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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: Prism

Read "Prism" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Prism, by the band Conference Call, sounds, on the set's opening tune, “F.J.D.," like a bunch of guys who might mug you: a brash, turbulent, confrontational crowd with a “we-don't-take-no-mess-from-nobody" approach to making music. Credit reedman Gebhard Ullmann with his grouchy, working-man-roused-from-his-afternoon-nap tenor sax sound, and the powerful bass (which you can feel in your bones) of Joe Fonda, accompanied by the aggressive clamor of, Dieter Ulrich--the group's third drummer in its twenty year tenure—along with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens' ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: Prism

Read "Prism" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

During the roiling twenty years that Conference Call has willfully crisscrossed the broad Atlantic, the individual drummers haven't participated in all of the round trips. The pre-2020 drummer rotation was Matt Wilson, who left the band prior to its first tour in 2001 to prep for the delivery of triplets, Han Bennink, George Schuller, and Gerry Hemingway. But the core players remain. As does the key aesthetic: creative art as spontaneous geometry. So how you fit the individual pieces together ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: Seven: Live @ Firehouse 12

Read "Seven: Live @ Firehouse 12" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The collective quartet Conference Call performs music within the egalitarian principles of jazz as a democracy, confirming that a band can be both leaderless and led by different players without diminishing the quality and character of its music. A working band since 1998, the lineup of reed player Gebhard Ullmann, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, and bassist Joe Fonda employed multiple drummers in its first three years, including Matt Wilson, Han Bennink, and Gerry Hemingway before inviting George Schuller ...

INTERVIEW

Conference Call: Evolution of a Burning Bush

Read "Conference Call: Evolution of a Burning Bush" reviewed by Gordon Marshall

Conference Call can be as balanced and beautiful as an intricate organism, and just as soon rage with holy fire. The quartet--consisting of saxophonist Gebhard Ullman, bassist Joe Fonda, drummer George Schuller and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens--perpetually weaves in all three dimensions, as well as in time--its own, and music history's. Together since the late '90s, the group is going strong, burning away but losing no energy, relating jazz past and political past to hard and fast ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: What About...?

Read "What About...?" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

It has been said that live music offers the composer the opportunity to add the final ingredient in the decoction of their creation: the audience. In the case of Conference Call's 2007 concert in Krakow, Poland, documented on the double-disc What About...?, there's the dramatic addition of completely spontaneous, improvisations by one or more of the fiercely creative quartet. It's also why the mercury rises fast and furious from the get-go; the musicians taking ownership of their evolving sound, as ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: What About...?

Read "What About...?" reviewed by Mark Corroto

One of the finest improvising units working today, Conference Call is a complete band, capable of touching all the jazz bases, be they individual or group improvisation, or the performance of composed music. The quintet's sixth release, What About...? is a two-disc session from the band's 10th anniversary tour, and was recorded live at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland. Conference Call's lineup has remained stable for the past three releases--since drummer George Schuller took a drum chair once held ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Conference Call: Poetry In Motion

Read "Poetry In Motion" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The creation of a work of art is an act of the mind that controls and shapes the medium's components in order to project the artist's sense of life and elicit a reaction from the consumer. In its highest forms, jazz might sound instinctive, but the reality is that years of practice have pushed the physical into the background and honed the mind to work exceedingly fast. A player entering "the zone" has not stopped thinking, but has ...


ENGAGE

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