quartet Archive

“Brubeck” – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Zurich 1964/ Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series 42 – TCB Music

“Brubeck” – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Zurich 1964/ Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series 42 – TCB Music

“Brubeck” – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Zurich 1964/ Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series 42 – TCB Music 02422, 72:33 *****: This is a terrific 1964 concert from a legendary jazz quartet! (Dave Brubeck – piano; Paul Desmond – alto saxophone; Eugene Wright – double bass; Joe Morello – drums) There have been many transformative jazz pianists. Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk are considered among the greatest. Dave Brubeck (the pride of Concord, California) is not always included with these legends. But as the founding member of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, he accomplished something unique. Brubeck was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1954. In typical humility, he bristled at this, and insisted that Duke Ellington was more deserving of this honor. At the time, the only other jazz artist to garner this recognition was Louis Armstrong. Brubeck ascended into jazz history with the 1959 album, Time Out. The classic quartet (which stayed intact for 16 years) included Paul Desmond (alto saxophone), Eugene Wright (double bass) and Joe Morello (drums). Brubeck’s discography is incredibly proficient, and the group was able to release multiple albums (up to four) in multiple years. Brubeck’s unique time signatures captivated audiences […]

WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series

WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series

A major Russian composer emerges in these scintillating chamber works.  WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series 2538/39, 79:45, 79:40, *****: It’s hard to imagine how difficult it was to be a Polish Jew in the mid-twentieth century. Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996) was an accomplished pianist and had written one string quartet by the age of 20 when Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 forced him to flee to Minsk, Russia. Two years later he learned that the Nazis had burned his mother and sister. In 1943, the German invasion of Russia forced him to flee to Tashkent, in present day Uzbekistan. He had the confidence to send his First Symphony to Dmitri Shostakovich, who arranged for him to move to Moscow. They became close friends and Weinberg lived there for the rest of his life as a freelance composer and pianist. While he never formally studied with Shostakovich, Weinberg said of his colleague, “I count myself as his pupil, his flesh and blood.” Although Weinberg’s music was known and performed in Russia (Kogan, Oistrakh, Gilels, Rostropovich and the Borodin […]

Gregory Porter (vocals) – Live In Berlin, Blu-ray + 2 CDs (2016)

Gregory Porter (vocals) – Live In Berlin, Blu-ray + 2 CDs (2016)

Soul/jazz singer releases a live performance Blu-ray. Gregory Porter – Live In Berlin, Blu-ray + 2 CDs (2016) Performers: Gregory Porter – vocals; Chip Crawford – piano; Jahmal Nichols – double bass; Emanuel; Harrold – drums; Tivon Pennicott – tenor saxophone Producer/Director: Jeremy Aziz Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment EVB335539 Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; PCM Stereo 2.0 Video: 16:9 for 1080i HD, color TrackList: (Same as CD): Holding On; On My Way To Harlem/What’s Going On; Take Me To The Alley; Don’t Lose Your Steam; Hey Laura; Liquid Spirit; Consequence Of Love; Bass Solo/Papa Was A Rolling Stone; Musical Genocide; Don’t Be A Fool; Work Song?Drum Solo; In Fashion; Be Good (Lion’s Song); 1960 What?; Water Under Bridges; Free/Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) Length: 128 minutes Rating: Audio ***1/2      Video ****      Overall **** Gregory Porter has become a star in the modern soul/jazz genre. His songwriting ability and recordings have garnered critical and fan enthusiasm. His stage persona has made him an international star. Eagle Vision has released a Blu-ray (with 2 CDs), titled Gregory Porter – Live In Berlin. Like many artists, their essence can often be understood in a context of performance. […]

