Reviews that mention David Boykin

March 18, 2015

Nicole Mitchell’s Sonic Projections

The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson
RogueArt ROG-056

By Ken Waxman

Although not as overly programmatic as the recording of Intergalactic Beings her Afro-Futuristic Sci-Fi suite, this CD is another instance of how Nicole Mitchell’s burgeoning compositional chops are keeping pace with her acknowledged command of the flute. With The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson Mitchell shines in the triple task of honoring one of her mentors, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson (1929-2010); doing so with a nine-part linked composition in the super-hero vein; and creating all the necessary textures with only a quartet. MORE

November 16, 2014

Nicole Mitchell

Intergalactic Beings
FPE Records FPE 02

Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack

Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire

Singlespeed Music SSM-014

Franz Koglmann

JOIN!

ORF-CD 3177

Michael Lösch

Heroes

Sweet Alps No #

Something In the Air: Mixing Advanced Jazz with Program Music

By Ken Waxman

Creating an entire program of integrated story and sound has long been a hallmark of western music. Just because the 20th and 21st century has given composers not only more instruments and modes to work with but also the possibility of adding aleatoric passages hasn`t lessened such projects’ appeal. Unlike the sometimes ill-conceived so-called jazz musicals of the past, today’s improvisers have the skills needed to link a coherent story line with creative sounds. MORE

November 13, 2013

Joshua Abrams Quartet

Unknown Known
Rogueart R0G-0045

Envision Bags & Trane if bassist Paul Chambers was leading the session and the program played was all his compositions. That’s a simple way to imagine the achievements of this disc, although the most known unknown on this Chicago-recorded session is that without legend emulation, the bassist-leader and crew have created a high-gloss, well-paced CD that’s comfortable (post) modern without being too experimental.

One of the most in-demand bassists in the Windy City, Joshua Abrams has a high profile with a variety of bands, working with everyone from flutist Nicole Mitchell to guitarist Jeff Parker. This quartet – like the Modern Jazz Quartet – is filled out by others who are often leaders of their own bands in Chicago. Vibist Jason Adasiewicz, who takes the Milt “Bags” Jackson role here is also part in different Rob Mazurek projects; tenor saxophonist David Boykin, who comes out of the John Coltrane-lineage via the AACM connection, is cast in the Trane spot; while Frank Rosaly, like Connie Kay in his day, is also a busy sideman in bands led by the vibraphonist, Mazurek, Parker and saxophonist Dave Rempis. MORE

June 28, 2013

Roscoe Mitchell

Three Compositions
Rogueart ROG-0043

A rare glimpse of Roscoe Mitchell’s singular skills as an orchestrator and conductor, the fascination of Numbers is how well an 11-piece strings-and-horns ensemble can balance the saxophonist’s notated and improvisational tropes so that the core of the reedman’s creativity is maintained.

Recorded at a Sardinian Jazz festival, the program’s bets are hedged in two different ways. For a start the three compositions were either – in the case of “Quintet #1 for Eleven” and “Quintet #9 for Eleven” – transcribed from charts Mitchell created for his working combo, then rearranged to allow free sections in this score for the larger group, or in the third, based on game theory. Now titled “Cards for Orchestra”, but really “Memories of a Dying Parachutist”, the track is an aleatory invention, where each solo is based on six cards of musical instruction given to each player by the composer. The instructions can be used in any order and played at any tempo. MORE

January 11, 2010

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

About Us
482 Music 482-1068

Viktor Tóth

Tartim

Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 150

Adding special guests to an already existing ensemble can often be a shortcut to confusion. Either the news players don’t mesh with the others or the group loses its individuality and become the backing band to the guests. Leaders of the ensembles on these CDs avoid both drawbacks, yet each does so in a fashion that’s as different as their respective backgrounds.

