Reviews that mention Avram Fefer

January 8, 2020

Avram Fefer Quartet

Testament
Clean Feed 537 CD

The WOOOH

Music for Weddings and Funerals

Ormo Records No #

As the decades advance the definition of Jazz and improvised music becomes more diffuse. So many sound currents have become accepted as part of the canon that only the most hidebound conservative insist on a rigid definition. But if the alien influences overwhelm improvisational adroitness the result can lead to undigested eclecticism that satisfies no one. With identical instrumentation, one American and one European quartet test the limits of free music adaptability on their CDs. But while the two groups create equally compelling programs, only one retains what could be termed a Jazz sensibility. MORE

May 31, 2012

Adam Rudolph/Go: Organic Orchestra

The Sound of a Dream
Meta Records META 014

Paradoxically as his sonic canvas has enlarged and his palate of instrumental shading has become more numerous, percussionist/composer/conductor Adam Rudolph appears to have produced a less promising creation than last time out. Although there’s much to admire in The Sound of a Dream, an 18-part suite, interpreted by 48 [!] musicians, ironically it seems to lack the organic fortitude that made Both/And, his previous release, so exceptional.

By nearly tripling the number of participant, there appears to literally be too many tones, rhythms and textures being advanced by too many musicians too much of the time. Similarly by evidentially cleaving closer to orchestral conventions albeit with more improvisational choices, too many of the tracks lack an overriding motif to sunder them together. You’re left wanting more; not in anticipation but for completion. Interestingly, but troubling as well, Rudolph doesn’t play on the session MORE

April 26, 2012

Avram Fefer/Eric Revis/Chad Taylor

Eliyahu
Not Two MW-854-2

Hession/Wilkinson/Fell

Two Falls & A Submission

Bo’Weavil weavil 44 CD

Blunt, powerful, unrelieved improvisation is the collective raison d’être of these sessions, which conclusively emphasize the polyphonic textures that arise from the intersection of a mere three acoustic instruments. Naturally it helps that the six players involved are experienced technically and committed to sonic exploration.

The variables are partially transatlantic. Alto and tenor saxophonist Avram Fefer, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor are American; alto and baritone saxophonist Alan Wilkinson, bassist Simon H. Fell and drummer Paul Hession are British. Besides this, the nine tracks Fefer recorded in studio are dedicated to the memory of his late father; the three extended tracks on the other CD were recorded during a rare club gig by Hession, Wilkinson and Fell. MORE

August 3, 2009

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club
Foghorn FGCD 010

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment

FMP CD 133

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual

Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

August 3, 2009

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual
Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club

Foghorn FGCD 010

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment

FMP CD 133

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

August 3, 2009

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment
FMP CD 133

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club

Foghorn FGCD 010

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual

Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

October 17, 2005

AVRAM FEFER/BOBBY FEW

Kindred Spirits
Boxholder BXH 048

AVRAM FEFER/BOBBY FEW
Heavenly Places
Boxholder BXH 049

Old avant gardists never die … they just begin playing standards. That’s a statement which experience has shown is more authentic than amusing. Witness the post-1960s career of a New Thing explorer like tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp for instance.

Pianist Bobby Few, best known for his 1960s and 1970s work with fire-breathing saxophonists such as Noah Howard, Frank Wright and Albert Ayler seems to have arrived at a variation of this strategy as well. For instance, KINDRED SPIRITS, the first of two duo CDs the Paris-based American expatriate has released with saxophonist and clarinetist Avram Fefer of New York, finds the two playing four Monk, two Mingus and one Ellington composition along with original material. MORE

March 8, 2004

AVRAM FEFER

Shades of the Muse
CIMP #286

ROLAND RAMANAN
Shaken
EMANEM 4081

Matching a horn with a chordal instrument, bass and drums has long been an accepted jazz strategy. But as Free Jazz has muted into Free Music, fresh front lines have replaced the horn-and-guitar or horn-and-piano set up. Case in point these two CDs, one British, and one American, both of which feature a cellist upfront.

Firmly in the new tradition that welcomes new sounds, SHADES OF THE MUSE, the Yank disc is the fourth recent session lead by multi-reedist Avram Fefer. Here he’s partnered by cellist Tomas Ulrich plus Ken Filiano on bass and Jay Rosen on drums, all experienced in the karma of exploratory playing. Across the pond, SHAKEN is the debut disc for trumpeter Roland Ramanan, a full-time educator as well as a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO). His crew of veterans and fellow LIO members is made up of Marcio Mattos on cello and electronics, Simon H. Fell on bass and percussionist Mark Sanders. MORE

September 2, 2002

BOBBY FEW

Continental Jazz Express
Boxholder 026

BOBBY FEW/AVRAM FEFER/WILBER MORRIS
Few and Far Between: Live at Tonic
Boxholder 029

Realistic as well as descriptive, the titles of Bobby Few’s two new discs succinctly sum up his position in the jazz firmament.

Although the Cleveland, Ohio-born pianist initially made his name recording with childhood friend Albert Ayler as well as other less experimental types like saxophonists Booker Ervin and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, lack of work for progressive stylists convinced him to move to Paris in 1969. Since then, his visits stateside have been “few and far between”. Furthermore, his long-time association with the bands of fellow American expats, first in a co-op band with saxophonists Frank Wright and Noah Howard, then for more than a decade with soprano saxist Steve Lacy, meant that he has long known the ins-and-outs of express train traveling on the Continent. MORE

March 15, 2002

AVRAM FEFER

Calling All Spirits
Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1123

AVRAM FEFER
Lucille’s Gemini Dream
CIMP #237

Seattle-born, Boston-trained, a resident of Paris in the early 1990s and since then a Manhattanite, saxophonist Avram Fefer is one of the new breed of peripatetic musicians.

Proficient on all the saxophones and clarinets as well as flute, he’s a straightforward, straightahead player, most comfortable in what should be deemed the post-bop mainstream, if the neo-cons hadn’t forced much of jazz forward to the past at the end of last century. Both of his discs, recorded 13 months apart, offer a cross section of soloing from all concerned that’s never less than accomplished. But with each reprising three of his compositions, it could be that Fefer’s future achievements could rest in composition rather than improvisation. MORE