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Balance with Gerald Cleaver and Bill Harris at the Detroit Public Library

Read "Balance with Gerald Cleaver and Bill Harris at the Detroit Public Library" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Balance with Gerald Cleaver and Bill Harris Detroit Public Library Detroit, MIApril 7, 2019 Detroit-based jazz fans have become well-acquainted with pianist Michael Malis and saxophonist Marcus Elliot, both of whom are fixtures among the up-and-coming generation of musicians in the city, playing in all kinds of configurations and in wide-ranging, cross-stylistic endeavors. As the duo Balance, they've worked together for several years, releasing a very promising self-titled CD back in 2017 that reveals the ...

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Gerald Cleaver: Be It As I See It

Read "Be It As I See It" reviewed by John Sharpe

On his fourth disc as leader, and the first with his Uncle June ensemble, Detroit-native drummer Gerald Cleaver shoots for the stars. Though termed a sound collage based on the Great Migration, Be It As I See Itis not programmatic. Cleaver's approach is personal, celebrating the intelligence, strength and humor of the folks he grew up with, and those who made one of the first real choices for black people in America: the movement of two million out of the ...

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Gerald Cleaver / Uncle June: Be It As I See It

Read "Be It As I See It" reviewed by Nic Jones

Drummer Gerald Cleaver has a CV which takes in names like Mario Pavone, Joe Morris, Charles Gayle and Roscoe Mitchell. Of these names it's the last which inspires not only Cleavers's music, but also his appetite for working in new musical forms, and striving for new forms of musical expression. It's hardly surprising, then, that Be It As I See It, his fourth as a leader in his own right--and in the company of his Uncle June ensemble, featuring reed ...

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Gerald Cleaver / Uncle June: Be It As I See It

Read "Be It As I See It" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Be It As I See It, Gerald Cleaver's fourth release as a leader, is an artistic vision of the Great Migration of African American families, in particular his family's movement from the rural South to the urban landscapes in the North, arriving at his home in Detroit, Michigan. The New York-based drummer/composer is a major player in forward-thinking music, his reputation and acumen evolving through his early tenure with AACM leader Roscoe Mitchell, and involvement with like- minded contemporaries including ...

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Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers by Nature

Read "Farmers by Nature" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Truly improvised music is, like the depths of the great oceans, a place where few have really ventured, and it remains a largely unexplored world. On Farmers by Nature pianist Craig Taborn, drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist William Parker are like cartographers of the unknown, diving deep into the world of improvised music. Guided by each others' rhythms, their ear is their compass, plotting a course through unfamiliar soundscapes which can be both intimidating and awe-inspiring.

So tentatively does the ...

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Gerald Cleaver: Farmers By Nature and Live at the Loft

Read "Gerald Cleaver: Farmers By Nature and Live at the Loft" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn Farmers by Nature Aum Fidelity Records 2009 Lotte Anker / Craig Taborn / Gerald Cleaver Live at the Loft Ilk Music 2008

Eschewing histrionic displays, drummer Gerald Cleaver uses the subtlest motions--bare hands on the drum heads, scraped cymbal edges and judicious pauses--as ...

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Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers By Nature

Read "Farmers By Nature" reviewed by John Sharpe

While Farmers By Nature is the debut of the year-old trio featuring Detroit-born drummer Gerald Cleaver, New York City bassist extraordinaire William Parker, and in-demand keyboardist Craig Taborn, it is by no means its first performance as a unit. Together the trio has fuelled the flights of saxophonists Rob Brown on his acclaimed Crown Trunk Root Funk (Aum Fidelity, 2008), and Roscoe Mitchell as part of his Note Factory ensemble as well as violist Mat Maneri's small group on Sustain ...

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Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers By Nature

Read "Farmers By Nature" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The aptly named Farmers By Nature is a completely improvised live date that whispers “wait for it, wait... now, there it is." Just like farming, the seeds of improvised sound are scattered; some lay fallow and others bear delicious fruit.

Bassist William Parker, drummer Gerald Cleaver and pianist Craig Taborn have worked together in numerous groups and countless styles from large ensembles to solo outings and from free jazz to hard bop. They were last heard on disc ...

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Gerald Cleaver / William Parker / Craig Taborn: Farmers By Nature

Read "Farmers By Nature" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Farmers By Nature is the perfect outlet for these three highly respected progressives: drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn. Their herculean abilities have been witnessed on their recordings as leaders--Cleaver's Detroit (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2008), Parker's Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity, 2008) and Taborn's Junk Magic (Thirsty Ear, 2004)--and on collaborations with seminal artists including Tim Berne, Roscoe Mitchell, Matthew Shipp and David Torn. Cleaver's brilliant idea to create their own collective came to fruition when ...

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Gerald Cleaver: Detroit

Read "Detroit" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Detroit, Gerald Cleaver's sophomore release and a tone portrait of the Motor City, further establishes the drummer, best known as a prolific and versatile sideman, as a leader and composer in his own right. A brief photo essay in the liner notes displaying dilapidated buildings and skid-row denizens strikes a melancholy tone, but the music is anything but.

Cleaver's tunes are vigorous and compelling: “The Silly One" has through-composed accents that lend it effortless forward motion; “Henry" has slow moving ...

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Gerald Cleaver / Veil of Names: Adjust

Read "Adjust" reviewed by Phil DiPietro

Calling this one of 2001's most surprising , refreshing and simply best releases is not as intrepid an estimation as it may seem, since it was one of three nominees by the Jazz Journalists' Association for Recording Debut of their jazz year (April 15, 2001 - April 15, 2002). Splitting his prodigious talents between the gigging/recording and academic worlds, Detroit (and U Michigan)'s Gerald Cleaver, who's already made his mark in straight and avant camps, makes a powerful debut with ...


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