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Album Review

Conference Call: Prism

Read "Prism" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Conference Call is a quartet, but could also be described as a trio+ because the core members—saxophonist and bass clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, and bassist Joe Fonda—have been touring and recording together for more than two decades. The plus moniker derives from the quartet's interchange of drummers. Early on, the seat was occupied by Matt Wilson, then Han Bennink, Gerry Hemingway, and George Schuller. The quartet's latest edition is Swiss drummer Dieter Ulrich, who you might have ...

5

Album Review

Samo Salamon, Szilárd Mezei & Achille Succi: Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei

Read "Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Slovenian guitar ace Samo Salamon has been recording for a long time, but he's still trying new things. This is an album of several firsts, starting with it being his first recording made entirely on acoustic guitar, as well as the first that was completely improvised. It's also his first time recording with violist Szilárd Mezei, a player Salamon had been following for a long time, waiting for the right project. In contrast, Achille Succi (bass clarinet, alto saxophone) is ...

20

Album Review

Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio: Desire & Freedom

Read "Desire & Freedom" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's mark of distinction is generally centered on his assertive approaches to experimentation within numerous offshoots and slants of the jazz vernacular. He's become a major player on the Euro progressive jazz scene amid sessions with American free-thinking acolytes, trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist John Hebert, trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and many others of note. Here, Amado performs with his fellow countrymen for a blossoming asymmetrical affair, firmly rooted in a spirited free-form jaunt, teeming with buoyant flows and ...

7

Album Review

Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio: Desire & Freedom

Read "Desire & Freedom" reviewed by John Sharpe


Desire And Liberation constitutes only the second album in Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio discography not to feature a guest since their eponymous debut (European Echoes, 2009). While some may decry the lack of a foil for the leader's muscular tenor saxophone (and past collaborators trumpeter Peter Evans and trombonist Jeb Bishop supplied that and more), it does present an opportunity to appreciate the finely wrought interchange of the core trio completed by drummer Gabriel Ferrandini and cellist Miguel ...

3

Album Review

Dragonfly Breath III: Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus

Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Today's zen koan: why does a watched pot never boil? The answer to that question is found in the music of Dragonfly Breath III: because it is always boiling. The roil we speak of comes from the quartet of saxophonist Paul Flaherty, trombonist Steve Swell, violinist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Weasel Walter. The III of Dragonfly Breath III denotes the quartet's third release, their self-titled first disc was a live date released in 2013, and Swell's Kanreki: ...

19

Album Review

Generations Quartet: Oliver Lake/Joe Fonda/Michael Jefrys Stevens/Emil Gross: Flow

Read "Flow" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


As the name would imply, the Generations Quartet spans the ages of its personnel. An off-shoot (of sorts) from the Trio Generations group, it's a semantic difference as saxophone legend Oliver Lake was a guest in the lineup that performed in 2015. From that same tour, we get Flow, a festive exercise of freedom and comradery that could only be realized by a team with the wealth of experience and talent gathered here. Recorded live (but non-sequentially) in Germany, it ...

5

Album Review

Michael Jefry Stevens: Flow

Read "Flow" reviewed by Budd Kopman


Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has been involved in many projects in his career over the past forty years. The Generations Quartet started out as a trio six years ago, consisting of Stevens with his long-time musical partner, bassist Joe Fonda and newcomer, drummer Emil Gross. The trio became a quartet with the addition of saxophonist (and Renaissance Man) Oliver Lake, perhaps best known for founding the World Saxophone Quartet with saxophonists David Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett.


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