Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.

I want to help

The Fonda/Stevens Group: Forever Real

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Fonda/Stevens Group: Forever Real These days, there are few modern jazz groups which can seamlessly merge elements of free improvisation with mainstream and post-bop stylizations, while still maintaining a signature group sound. The Fonda/Stevens Group is partly about the sum of its parts, where the respective musicians emerge as stylists by honing a group-based methodology that stands on its own. A portion of this outing features trumpeter Herb Robertson's warm lower-register voicings via sub-theme dialogues with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens. They methodically intermingle quaint melodies with lightly swirling choruses amid shrewdly concocted alterations in pitch and meter. Occasionally, Stevens establishes simple ostinatos to be expounded upon by his bandmates. Yet the band is apt to turn up the heat via ballsy exchanges and glistening crescendos.

The quartet playfully dissects a blues groove with freeform movements and odd time signatures during "The Call. They convey additional diversity on a Ramsey Lewis-style funk motif on the final cut, "Cotton, where guest artist Napoleon Maddox adds some sociopolitical rap atop the ensemble's loose gait. Overall, the unit's latest effort should be well-received by its legion of followers. Sure enough, it's a tastefully executed and indubitably entertaining studio date.

Track Listing: Forever Real; From the Source; The Stalker; A Question of Love; Relentlessness; The Call; Cotton.

Personnel: Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: acoustic bass; Herb Robertson: trumpet; Harvey Sorgen: drums. Special guest Napoleon Maddox: human beat box, poetry.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: 482 Music | Style: Modern Jazz


  • Polymorphous
    The Fonda/Stevens Group
    20th Anniversary Tour
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Folk Five
Folk Five
Fortune Records
Playscape Recordings
Forever Real
Forever Real
482 Music
Parallel Lines
Parallel Lines
Music & Arts
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
Cedar Walton Cedar Walton
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Chris Potter Chris Potter
Geri Allen Geri Allen
Gary Burton Gary Burton
Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
Roy Haynes Roy Haynes
Satoko Fujii Satoko Fujii

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

New Service For Musicians!

Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with Premium Musician Profile.