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Lewis Porter Trio Plus Special Guests at Trumpets Friday, October 26th


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10/26, 8:30-1am (three sets), $15, at
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ

What The Press Is Saying About Lewis Porter's Latest CD:

Porter-Di Castri-Sferra Trio Italian Encounter
Lewis Porter-piano, Furio DiCastri-bass, Fabrizio Sferra-drums
Altrisuoni AS222
Street Date: September 1, 2007

Ana Isabel Ordonez writes: “Anchored by a bold Italian rhythm section, famous New Jersey based pianist Lewis Porter renders this live recording in Siena, Italy with a lively glitter and amazing sense of assurance. Porter's tones are zealous when performing; his phrases being weaved upon lines tinctured with much lyricism.

The trio furrows through the seven cheery pieces via knotty transacted harmonies and chummily sound passages. On the “Wine Hoot", Porter's bassist Furio Di Castri's drifting spaces endow contrastive items to pianist Porter's refined phrasings. Di Castri soars on “Wine Hot". His measures are criminally rhythmic coupled with melodic staccatos and tinged with subtle shifts in direction. Sferra's clean- toned cymbal licks are sprawling with precision amid speedy and fluently elaborated lines. The seven cuts on the album define an amazing music style which incorporates many elements of Contemporary jazz. The music has a definite groove with a mix of high energy and dexterity.

As an added plus, Porter's solo is remarkable on the standard “Body and Soul". Infrequently, the band tempts us with some free territory, yet Porter-Di Castri-Sferra' symbiotically sonorous encounters surmise an intuitive, bold relationship in this way. Hence, there are some splendid musical excursions enhanced by sympathetic musicianship which deserves to be listened to."

Glenn Astarita writes: “Author and jazz pianist, Lewis Porter is a “Professor of Music" at Rutgers University in New Jersey. This recording captures him performing with a laudable Italian rhythm section at a Siena, Italy venue. Simply stated, there's a lot going on under the hood. As Porter's animated voicings are built upon variable swing vamps and bassist Furio Di Castri's limber lines/ solos. And they occasionally venture into free terrain, while offsetting the mix with spunky bop motifs and multihued contrasts. Di Castri takes an extended solo on “Wine Hot," which segues into airy three-way dialogues during the second movement titled “Three As One." Nothing bombastic or overwrought here, although Porter's hammering block chords often complement drummer Fabrizio Sferra's buoyantly executed support. Otherwise, Porter delves into the Bill Evans School during his solo spot on the standard, “Body and Soul." Ultimately, the trio's somewhat meticulous and patiently rendered arrangements are founded upon depth and cunning use of space. It's not simply “another jazz piano trio outing," as subsequent listens divulge previously unnoticed surprises."

Yasuhiro Fujioka, Swing Journal: “Lewis Porter, well-known John Coltrane scholar and a professor at Rutgers University, new recording with his trio Furio Di Castri and Fabrizio Sferra. It's meditative and there are some thrilling choices of notes. Very fine as a piano player and a very good CD." July 2007 Chris Spector, Midwest Record: “Office politics can be interesting. Porter is an academic that has found a new way around the publish or perish trap by hooking up with some of the top Italian jazz cats for a sizzling trio date that probably wouldn't have happened under other circumstances. Mixing experimental with traditional, these cats play up a storm that any straight ahead jazzbo can dig. Hot stuff. 222 (Altrisuoni)

About Lewis Porter:

A leading jazz scholar, Dr. Porter has dedicated his career to raising the standards of jazz scholarship. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on jazz, an assisting author of the definitive Coltrane discography, and a consultant to record producers, publishers, and producers of jazz radio shows and films. Dr. Porter has been called by Thomas Owens “a shining light in recent jazz scholarship," and Dizzy Gillespie called his first book, a study of Lester Young, “a monumental work!" The second book was A Lester Young Reader. Down Beat said of his jazz history, Porter et al, Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present (Prentice-Hall,1992; formerly available in a CD-ROM version), “This is the one to buy." His recent books are an anthology of rare historical articles and his own new essays (Jazz: A Century of Change, Schirmer Books, Oct. 1997), and a study of Coltrane presenting 400 pages of all new research on his life and music (University of Michigan Press, Jan. 1998). This book has won the 1999 Jazz Research Award from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections and was called by Gene Lees “the finest analysis of a jazz musician's art I have read"; Down Beat said it is “[Outstanding...rectifies errors and gaps of the previous Coltrane biographies." Jazz Times writes, “Porter has topped himself this time...[What will he do for an encore?"

His most recent project was about 1500 short jazz biographies, incorporating much new research on major figures, for a vastly expanded Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Schirmer, early 2001). He also writes occasional CD reviews for the magazine Signal to Noise. Porter was one of five people nominated for a Grammy in 1996 for their role in producing the boxed set of Coltrane's Atlantic Recordings (under Best Historical Reissue).

He has performed, primarily as a pianist, with Yoron Israel, Alan Dawson, Jimmy Lyons, Don Friedman, Harvie Swartz, Tom Varner, Hank Roberts, and others. He has spoken and performed at colleges, jazz clubs, and radio stations in the U.S. and Europe. In June 2000 he recorded a CD of his music featuring Dan Faulk, Ken Wessel, Harvie Swartz, Porter, Marcus Baylor, and guest Dave Liebman. The CD should be available to the public in 2001.

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