271

Joe Fonda: Live at the Outpost Performance Space & Live at the Iron Works

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count








Conference Call
Live at the Outpost Peformance Space
482 Music
2006


Fab Trio
Live at Iron Works, Vancouver, BC
Konnex
2005




Although the Fonda-Stevens group is a strong band, bassist Joe Fonda is best known as a sideman. His first recording was with Wadada Leo Smith in 1983 and he spent much of the '90s working with Anthony Braxton. Fonda has also played in groups led by Walter Thompson, Kevin Norton and others. On two recent releases, both albeit by collective ensembles, he shows the two sides of being a sideman.

Fonda has been a member of Conference Call - with saxophonist Gebhard Ullmann and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens - since the group's 2002 debut Final Answer (Soul Note). With the band's range of tones, he and a variety of drummers (Gerry Hemingway now fills the seat previously occupied by Matt Wilson and Han Bennink) are called upon to support driving, rhythmic tunes and slow, moody passages, often in the same piece. Across five tracks he does so with a mix of strength and deference, never pushing but always matching. On Stevens' "Circle Dance , he picks up a phrase from Ullmann and carries it as the horn slips into a short blues, then sidesteps slightly when Hemingway begins suggesting a soft rhythm on cymbals. It's the kind of subtlety that makes a band like Conference Call work.

The trio with Billy Bang and Barry Altschul (FAB Trio) is an altogether different affair. Bang's violin is almost impossibly bright and Altschul pushes harder than Hemingway. Fonda rises to the challenge by making the band something of a string duo with drums. His big bull viol darts quickly around the violin, with Altschul seeming to revel in the pointillist rhythms. The group shares writing credits on four of the six songs and repeat Fonda's "Song for My Mother from their 2003 debut on CIMP. Violins are as formidable sparring partners as saxophones and it's sometimes hard to aim your ears at the rest of the band. But in both cases and with two exceptional groups, Fonda finds his way through.


Tracks and Personnel

Live at the Outpost Performance Space

Tracks: 29 Shoes; Liquid Cage; Circle Dance; Mara Drole; As I Wait.

Personnel: Gebhard Ullmann: saxophones, bass clarinet; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Joe Fonda: bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums.

Live at Iron Works, Vancouver, BC

Tracks: FAB; For Frank Lowe; B.B; Tune For Barry; For Don Cherry; Song For My Mother.

Personnel: Billy Bang: violin; Joe Fonda: bass; Barry Altschul: drums.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Blues Deluxe 2 Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe 2
by Doug Collette
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Psalms and Poetry: Den Danske Salmeduo and Nicolai Munch-Hansen" Multiple Reviews Psalms and Poetry: Den Danske Salmeduo and Nicolai...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Pi Recordings 2016 Releases" Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016

Smart Advertising!

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