La Perfecció de la Irrealitat is a sophisticated, expressive collection of compositions. Each tracks is layered with intricate musical constructs, building single-instrument melodies into fully articulated ensemble statements. Even at its most aggressive improvisational points, the quintet's sense of melodic continuity and ensemble character remain intact. Initially, great melodies rule the day, but the band takes a detour when it gets to JV," opening with the drunken ramble of five barflies determinedly singing a song they only half-remember. Dissolving into abstraction, the group partially reconstructs it, dissolves it again, and closes in a puddle of notes.read more
If, by some twist of fate, winds and reeds player Adam Kolker were not to be a musician, he would certainly have made a name for himself as a painter. Here too he would have had a choice of media, for he would have done extremely well as an impressionist whose canvases recalled the brilliance of Monet, or a water colorist who would have done the Japanese tradition proud. As it happens, he seems to have accomplished all of this exquisite visual artistry" in one fell swoop, on the musical canvas of his extraordinary album, Reflections. Kolker's warm, moist tone ...read more
Flag Day, from saxophonist Adam Kolker, exquisitely raises the standard of creative improvisation with its refreshingly cerebral musical explorations. Kolker is of the school that favors unhurried journeys through tunes. This allows the musicians to discover interesting musical nooks and crannies, expand on them and in the process create new music. Kolker wields an elegant instrument, whether it is his tenor, soprano, flute or clarinet, on these eight tunes. And he and the rest of this quartet forcefully remind that through keen reflection, introspection and inspection jazz can be stylistically powerful without post-bop frenetics in a kind of re-birth of ...read more
The sometimes heard, those that can't do, teach" is a description not very fitting of the jazz world as hundreds of great musicians have become professors at some of the finest educational institutions around the world as well as teach privately at home. Many elder statesmen such as pianists Kenny Barron and Barry Harris as well as saxophonists Jackie McLean and Yusef Lateef not to mention trumpeters Donald Byrd and Bill Dixon (just to mention a few) have been teaching for many years. Many of the next generation of top jazz musicians have also taken up teaching including pianist guru ...read more
Reedman Adam Kolker has garnered three Grammy nominations for his work alongside percussionist Ray Barretto. Now, as the leader on Sultanic Verses, he teams up again with Barretto, whose churning rhythms aid and abet pianist Bruce Barth, bassist John Herbert, and drummer Billy Hart.Four tunes are "Verses," shuffled in with the Kolker originals and a couple of time- polished classics: Monk's "Epistrophy" and the American Songbook gem, "All or Nothing at All." The Verses are duets, featuring Kolker's sweet-toned soprano weaving around Barretto's fluid grooves. "All or Nothing at All" showcases Kolker's airy yet still substantial tenor tone, ...read more
The respective musicians who comprise this trio inadvertently broaden modern jazz horizons, with this lovely outing inspired by Bela Bartok’s progressive piano pieces. In addition, these gents represent some of the younger and more successful New York based artists who frequently enjoy first call session status. Nonetheless, this production resides within avant/chamber jazz stylizations primarily due to the band’s delicately fabricated and thoroughly melodic treatments. On many of these pieces they abide by a doctrine founded upon intricately devised three-way dialogue and gently rendered ostinato motifs. At times, the music is so fragile; illusions of weightlessness may come to mind. ...read more
“Crazybird” represents a group of young, talented New York based modern jazz musicians led by saxophonist Adam Kolker. Kolker has sewn roots with the likes of Maria Schneider, Bobby Previte and others.
The set opens with an up-tempo take on Monk’s “Green Chimneys”. A New Orleans style shuffle beat adds a fresh twist while quickly transforming into a bump and grind swing bash. Drummer Jeff Ballard shines here and throughout with polyrhythmic force and ferocious swing. Ballard is also a member of the New York Jazz Collective and is a definite star on the rise! The exciting and technically gifted ...read more