life that often elude those who hurry on. Displaying an intuitive rapport based on umpteen hours of on-the-job repartee, the trio recalls the close commerce and intimate atmosphere of Bill Evans’ classic group, the musical equivalent of an isosceles triangle.”

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Fay Victor Ensemble Tonight At Roulette (NYC) + Sunday At The Rotunda (Philly)

October 1, 2009

Vocalist/composer Fay Victor and her longstanding quartet, The Fay Victor Ensemble, will celebrate their new release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), tonight at Roulette in New York.

A second CD release show will follow at The Rotunda in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Critical praise for the disc, and Ms. Victor’s innovative approach to creative improvised music, continues to roll in.

“Fay Victor’s second recording of original material, The FreeSong Suite, peers into the NYC-based vocalist’s challenging and rewarding world of captivating vocal work and stirring spontaneity,” explains PopMatters.com’s Andrew Zender, “further augmenting [her] status as a musician and composer who is rewriting the rules of vocal jazz.”

“Each piece on The FreeSong Suite gradually unfolds, emerging from a tapestry of improvisation to reveal precisely executed transitions, grooves and ensemble passages,” writes AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Wilbur MacKenzie. “Victor scats, vocalizes, chips, mumbles and sings bluesy chromatics or angular displays of dexterity, delivering the unexpected with beauty, depth and innovation.”

The Jazz Session‘s Jason Crane adds, “Vocalist Fay Victor will amaze you. Her voice is strong and expressive, and her musical conception is unlike anything I’ve heard recently. Or maybe ever. From free improv to the blues to alt-rock and back again, The FreeSong Suite is easily one of my top 10 records of 2009.”

Learn more at http://fayvictor.wordpress.com