Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

99

Josh Ginsburg at An Die Musik in Baltimore

Bob Kenselaar By

Sign in to view read count
Josh Ginsburg
An Die Musik
Baltimore, Maryland
January 14, 2012

Josh Ginsburg celebrated the release of his new CD, Zembla Variations (Brooklyn Jazz Underground, 2012), with two special performances, one at the Jazz Gallery in New York on January 12 and the other two days later at An Die Musik, a cozy, loft-like venue in Baltimore. Zembla Variations marks Ginsburg's debut as a leader, after having been an especially active jazz bassist in the New York area over the past dozen years, in addition to touring in Europe and Asia. He was joined by his collaborators on the CD, Eli Degibri on tenor and soprano sax, George Colligan on piano, and Rudy Royston on drums—all of whom are among today's most accomplished jazz instrumentalists. While they aren't yet household names, they've all had important associations with major jazz heavyweights: Degibri has toured with Herbie Hancock, Colligan is in Jack DeJohnette's current band, and Royston is working regularly with Bill Frisell. Ginsburg himself has an impressive resume, having played with Tom Harrell, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Barron and Bobby Watson, in addition to regular work with Colligan's own trio, and Marcus Strickland and E.J. Strickland.
The quartet's performance in Baltimore was a homecoming of sorts for Ginsburg, who grew up in the city before making his way to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, where he wrote most of the compositions on the CD. The CD's title, in fact, is derived from Ginsburg's nickname for Red Hook—"Zembla"—borrowed from a fictional land in the 1962 Nabokov novel, Pale Fire. In the notes to the CD, Ginsburg describes the novelist's Zembla as a "mad fantasy."
Never having been to Red Hook myself, I can't say whether or not Ginsburg's compositions evoke the area, but there's plenty of fantasy in them. Ginsburg's quartet started out his set with the CD opener, "PushBar (for Emergency Exit)," a dramatic piece inspired by sounds of the New York City subway. "Oxygen" held a relaxed, strolling feel, with romantic playing by Colligan, followed by "Gently," a ballad-like composition in 7/4, which included an outstanding solo workout by Ginsburg. "Red Giant" nicely featured some exciting improvisation on Degibri's part on tenor, along with a climactic drum solo by Royston. Stevie Wonder's "Too High" provided a fun change of pace in the set, featuring a playful arrangement where Ginsburg took the melody line in his instrument's upper register.

On the whole, the outing had its fill of great, adventurous playing by Ginsburg and his colleagues. Here's hoping he takes on more opportunities to showcase his fine writing and virtuoso musicianship sometime soon.

Photo Credit: Bob Kenselaar

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory Live Reviews We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory
by Josef Woodard
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: December 16, 2017
Read We Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews We Jazz Festival 2017
by Anthony Shaw
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017 Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Jazztopad Festival 2017 Live Reviews Jazztopad Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center" Live Reviews Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center
by David Becker
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club" Live Reviews Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 1-2" Live Reviews Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 1-2
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Bonerama at the Iridium" Live Reviews Bonerama at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: August 5, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!