Chicago drummer Mike Reed, who gigs with everyone from cornetist Rob Mazurek to flautist Nicole Mitchell, also produces contemporary improv concerts in the city and is vice-chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Yet his band People, Places & Things – filled out by alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke – is organized to play original material honoring advanced Chicago sounds from 1954-1960. That’s homage not fealty; there’s no overt imitation here. In addition, the guests – trombonist Jeb Bishop, tenor saxophonist David Boykins and guitarist Jeff Parker – play on one track each to further orient the music towards contemporary improv. MORE

January 11, 2010

Viktor Tóth

Tartim
Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 150

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

About Us

482 Music 482-1068

Adding special guests to an already existing ensemble can often be a shortcut to confusion. Either the news players don’t mesh with the others or the group loses its individuality and become the backing band to the guests. Leaders of the ensembles on these CDs avoid both drawbacks, yet each does so in a fashion that’s as different as their respective backgrounds.

Chicago drummer Mike Reed, who gigs with everyone from cornetist Rob Mazurek to flautist Nicole Mitchell, also produces contemporary improv concerts in the city and is vice-chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Yet his band People, Places & Things – filled out by alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke – is organized to play original material honoring advanced Chicago sounds from 1954-1960. That’s homage not fealty; there’s no overt imitation here. In addition, the guests – trombonist Jeb Bishop, tenor saxophonist David Boykins and guitarist Jeff Parker – play on one track each to further orient the music towards contemporary improv. MORE

August 22, 2005

NICOLE MITCHELL BLACK EARTH ENSEMBLE

Hope, Future and Destiny
Dreamtime Dream 007

SAVOIR FAIRE
Running Out Of Time
Delmark DE 562

Newer voices from Chicago’s ever-evolving Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), flutist/vocalist Nicole Mitchell and violinist Savoir Faire are starting to make names for themselves in the Windy City and elsewhere.

Fourth generation of players who have adopted the progressive concepts of the now 40-year-old AACM, Mitchell and Faire – real name Samuel Williams – have modified certain distinct aspects of the AACM. Neither appears to be much interested in out-and-out sound experiments which characterized the work of early AACMers like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell. Instead Nicole Mitchell’s 14-piece ensemble adapts wholeheartedly the ritualistic, Africanized performance ethos that is another AACM staple; six of the tunes include vocals or recitations. Meanwhile, not unlike many younger generation AACMers, Faire and his quintet seem unswerving in a commitment to swing and rhythm. Only one of his compositions is even vaguely atonal and four include modified programming by the single-named Anti. MORE

May 31, 2004

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Titration
Delmark DG-547

TOM ABBS & FREQUENCY RESPONSE
Conscription
CIMP #288

Tom Abbs and Chad Taylor: remember those names. One day they may be as familiar as Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones or perhaps Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell. For the two young Western-born musicians, who play on both these CDs and lead one each, are prime examples of ascendant thirty-something players who have rejected the false promises of the neo-cons to create their own sounds. Not strident, their compositions and performances, like those created by Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), swing, but also includes the sort of technical and rhythmic advances that didn’t exist in the neo-con favored 1950-1960 period. MORE

February 10, 2003

NICOLE MITCHELL/BLACK EARTH ENSEMBLE

Afrika Rising
Dreamtime Records 004

Creativity is still common currency in Chicago as the new CD by flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell proves. Even more ambitious than her debut disc (VISION QUEST also on Dreamtime Records) this CD finds Mitchell, who also teaches flute at Chicago State University, convening an even larger Black Earth Ensemble made up of 19 different musicians on various tracks. The result is an Afrocentric disc that shows off not only her flute, piccolo and vocals, but also the wealth of other Windy City talent, many of whom are also part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. MORE

April 19, 2002

DAVID BOYKIN EXPANSE

47th Street Ghost
Dreamtime Records 003

Proving once again the old adage that everything old is new again, Chicago saxophonist David Boykin and company have produced a perfect, progressive hard bop LP. Thing is, the session was recorded not in 1958 at 33 1/3, but last year on CD. While the results are impressive, it suggests that younger members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) aren’t as involved in experimentation as their elders, who include icons like Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell and George Lewis, have been. MORE