Stephen Crump – Stephen Crump’s Rhombal – Papillon Sounds double vinyl

Stephen Crump – Stephen Crump’s Rhombal – Papillon Sounds double vinyl

Stephen Crump – Stephen Crump’s Rhombal – Papillon Sounds PS51514 stereo double vinyl, TT: 59:33 ****: Jazz bassist and composer releases an unusual tribute album. (Adam O’Farrill – trumpet; Ellery Eskelin – tenor saxophone; Stephen Crump – doublebass; Tyshawn Sorey – drums) Stephen Crump has established a solid reputation as a musician, composer and bandleader. He is known as a member of the Vijay Iyer Trio and his own Rosetta Trio. In 2015, he put together the Rhombal Quartet, with drummer Tyshawn Sorey, trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and saxophonist Ellery Eskelin. His intention was to pay tribute to his late brother, Patrick. Stephen Crump’s Rhombal was released in 2016 on MP3 and CD and now is available on vinyl format. Side A opens (“No D For Nelson”) with a vampy doublebass line, that is maintained throughout the piece. Crump and drummer Tyshawn Sorey (who are previously band mates) interact in a precise, cohesive manner. The melodic instrumentation falls to trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and saxophonist Ellery Eskelin. They delve into some abstract structures together and find room for solos. There is also a nimble, accelerated tempo break. “Grovi” embraces a funkier, soulful feel centered by Crump’s deft bass work. Trumpet and saxophone […]

Mike LeDonne, B-3, & The Groover Quartet – That Feelin’ – Savant

Mike LeDonne, B-3, & The Groover Quartet – That Feelin’ – Savant

Keeping the classic organ/sax quartet format vibrant… Mike LeDonne & The Groover Quartet – That Feelin’ – Savant SCD 2159, 59:38 ****: (Mike LeDonne – Hammond organ; Eric Alexander – tenor sax; Peter Bernstein – guitar; Joe Farnsworth – drums. With special guest, Vincent Herring –  alto sax on # 1, 5, & 6) Living in New York City with its unique seven-day-a-week jazz scene, provides the opportunity for Hammond B-3 organist, Mike LeDonne, to keep his Groover Quartet tight. Fellow band members Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Joe Farnsworth (drums) are all active with various projects and recording dates. Yet they can play with LeDonne often, usually at the jazz club Smoke. Mike has kept the soul jazz sax/organ/guitar front line format alive and kicking on his new CD, That Feelin’. It is a grouping that can re-conceptualize pop and soul charts like “La La Means I Love You” and “This Will Be an Everlasting Love” as well as the Broadway tune, “A Lot of Living to Do.” Straight-ahead jazz is covered by Donald Byrd’s “Fly Little Bird, Fly” and the standard, “At Last.” The quartet expands to a dual sax quintet with altoist, Vincent Herring, […]

Lee Konitz / Kenny Wheeler Quartet – Olden Times – Live At Birdland – Neuburg Double Moon

Lee Konitz / Kenny Wheeler Quartet – Olden Times – Live At Birdland – Neuburg Double Moon

Lee Konitz / Kenny Wheeler Quartet – Olden Times – Live At Birdland – Neuburg Double Moon DMCHR 71146, 78:31 ****: Time has not diminished the astounding expressiveness of these two musical innovators. (Lee Konitz – alto saxophone/ Kenny Wheeler – trumpet, Flugelhorn/ Frank Wunsch – piano; Gunnar Plümer – drums) It would be futile to attempt to categorize the Lee Konitz / Kenny Wheeler Quartet re-release Olden Times. Both Konitz and Wheeler are unique players and have been associated with jazz categories as diverse as cool, post-bop, and avant-guarde. The music on this album probably fits all of these possibilities, and more. The original release of Olden Times was originally in 2000, but for a variety of reasons never caught on with the listening public, disappeared without a trace, and rarely showed up in most discographies. This remastering has enhanced the listening experience and the music is filled with thought and vitality. All of the tunes were written by the various band members, with Konitz and Wheeler carrying the bulk of the load. Konitz starts off the session with his own composition “Lennie’s” which begins abruptly with Konitz leaning into the number. Filled with long improvisation alto lines, it […]

Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes

Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes

Saxophonist Nate Lepine: helping put the new Chicago sound on the musical map. Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes ee:16-054, 44:48 [9/30/16] ****: (Clark Sommers – bass; Nick Mazzarella – alto saxophone; Nate Lepine – tenor saxophone; Quin Kirchner – drums) Jazz fans may not realize it, but Chicago is a city with a vibrant jazz scene with talented musicians who regularly move outside of the jazz norm. For instance, tenor saxophonist Nate Lepine often goes toward the edges where free improvisation meets composed jazz. He cultivates material which has one step in the past and one foot in the ever-changing present. A sense of shifting between straightforward and forward-thinking permeates Lepine’s 44-minute debut, titled Quartet: Vortices. Alongside Lepine are other Chicago jazz artists who appreciate Lepine’s musical vision: bassist Clark Sommers (who has performed with Brian Blade, Bennie Maupin, Jeff Parker, and others); alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella (who has participated in other Chicago-based improv/jazz groups); and drummer Quin Kirchner (who has connections to Chicago bands such as Bill MacKay’s Darts & Arrows, the Rob Clearfield Trio and Old Door Phantoms). This foursome brings sympathetic perception to Lepine’s 11 originals, which range from whirlwind tunes to wafting cuts which have […]

“Tribute” = MOZART: Quartet in B-flat; Quintet in c – Michael Tree, viola/ Dover Quartet – Cedille

“Tribute” = MOZART: Quartet in B-flat; Quintet in c – Michael Tree, viola/ Dover Quartet – Cedille

Pay close attention to this one, as you are going to hear from them a whole lot more in the near future. Tribute = MOZART: Quartet in B-flat, K 589; Quintet in c, K 406 – Dover Quartet/ Michael Tree, viola (in Quintet) – Cedille CDR 90000 167, 73:10 [Distr. by Naxos] *****: Formed in 2008 at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music (recently appointed the faculty quartet in residence at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music), this is the Dover Quartet’s debut on disc, and happy the folks at Cedille who landed them. This is an auspicious entry into the recorded legacy of these pieces, and an equally auspicious entry into the glamour and time honored legacy of another quartet, the Guarneri, who themselves debuted in 1966 with an outstanding RCA recording of these same two quartets. Guarneri first violinist Arnold Steinhardt writes an introduction in the notes, and served as a coach to the quartet while still in nascent formation. To round off the circle, Guarneri violist Michael Tree plays second viola in this recording’s Quintet. It’s perhaps a little unfair to compare this release with that of the mentors, but the Dover comes out very well. Tempos are a […]

Dave Holland, doublebass – Aziza – Dare2

Dave Holland, doublebass – Aziza – Dare2

Dave Holland, doublebass – Aziza  [TrackList follows] – Dare2 DR2-009, 68:34 (10/14/16) ****: (Dave Holland – bass/ Lionel Loueke – guitar/ Chris Potter – saxophones/ Eric Harland – drums) Dave Holland Quartet keeps the intensity alive. With legendary Bassist Dave Holland celebrating his 70th birthday this year, we might reasonably expect him to settle down and apply himself to something a little more sedate and reflective. Perhaps, a “Gateway Trio Unplugged does Bob Dylan,” or better yet an orchestral version of “Conference of the Birds with lyrics by Rumi.” But that isn’t Dave; Instead, we get another version of the Dave Holland Band, now stripped down to a quartet, playing some of the most raucous, funky, and spirited jazz of the year. The record under review appears on his own label, which he founded in 2005. His long tenure with ECM, a label on which Dave’s brand of energy jazz seemed to be incongruous, and seems to be over. We might wonder if this signals a new direction in his music. The answer is no. There is no swerving or slowing for Mr. Holland. Joining the band is Lionel Loueke. Lionel is originally from Benin and arrived in United States […]

