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Adam Kolker

Adam Kolker is a multi-talented performer, composer and arranger. He performed and recorded with latin-jazz artist Ray Barretto from 1994 through 2002 (with whom he received two GRAMMY nominations). He also appears in New York City with groups including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Fred Hersch's "My Coma Dreams," the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Bruce Barth, Judi Silvano, Lucia Pulido, and his own groups with John Abercombie and Billy Hart. He has recorded with Bruce Barth, John Hébert, Marty Ehrlich, The Story, Bobby Previte, Gunther Schuller, Bruce Saunders, Frank Carlberg, among others.

Adam is also a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, was a full time Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1999-2008 and currently teaches at Kutztown University and Prinz Claus Conservatory in the Netherlands.

Kolker’s first release as a leader, “Crazybird”, on A Records with Tim Hagans, Kevin Hays, Jeff Ballard and Doug Weiss, reached the Top Ten on the CMJ Charts, and received critical acclaim from such publications as Jazz Times, JazzIz and the Village Voice.

Other CDs include “Sultanic Verses” (Satchmo Jazz Records) with Bruce Barth, Billy Hart, Ray Barretto and John Hébert, “Change Of Time” (OmniTone Records) a trio with Russ Lossing and John Hébert, performing music based on music by Bela Bartok which received 4 1/2 stars in Downbeat Magazine and was voted one of the Top CD's of the Decade.

“Meditacions” (Satchmo Jazz Records) co-led with Catalan drummer Xavi Maureta, received the award for "Best Modern Jazz CD" from the Catalan Jazz Society in 2002, and Kolker’s "Flag Day," (Sunnyside) with John Abercrombie, John Hébert and Paul Motian, received critical acclaim from the New York Times, Jazz Times, Stereophile, and Downbeat.

In May 2011, Kolker released “Reflections” (Sunnyside), with John Abercrombie, John Hébert, Russ Lossing, Billy Mintz, Judi Silvano and Kay Matsukawa.

A cooperatively-led quartet with Scott Wendholt, Ugonna Okegwo and Victor Lewis, “AndThem” was released in 2015 (Fresh Sound Records).

"Beckon" - on Sunnyside Records - features a trio including Steve Cardenas on guitar and Billy Mintz on drums, accompanied by a woodwind trio of Lawrence Feldman (flutes), David Gould (clarinets) and Jackie Henderson (bassoon). Released in 2017.

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Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Dopo aver circumnavigato la musica di Monk in diversi contesti, prevalentemente come pianista in piccoli organici, Frank Carlberg, finlandese di nascita ma newyorchese a tutti gli effetti, affronta in questo suo ultimo, ambizioso lavoro l'ineffabile Thelonious da una prospettiva diversa: dedicandogli una serie di composizioni proprie ispirate a lui e alla sua arte così fuori da ogni ovvietà (non senza scampoli tematici acchiappati al volo e titolazioni spesso molto gustose ed emblematiche, da “Scallop's Scallop" a “Wrinkle on Trinkle," in ...

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Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Pianist Frank Carlberg has been exploring the music of Thelonious Monk for some time, most specifically on his large group album, Monk Dreams, Hallucinations, and Nightmares, (Sunnyside, 2017). This new album has Carlberg returning to the large ensemble format for more Monk investigations, but this time approaching the work in a more splintered and abstract fashion. He does not simply interpret familiar Monk tunes. He writes compositions and arrangements which stitch Monk riffs and ideas into new fabrics, ...

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Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There was a sardonic saying circulating a few years ago that observed, “It's Frank Sinatra's world, we just live in it." While that was a backhanded compliment, tailoring it to the subject of this large ensemble recording, we would call it a commendation. Pianist, composer, and conductor Frank Carlberg is telling us, “It's Thelonious Monk's world, and (thank god) we live in it." Carlberg has been a disciple of Monk for decades, recording his music in a piano trio format ...

