Reviews that mention Reggie Workman

July 6, 2015

Artist Feature

Miya Masaoka
By Ken Waxman

As perhaps the pre-eminent innovator on the multi-string koto, Miya Masaoka is fully committed to the present and future via her compositions, performances and improvisations. But at the same time she stays in touch with her roots, often performing in traditional gagaku or court music ensembles, and took time during a recent Japanese trip to visit a shrine associated with members of the extended Masaoka family who have been priests and Shinto singers at that location since the 15th Century. Next year as well she’ll be the recipient of a Fulbright grant that will allow her to live in Japan for three months at a time, studying koto, gagaku and Noh theatre. “I hope to write a new work or series of works based on the research there,” she says. MORE

November 8, 2013

Trio 3 + Jason Moran

Refraction - Breakin' Glass
Intakt CD 217

By Ken Waxman

By the numbers: Trio3 has been a band for 27 years, has released eight CDs, features its third pianist guest on Refraction and with him has created a session that’s almost 100% satisfying.

Veterans of the jazz wars, saxophonist Oliver Lake, 70, bassist Reggie Workman, 75, and drummer Andrew Cyrille, 73 have been part of vital ensembles as disparate as John Coltrane’s, Cecil Taylor and the World Saxophone Quartet as well as their own bands. Guest pianist Jason Moran, a generation younger, is a MacArthur fellow and artistic advisor for the Kennedy Center. Yet he fits snugly onto the piano bench previously occupied by Gerri Allen and Irène Schweizer because of a shared interest with Trio3 in the diversity of jazz. MORE

October 7, 2012

Festival Report

The Guelph Jazz Festival
By Ken Waxman

A spectre was haunting the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), but it was a benign spectre: the ghost of John Coltrane. The influence of Coltrane, who died in 1967, was honored in direct and indirect ways throughout the five days of the festival which takes places annually in this mid-sized college town, 100 kilometres west of Toronto.

This year’s edition (September 5 to 9), featured two live performances of Ascension, Coltrane’s free jazz masterwork from 1965, one with the original instrumentation by an 11-piece Toronto ensemble at the local arts centre; the other on the main stage of the soft-seated River Run Centre concert hall featured the Bay-area ROVA saxophone’s quartet reimaging of the work, scored for 12 musicians adding strings and electronics to the basic ensemble. MORE

January 20, 2012

Trio 3+ Geri Allen

Celebrating Mary Lou Williams: Live At Birdland New York
Intakt CD 187

A modernist salute to Mary Lou Williams, a pioneering woman composer/pianist, from Geri Allen, a contemporary stylist with similar talents, the remarkable factor about this disc, may be Allen’s choice of playing partners: the members of Trio 3. A band which more commonly works with spikier fare, the sounds on Trio 3’s CDs usually falls chronologically between what is created by the dedicator and the dedicatée.

Williams (1910–1981), was pianist and chief arranger for Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy during the heyday of Kansas City Jazz in the 1930s; went on to be a friend and champion of early Boppers such as Thelonious Monk; composed suites and orchestral pieces throughout her life; and before the end of her career even preformed a duet concert with Cecil Taylor. Although the guiding force behind this pleasantly mainstream salute to Williams was Allen, an academic, post-Bop stylist, and a friend of Williams’ confident Peter F. O’Brien S.J., the Trio’s drummer Andrew Cyrille, worked with Williams early in his career, and more prominently spent an extended stint in Taylor’s unit. MORE

December 27, 2009

Dennis González

A Matter of Blood
Furthermore Recordings 003

Dennis González Connecticut Quartet

Songs of Early Autumn

No Business Records NBCD 6

One of those unifying figures who maintains an enthusiasm for pure improvised music and encourages others, trumpeter Dennis González has been following this path towards experimentation almost single-handedly for over 30 years in his hometown of Dallas.

An artists and educator with a home studio, over time he has established links with similarly inclined players in New Orleans, California and in Europe. Recently in fact his gigs in the Eastern United States have become more frequent. These notable CDs, for instance – featuring two different sets of playing partners – are the results of the trumpeter’s recent eastward treks. MORE

December 27, 2009

Dennis González Connecticut Quartet

Songs of Early Autumn
No Business Records NBCD 6

Dennis González

A Matter of Blood

Furthermore Recordings 003

One of those unifying figures who maintains an enthusiasm for pure improvised music and encourages others, trumpeter Dennis González has been following this path towards experimentation almost single-handedly for over 30 years in his hometown of Dallas.

An artists and educator with a home studio, over time he has established links with similarly inclined players in New Orleans, California and in Europe. Recently in fact his gigs in the Eastern United States have become more frequent. These notable CDs, for instance – featuring two different sets of playing partners – are the results of the trumpeter’s recent eastward treks. MORE

June 16, 2003

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Live from the Vision Festival
Thirsty Ear THI 57131.2

The next best thing to being there, this combination CD and DVD package offers a distillation of some of the outstanding performances from last year’s Vision Festival in New York’s Lower East Side. Lacking the name recognition of Newport, Montreux, or any other capitalist entity-associated international star festival, in its less than 10 year existence, Vision has still promulgated a unique artistic vision.

Built around the vision of bassist William Parker, it’s a place where pioneering avant gardists from the 1960s mix it up with younger players who are carrying on experimental ideals. It’s cross-cultural, national and international as well, with the musicians showcased on this session arriving from Germany, Korea, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Valencia, Calif., New Orleans… and Brooklyn, MORE

August 5, 2002

RICH HALLEY

Objects
Louie 025

TRIO 3
Open Ideas
Palmetto PM 2082

Making any kind of supposition about albums of improvised music is always dangerous, precisely because you’re dealing with sounds created on the spot. So the casual listener, seeing that one CD here features three of jazz’s most accomplished sonic explorers, while the other was created by a trio of West Coast journeymen, may expect a lot more from Trio3 than Rich Halley’s crew.

In fact, the music produced by reedist Rich Halley, the pride of Portland (Oregon) and his band mates, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Dave Storrs, has just as much -- and in many cases more -- intensity than the session featuring alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille. Not that both don’t offer up some good music. It’s just that for a variety of reasons, the Left Coasters seem to have a slight edge. MORE

August 4, 2000

NEW YORK ART QUARTET

35th Reunion
DIW 936

Reunions can be a chancy proposition. Whether it’s the Modern Jazz Quartet getting together after 10 years or the Guess Who recombining after 20, nostalgic expectations can often exceed reality. This can be especially serious if, unlike some rock band “reunions” which occur regularly as soon as bank balances dip, combination, as on this CD, literally bring together players who often haven’t seen one another for many decades.

Sometimes the results are spectacular, oftentimes not so. And 35TH REUNION has examples of both.

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