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Jazz Articles | Blog

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Jefry Stevens: Flow

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Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has been involved in many projects in his career over the past forty years. The Generations Quartet started out as a trio six years ago, consisting of Stevens with his long-time musical partner, bassist Joe Fonda and newcomer, drummer Emil Gross. The trio became a quartet with the addition of saxophonist (and Renaissance Man) Oliver Lake, perhaps best known for founding the World Saxophone Quartet with saxophonists David Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Jefry Stevens: Brass Tactics

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Anyone remotely interested “creative improvised music" (aka jazz) that intersects with the Classical aesthetic should take the time to listen closely to pianist Michael Jefry Stevens' latest release Brass Tactics. Stevens is a thinking man's player mostly known for his work in the Fonda/Stevens group (see Folk Five) and Conference Call, (with Gebhard Ullmann) as well leading his own group, for example For The Children. The instrumentation on Brass Tactics stems from Stevens' fascination with brass ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

In Transit: Shifting Moods

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Well-regarded for his co-leadership of the perennially progressive Fonda/Stevens group, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens is an accomplished solo artist and a much in demand session musician, who extends his reach globally. Featuring three European instrumentalists, the In Transit group devises a comprehensive playbook amid budding expansions into the free dominion. However, the modern jazz component underscores the improvisational factors. It's not about wanton cacophony. Conversely, the quartet's synchronicity instills a sense of perpetual motion, executed at various frequencies, throttling pulses, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio

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If New York City is the cultural center of the universe, then Memphis, Tennessee is its crossroads, with the cutting edge and the traditional mingling in Memphis like two best friends. Jazz vocalist Joyce Cobb hails from Memphis, and that city's myriad of influences are evident in her singing. Certainly sophisticated as a jazz singer, Cobb's delivery has the slurring grit of the blues. It is the sound of her meaning business when she steps up to the microphone to ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Jefry Stevens: What About...?; Memphis; A Scent in Motion; Remembering the Future

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Conference CallWhat About...?Not Two2010 Fonda/Stevens GroupMemphisPlayscape2009 Harvey Sorgen-Steve Rust-Michael Jefry StevensA Scent in MotionKonnex2009 Jon HemmersamRemembering the FutureJSH Music2010 The current musical climate being what it is, the moniker of “Conference Call" for a far-flung jazz quartet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harvey Sorgen / Steve Rust / Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: A Scent in Motion

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Back in the 1990s, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, drummer Harvey Sorgen and bassist Steven Rust set in motion a trio project which would have them reassemle in a studio every year to improvise. The collaboration led to four albums: Novella (Leo, 2001), Aercine (Drimala, 2002), Decade (NotTwo, 2003), and now, A Scent in Motion.

Stevens, Sorgen and Rust have cast their roots as improvisers. All possess expressive intuition, allowing them to play off each other and work in tandem towards ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Southern Excursion Quartet: Trading Post

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The Southern Excursion Quartet, featuring saxophonist Don Aliquo, drummer Tom Giampietro, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and bassist Jonathan Wires, moved from different parts of the United States to find their home in the Tennessee and Mississippi areas. The geographical relocation was conducive to a meeting of the four, who went on to find common musical ground.

The music is a revelation of how the quartet develops a theme. They read each other perfectly, sensing structure and enhancing development. The program, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Jefry Stevens: Eastern Boundary Quartet, Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, Conference Call & Southern Excursion Quartet

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Eastern Boundary QuartetEastern Boundary Quartet Biem Artisjus2008 Michael Jefry StevensFor AndrewKonnex2008 Conference CallPoetry in MotionClean Feed2008 Southern Excursion QuartetTrading PostARC2008 Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has enjoyed a prolific musical journey but collaboration could be seen as the inspiration ...


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