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. ...read more
With roots in Ornette Coleman's music, cultivated by Keith Jarrett at his most experimental, Moving Stills branches out into terra incognita.
The musicians here are Swiss, with the exception of well-traveled New York pianist Michael Jefry Stevens. Joining him to make up In Transit are the very talented Jurg Solothurnmann (alto and soprano sax), Daniel Struder (bass) and Dieter Ulrich (drums). The music here is definitely atonal and cutting edge, but, for adventurous listeners, very much worth the listen.
The group, after time together, made the recording in 2004 Europe. In the liner notes, Solothurnmann describes meeting with ...read more
Since Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry gave the piano-less quartet such an unfettered sense of freedom and possibility way back in 1958, there have been countless permutations of the format, in varying degrees of adherence to the original blueprint. Even Charles Mingus had plenty to say with the line-up in 1961, with Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson and Dannie Richmond.
Almost fifty years after Tomorrow Is The Question!, piano-less quartets are still somewhat de rigeur in creative music. Two outfits, vastly different in approach, have recently been documented by Lisbon-based label Clean Feed: Transit, a New York cooperative ostensibly directed by ...read more
While improvising musicians thrive on novel combinations of instruments and musical personalities, there is also the sense that close and repeated creative camaraderie fosters group cohesion. Transit, the eponymously titled debut recording from the quartet of drummer Jeff Arnal, bassist Reuben Radding, alto saxophonist Seth Misterka and trumpeter Nate Wooley--all active on the grassroots avant jazz scene burgeoning in boroughs of New York--boasts both qualities, producing a satisfying blend of freshness and familiarity. The album exhibits a variety of textures and grooves, yet remains of a piece: at times the front line" horns juxtapose bass/drum rhythm grooves ...read more
A varied session with roots in cerebral European improvisation, AACM-inspired sound experimentation and New Thing-era ferocity, Transit's self-titled debut demonstrates expert communication, the key to any successful cooperative venture. Although organized by percussionist Jeff Arnal, the members of the quartet share writing credits, relying on collective improvisation as their principle strategy. Though Transit's music is rooted in free jazz, these players are not constrained by preconceived notions.
From the tumultuous vortex of sound that opens the album to later periods of guarded, pointillistic call and response, Transit operates with an intense dynamic range. Spanning hushed whispers to multiphonic ...read more