Noah Preminger, sax – Some Other Time – Newvelle vinyl

Noah Preminger, sax – Some Other Time – Newvelle vinyl

Saxist Noah Preminger explores the blues on winning Newvelle Records LP issue… Noah Preminger – Some Other Time – Newvelle NV003LP – 180gm audiophile vinyl ****: (Noah Preminger – tenor sax; Ben Monder – guitar; John Patitucci – bass; Billy Hart – drums) Newvelle Record’s latest release in their LP subscription series continues their winning streak in issuing state of the art LP recordings. Following in the foot steps of Frank Kimbrough’s Meantime and Jack DeJohnette’s Return, Noah Preminger’s Some Other Time boasts impeccable acoustics and a moody tenderness in an exploration of largely blues ballads. The interplay between the quartet is striking. Ben Monder’s guitar is a perfect foil for Noah’s breathy tenor explorations. It has both a warm and inviting presence that floats over and under themes presented. John Patitucci’s bass is muscular and sympathetic, similar to how Charlie Haden supported both Hank Jones and Pat Metheny. Billy Hart’s drumming is made to order for this group as his stick work is equally at home in straight ahead and free settings. On “Melancholia” and “Porcelain” he guides with care, and when a forceful hand is needed on Noah’s “Semenzato” his cymbals lead the way. Their shimmering presence in […]

The Modern Jazz Quartet – Lonely Woman – Atlantic (1962)/ Pure Pleasure (2016)

The Modern Jazz Quartet – Lonely Woman – Atlantic (1962)/ Pure Pleasure (2016)

A magnificent MJQ album in remastered vinyl sonics. The Modern Jazz Quartet – Lonely Woman [TrackList follows] – Atlantic PPAN SD1381 (1962)/Pure Pleasure Records (2016) – (4/16) *****: Lovingly remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London, this is one of the best of the many MJQ albums out there.  John Lewis (who in the liner notes by Raymond Mouly in France is called the second greatest American composer after Ellington) decided to honor one of the last great innovators in jazz – Ornette Coleman – by having the first track and the title of this album reflect one of his great compositions. Lewis saw Coleman as the first jazz genius since Parker, Gillespie and Monk. While not following Coleman’s own harmolodic theory, Lewis emphasizes the  often overlooked strength of his compositional ideas. The MJQ adds a chamber music-like feeling to its interpretations of Lewis originals “Fugato” and “Trieste.” Mouly talks about being tempted to call the “Fugato” and some other tracks “third-stream-and-a-half” for the remarkable quartet arrangements of what were originally works for full orchestra. “Lamb, Leopard” is from Lewis’ original ballet Original Sin and is a total delight. Milt Jackson’s vibes are distinctly on the left […]

Rocco John Quartet – Embrace the Change – Unseen Rain

Rocco John Quartet – Embrace the Change – Unseen Rain

New York City quartet which promotes changes, all sorts of changes. Rocco John Quartet – Embrace the Change [TrackList follows] – Unseen Rain UR-9947, 67:49 [5/6/16] ****: (Rocco John Iacovone – alto and soprano saxophone; Rich Rosenthal – guitar; François Grillot – double bass; Tom Cabrera – drums) Alto and soprano saxophonist Rocco John Iacovone and his quartet make accessible avant-garde and free jazz; or rather the musicians produce free-ranging material that is challenging but which is not too demanding to enjoy. There is an engaging openness to the eight lengthy tracks on this 68-minute release, Embrace the Change. There’s a continual development throughout Iacovone’s originals, a sense that listeners might not know where they’re going to next, but will appreciate the shifts and curves along the way. Rocco John (he shortens his name for his album projects) explains the underlying concept for his latest recording, “Embrace the change is a thought, an idea, and a philosophy. It’s a comment on our evolution as human beings. It seems the only constant we experience is change and we constantly need to learn how to deal with it. To do this, we have to dig deep. These were the thoughts behind the […]

HAYDN: Symphonies Nos. 78, 79, 80 & 81 – Accademia Bizantina/ Ottavio Dantone – 
Decca (2 CDs)

HAYDN: Symphonies Nos. 78, 79, 80 & 81 – Accademia Bizantina/ Ottavio Dantone – 
Decca (2 CDs)

