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Ari Hoenig: Lines of Oppression

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When Bill Evans began building trios that represented a collaboration of equals rather than soloist accompanied by rhythm section, it's unlikely the late pianist could have envisioned the way Jean-Michel Pilc, bassist François Moutin and drummer Ari Hoenig wowed fans at a 2011 Ottawa International Jazz Festival performance. Bringing new meaning to the phrase “egalitarian," each and every member was clearly capable of pushing the music in a new direction, so keenly attuned were they to each other. Hoenig, in particular, seemed a mad instigator, grinning fiercely as he pushed his elbow down on his snare hard, turning it from ...


Ari Hoenig Quartet: Niu's Jazz & Blues Bar, Bangkok

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Ari Hoenig Quartet Niu's Jazz & Blues Bar Silom, Bangkok, Thailand November 5, 2009

There is no other drummer quite like New Yorker Ari Hoenig. Watching him play is like marveling at a cross between Animal, the wild drummer of Muppets fame, and Max Roach. His approach to drumming is intense above all, ferocious even at times, and yet his harmonic manipulation of his kit is subtlety itself. The crowd at Niu's Jazz & Blues Bar saw both faces of Hoenig on the opener, an original take on Charlie Parker's eternally popular “Billie's ...


Ari Hoenig: Bert's Playground

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The varied contexts in which drummers play make their own sessions as leaders either spottily uneven or dynamically diverse. For Bert's Playground, drummer Ari Hoenig has gathered a troop of six musicians that includes two bassists, guitarists and saxophonists that he mixes and matches to illuminate the fun to be had. After receiving a gentle push from Hoenig and bassist Matt Penman, guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and tenor saxophonist Chris Potter swing hard on Trane's “Moment's Notice." Guitarist Gilad Hekselman and bassist Orlando Fleming transform Jerome Kern's beautiful “The Way You Look Tonight" into a sandbox for boppy ...


Ari Hoenig and Punk Bop at the Regattabar, Boston

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Ari Hoenig and Punk Bop Regattabar Boston, Massachusetts April 8, 2008 On Tuesday, April 8, drummer Ari Hoenig and his Punk Pop trio featuring Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Orlando LeFleming on bass played at Boston's Regattabar. Although he can be heard as a sideman on numerous recordings and performances with artists such as Kenny Werner, Jean-Michel Pilc, Chris Potter and Kurt Rosenwinkel, Hoenig has made a unique niche for himself as a melodic drummer and composer capable of reproducing complex bebop melodies on the drums note for note. Since the release ...


Ari Hoenig: Inversations

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Drummer Ari Hoenig has always created emotionally satisfying and challenging jazz, and his streak continues with Inversations. The bebop classic “Anthropology begins with an interplay between Hoenig on drums and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, with bassist Johannes Weidenmueller on pizzicato. The trio executes this classic jazz groove to perfection, playing with the tempo and displaying the tune's plasticity. “Dark News, an impressionistic yet sly piece written by Hoenig, complete with haunting piano and moody arco, begins as though it will be a free piece but Hoenig throws the listener a head fake by having it become something more conventional.


Ari Hoenig: Inversations

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There is nothing unusual about drummers as leaders (Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes), or drummers taking less-traveled roads while soloing (Eric Harland, Brian Blade). Ari Hoenig follows both these arcs on Inversations, although there's no question the former Joe Lovano sideman works to separate himself from the current pack.

Hoenig and his compatriots, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, are thinking outside the box from the jump, starting with their take on the Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie proto-bop composition “Anthropology. The bop attitude is there, but the music is filtered through an avant-garde sensibility that makes the base tune ...


Ari Hoenig: Kinetic Hues

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The Ari Hoenig Group Kinetic Hues Smalls Records 2005

With the advent of easily available digital technology, it has become easier for anyone to make semi-professional videos. Nowadays, practically anyone with a digital camera and a computer can produce and release, say, a music DVD--even if the quality of the images isn't exactly that great. Recorded live at Greenwich Village's Fat Cat, the music is unquestionably fine, but the video is sometimes hard to watch. The cameras do close-ups at the wrong times--during a hot piano solo by Jean-Michel Pilc, the ...

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