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Drew Gress: The Sky Inside

Read "Drew Gress: The Sky Inside" reviewed by John Kelman

Bassist Drew Gress returns with the same quintet with whom he's been recording since 2005's 7 Black Butterflies (Premonition). Don't fix it if it ain't broke, they say, and if, with the addition of trumpeter Ralph Alessi to the core quartet that also recorded 2001's Spin & Drift (Premonition (and with Craig Taborn replacing original pianist Uri Caine), then 7 Black Butterflies' followup, The Irrational Numbers (Premonition, 2007), made even clearer that the ubiquitous bassist--who counts guitarist John Abercrombie, pianist ...

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Drew Gress: The Irrational Numbers & Real and Imagines

Read "Drew Gress: The Irrational Numbers & Real and Imagines" reviewed by Donald Elfman

Drew Gress The Irrational Numbers Premonition 2008 Dave Allen Real and Imagined Fresh Sound-New Talent 2008

The third one's a true charm as bassist Drew Gress and company--pianist Craig Taborn, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, saxophonist Tim Berne and drummer Tom Rainey--excel on The Irrational Numbers. Once again, the accent is on Gress' ...

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Drew Gress: The Irrational Numbers

Read "The Irrational Numbers" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Drew Gress might be suffering from a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde complex. On one side, he's the mild-mannered, in-demand bassist whose exemplary fret work has supported other artists' recordings--pianist Fred Hersch, The Claudia Quintet's For (Cuneiform Records, 2007) and the Steve Lehman Quintet's On Meaning (Pi Recordings, 2007), to name just a few. However, on the flip side, a ferocious alter-ego emerges when Gress is a leader, producing some of the most dynamically forward music in the current environment with The ...

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Drew Gress: The Irrational Numbers

Read "The Irrational Numbers" reviewed by John Kelman

Bassist Drew Gress returns with the same group from 7 Black Butterflies (Premonition, 2005), but The Irrational Numbers is more than a logical continuation of Butterflies' postmodern lyricism. Instead, it's an album of more vivid extremes, ranging from detailed writing to even freer improvisational exchanges and an overall greater sense of adventure. Not that Butterflies was anything but intrepid, but Numbers ups the ante with ten Gress originals, proving the old adage about being the sum total of one's experiences.

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Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Read "7 Black Butterflies" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Drew Gress throws his contender for year's best in with 7 Black Butterflies, a crackling collection uniting a stellar cast of players who live up to their collective reputation. With Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, Craig Taborn, and Tom Rainey fully engaged, Gress holds an all-aces hand. His multifaceted compositions provide the tracks for this ride, while the quintet provides the vivid scenery. While Berne, Alessi, and Taborn usually inhabit worlds of sonic phenomena, the simple acoustic setting here spotlights the ...

INTERVIEWS

Drew Gress: Where My Ear Leads Me

Read "Drew Gress: Where My Ear Leads Me" reviewed by Paul Olson

WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=270>Bassist Drew Gress isn't the busiest bassist ever ("I don't think so, man. What about Ron Carter?, he asked me), but he's probably playing somewhere tonight. He's played as a sideman with Don Byron, Tim Berne, Marc Copland, John Hollenbeck and Uri Caine. But his three albums under his own name--Heyday (Soul Note, 1998), Spin & Drift (Premonition, 2001) and his fantastic new Premonition CD 7 Black Butterflies--are ample evidence that Gress' own compositions and bands are as ...

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Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Read "7 Black Butterflies" reviewed by John Kelman

Along with Scott Colley, Drew Gress must be the most ubiquitous bassist on the New York scene. Gress' broad stylistic reach has allowed him to support artists including pianist Fred Hersch, trumpeter Dave Douglas, and saxophonist Tim Berne since arriving on the scene in the late '80s. Capable of bringing an unerring sense of tradition to mainstream acts and a free-spirited sense of adventure to those from left of centre, Gress has also been gradually emerging as a composer of ...

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Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Read "7 Black Butterflies" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Bassist Drew Gress consistently delivers, whether he's playing straight-ahead or outwardly adventurous music. He maintains a vigorous touring and recording schedule with a swath of the jazz community. Though creatively challenging, this approach has limited the time he has to develop his own music. With 7 Black Butterflies, his third CD as a leader, Gress makes a compelling musical statement with structured and purposeful composition, supported by focused improvisation. While the tunes are often complex, both rhythmically ...

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Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Read "7 Black Butterflies" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Most of the music on this exhilarating record defies easy description. Much of it is lyrical, even beautiful. There's some driving, fiery swing. The improvising is of a consistently high order throughout. And Gress contributes his inventive compositions, with structures that challenge the improvisers with knotty harmonies and tempo changes. On 7 Black Butterflies, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and the parts are extraordinarily good.

Tim Berne's contribution is obvious. The alto saxophonist ...

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Drew Gress: 7 Black Butterflies

Read "7 Black Butterflies" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Music that reveals beauty even in the Rhinoceros... To say that Drew Gress may be one of today's premier bassists/composers is a bold statement, but one with considerable merit. The veteran player has profoundly enhanced numerous recordings by names like Uri Crane, Don Byron, and Ravi Coltrane with his distinct sound, dynamic playing, and writing abilities. But his most revealing work has been on his own recordings, of which 7 Black Butterflies is simply a cut above ...

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Drew Gress: Spin and Drift

Read "Spin and Drift" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Here, bassist Drew Gress mans the helm to what is essentially, alto saxophonist Tim Berne's “Paraphrase" trio - plus pianist/composer Uri Caine. Spin and Drift signifies a symbiotic union of like-minded musicians, as Gress executes his booming, robust bass lines on buoyant pieces such as the opener, “Disappearing Act 1" and “Jet Precipice," where the quartet effortlessly engages themes constructed upon vacillating rhythms and intricately executed undercurrents. However, the musicians' often cheery, upbeat demeanor and gleaming approach to these altogether ...

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Drew Gress: Spin & Drift

Read "Spin & Drift" reviewed by Jim Santella

Representing jazz's modern mainstream, Drew Gress' quartet album swings, while offering – at the same time – unexpected changes of direction. Saxophones, piano, bass and drums interact with a spirit that implies reserves of energy. That motion is sitting there, rocking, and waiting for a chance to explode. Fortunately, this veteran quartet knows how to harness the energy. Uri Caine provides exciting dances up and down the piano's keyboard, with measured phrases that format his creative ideas. Tim Berne offers ...


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