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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: New Album

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Gypsy Schaeffer, the foursome made up by Joel Yennior (trombone), Andy Voelker (saxophones), Chris Punis (drums) and Jef Charland (bass) calls its third CD quite simply New Album. That's a truism, as is the fact that it continues to make music that is fun and enjoyable.

The writing, ascribed to the group collectively, as well as to Yennior and Voelker individually, moves from swing to open-ended improvisation, the band demonstrating its ability to sit comfortably in all the situations.

The opening “New Egypt" has the dynamics plumbed by Voelker and Yennior through crisscrossing lines; having established ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Portamental

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For Gypsy Schaeffer's followup to its 2004 debut recording, the group presents a similar pattern. The band consists of the same personnel, with the exception of bassist Jef Charland, who replaces Edward Perez. The ensemble takes its name from a bordello in the turn-of-the-century Storyville section of New Orleans where Jelly Roll Morton once punched the proverbial time clock. Most of the band has worked with the cutting edge Boston-based Either/Orchestra, and it shows.

It is quite understandable that the group's members welcome the absence of a piano, because that allows them greater freedom to explore free jazz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Portamental

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It makes sense that Gypsy Schaeffer is named for a New Orleans whorehouse, albeit one that boasted Sidney Bechet and Jelly Roll Morton as parlor musicians. Reedman Andy Voelker and trombonist Joel Yennior have a sound and a dynamic that would fit into almost any NOLA unit, and the lack of a piano in this group makes Voelker and Yennior the primary tone-setters on its second self-released disc, Portamental.

That said, please don't get this New England quartet mixed up with Preservation Hall or the Rebirth Brass Band. Yennior is a charter member of the always groundbreaking Either/Orchestra, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Portamental

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Based in Boston, Gypsy Schaeffer is a modern jazz quartet that marches to a different drummer. The unique and forward-leaning foursome brings a fresh sound to the forum, exploring jazz from various angles.

The band's instrumentation stands apart from the hoi polloi of jazz. Without a chording instrument like the piano or guitar, Gypsy Schaeffer is able to create harmonic structures through alternative means. Bass, saxophone and trombone weave delicate lines to depict modal harmonies as well as standard chordal frameworks. They're totally free in their work, bringing each layer of harmony into focus naturally.

Everybody ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Portamental

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The Gypsy Schaeffer of New Orleans fame was a bordello where, of course, music could be heard, including the live and in-person sounds of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton, among others. The Gypsy Schaeffer of Boston is a pianoless quartet featuring trombonist Joel Yennior (of Either/Orchestra fame), saxophonist Andy Voelker, bassist Jef Charland and drummer Chris Punis.Lineups without a chording instrument--eg. piano or guitar--allow groups more freedom, often making for a more elastic and freewheeling sound. On Portamental, Gypsy Schaeffer makes the most of the freedom, but still remains melodically engaging.When you mention “pianoless quartet," the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Gypsy Schaeffer

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Some of the greatest, and often warped, band names bubble out of New Orleans. Consider the Molly Ringwalds, Late As Usual, Hipatitis, and the Can’t Hardly Playboys. Then there’s Gypsy Schaeffer, a foursome that hails from Boston, but borrowed its name from N’Awlins—specifically, from the name of the Storyville bordello where legendary pianist Jelly Roll Morton cut his musical teeth. Gypsy Schaeffer’s indeed.

It’s a rather ironic choice, given that this adventuresome quartet has no pianist in its midst. In fact, Gypsy Schaeffer revels on the freedom that its instrumentation adds to its cohesive yet adventurous take on modern, original ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Gypsy Schaeffer

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A lot of good things come out of Boston and some good things remain there. Let the latter be; the former is of the moment and it concerns the four musicians who went to that city from their home towns. They stayed there drawn by the music scene and when fate cast its dice, they came together to make some of their own. On this recording the compositions come from Andy Voelker and Joel Yennior. The music is varied and the band triggers invention convincingly to give the tunes a strong presence.

The first stop is swing and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Gypsy Schaeffer

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The trombone suffers from underemployment in the small combo jazz world. Lamentably. Tenor saxophone giant Sonny Rollins knows how nicely the 'bone's smooth flow melds with the grittier texture of the sax. And so does Gypsy Schaeffer.The band—named after an historic New Orleans jazz venue—is a pianoless quartet, featuring trombonist Joel Yennior, best known for his tenure, since '98, in Boston's Either/Orchestra; alto saxophonist Andy Voelker; bassist Edward Perez; and drummer Chris Punis; four guys who came to Boston for their educations—Berklee, New England Conservatory and Harvard—and stayed on for the vibrant music scene. And in spite of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gypsy Schaeffer: Gypsy Schaeffer

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The Boston-based quartet known as Gypsy Schaeffer is named after an establishment located in Storyville, the New Orleans red light district, around the turn of the century which claims Jelly Roll Morton as an employee. I don't suspect that any other musical ensemble will be appropriating a similar name. Three members of the group are from New Jersey and they all gravitated towards Beantown for post-graduate education purposes. The piano-less group is making its recording debut here and offers twelve original tunes from the penn of altoist Andy Voelker. The liner notes advises that the compositions range from “hard bop ...



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