For a crew this youngaverage age 24the Kalifactors have put together an impressive debut. An Introduction to Kalifactors showcases the talents of four musicians in the middle of their (formal) musical educations at Berklee and The New England Conservatory.
The sax/piano/bass/drums quartet offers up a set of engaging originals in the mainstream jazz tradition. The opener, "Where Am I?", is jaunty and dark at the same time, with saxophonist Robert Stillman blowing a cool Stan Getz tone in front of a crisp rhythm. The band did a three week tour of Spain in November 2001, just a few months before this recording, and they obviously gelled into a tight, crisp unit.
On the ballad "The Magician," pianist Albert Sanz enters into a delicate Bill Evans mode; and the mid-tempo "The Rhumba" slides into a sinuous groove, with piano and drums engaged in a point/counterpoint conversation. "Un Ultimo Esfuezo" features Stillman's stretched-out lines up against pianist Sanz in an angular, percussive mood.
These are talented musicians and fine songwriters, but I would love to have heard them tackle a standard, orconsidering their agessomething from the rock world, a la the much-hyped Bad Plus or Dave Douglas.
A solid debut. We'll be hearing more from The Kalifactors.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.