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by Robert R. Calder
Vibes, bass and drums make an interestingly different rhythm section, one that Bobby Hutcherson long ago used to help jazz musicians reach new places without exiling them from their origins. One musician the master vibraphonist helped was Eric Dolphy, who is mentioned in this set's notes. Quite right, there is some Dolphy in Sam Bardfeld, who plays violin very well, on the lyrical side.
On There Could Have Been More of It," a nice track, Sean Conly's bass pins things ...read more
by John Kelman
Ask most artists and they'll tell you their albums tell a story. The idea of musical narrative is nothing new--listen to any ECM disc, where emotional arcs often transcend any collection of discrete pieces. Rare, however, are the recordings where there's an all-encompassing theme. Rarer still are those that tell a specific and self-contained story. Percussionist Brad Dutz's Nine Gardeners Named Ned (pfMentum, 2005) was one such record; New York violinist Sam Bardfeld tells the story of the imperfect but ...read more
by Andrey Henkin
With his second release as a leader (and first for Fresh Sound), violinist Sam Bardfeld presents an album full of modern Jewish intellectual reflection, as practiced by such diverse artists as Saul Bellow and Woody Allen, but couched in terms owing more of a debt to Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. But given those two foundations, this album is neither radical Jewish culture a la Tzadik nor progressive rock. It is instead another fine entry into the seemingly ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
The cover certainly does grab at your attention. It's hard to say what that thing is. A War of the Worlds creature gone goofy? It does give you a clue that New York-based violinist Sam Bardfeld doesn't take himself too seriously. Another clue in this direction is the spoken word intervals--"The Saul Cycle"-- inserted throughout and incorporated into Periodic Trespasses.Working with the concept of all music tells stories," Bardfeld spins a whimsical tale about a guy who doesn't ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Jazz violinist Sam Bardfeld exhibits a good deal of exuberance, along with proficient chops on his new release for the “CIMP” label, titled – Sam Bardfeld’s Cabal Fatale Taxidermy. Here, the young violinist displays a wide-ranging repertoire as these pieces either skirt the fringes of pure unadulterated free-improv with lots of expressive soloing or they are liable to swing at an often feverish pace. Ex-Prime Time guitarist Ken Wessel provides tonal color, contrast and serves as a near perfect foil ...read more