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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eloping With The Sun: Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds

Read "Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds" reviewed by John Sharpe

After a 14 year gap since the eponymous debut (Riti, 2003) comes the second release from the ongoing trio known as Eloping With The Sun. Perhaps the reason for the hiatus lies in the illustrious participants' other commitments. Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake share a storied history, both apart and together as the engine room of choice for many, while guitarist Joe Morris, not only teaches at NEC, and runs his own label, but also performs on bass. ...

IN PICTURES

Something Else! Festival Hamilton 2017

Read "Something Else! Festival Hamilton 2017" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

The Something Else! Festival of Creative Music in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada reached the four-year milestone in June 2017 by offering four days of exciting music by North American, European, and Asian musicians. Zula Music and Arts Collective presented the festival that played at three acoustically friendly venues with both afternoon and evening offerings. A unique feature of this festival was the use of ad hoc groups selected by curator Cem Zafir from various members of the regularly performing acts. These ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Shock Axis

Read "Shock Axis" reviewed by Mark Corroto

I am applying for a NEA grant to test my theory that you can judge an album by it's cover. For instance, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St (RSR, 1972) and The Clash's London Calling (CBS, 1979) are two albums where you just knew what to expect by gazing at the covers. In the jazz world, Sonny Clark's Cool Struttin' (Blue Note, 1958) and John Zorn's Spy Vs. Spy: The Music Of Ornette Coleman give away the contents of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris Quartet: Balance

Read "Balance" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

After several albums and great synergy, guitarist Joe Morris disbanded the quartet in 2000 with many of his associates stating it was a “terrible idea." For this reunion, the musicians' artistic evolution surges on via a conglomeration of diminutive and soaring theme-building episodes, asymmetrical footprints, and staggered detours, instilling a continual sense of anticipation. The gala is off to a rousing start on “Thought," fostered by Mat Maneri's buzzing viola passages, and the unit's synchronous improvisational attack, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris & Jamie Saft: Plymouth

Read "Plymouth" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Joe Morris and keyboardist Jamie Saft follow-up the 2013 Rare Noise Records release Slobberpup in a similar vein by locking into another improvisational fest. Once all the audio processing equipment is ready to roll, it's time for instantaneous compositional forays, as they let the chips fall where they may. Morris' former student, guitarist and rising star Mary Halvorson, along with the prominent rhythm section of bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Gerald Cleaver steer an asymmetrical rhythmic course. However, the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Plymouth: Plymouth

Read "Plymouth" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Chris Lightcap, Gerald Cleaver, and Mary Halvorson. The simple mention of these five names is probably enough to frighten some people away from this album and make others rush toward it with open ears. Each one of the aforementioned musicians has a reputation for being a musical provocateur, pushing buttons, pushing the limits and challenging minds and ears with intelligent abandon. The music they make together under the banner of Plymouth could be dubbed free jazz, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Graffiti In Two Parts

Read "Graffiti In Two Parts" reviewed by John Sharpe

One of the main talking points regarding Graffiti In Two Parts, and perhaps the reason this session from 1985 has finally seen the light of day, must be the participation of the erstwhile pianist Lowell Davidson. After studying biochemistry at Harvard University, he moved to New York and played with Ornette Coleman who urged the ESP Disk label to record him. If the pianist is known at all, it is for the obscure but acclaimed Lowell Davidson Trio (ESP Disk, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris / William Parker / Gerald Cleaver: Altitude

Read "Altitude" reviewed by John Sharpe

Guitarist Joe Morris is on a roll. Hardly a month goes by without a new release featuring the Boston-based musician. Of course, he doubled his chances by adding acoustic bass to his armory alongside his six-stringed axe. It's the latter he wields on this trio date featuring bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver, captured at New York City's Stone in June, 2011. Strangely, given their long acquaintance, this is the first time this particular combination has recorded, though each ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Camera

Read "Camera" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Influential improvising guitarist Joe Morris ignites luminous imagery that casts a musically minded paradigm on how the diffraction of light may traverse a camera lens. However, individual interpretations can yield other enticing persuasions on Camera, engineered upon the grouping of stringed instruments and drums. “Street Scene" exemplifies Morris' clever articulations via fluttering storylines, largely executed at a brisk pace. Drummer Luther Gray lays out a peppery backbone for the soloists' dissecting call-and-response patterns, where subliminal nods to blues, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Today on Earth; Colorfield; The Necessary and the Possible; Fine Objects

Read "Joe Morris: Today on Earth; Colorfield; The Necessary and the Possible; Fine Objects" reviewed by Wilbur MacKenzie

Joe MorrisToday on EarthAUM Fidelity2009 Joe MorrisColorfieldESP-Disk2009 Joe Morris/Simon H. Fell/Alex WardThe Necessary and the PossibleRecord Label #3Year Joe MorrisFine ObjectsNot Two2009 With four new releases, Joe Morris continues to expand his prodigious output with varied work, refining ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Colorfield

Read "Colorfield" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Challenges have been part of Joe Morris' life as a musician. He has long established his reputation as a guitarist on the improvised music scene playing with several high priests of the genre. More than this, he has raised the bar for himself in a constant state of reinvention.

Long active in Boston, Morris was in several improvising contexts ranging from solo to large ensembles, his approach and perspective a seamless fit. In the 1980s he helped organize ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Morris: Colorfield

Read "Colorfield" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Much dirt has been spread about concrete art because it lacks heart and is almost always cold by its very nature. In music as in painting, the anomaly of art without a living soul can echo with emptiness. However there is Confucius, who praised the exactitude of concrete nomenclature, eschewing the figurative. In the case of music that may be overtones or moods, even guitarist Joe Morris' Colorfield does not stray from the path of concrete music diktats, where there's ...