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Dan Willis

Dan Willis, one of New York City’s most active and versatile woodwind specialists, performs regularly across a wide spectrum of music from Jazz to New Music. He is currently a member of composer, David Chesky's “Area 31,” which Classics Today defines as, "A new modern downtown Manhattan chamber ensemble of all young star virtuosos." And, recently, Dan served as a featured performer on traditional Armenian folk double-reed instruments, the Dukuk and the Zurna, at the New York premiere of “Strophes,” a work composed and conducted by Yakov Koslov. Both of these endeavors attest to the rich vocabulary within Dan’s musical language. In addition to his work in the classical genre, he has toured Japan and the U.S

The Monk Project: Dan Willis and Velvet Gentlemen

Label: Belle Avenue
Released: 2020
Track listing: Hackensack, Eronel, Epistrophy, Crespuscule with Nellie, Criss Cross, Rhythm-a-ning, Pannonica, Think of One EWI/Think of One

Heavy Rotation For A Pandemic Summer

Read "Heavy Rotation For A Pandemic Summer" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In the summer of 2020 one result of the COVID-19 isolation, and artists inability to tour and perform is that they have time to deal with projects halted by this pandemic. Musicians, producers, and engineers have mixed, mastered and released an abundance of music. Many of the titles have been, and will be covered by our ...

NEWS: RECORDING

"The Monk Project" By Saxophonist Dan Willis & Velvet Gentlemen Due July 17 From Belle Avenue Records

"The Monk Project" By Saxophonist Dan Willis & Velvet Gentlemen Due July 17 From Belle Avenue Records

Dan Willis puts his idiosyncratic spin on the tunes of the godfather of jazz idiosyncrasy with the July 17 release of The Monk Project (Belle Avenue). The saxophonist/multi-reedist’s fourth album with his ensemble Velvet Gentlemen—guitarist Pete McCann, keyboardist Ron Oswanski, bassist Evan Gregor, and drummer John Mettam (with special guests bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Ian ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Raul Agraz: Between Brothers

Read "Between Brothers" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Venezuelan-born and classically trained trumpeter Raul Agraz makes an impressive North American debut with Between Brothers, a vibrant album of Latin-oriented jazz whose harmonic and rhythmic quotients are about as strong and steady as one could wish. As is the case in other contexts these days, the term “brothers" is presumably used in a metaphorical sense, ...

The Satie Project II

Label: Daywood Drive Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: Gnossienne # 7; Gnossienne # 6; Pieces Froide I; Vexations Alternate 1; Gnossienne # 5; Gnossienne # 3;07; Pieces Froide III; Vexations Alternate; Gnossienne # 4; Gnossienne # 2; Pieces Froide II; Vexations.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dan Willis and Velvet Gentlemen: The Satie Project II

Read "The Satie Project II" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo

Più che un mero omaggio a Erik Satie, Dan Willis opera una superba ristrutturazione delle già rivoluzionarie partiture originali mediante l'aggiunta di parti composte per l'occasione. Il musicista statunitense si conferma così autorevole esponente contemporaneo di una musicalità trasversale, aperta alle contaminazioni. È sufficiente l'ascolto del brano di apertura, “Gnossienne # 7," per rendersi conto di ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dan Willis and Velvet Gentlemen: The Satie Project II

Read "Dan Willis and Velvet Gentlemen: The Satie Project II" reviewed by Dave Wayne

The music of Eric Satie may well be some of the most malleable and adaptable works ever composed. This could be partly due to the fact that Satie himself stood well outside of the musical mainstream of his time, thus his compositions are comparatively unencumbered by the stylistic baggage of his era. Satie was avant-garde before ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

John Hollenbeck: profilo di artista

Read "John Hollenbeck: profilo di artista" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Lo scorso mese di agosto il 61° critics poll di Down Beat ha votato John Hollenbeck al primo posto tra gli arrangiatori emergenti, riproponendo valutazioni già espresse in passato (Rising Star Arranger nel 2012 e Rising Star Big Band nel 2011). È il doveroso riconoscimento a uno degli artisti più originali del jazz statunitense ma non ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Erhardt: A Better Fate

Read "A Better Fate" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Unlike a lot of jazz artists hawking a debut recording these days, reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Eric Erhardt is not fresh out of music school. He has been around for a while, playing for two decades in Broadway pit bands and with trad jazzers Ken Peplowski and Artie Shaw. A student of Dave Liebman, Erhardt's own musical interests ...


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