Beautifully recorded and rendered, these original instrument realizations of rare Haydn symphonies do everyone honor. HAYDN: Symphony No. 78 in c; Symphony No. 79 in F Major; Symphony No. 80 in d; Symphony No. 81 in G Major – Accademia Bizantina/ Ottavio Dantone – Decca 478 8837 (2 CDs), 54:20, 55:10 (2/12/16) [Distr. by Universal] *****: Recorded June-September 2015, this little-known quartet of Haydn symphonies 78-81 dates from the years 1782-1784, when Haydn still served as kapellmeister to the Esterhazy family in their spectacular summer and winter palaces in Esterháza (present day Hungary) and Eisenstadt (Austria), where the music was first performed. Collectors will know these works through the Antal Dorati editions he led with Philharmonia Hungarica, or individually: for instance, the one symphony familiar to me, the sturm und drang No. 80 in d minor, I first heard in a live broadcast of the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos. Decca plans a 36-CD edition of the complete Haydn Symphonies as performed on period instruments. We might begin with Dantone’s reading of the said No. 80 in d minor: though not “officially” part of the composer’s sturm und drang compositions, it opens with a fierce gesture in tremolo – […]

BEN JOHNSTON: String Quartets Nos. 6, 7, & 8—Kepler Quartet—New World

BEN JOHNSTON: String Quartets Nos. 6, 7, & 8—Kepler Quartet—New World

A challenging new musical language for modern music lovers. BEN JOHNSTON: String Quartets Nos. 6, 7, & 8—Kepler Quartet—New World 80730-2, 66:43 [Distr. by Albany] ****: As difficult and dangerous as it is to climb Mt. Everest, people do it because it’s there. Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 7 (1984) is known among string players and ‘experts’ as the most difficult string quartet to perform. According to a recent New York Times article, the Kepler Quartet has made it a cause over the past 14 years to learn and record all of the 10 quartets that Mr. Johnston has written. Now, 90, the composer lives in a farm outside of Madison, Wisconsin and is in failing health. The Kepler Quartet has been so dedicated to finish the project that they rehearsed in a church close to Johnston’s farmhouse (“literally in the midst of a cornfield, in the midst of a cemetery”) so they could consult with him during rehearsals. What makes Johnston’s quartets so difficult to perform is that he inserts microtones “into the grid of the twelve pitch scale” that is a standard of tuning for normal intervals of the octave scale. Johnston calls it ‘just intonation’ tuning. The system […]

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live multichannel 5.1 LSO0786 TT: 66:28 (3/11/16) ****: A stunning performance and recording of these two transcriptions of Schubert and Shostakovich. The LSO Live label offers us an interesting disc of string quartets transcribed for a larger string ensemble, the Schubert by none other than Gustav Mahler, who loved the quartet and wanted to expand its sound. Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet, heard here in Mahler’s arrangement, was passed over in Schubert’s lifetime, the quartet has become a staple of the quartet repertoire.The original Quartet was written soon after Schubert had suffered from a significant period of illness, including syphilis, and some have speculated that it is the composer’s testament to his own death. The piece gains its title from the second movement, which is a set of five variations based on the melody of one of Schubert’s most poignant songs, Death and the Maiden, in which a girl struggles against the terror of impending death, that ‘grisly man of bone’, who casts himself as a welcome friend. Then we get the Shostakovich Chamber Symphony in c, […]

