For Gypsy Schaeffer's followup to its 2004 debut recording, the group presents a similar pattern. The band consists of the same personnel, with the exception of bassist Jef Charland, who replaces Edward Perez. The ensemble takes its name from a bordello in the turn-of-the-century Storyville section of New Orleans where Jelly Roll Morton once punched the proverbial time clock. Most of the band has worked with the cutting edge Boston-based Either/Orchestra, and it shows.
It is quite understandable that the group's members welcome the absence of a piano, because that allows them greater freedom to explore free jazz as well as mainstream musical interests, and there is virtually something for everyone here. The bracing "Under Construction" and "Ponus Ridge" are good examples of their brand of hard bop, while "Mummer's Day" suggests a New Orleans Marching Band gait. Both "Time Management" and the title tune (with a fair amount of screeching towards the end) display the group's penchant for the avant-garde, while "01" and "Ugly Hand" lean towards edgy neo-bop. Those interested in Gypsy Schaeffer's take of a Monk-like theme should go directly to "Schemin'."
Most of the solo space is given to saxophonist Andy Voelker and trombonist Joel Yennior. Voelker seems quite comfortable in a mainstream setting, but he also shows his affinity for outside playing; Yennior has a rich and attractive sound that calls for a standard or jazz standard ballad. How about throwing one in on the next album for old time's sake?
Track Listing: Under Construction; Mummer's Day; Faces In The Sand; Time Management; Sleep; Ponus Ridge; 01; Schemin'; Ugly Hand; Portamental.
Personnel: Andy Voelker: saxophones; Joel Yennior: trombone; Jef Charland: bass;
Chris Punis: drums.
Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Modern Jazz
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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