Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.
by Eyal Hareuveni
The sixth album of West Coast Empty Cage Quartet features this unique, hard -riving outfit in its most abstract mode to date. During the last decade, the quartet focused on exploring new ways of integrating diverse influences into an original, creative blend--from modern forms of jazz improvisation to contemporary experimental practices. This self-titled, limited edition LP is no different. The seven compositions, all by trumpeter Kris Tiner and reed player Jason Mears, are smart, multilayered and do ...read more
by Troy Collins
Widely admired for its intricate mathematical construction, the Mayan calendar is far more than just a lightning rod for misguided prophets predicting the end of the world; it is also the source of inspiration for Gravity, the fourth studio recording from the young West Coast-based Empty Cage Quartet.
The album consists of two extended compositions, which are broken into sections and alternated throughout the session. Gravity" and Tzolkien" rely on combinations of pitch palindromes and symmetrical harmonic and rhythmic sequences ...read more
by Rex Butters
Stratostrophic, the sixth release by the Empty Cage Quartet (ECQ), finds the avant West Coasters full of ideas and limited by nothing. Their omnivorous approach gladly frustrates label taggers while rewarding informed listeners with advanced compositional and improvisational delights. Their continuing association pays off in an acquired looseness that revels in taking chances without losing the links that keep these sonic aerialists flying together. Inside/outside, silly/serious, ECQ's creative central heat liquefies such abstractions into a bold shower of musical sparks. ...read more
by Troy Collins
Stratostrophic is the Empty Cage Quartet's third official studio album. Formerly known as the MTKJ Quartet, the adventurous young West Coast-based ensemble features Tim Mears (alto saxophone, clarinet), Kris Tiner (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ivan Johnson (bass) and Paul Kikuchi (drums, percussion). A cohesive mix of exuberant free jazz, angular post-bop, stark chamber aesthetics and propulsive post- Braxtonian structures all figure prominently in their singular sound.
Balancing extended episodes with brief sketches, Mears and Tiner (the principal composers) demonstrate a ...read more
by Jack Gold-Molina
Formerly known as the MTKJ Quartet, the Empty Cage Quartet consists of Jason Mears (alto saxophone, clarinet, wood flutes), Kris Tiner (trumpet, flugelhorn), Paul Kikuchi (drums, percussion) and Ivan Johnson (bass). The title of this recording comes from an English translation of a negative French review of one of the MTKJ Quartet's previous releases. Negative French review or not, with its constant touring, the Empty Cage Quartet has been burning up clubs in the US for years. The music on ...read more