Home » Jazz Articles » Aaron Seeber: First Move


Album Review

Aaron Seeber: First Move


Sign in to view read count
Aaron Seeber: First Move
Given that it is his debut disc, drummer Aaron Seeber's First Move seems aptly titled. The music it offers is anything but an opening gambit, however; even after a cursory listen, it is quickly apparent that Seeber has been at this game for some time. From the top-shelf caliber of his associates, to his unfailing poise behind the kit, not to mention some great instincts for repertoire, Seeber has more than a few moves up his sleeve, and they always manage to impress.

On this live date, recorded in October 2021 at Brooklyn's Ornithology Club, the lineup includes two players Seeber has worked with extensively, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and alto saxophonist Tim Green, both of whom have appeared with the drummer in a variety of configurations. Just as significant are vibraphonist Warren Wolf and pianist Sullivan Fortner, who also have previous associations with Seeber on their resumes. This is the first installment with all five sharing the same stage, and the undeniable chemistry they produce is one of the album's charms.

The material generally stays comfortably within the mainstream jazz catalog, with a scintillating take on Mal Waldron's "Fire Waltz" being the only piece that moves a bit outside. These are smart renditions from top to bottom, filled with the close interactions which characterize the best live jazz. Fortner is especially garrulous in his support, tossing out a steady stream of ideas to Wolf and Green during their solos, and responding generously in kind, especially on up-tempo pieces such as Al Foster's "Brandyn" and Seeber's own "First Move." He also has some superlative moments of his own, not the least of which is his remarkable two-handed agility on Mulgrew Miller's "Eleventh Hour."

Wolf matches Fortner's intensity on "Eleventh Hour" with a coruscating solo of his own; his more restrained moments might be even more compelling, as his winsome lyricism on Benny Golson's "Out of the Past" reveals. Green's piquant assertiveness is evident throughout the album, but it is especially enticing on Charlie Parker's "Klactoveedsedstene," where he shows no hesitation whatsoever in bringing his own limitless energy and stamina to a powerhouse solo to close out the set.

Rock-solid in anchoring the quintet, Okegwo and Seeber reap the benefits of their long partnership, keeping the pieces moving in dynamic fashion. Seeber is restlessly active throughout, accenting and coaxing the others' statements expertly. With plenty of crackling snare, as on "Fire Waltz," or muted brushwork on the band's gorgeous version of Charles Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," the drummer does more than enough to establish his percussive skills. If he is able to produce an effort this strong on his debut, one can eagerly anticipate what Seeber's second or third moves might be on his upcoming releases.

Track Listing

Brandyn; Out of the Past; Eleventh Hour; Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love; First Move; Unconditional Love; Fire Waltz; Klactoveedsedstene.


Aaron Seeber: drums; Warren Wolf: vibraphone; Tim Green Saxophone: saxophone, alto; Sullivan Fortner: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: bass.

Album information

Title: First Move | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Cellar Live

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Gard Nilssen's Supersonic Orchestra
Christopher McBride
Beyond Orbits
Miho Hazama's M_Unit


Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio
Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Dynamic Maximum Tension
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

On the record

Vibes on a Breath
Ted Piltzecker
Jonathan Karrant
Brazilian Match
Luiz Millan
Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.