All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

288

Zach Brock and the Coffee Achievers: Live At The Jazz Factory

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
The relentlessly cooking and very original Live At The Jazz Factory is the third album from violinist Zach Brock's band, The Coffee Achievers, following their eponymous 2003 debut on Secret Fort and Chemistry (Secret Fort, 2005).

The violin in jazz, especially that of the mainstream, can't get no respect, despite Regina Carter's 2006 MacArthur Award. Brock wishes to remedy that situation, composing and playing jazz that is mainstream by default, only because it is not avant-garde. Indeed, Orbert Davis is quoted as saying that Brock is ..."not just a violinist who plays jazz, but a jazz musician who happens to play the violin."

This phrase signifies a player of a "secondary" instrument whose technique and attitude towards it defeats expectations. In Brock's case, his sound avoids the sharper edges of the normal violin sound, plus he has added a lower string that gives his violin a range down to that of the viola, darkening it even further.

While Brock plays the violin normally and what he does can be recognized as technically correct playing, it is his music that sets him apart. His compositions mix all kinds of genres from straight-ahead to rock, funk, blues, country and beyond. More importantly, the easily memorable tunes are arranged and performed by the band as extended dramatic stories and not merely head-solo(s)-head structures.

Live At The Jazz Factory is a killer set recorded in front of a very appreciative audience. Brock's band, which includes keyboardist Sam Barsh, bassist Matt Wigton and drummer Jon Deitemeyer, are as unified as can be, and play the stories with verve, energy and high spirits.

The rhythm section is important in these shifting works and Wigton and Deitemyer are very tight as they support Brock and Barsh, while driving the band through the rhythmic and metrical intricacies that the arrangements demand. Wigton, playing acoustic bass here, is also a dynamite electric bassist and lives and breathes this kind of music. He contributes "In Thoughts And Dreams," the final and longest track that moves through many rhythms and meters, bringing shouts from the crowd.

The set ranges in mood from poignant to explosive and is jazz of the highest order, with each tune taking the audience on an aural journey. Brock, although he is the leader, chooses not to dominate; rather, he is but one voice among many, and often drops out entirely as the rest of the band throbs and bubbles.

Live At The Jazz Factory will make a believer of those holding even the slightest prejudice against the violin that Brock is, indeed, a musician first and a violinist second, and that the Coffee Achievers can take down the house.

Track Listing: Now I Know; Resisting The Beast; (Leftover Stub from the) Wax Museum; Pugland; Almost Never Was; In Thoughts And Dreams.

Personnel: Zach Brock: acoustic 5-string violin; Sam Barsh: piano, nord, melodica; Matt Wigton: acoustic bass; Jon Deitemyer: drums.

Title: Live At The Jazz Factory | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Secret Fort Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Strata" CD/LP/Track Review Strata
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 5, 2018
Read "Live At The  Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles, 1979" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles,...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Heart Knows" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "Solos" CD/LP/Track Review Solos
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "II" CD/LP/Track Review II
by Kevin Press
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)" CD/LP/Track Review Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 4, 2018