If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Leroy Jenkins' Driftwood rarely floats, but readily burns. In addition to the violinist leader, pianist Denman Maroney and percussionist Rich O'Donnell, Min Xiao-Fen joins on pipa, a four-stringed lute from 7th Century China. A classically trained musician, Xiao-Fen began improvising with the encouragement of John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith and Derek Bailey. The quartet roils with sound and ideas, frequently creating tones and timbres that seem anything but acoustic.
Jenkins and Xiao-Fen lead the momentum on "To Live, with O'Donnell busily beating and Maroney adding unusual acoustics from his prepared piano. Jenkins spins a ribbon of melody while Xiao-Fen deftly plucks plenty pizzicato. "To Sing offers each player an extended solo statement. Maroney opens with the piano prepared in such a way as to make the muted strings sound like they're sliding on their own. Jenkins enters keening high delicate spiraling tones. O'Donnell bubbles up out of deep sound, before settling on drums. Xiao-Fen begins subtly but digs in sounding like her instrument is looped. The others join for an ensemble finish.
After a fast start, To Run features a furious group improvisation that keeps all parties highly engaged. Jenkins slyly introduces "To Believe, a quieter ensemble piece that swells and retreats around Jenkins' probing bow.
Living up to its title, The Art of Improvisation features four bristling performances crafted in the moment by the highly attentive ensemble, merging and emerging through their shared creations.
Track Listing: To Live; To Sing; To Run; To Believe.
Personnel: Min Xiao-Fen: pipa, Leroy Jenkins: violin; Denman Maroney: piano; Rich O
I love jazz because it takes my mind away and is very relaxing.
I was first exposed to jazz by my older brother every morning while eating breakfast before school he would play Hiroshima One which I hated but after he moved away to college and I moved to Miami I fell in love with jazz music.