Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.

I want to help

Jazz Articles


Gene Ess: Absurdist Theater

Read "Absurdist Theater" reviewed by

On this CD guitarist Gene Ess and his group Fractal Attraction have put together an intelligent fusion of jazz, folk and rock concepts led by the glassy clarity of Ess' guitar and the calm beauty of Thana Alexa's voice. Alexa's rising and falling wordless tones are the first thing heard on the disc and they lead into a pretty, slow theme built on a methodical blend of voice, guitar and Manuel Valera's piano. The quiet mood continues on “Circe's Compassion" ...


Gene Ess: Eternal Monomyth

Read "Eternal Monomyth" reviewed by

Award winning guitarist, Gene Ess, draws upon a diverse background to form his unique style of playing and writing. Eternal Monomyth is a companion piece to Ess' last album, Fractal Attraction. Ess explains, “the music should be heard in that regard. In a transparent sense, it is a continuation of my exploration with the combined timbre of the female voice and the electric guitar wrapped up in original compositions and supported by a piano trio. But acutely, it is about ...


Gene Ess: Blending Passionate and Pensive

Read "Gene Ess: Blending Passionate and Pensive" reviewed by

Fresh off the release of Fractal Attraction (Simp, 2013), which blends traditional combo jazz lineups and approaches with a unique take on vocal jazz, Gene Ess is a man with a lot on his mind as it pertains to career, place--and music in general. Ess is enthusiastic about his love of jazz, classical and rock music, but is also pensive about the tough state of the music economy and the prospects for working jazz. He's also excited about ...


Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction

Read "Fractal Attraction" reviewed by

Using the voice as a melodic and harmonic instrument above and beyond scat singing or vocalese is increasing in popularity, as evidenced in recordings like Beata Pater's Red (B&B Records, 2013) and Lola Danza's The Island (Evolver, 2012). Vocalist Thana Alexa joins guitarist Gene Ess for an expansion of Ess' genre-breaking jazz philosophy, using the human voice as instrument, thus broadening its palette of applications in jazz. On the whole, Ess' compositions are angular, with sharp corners ...


Gene Ess: A Thousand Summers

Read "A Thousand Summers" reviewed by

In a rare departure for Gene Ess, who has always favored original music and instrumentals, the veteran jazz guitarist has partnered with acclaimed vocalist and bassist Nicki Parrott for A Thousand Summers, a refined album of familiar jazz standards and love songs. When Ess began developing the project, he naturally focused on new material. One day he performed with a singer at New York's renowned Blue Note jazz club. As he so aptly puts it, the experience “seemed to have ...


Gene Ess: Modes of Limited Transcendence

Read "Modes of Limited Transcendence" reviewed by

An award-winning guitarist and vital part of the music scene in New York city since moving there in 1991, Gene Ess continues his exploration of music with another dose of tasteful modern jazz featuring sophisticated and engaging compositions on Modes of Limited Transcendence. A classically-trained pianist, Ess also plays the electric guitar and is often compared to John Scofield and John Abercrombie in style. Once considered a child prodigy, Ess draws on pop, jazz, and classical influences when composing his ...


Gene Ess: Modes of Limited Transcendence

Read "Modes of Limited Transcendence" reviewed by

Guitarist Gene Ess put together a quartet with saxophonist Donny McCaslin for his Sandbox and Sanctum (SIMP Music, 2005) . On Modes of Limited Transcendence he ups the harmonic ingenuity factor with a different quartet, replacing the horn with a guitar, to craft an often cooking, quartet-of-equals chamber vibe.Ess began his musical journey as a pianist, but left the eighty-eight keys for the six strings. His chording cohort on the set, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, comps behind the leader ...


Gene Ess: One Note Says It All

Read "Gene Ess: One Note Says It All" reviewed by

Guitarist Gene Ess--born Gene Shimosato--grew up on an American military base in Okinawa, Japan, and the eclectic mix of music he was exposed to there gave him a far-reaching enthusiasm for music. It also, perhaps, pulled him away from the classical piano his mother had encouraged him to pursue. A musical scholarship sent him to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and meaningful apprenticeships with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi and pianist Charlie Banacos. It was inevitable that Ess would relocate ...

Support our sponsor

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

New Service For Musicians!

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