The Stryker/Slagle Band Expanded – Routes – Strikezone

The Stryker/Slagle Band Expanded – Routes – Strikezone

A jazz journey from two artists who’ve been there, done that. The Stryker/Slagle Band Expanded – Routes [TrackList follows] – Strikezone 8813, 50:16 [2/5/16] ****: (Dave Stryker – guitar, co-producer; Steve Slagle – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone (track 2), flute (tracks 2, 6), horn arranger, co-producer; John Clark – French horn; Billy Drewes – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet (tracks 2, 3); Clark Gayton – trombone, tuba (tracks 3, 6); Bill O’Connell – piano, Fender Rhodes (tracks 2, 5-6); Gerald Cannon – bass; McClenty Hunter – drums) On the 50-minute Routes, frequent musical allies, friends and co-leaders Dave Stryker (guitar) and Steve Slagle (saxes, flute) explore journeys from place to place, past to present, and person to person. The two have collaborated for decades on each other’s projects, in other people’s groups, and as the mainstays of the Stryker/Slagle Band. This time around, Slagle and Stryker have lots to say about areas they’ve called home, musicians they’ve performed with or met along the way, and the passage from their past to their present. That spacious viewpoint also means an enlarged ensemble was needed, thus this nine-track outing utilizes the Stryker/Slagle Band Expanded. One tune features Slagle and Stryker’s traditional quartet setting, […]

The Doug Webb Quartet – Sets the Standard – VSOP & The American Jazz Quintet – Gulf Coast Jazz – Wade in the Water – VSOP

The Doug Webb Quartet – Sets the Standard – VSOP & The American Jazz Quintet – Gulf Coast Jazz – Wade in the Water – VSOP

Two new releases from V.S.O.P Records to recommend… The Doug Webb Quartet – Sets the Standard – VSOP 128CD, 59:10 (3/18/16)  ****: (Doug Webb – tenor sax, soprano sax; stritch; Alan Broadbent – piano; Putter Smith – bass; Paul Kreibich – drums) The American Jazz Quintet – Gulf Coast Jazz – Wade in the Water – VSOP 129CD, 43:59 (1959)  ****: (Ellis Marsalis, Jr. – piano; Harold Battiste – tenor sax; Alvin Batiste – clarinet; Ed Blackwell – drums; Richard Payne or William Swanson – bass) V.S.O.P Records is a small label run by Peter Jacobson out of San Diego. They have an eclectic catalog of jazz releases both on their own label as well as from boutique labels such as Mode, Studio West, and Tampa Records. Their West Coast jazz releases have long been a favorite of mine and I especially prize issues from Pete Jolly, Frank Rosolino, and Marty Paich. Their latest releases, available March 18, 2016, are from LA-based saxophonist Doug Webb, as well as a follow-up release from The American Jazz Quintet (out of New Orleans) from 1959 that concentrates on jazz interpretations of gospel and spiritual music. The Doug Webb set was recorded on May […]

Florian Hoefner Group – Luminosity – Origin

Florian Hoefner Group – Luminosity – Origin

Musical storytelling which mixes compositional originality with instrumental brilliance. Florian Hoefner Group – Luminosity [TrackList follows] – Origin 82706, 54:28 [1/15/16] ****: (Seamus Blake – tenor and soprano saxophone; Florian Hoefner – piano; Sam Anning – bass; Peter Kronreif – drums) Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is a time-honored tradition in jazz. Pianist Florian Hoefner—born and raised in Germany and who finished his jazz education in Manhattan—took that journey a bit further than most. In 2014, he relocated from NYC to the isolated city of St. John’s in Canada’s farthest easterly province, Newfoundland. Not a hotbed of jazz, but the rugged and scenic area offered a place where Hoefner could and did focus his creativity. The result is Hoefner’s new quartet album, Luminosity, his third outing as a leader and one which exhibits growth, development and thoughtful complexity. The eight tunes (all Hoefner originals) total 54 minutes and were specifically composed for Hoefner’s international group, which also comprises tenor and soprano saxophonist Seamus Blake (who grew up on the west coast of Canada; runs his own quintet; and has been a regular with the Mingus Big Band); bassist Sam Anning (an Australian who resides in NYC and has worked with […]

CAROLA BAUCKHOLT: Need to talk to friends – Cikada Ensemble – 2L Pure Audio Blu-ray + SACD + downloads

CAROLA BAUCKHOLT: Need to talk to friends – Cikada Ensemble – 2L Pure Audio Blu-ray + SACD + downloads

