Greg Ward's trio Phonic Juggernaut can be loud, it also can be fast, but it can never be described as out of control. The twenty-something saxophonist's take on the modern jazz sax/bass/drums lineup adheres to the traditions of jazz, not as a regressive act but as a forward-thinking, innovative sound. This Chicagoan-turned-New Yorker can be heard with drummer Charles Rumback and in Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things, as well as with the electronic outfit Prefuse 73. His initial release as a leader South Side Story (Nineteen Eight, 2010), was a quartet session, but he also dabbles in ...read more
Saxophonist Greg Ward's moderately esoteric spin on jazz signals an artist who has traversed diverse paths, including stints with electronica artist Prefuse 73, and stalwarts of progressive jazz, such as drummer Hamid Drake and saxophonist Von Freeman. Here, Ward compiles a textural and hard-hitting modus operandi, largely evidenced on Step Forward." This piece is dabbled with metal-jazz overtures, spiced by the saxophonist and keyboardist Rob Clearfield's brute force attack.Clearfield multitasks via crunching synth sounds and fluid electric piano lines, as the rhythm section guides the band through odd-metrics and tricky unison-based time signatures. Ward's yearning notes serve as ...read more
Like many musicians, Chicago saxophonist/composer Greg Ward (now based in New York) is juggling multiple gigs: working with names from Al Jarreau to Von Freeman; recording diverse projects with Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things or electronica artist Guillermo Scott Herren aka Prefuse 73; and even conducting an orchestra for hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco. In this ever-changing environment, it would be easy to lose identity, but his brilliantly conceived and exceptionally executed debut, South Side Story, proves otherwise, revealing that Ward's got his own mojo.Ward's potent band, Fitted Shards, and his powerful music are the fruits of ...read more
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