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Articles | Featured | Future

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Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell: Dreamstruck

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On Dreamstruck, the trio of drummer Harvey Sorgen, bassist Joe Fonda, and pianist Marilyn Crispell offer distinctive and fascinating interplay that explores the contours of romance, blues, free playing, and abstraction. For the most part, the three musicians eschew formality in favor of spontaneous compositions that emphasize inventive contributions. But included in the mix are two Fonda originals ("My Song" and “Read This"), the title piece “Dreamstruck" (composed by Bob Windbiel) and the delightful “Kalypso" (composed by the ...

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Harvey Sorgen / Joe Fonda / Marilyn Crispell: Dreamstruck

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Drummer/composer/educator Harvey Sorgen boasts an impressive worked with/recorded with resume. His highest profile booster might be a handful of recordings with the Jefferson Airplane offshoot Hot Tuna, followed by a number of releases with bassist Joe Fonda and the Fonda/Stevens Group. With Fonda involved, you know you'll hear some left-of-center sounds. Dreamstruck teams Fonda with Sorgen, and brings pianist Marilyn Crispell in for a piano trio affair featuring several scrambled three-way, in-the- moment improvisations and four “written" turns, two by ...

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Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda: Mizu

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Listening to Mizu, it is hard to believe that, just two years ago, Joe Fonda and Satoko Fujii were not only unacquainted with each other, but also with one another's music portfolios. With their Libra label debut Duet (2016) and their recent Libra trio collaboration Triad (2018) with saxophonist Gianni Mimmo, it rapidly became apparent that these very different innovators shared a common bond resulting in some very remarkable music. Mizu--the Japanese word for “water"--is the seventh installment ...

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Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda / Gianni Mimmo: Triad

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It's difficult to cherry pick recordings from pianist Satoko Fujii's 60th-year birthday celebration releases that are coming at us every month in 2018. There are solo recordings, sessions with her various jazz orchestras, duos, trios and quartets. Can you pinpoint her as a composer, arranger, or improviser? Yes, yes, and yes. She's accomplished in every aspect of jazz, from free to noted and folk to avant-garde. Her creative energies burn as brightly as that of David Murray in the 1990s, ...

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Nu Band: Live In Geneva

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Everything must change as the Nina Simone song puts it. That's as true in music as anywhere else, and changing one of the parts inevitably affects the whole. When NYC-based German trumpeter Thomas Heberer replaced the late lamented Roy Campbell in The Nu Band, it must have been heart-in-mouth time for colleagues bassist Joe Fonda, reedman Mark Whitecage and drummer Lou Grassi. Two years down the road, everything has fallen into place on the second album from the new line-up. ...

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Barry Altschul featuring Jon Irabagon & Joe Fonda: The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow

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Recorded live at the Alchemia Club in Krakow, Poland, Barry Altschul's 3dom Factor offers the third group release in an informal trilogy that began with their self-titled album (TUM, 2012). That debut--Altschul's first leader outing in a couple dozen years--consisted of nine Altschul originals, and one from Carla Bley. A blend of post-bop and free playing, it set the stage for 2015's Tales of the Unforseen, a largely improvised set. The new trio album Live in Krakow adapts a technique ...

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Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda: Duet

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The story behind the creation of the miraculous album, Duet by pianist Satoko Fujii and bassist Joe Fonda is one of those things that makes one a believer in karma. Although both have played with reed man Gebhard Ullmann in various configurations, Fujii and Fonda had never met, and had not heard much, if any, of each other's music. Now, this might seem strange since both are acknowledged leaders of free/avant-garde jazz, and both have powerful musical personalities ...

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Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda with Natsuki Tamura: Duet

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Two of creative music's most inventive forces come together on Duet. Musical restiveness is at the core of pianist/accordionist and composer Satoko Fujii. With a catalogue three-score deep, she has covered formations from large orchestra to solo where the common denominator is her wide and daring exploration of improvisational spaces. Her adroit aptitude for moving through--and sometimes combining--elements of her native Japanese folk music, classical and discordant free improvisation, have made her one of the more consistently interesting artists in ...

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Generations Quartet: Oliver Lake/Joe Fonda/Michael Jefrys Stevens/Emil Gross: Flow

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As the name would imply, the Generations Quartet spans the ages of its personnel. An off-shoot (of sorts) from the Trio Generations group, it's a semantic difference as saxophone legend Oliver Lake was a guest in the lineup that performed in 2015. From that same tour, we get Flow, a festive exercise of freedom and comradery that could only be realized by a team with the wealth of experience and talent gathered here. Recorded live (but non-sequentially) in Germany, it ...

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Anders Nilsson / Joe Fonda / Peter Nilsson: Powers

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This collective trio teams American bass master Joe Fonda, known for his collaborations with innovative musicians and composers such as saxophonist Anthony Braxton, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Carla Bley, with Swedish brothers a generation younger than Fonda-- guitarist Anders Nilsson, based in New York since 2000, and drummer Peter Nilsson, based in Malmö, Sweden. The Nilsson brothers have been playing together since they were kids and recently collaborated in Anders Nilsson's Aorta (Kopasetic, 2009). Both lead their own ...

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Remi Alvarez/Joe Fonda/Harvey Sorgen: Trio 3D

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When drummer Harvey Sorgen met saxophonist Remi Álvarez at the International Musicians Meeting in Monterey, Mexico, he was “taken by his sound, feel and humanity." This is not surprising. Álvarez has cut a wide swath both on record and in live performances as an adventurer who is not afraid to take risks without losing focus. Sorgen, who has blazed his own trail adding to the dynamics with his sense of rhythm and pulse and abetting the music of vibraphonist/pianist Karl ...

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Nu Band: Lower East Side Blues

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To those who thought The Nu Band was a one-shot group, witness Lower East Side Blues, its fourth album since 2003 and first recorded in a studio. With such busy schedules it seemed as if four musicians of this caliber--trumpeter Roy Campbell, alto saxophonist/ clarinetist Mark Whitecage, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Lou Grassi--couldn't stay together very long. That they now have several international tours behind them and have a burgeoning discography is an indication of their level of commitment. ...