332

Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet: For the Children

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet: For the Children This release in the Cadence Jazz Historical Series (recorded in February 1995) is full of surprises, none greater than the successful intertwining of a former Jazz Messenger with one of the premier free-jazz rhythm teams. Saxophonist David Schnitter isn't the best-known of the Messengers tenormen, having joined the outfit during the comparative down-time of the 1970s. But since then he has built a reputation as a solid, reliable improviser. Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen often function as the "house rhythm section" of sorts for CIMP Records, Cadence Jazz' sister label. Michael Jefry Stevens, the leader, pianist and composer, is well-respected for his facility in crossing jazz' many divides. The four men's unique pedigrees come together exceptionally well in this fine release.

Stevens' compositions are uniformly interesting, often compelling. The dense urgency of "Specific Gravity" draws us in immediately, and the pinpoint accuracy of the players within the complex rhythmic structure is worthy of praise. Schnitter fairly burns, sometimes in a deceptively laid-back manner, on "Henderson" (dedicated to Joe) and approaches tearfulness on "Sadness of the Madness."

A third of the way through the set, the band sets aside edgy inventiveness to have fun with pure blues on "The Hunt." Stevens' playing here showcases a different side of the man, betraying some really hot funk chops. "Sunny's Song" and the title track are simple, reflective ballads of remarkable beauty, while "Patato's Song" gives Rosen the chance to stretch out on a frisky Latin rhythm. He and Schnitter duet for the first little while; demonstrating a deep intuitiveness. The tenor man is often inspired to head off into George Adams territory, scurrying furiously through torrents of notes.

Of all the wondrous recent releases from the Cadence family, this one may come the closest to reflecting the pure love of jazz music that has inspired its artists and producers. Exceptional.


Track Listing: Specific Gravity; Henderson; Sadness of the Madness; The Hunt; Graduation; Sunny's Song; Patato's Song; For the Children; Lazy Waltz.

Personnel: Michael Jefry Stevens, piano; David Schnitter, tenor sax; Dominic Duval, bass; Jay Rosen, drums, percussion.

Title: For the Children | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Cadence Jazz Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 28, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.