by Lyn Horton
For the descriptively-titled Variable Density Sound Orchestra, guitarist Garrison Fewell has assembled a group whose members expertly develop the thematic content central to the pieces on the album. All but one are composed by Fewell, the disc closing with Butch Morris' Namthini's Shadow." Trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr. plays with Fewell for the first time here, the rest of the ensemble consisting of second guitarist Eric Hofbauer, reedist Achille Succi, bassist John Voigt, drummer Mike Matsuki and percussionist Alex Fewell, who ...read more
by John Sharpe
At the core of guitarist, composer, and educator Garrison Fewell's Variable Density Sound Orchestra lies the duo with Eric Hofbauer which made the captivating Lady of Khartoum (Creative Nation, 2008). Supplementing the two guitars on the debut of this new ensemble, Fewell expands into orchestral realms, broadening his sonic palette to seven instruments, in a generous program of original compositions, complemented by one piece from the pen of Butch Morris.
Boasting a back story including John Tchicai, George Cables, and ...read more
by AAJ Staff
It's been said a thousand times, but restraint is a mark of maturity. When it comes to jazz, understatement is a particular risky maneuver because it can sputter and die right on the tracks. Red Door Number 11 bypasses this pitfall by combining a rich harmonic field with an insistent--in fact, unrelenting, if that word can be used in this context--emphasis on melody.
Guitarist Garrison Fewell has led groups on wax for about ten years, starting with a ...read more
by AAJ Staff
"Smooth" is not a word most people like to associate with jazz." Call it a failure of overzealous marketing. (They've changed terms by now anyway, so we're safe to use it as a compliment.) Guitarist Garrison Fewell has the maturity to appreciate the importance of connecting the dots: fitting ideas together and making them work. His smooth, easygoing style on City of Dreams masks a sophisticated understanding of the jazz vocabulary and ensemble sound. While he mostly steers clear of ...read more