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ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars

Read "Pillars" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Tyshawn Sorey's musical career has been steadily moving away from jazz and toward new music in several forms. Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings, 2017) is dominated by a series of textural motions that create a dark mood. That album followed another Pi release, The Inner Spectrum of Variables (2016); an album that featured classical composition and improvisation. Sorey's new album, Pillars, is yet another departure for the composer/multi-instrumentalist; a three-disc set that is beyond categorization. Stephen Haynes, Joe Morris and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Berlin Jazzfest 2017

Read "Berlin Jazzfest 2017" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Haus der Berliner Festspiele Jazzfest Berlin Berlin November 4-5, 2017 This year it was the last edition of Berlin Jazzfest under the aegis of British artistic director Richard Williams. With its “In All Languages" adage running through the six-day program as red thread, the festival still had promising stuff in store for the last two days, like the appearance of North-American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar with the Berlin Zinc & Copper Ensemble, Wilco ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude

Read "Verisimilitude" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

So much has been said and written about Tyshawn Sorey's presence as a composer, performer and educator, that there is a threat of redundancy, even in adding new superlatives. Each release, however, demands attention to his exceptional and unmatched creativity. Putting aside Sorey's leader dates for the moment, those who have sought him out as a colleague, constitute a who's-who of outstanding creative artists. Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Steve Coleman, Steve Lehman, Roscoe Mitchell, Craig Taborn, Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude

Read "Verisimilitude" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Given Tyshawn Sorey's propensity for shattering the boundaries between jazz, free improvisation and classical music, it's noteworthy that he decided to stick with just his regular trio for his latest release, Verisimilitude. His previous record, last year's Inner Spectrum of Variables (Pi), drew heavily from the streams of classical and new music, with the additional presence of a string trio essential in giving that music a chamber-like feel, albeit with a good deal of open- ended improvisational space and even ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables

Read "The Inner Spectrum of Variables" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Tyshawn Sorey has realized a career's worth of accomplishments, accolades and appointments despite a professional resume that--with the exception of Vijay Iyer's Blood Sutra (Artist House, 2003)--is not quite ten years in the making. On the verge of his doctoral degree in composition at Columbia University, he has composed almost two-hundred works, and received the 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He is now set to replace the retired Anthony Braxton as Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in 2017. One ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy

Read "Alloy" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey's fourth release as a leader, the intriguingly mystical Alloy, is a stimulating study of contrasts. The four, long Sorey originals are simultaneously expansive and intimate, somber yet with moments of subtle vibrance and stately yet brimming with spontaneity.Sorey sticks to his main ax the drum set on the album as he deftly collaborates with his two sidemen through the intricacies of his own compositions while himself shunning the spotlight. Pianist Cory Smythe demonstrates ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy

Read "Alloy" reviewed by John Ephland

Tyshawn Sorey's Alloy is, if nothing else, a wondrous reconfiguration of the so-called jazz piano trio. Some may quibble as to the nomenclature but drummer Sorey's four through-composed compositions are pure jazz expression, if what we mean by that term is melodic, harmonic and rhythmic improvisation within a larger context. That Sorey is yet another drummer who composes is no real surprise. The history is long in that department. What is novel, though, is the radically understated ways ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy

Read "Alloy" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Drummer Tyshawn Sorey has evolved into one of the more sought after drummers in the jazz and improvisational strata on a global basis. His ever expanding resume is difficult to keep up with. And he possesses immense chops as a polyrhythmic powerhouse, but focuses his empathetic support on a variety of levels, including diverse compositional frameworks, free-flowing improv and whatever the heat of the moment may require. Currently, Sorey is in the doctoral program at Columbia University ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy

Read "Alloy" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

From an early age composer/drummer/educator Tyshawn Sorey has found creative outlets in not just music but in painting and literature as well. Never one to compartmentalize his own imagination, he has enthusiastically explored blues, gospel, classical and music for dance so it seems quite natural that his current music defies categories. Whether listening or writing, he takes a non-judgmental approach to the way he engages with music, preferring possibilities over prescription. Sorey has recorded or performed with a veritable who's-who ...

INTERVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Composite Reality

Read "Tyshawn Sorey: Composite Reality" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

Though Tyshawn Sorey's Oblique-I (Pi Recordings, 2011) is his most recent release to date, it's actually comprised of some of the percussionist/composer's earliest work. Containing music that is sonically dense, enormously challenging and (as the title suggests) consistently blurs and obscures the lines drawn between improvisation and composition, it has been hailed by critics and fans alike as a combination of what has come to be expected from Sorey: a masterful drummer and visionary, and unique composer. The story, however, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Koan, The Winding Shell & Labyrinth

Read "Tyshawn Sorey: Koan, The Winding Shell & Labyrinth" reviewed by Wilbur MacKenzie

Tyshawn SoreyKoan482 Music2009 Jesse ElderThe Winding ShellOff2009 Jacam ManricksLabyrinthManricks Music2009 For decades, the trend has been for drummers in jazz to move away from timekeeping and towards a multi-faceted element of the ensemble's texture. This trend is particularly present on Tyshawn Sorey's new record Koan. The ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tyshawn Sorey: Koan

Read "Koan" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Who would have thought that it would be a drummer to finally, and successfully bridge the worlds of jazz, minimalism, and improvisation? But, it is indeed Tyshawn Sorey, maybe known best for his work with the almost always frenetic players Vijay Iyer and Steve Lehman in the band Fieldwork, or through gigs with Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman and Wadada Leo Smith. Koan follows the critically acclaimed That/Not (Firehouse 12 Records, 2007), a double-disc set that hinted at ...