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A Jazz Marriage: Smoke and One For All

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After 12 years of classic jazz bookings and extraordinary patron loyalty, Smoke deserves legendary status right next to Birdland (the old club of the 50's), Basin Street, The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note, and a couple of the old 52 St. clubs. In addition to having unique intimacy, a special staff who could give a seminar in how to run a jazz club and a sensible food and drink menu, Smoke has had the prescience to embrace the hottest hard bop band around--One For All--and give it a permanent home. In order to appreciate this observation, you would ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

One for All: Incorrigible

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One for All Incorrigible Jazz Legacy Productions 2010

One for All's Incorrigible showcases some of the best original writing the group has had in its 14 releases. It no longer sounds like a bunch of “young lions" thrown together in a recording studio. Cohesive and interdependent, these musicians bring out the best in one another, resulting in an album filled with thoughtful communication and high energy improvisation. “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," the only non-original tune, opens the album. A disappointing arrangement lacks the interest and originality of the other ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two by One For All

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One For All Incorrigible Jazz Legacy 2010 One For All Return of the Lineup Sharp Nine 2009 One For All is a collective of hard bop/straight-ahead players who have busy careers as leaders and sidemen, yet enjoy the time they are able to spend together, whether working on a new CD or performing around the New York City club scene. The core group had its origins at Auggie's (now Smoke) in 1986, where drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One for All: The Lineup

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Time was when jazz history was measured in terms of linear progress as artists influenced each other to create new sounds. Jazz, it has been said, fed off of itself in a constant state of progression, pushing the music to its limits. But times have changed, and this construct has been revised several times over as legions of musicians found their inspiration in established jazz styles and stuck with them.The Lineup is the eleventh release by One for All, a group of esteemed and virtuosic instrumentalists. The eight tracks on this release personify the hard bop ethos, but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One for All: No Problem

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This starlit group hits the ground running with drummer Joe Farnsworth's driving tribute to Art Blakey: it's an introduction that says, “we have arrived, folks, just buckle up and ride." Not a hard thing to do and great fun to boot. Recorded at New York's historic Avatar Studios in April of 2003, the sextet's combined mastery and energy are impressive to say the least. “One for All" includes some of the brightest lights in jazz today, who apply themselves to a spirited program of classics and two band originals – the aforementioned blistering “Our Father..." and trombonist Steve Davis's infectious ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: Live at Smoke, Volume 1

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As anyone who frequents jazz clubs will attest, there are nights that live on in memory for years after the last note fades. Aside from basic details easily recalled (personnel, tunes, arrangements, etc.), what really matters is the way the music made us feel. On these rare occasions, the sounds were so potent that, for a time, nothing else mattered and all worldly concerns yielded to the happenings on stage. In search of another incredible experience, we keep coming back to the clubs, even at the risk of sitting through a slew of uninspired performances.

Minus the intimate atmosphere and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All (Venus: The End of a Love Affair

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Things just aren’t what they used to be and we’re not just talking about life these days post September 11th. From a jazz standpoint, the renaissance movement that was ushered in during the ‘80s seems to have run its course in many ways. The corporate pressures behind the major labels seem to be tightening their belts when it comes to jazz product. For so many years the reissue market alone was astounding and the ripple effect helped support contemporary rosters that are now getting smaller and smaller as the catalog boom seems to bottom out. All of this leads us ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: Live at Smoke- Volume 1

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Growing out of a weekly jam session that drummer Joe Farnsworth used to lead at a New York club called Augie’s, the hard bop ensemble One For All now encompasses a pool of leaders who still manage to get together and cultivate the kind of musical empathy that they’ve developed over the years. After two initial albums for the Sharp Nine label, the group jumped ship to Criss Cross Jazz where the majority of the guys cut records of their own. Live at Smoke- Volume 1 is the third installment on Criss Cross and a live session documented at the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: The Long Haul

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Well, you know what they say. There aren’t any real jazz bands anymore and the opportunities for younger musicians to thrive in a working environment are few and far between. Sure, it’s not what it used to be, but all is really not as bleak as some would want us to believe. Guys like Jason Lindner, Dave Stryker, and the various members of One For All have found it possible to keep integrated units together for a period of time and with some degree of success. In the case of the latter group, it seems even more miraculous that One ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: The Long Haul

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Working within the broad parameters of hard-swinging, harmonically sophisticated small-band styles from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, the music of the sextetOne For Allalso reflects the experiences of the individual members outside of their cooperative band. An incomplete but telling list of leaders who have employed and influenced various members of the crew includes Cecil Payne, George Coleman, Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Junior Cook, Slide Hampton, and Louis Hayes.

On The Long Haul, the band’s second release for Criss Criss (and fourth overall), they stake their claim to the tradition. The record comprises impressive material (six out of eight cuts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: Upward and Onward

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Throughout Upward and Onward, One For All’s recently-released disc on Criss Cross, all of the important elements are firmly in place: imaginative arrangements of good tunes; tight ensemble playing; four strong soloists; and a rhythm section that never flags. Although the music is rooted in the hard bop continuum of the 50s and 60s (and occasionally goes beyond these parameters), every cut sounds fresh and vital.

Each of the band’s soloists finds ways to distinguish himself in a set of varied material. On his composition, “D’s Blues” (written with Mike LeDonne), trumpeter Jim Rotondi begins with short, clipped phrases, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One For All: Upward and Onward

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The economic constraints of keeping a jazz ensemble together are such that we've almost seen the disappearance of working bands. That is indeed a grievous situation since the jazz pedigree has so often been marked by historically-important groups. Just consider the Basie and Ellington bands, not to mention the classic John Coltrane Quartet and several premium units under the leadership of Miles Davis, to get an idea of the sorcery inherent in such familial settings. Much credit is therefore due to the group One For All, a powerhouse sextet that evolved out of drummer Joe Farnsworth's regular NYC gigs at ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One for All: Too Soon to Tell

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Having reviewed last month Optimism, the second Sharp Nine release by One for All, the New York–based co–op sextet patterned after Art Blakey’s celebrated Jazz Messengers, we must beg your indulgence as we backtrack a year to appraise its debut session, recorded in February ’97 by the eminent Rudy Van Gelder (whose apparently escalating faith in greater reverb is somewhat misplaced). Personnel is unchanged, as is the group’s impassioned point of view. In spite of the rather self–effacing title, it’s hardly too soon to tell you, the reader and potential listener, that these are six of the most accomplished and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One for All: Too Soon to Tell

Read "Too Soon to Tell"

Having reviewed last month Optimism, the second Sharp Nine release by One for All, the New York–based co–op sextet patterned after Art Blakey’s celebrated Jazz Messengers, we must beg your indulgence as we backtrack a year to appraise its debut session, recorded in February ’97 by the eminent Rudy Van Gelder (whose apparently escalating faith in greater reverb is somewhat misplaced). Personnel is unchanged, as is the group’s impassioned point of view. In spite of the rather self–effacing title, it’s hardly too soon to tell you, the reader and potential listener, that these are six of the most accomplished and ...



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