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Michael Formanek Live plus new and forthcoming releases

Read "Michael Formanek Live plus new and forthcoming releases" reviewed by Bob Osborne

In this edition of the show there are lots of new and forthcoming releases including music from the Orbit577, Edition Records and ears&eyes labels. I am also continuing my exploration of the back catalogue of Italian saxophonist Felice Clemente. The main focus of the show is new work from impressive guitarist Dan Pitt, and, a fascinating meeting between Florian Arbenz and Greg Osby. I also feature an exciting live album from the bassist and composer Michael Formanek which features music ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Formanek Very Practical Trio: Even Better

Read "Even Better" reviewed by Don Phipps

Composer and bassist Michael Formanek's Even Better is an adventurous compilation of bluesy abstractions with surprising twists and turns. Opting for a drummer-less trio format, Formanek gives himself room to negotiate the terrain with his own intimate rhythm. He is aided and abetted by his longtime collaborator, saxophonist virtuoso Tim Berne, and guitarist extraordinaire Mary Halvorson. Formanek's style of playing is relaxed. His runs up and down the neck of the bass are, even at their most intense, ...

LIVE FROM NEW YORK

Mara Rosenbloom, Thumbscrew & Nation Beat

Read "Mara Rosenbloom, Thumbscrew & Nation Beat" reviewed by Martin Longley

Mara Rosenbloom/Melanie Dyer/Ken Filiano/Rashaan Carter Soup & Sound April 10, 2019 It's an old tradition, sometimes out of necessity, for artists to host low-key gigs in their own homes. The hyper-inventive and often powerfully percussive drummer Andrew Drury has been offering soup and sound for quite a while now, opening his front door in Lefferts Avenue, Brooklyn, to improvised music enthusiasts on a monthly basis. Not so surprisingly, Drury calls the series Soup & ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet: Time Like This

Read "Time Like This" reviewed by John Sharpe

Bassist Michael Formanek has become a major presence on the NYC scene over the last decade, both as a forward-looking bandleader and a sideman. His two small-group offerings, The Rub And Spare Change (2010) and Small Places (2012), both on ECM, were justly feted and lead to the acclaimed big-band set The Distance (2016) by his Ensemble Kolossos which cemented his reputation. On Time Like This he rings the changes on the cast as he debuts his new ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet: Time Like This

Read "Time Like This" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

In the olden days of jazz, an album consisting of trailblazing instrumentalists akin to these performers may have been billed as Michael Formanek and his All-Stars instead of a band moniker. Nonetheless, the Elusion Quartet lives up to preconceived or implicit expectations. Consequently, the heavyweight lineup imparts an abundance of mood-eliciting and symmetrical works, along with other components for our psyche's to nibble on. As a premise for this session, Michael Formanek says he sought “a more ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

So many reviews this year, in so many genres, that I've split them into two categories--"Jazz" and “Latin, World & Experimental"--in response to the feeling that I was trying to compare apples to oranges. They're presented in more or less chronological order, and the guiding principle was whether I had a clear memory of the recording even before I went back to listen to it again. A few of these were drawn from Multiple Review articles, and I cheated a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Formanek - Tomas Fujiwara - Mary Halvorson: Convallaria

Read "Convallaria" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Three hyper-progressive improvisational jazz and cross-genre artists push the envelope again on their 2nd album for Cuneiform Records. The musicians' busy schedules via numerous and largely prolific solo and group-based projects have rocketed their respective artistries into the limelight, especially ECM recording artist Michael Formanek (bass) who for the past several decades has become a household name within these circles. Nonetheless, it's an adventurous exploration, led by guitarist Mary Halvorson's signature phraseology, comprised of extended lines that vaporize into the ...


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