Daily Archives: January 8, 2010

Maurice Hogue’s “Best of 2009” List for CKUW 95.9 FM Winnipeg

Favourite Releases of 2009- One Man’s Jazz

John Hebert – Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12)
Tony Malaby – Paloma Recio (New World)
The Fully Celebrated – Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity)
Darius Jones Trio – Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity)
Steve Lehman Octet – Travail, Transformation and Flow (Pi)
Darren Johnston – The Edge of the Forest (Clean Feed)
Vijay Iyer Trio – Historicity (Act)
Wadada Leo Smith – Spiritual Dimensions (Cuneiform)
Henry Threadgill Zooid – This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 (Pi)
Joel Harrison – Urban Myths (Highnote)

Free Jazz review by Stef

Jason Stein is a bass clarinetist. He plays no other instrument. This gives him the opportunity to focus his skills, and with great success. Jason Stein is a musician. He records to make music, not to demonstrate his technical skills.

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore – Three Less Than Between (CF 153)
After “The Calcululs Of Loss”, this is the second release by the trio, now with Jason Roebke on bass, and still with Mike Pride on drums. The album consists of eleven compositions by Stein, covering lots of ground, using the entire jazz catalogue to bring his music, that is free and exploratory in nature, yet swings, bops and sings at the same time.The switch of cello to bass gives the compositions a totally different color, with the bass a better complement to the bass clarinet because of their low sound companionship, and a better complement for the drums because of their comparative power and drive. Despite the lower sound registers, Stein is a master in seeking contrast too. He can play high sensitive notes, whether in overtones or straight, as he does on “Stevenesque”, the second track, which is very airy and open-textured, as is the sensitive “Most Likely Illiterate”. Other pieces, in contrast, such as “Izn’t Your Paper Clip” bring quite dense, nervous agitation, propulsed forward by the excellent rhythm section. “Saved By A Straw”, and the title track, are pure avant-garde sound exploration by the trio. But then you get some real boppish pieces like “Protection And Provocation”, or “Amy Music” (see clip below), on which the legacy of Dolphy shines through. You get the picture, a rich, varied, warm and exploratory album. http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.com/

Free Jazz review by Stef

Michael Attias – Renku In Coimbra (CF 162)
In partnership with John Hébert on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums, alto saxophonist Michael Attias releases a really sensitive and passionate album, all in a post-boppish mode, with covers of Lee Konitz’ “Thingin'” and Jimmy Lyons’ “Sorry”, but with a range and sensitivity that goes a step further. Listen to “Do & The Birds” to hear some real beauty emerge out of random sounds, in the most free form imagineable. Although the performance was recorded in one afternoon at the occasion of a jazz festival in Coimbra, Portugal (but not at the festival), the trio has been playing together since 2003, and that can be heard. They are joined by Russ Lossing on piano on “Fenix Culprit” the most intense track. And although half of the tracks are composed by Hébert, the main voice obviously is the alto. The lyricism of Attias is astounding, his tone is warm and sensitive, and without raising his voice, his tone is quite powerful. Hébert and Takeishi are the perfect band mates: precise, responsive and playing with the same level of disciplined passion. http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.com/