CAROLA BAUCKHOLT: Ich muß mit Dir reden (Need to talk to friends) – Cikada Ensemble – 2L Pure Audio Blu-ray 2L-116-SABD + multichannel SACD, 54:20 – DTS-HD MA 192kHz/24 bit 5.1 & PCM stereo, mShuttle: stereo FLAC 96kHz + MP3 –  (2/26/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: A haunting electronic score with superb sonics. This disc is a collection of  contemporary music by composer Carola Bauckholt. Played by the Cikada Ensemble which has gained a reputation far beyond the boundaries of Scandinavia as a special ensemble for contemporary music, as well as for projects at the nexus of composition and improvisation. Its repertoire includes works for electrically amplified string quartet, as well as works which combine acoustic string sound and live electronics. The quartet also often works in unorthodox instrumental combinations such as quintet with accordion. The quartet’s core repertoire includes major works from the second half of the 20th century by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Rolf Wallin, Luigi Nono,  Iannis Xenakis, Toshio Hosokawa, and James Dillon as well as collaborations with musicians across genres such as Annette Peacock, Steve Swallow and Trygve Seim. Ms. Bauckholt was born in Krefeld, West Germany. She worked at the theater at the Marienplatz […]

Andrew Hill – The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint and Soul Note – (4 CDs)

Andrew Hill – The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint and Soul Note – (4 CDs)

Four albums which encompass pianist Andrew Hill’s creativity. Andrew Hill – The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint and Soul Note [TrackList follows] – CAM/Black Saint/Soul Note BXS 1039, CD 1: 40:32, CD 2: 42:06, CD 3: 48:10, CD 4: 43:46 [11/13/15] [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****: (CD 1: Faces of Hope, 1980. Andrew Hill – piano) (CD 2: Strange Serenade, 1980. Andrew Hill Trio: Hill – piano; Alan Silva – bass; Freddie Waits – percussion) (CD 3: Verona Rag, 1988. Hill – piano) (CD 4: Shades, 1987. Andrew Hill Trio and Quartet: Hill – piano; Clifford Jordan – tenor saxophone; Rufus Reid – bass; Ben Riley – drums) Pianist and composer Andrew Hill (d. 2007) was a very individualistic artist who conceived a distinctive jazz vernacular which employed and combined free jazz elements, chromatic components and modal moments. Hill typically gets branded as an avant-garde musician; yet his music (compositions and long-form improvisations) do not mirror the free dissonance of others pigeonholed as avant-garde or free jazz creators, such as Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and similar musicians. Although Hill was a stalwart performer and a noted educator, his standing was often as someone only known by other, […]

Dave Wilson Quartet – There Was Never – Zoho

Dave Wilson Quartet – There Was Never – Zoho

Saxophonist Wilson effortlessly moves from emotional aspects to abstract elements. Dave Wilson Quartet – There Was Never [TrackList follows] – Zoho ZM 201512, 65:33 (11/6/15) ****: (Dave Wilson – tenor, soprano saxophone, producer; Bobby Avey – piano; Tony Marino – acoustic bass; Alex Ritz – drums) When it’s cool outside, you can warm up with saxophonist Dave Wilson. Wilson’s latest outing, the hour-long There Was Never, arrives five years after his previous effort, Spiral (2010), and as usual his music boils and simmers, and is always as embracing as a hot toddy or heated apple cider (or wassail). On Spiral, Wilson led a quartet through scintillating originals and atypical covers. Wilson follows a similar path with his new material, which comprises six originals and three interpretive tracks. This time, Wilson uses pianist Bobby Avey, drummer Alex Ritz and bassist Tony Marino (who was on Spiral). Ritz, Avey and Marino are also members of Dave Liebman’s Expansions band, which means there’s a lot of simpatico communication. There’s plenty of instinctive liveliness on the seven-minute opener, “The Time Has Come,” which is fronted by Wilson’s commanding tenor sax. If a listener thinks of Trane, there’s a reason. Wilson acknowledges in the liner […]