Album Review

Roxana Amed, Frank Calberg: Los Trabajos Y Las Noches

Read "Los Trabajos Y Las Noches" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


La seconda collaborazione tra la cantante argentina Roxana Amed e il pianista finlandese Frank Carlberg continua a esplorare l'introspettivo mondo della poetessa Alejandra Pizarnik. Dopo La sombra de su sombra questo progetto prende il nome da uno dei massimi testi della poetessa, “Los trabajos y las noches," scritto nel 1965 dopo il suo ritorno a Buenos Aires dal lungo soggiorno parigino. Sette anni dopo si sarebbe tolta la vita all'età di 36 anni. Anche stavolta Carlberg ha ...

Album Review

Russ Lossing: Alternative Side Parking Music

Read "Alternative Side Parking Music" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Oltre a riflettere la musica del proprio tempo, i progetti dei jazzisti sono direttamente collegati alla quotidianità delle loro esistenze. Paradigmatica è in tal senso la scrittura per questo CD, pensata durante le ore impiegate da Russ Lossing per parcheggiare la propria automobile nei giorni in cui la sosta è consentita in un solo lato della strada. E non è un caso se lo spigoloso brano d'apertura, quasi monkiano, evoca con il suo andamento asimmetrico la strada percorsa ...

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Album Review

Russ Lossing: Alternate Side Parking Music

Read "Alternate Side Parking Music" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Russ Lossing is not one to let imposed downtime go to waste. The imposition comes from New York City's regulations concerning alternate side parking which requires, only one day per week, that cars park on one side of the street, for street cleaning purposes. The evening car-moving causes jostling. Sometimes open spots are not readily available. Parallel parking is often required, as is (temporary, we can assume) double parking. Time in the driver's seat results. Lossing put this time ...

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Liner Notes

Bill Stevens: Lema Sabachthani

Read "Bill Stevens: Lema Sabachthani" reviewed by Bill Stevens


In 2003 I recorded the album Dedication, my fifth independently released CD, which in the liner notes I detailed a brief musical history. Dedication bridged a 14-year gap between recordings, as well as a documented move from jny: Seattle, WA. to jny: New York City. In 2004 I formed the Bill Stevens Quintet and in 2005 we recorded the CD Full Circle. Full Circle detailed a specific moment in time and musical direction. In the liner notes I stated, “I ...

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Performance / Tour

Adam Kolker Quartet Featuring Billy Hart, Bruce Barth & John Hébert, January 3 at Iridium in New York City

Adam Kolker Quartet Featuring Billy Hart, Bruce Barth & John Hébert, January 3 at Iridium in New York City

Source: Scott Foster

The Adam Kolker Quartet Featuring Billy Hart, Bruce Barth & John Hébert will perform January 3 at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. Adam Kolker, a critically acclaimed jazz composer, tenor saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, bass clarinetist and Sunnyside Records artist, also leads the Adam Kolker Quartet Featuring John Abercombie. Drummer Billy Hart has appeared on more than 150 records, including Miles Davis' “On the Corner" and Herbie Hancock's “Sextant," as well as eleven records as a leader. Pianist Bruce ...

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Interview

Shying Away from Comfort Zones with Adam Kolker

Shying Away from Comfort Zones with Adam Kolker

Source: Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever.

Over the course of his storied career as a sideman, Adam Kolker has worked with the likes of The Village Vanguard Orchestra, the Maria Schneider Big Band, Bruce Barth, Judi Silvano, Kenny Wheeler's Large Ensemble, Ben Sher, Bobby Previte, Gunther Schuller, and others. On the solo front, his latest album, Reflections has the Grammy-nominated sax and woodwind stalwart avoiding safe ground and instead steering the project towards his gifts as a visionary improviser, composer, and arranger. Joining him on this ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Night City

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records
2024

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Elegy for Thelonious

Sunnyside Records
2024

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Alternate Side...

Aqua Piazza Records
2023

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Alternative Side...

Aqua Piazza Record
2023

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Traces: Two Song...

Aqua Piazza Records
2020

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Compelled

From: Hiding Out
By Adam Kolker

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