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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

In Transit: Shifting Moods

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Well-regarded for his co-leadership of the perennially progressive Fonda/Stevens group, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens is an accomplished solo artist and a much in demand session musician, who extends his reach globally. Featuring three European instrumentalists, the In Transit group devises a comprehensive playbook amid budding expansions into the free dominion. However, the modern jazz component underscores the improvisational factors. It's not about wanton cacophony. Conversely, the quartet's synchronicity instills a sense of perpetual motion, executed at various frequencies, throttling pulses, and sublime microtonal developments. Shifting Moods is a rather magical set, captured live at Moods Jazz Club in Zurich, Switzerland. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio

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If New York City is the cultural center of the universe, then Memphis, Tennessee is its crossroads, with the cutting edge and the traditional mingling in Memphis like two best friends. Jazz vocalist Joyce Cobb hails from Memphis, and that city's myriad of influences are evident in her singing. Certainly sophisticated as a jazz singer, Cobb's delivery has the slurring grit of the blues. It is the sound of her meaning business when she steps up to the microphone to sing. The disc opens with Bobby Timmons' soul-jazz classic, “Moanin,'" with Jon Hendricks' lyrics. But this is ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Jefry Stevens: What About...?; Memphis; A Scent in Motion; Remembering the Future

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Conference CallWhat About...?Not Two2010 Fonda/Stevens GroupMemphisPlayscape2009 Harvey Sorgen-Steve Rust-Michael Jefry StevensA Scent in MotionKonnex2009 Jon HemmersamRemembering the FutureJSH Music2010 The current musical climate being what it is, the moniker of “Conference Call" for a far-flung jazz quartet is quite apt. Creative musicians might call a number of different locales home, and the idea of a working band ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harvey Sorgen / Steve Rust / Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: A Scent in Motion

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Back in the 1990s, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, drummer Harvey Sorgen and bassist Steven Rust set in motion a trio project which would have them reassemle in a studio every year to improvise. The collaboration led to four albums: Novella (Leo, 2001), Aercine (Drimala, 2002), Decade (NotTwo, 2003), and now, A Scent in Motion.

Stevens, Sorgen and Rust have cast their roots as improvisers. All possess expressive intuition, allowing them to play off each other and work in tandem towards developing a concept with insight and imagination. They bring it to fruition both in the realm of a composition and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Southern Excursion Quartet: Trading Post

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The Southern Excursion Quartet, featuring saxophonist Don Aliquo, drummer Tom Giampietro, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and bassist Jonathan Wires, moved from different parts of the United States to find their home in the Tennessee and Mississippi areas. The geographical relocation was conducive to a meeting of the four, who went on to find common musical ground.

The music is a revelation of how the quartet develops a theme. They read each other perfectly, sensing structure and enhancing development. The program, comprised of contributions from all four, moves from mainstream tunes to free concepts. Any which way, the deliberations are fertile ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Jefry Stevens: Eastern Boundary Quartet, Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, Conference Call & Southern Excursion Quartet

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Eastern Boundary QuartetEastern Boundary Quartet Biem Artisjus2008 Michael Jefry StevensFor AndrewKonnex2008 Conference CallPoetry in MotionClean Feed2008 Southern Excursion QuartetTrading PostARC2008 Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has enjoyed a prolific musical journey but collaboration could be seen as the inspiration behind his music. Each project Stevens participates in offers a different framework to explore his compositional and improvisational ideas.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Jefry Stevens: For The Children & Moving Stills

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Michael Jefry Stevens For the Childen Cadence Jazz 2008 In Transit Moving Stills Unit Records 2008

The two newest releases by pianist Michael Jefry Stevens reveal two complementary facets of the pianist's musicianship. Though the instrumentation is similar in both, the records were made almost a decade apart, with the older album featuring a lengthy set of Stevens compositions and the more recent album comprised entirely of spontaneous compositions. Taken in ...



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