John Zorn and Collaborators at The Village Vanguard Reviewed

John Zorn (cropped version)
John Zorn


Free jazz can be elusive. And it can be so by definition: what we’re talking about when we use that term is collective improvisation without a fully written plot, and usually without a prearranged grid of rhythm or harmony. But the early New York free jazz, the kind that the drummer Milford Graves was involved in during the mid-1960s, wasn’t that elusive. It wasn’t that fractured or obscurantist. It could have the immediate clarity of chants or anthems: it was about people working together in full cry, just coordinated enough. You could hear it and understand its essence before you processed its particulars. And that can also be said for what Mr. Graves did in a clear and quicksilver trio set on Friday night at the Village Vanguard with the alto saxophonists John Zorn and Steve Coleman.

Steve Swell News

Steve Swell-Living Theater.2.9.08Releases and performances featuring trombonist Steve Swell:

Just Released:

Frode Gjerstad Trio w/Steve Swell at Constellation (Chicago)
Frode Gjerstad, alto saxophone, clarinet
Steve Swell, trombone
Jon Rune Strom, bass
Paal Nilssen-Love, drums

Upcoming Tours:

Peter Brotzmann, Paal Nilssen-Love, Steve Swell (Europe, Feb-March 2015)
Jason Hwang’s Sing House and Burning Bridge (April/May U.S./Canada 2015)
Guest Artist Albert Ayler Festival, Jacksonville, Florida (May 2015)
Frode Gjerstad, Paa; Nilssen-Love, Steve Swell, Jon Rune Strom (U.S. Nov/Dec 2015)
Gebhard Ullmann’s Basement Research (September, Europe 2015)

New Releases for 2015 and 2016!

Kende’s Dream: An Homage to Bela Bartok (Silkheart Records, 2015)
Steve Swell, leader, composer, trombone
Rob Brown, alto saxophone
Connie Crothers, piano
William Parker, bass
Chad Taylor, drums

Steve Swell Quintet (RogueArt, 2016)
Steve Swell, leader, composer, trombone
Jemeel Moondoc, alto saxophone
Dave Burrell, piano
William Parker, bass
Gerald Cleaver, drums

Steve Swell’s 60th Birthday Double CD (NotTwo Records, 2015)
Various live concerts from Chicago, NY, Portugal
with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Paul Flaherty, C. Spenser Yeh, Ken Vandermark, Guillermo Gregorio, Weasel Walter, Darius Jones (and more!)

Steve Swell Trio: Bearable Lightness of Being (CIMP, 2015)
Steve Swell, leader, composer, trombone
William Connell, Jr., alto saxophone
Reggie Nicholson, drums

Gebhard Ullmann’s Basement Research: Hat and Shoe (Between the Lines, 2015)
Julian Arguilles, baritone saxophone
Steve Swell, trombone
Pascal Niggenkemper, bass
Gerald Cleaver, drums

Rodrigo Amado Trio + Steve Swell
Teun Verbruggen, trios and duos with Steve Swell and Peter Jacqueman
Jason Hwang’s Sing House
Jemeel Moondoc Quintet

Recently Released:

Dave Burrell/Steve Swell Duo: Turning Point (No Business)
Carlo Costa: Sediment (Neither Nor Recrods)

Documentary on Life of Joe Maneri to Premiere at Spectrum, Tuesday, Feb 17

Joe Maneri (4/3/04 at the 40 Watt Club in Athe...
Joe Maneri 

From Jazz Right Now:

On February 17 at 7 PM, Spectrum will present a US premiere screening of The Passion of Joe, a documentary by a Taiwanese musician Yi-Chen Chang and American filmmaker Richard Widmer. The film deals with Joe Maneri (1927-2009), a visionary and individualistic figure of American jazz and avant garde. The viewers will get intimate glimpses of Maneri’s life, masterful clarinet and saxophone performances, and time at the New England Conservatory, where he taught from 1970 to 2007. There is accompanying commentary by his friends and colleagues, including Julia Werntz, James Bergin, Harvey Pekar, and Chang, a recent student of Maneri. The documentary is an important tribute to a man whose extraordinary contributions to music and microtonality merit a prominent place in the American consciousness. Chang will be present to answer questions.