Reviews that mention Whit Dickey

September 21, 2020

Whit Dickey

Expanding Light
Tao Forms Tao 02

Rob Clutton Trio

Counsel of Primaries

SnailBoingBoing Records SBB 007

Sean Conly/Michaël Attias/Tom Rainey

Live at the Bushwick Series

Gauci Music Recordings No #

Stretching the compact intimacy of the saxophone-bass-drum group in varied modes, one Toronto and two New York-based trios follow individual paths on these discs. While two are ostensibly directed by double bassists and the other by a drummer each group functions as a fused unit. MORE

October 11, 2017

Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp

The Art of Perelman-Shipp
Leo Records CD LR 794-799 and 786

Joëlle Léandre

A Woman’s Work…

NotTwo MW950-2

Something in the Air: Music Appreciation as a Single Serving or Throughout Several Meals

By Ken Waxman

Marketing considerations aside, how best can a musician mark an important milestone or significant creativity? With recorded music the result is usually multiple discs. In honor of French bassist Joëlle Léandre’s recent 60th birthday for instance, there’s A Woman’s Work … (NotTwo MW950-2), an eight-disc boxed set. Almost six hours of music, the 42 tracks were recorded between 2006 and 2016 with one solo disc and the others intense interaction with such associates as trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo, tenor saxophonist Evan Parker, violist Mat Maneri, guitarist Fred Frith, percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, pianists Agustí Fernández or Irène Schweizer and vocalists Lauren Newton or Maggie Nicols. With improvisers from six different countries working alongside, the bassist’s charm, humor, vigor and adaptability are highlighted. MORE

April 27, 2015

Matthew Shipp Trio

Root of Things
Relative Pitch Records RPR 1022

Stefan Orins Trio


Circum Disc CIDI 1402

Perhaps it’s case of comparing apples and oranges, but these takes on the classic piano trio end up with telling and widely different results. Usually classified as part of the so-called avant garde, and after almost a quarter century of recording, New York pianist Matthew Ship has produced what may be his most conventional Jazz album. Concurrently the French trio helmed by Lille-based pianist Stefan Orins, which has been a unit since 1996, and whose members move in-and-out of the experimental sphere, has come up with a CD that is high gloss, but virtually indistinguishable from many other sessions. Both are still quality products. MORE

September 1, 2014

Ivo Perelman

The Other Edge
Leo Records CD LR 699

Grencsó Open Collective


BMC CD 205

After about a half a century, so-called avant-garde Jazz is defined differently depending on the players, even if the configuration involved is the standard saxophone-piano-bass-drum quartet. For instance the Hungarian-based Open Collective, led by reedist István Grencsó, performs eight originals wedded to the song form. Meanwhile Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman’s otherwise all-American quartet’s eight originals are on the other edge, exploring almost completely abstract ideas. Each approach is equally valid and memorable. MORE

January 3, 2014


Leo Records CD LR 683

The Rempis Percussion Quartet


Aerophonic AR-001

Although the concept of having two drummers as part of an improvising ensemble isn’t a new one, it must be done judiciously so the percussion doesn’t overwhelm the other players. The situation is especially problematic when dealing with as few as four musicians, but both sessions here are organized so that this atypical make-up doesn’t impede creativity.

At the same time each session differ from the other due to the choice of individual chordal instrument. Phalanx, recorded in Antwerp and Milwaukee is held together during four extensive blow-outs by the powerful bass work of Norwegian-turned Texan Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Together in different configurations since 2004, the percussion part of The Rempis Percussion Quartet is made up of Frank Rosaly and Tim Daisy, both of whom are in-demand on the expanding Chicago improv scene. Dave Rempis, who plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophone on the disc, is best known for his work in the Vandermark5. MORE

September 3, 2013


The Edge
Leo Records CD LR 667



Leo Records CD LR 668

One of the decisions – of many – that has to be made when playing purely improvised music is whether to break inspiration into bite-sized pieces or eject the narratives as mammoth slabs. On these complementary CDs, Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, who has recorded in context ranging from solo to septets, tries both on for size. While correspondingly stimulating, the personnel of the two quartets defines the creations more than the instruments used. MORE

September 6, 2012

Matthew Shipp Trio

Elastic Aspects
Thirsty Ear TH 57202.2

ROVA Saxophone Quartet

A Short History

Jazzwerkstatt JW 099


Cabin Music

Hubro CD 2515

Albert Beger/Gerry Hemingway

There’s Nothing Better to Do

OutNow Records ONR 007

Something in The Air: New Excitement at the Guelph Jazz Festival

By Ken Waxman

One of jazz’s watershed musical creations, John Coltrane’s 1965 performance of Ascension marked his committeemen to Free Jazz and has since served as a yardstick against which saxophone-centred large ensemble improvisations are measured. On September 7 at the River Run Centre’s main stage, one of the highpoints of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival is a reimagining of Coltrane’s masterwork by the Bay area-based ROVA Saxophone Quartet and guests. Not only is the ensemble gutsily tackling the suite, but its arrangement take Coltrane’s all-acoustic piece for five saxes, two trumpets and rhythm section and reconfigures it so that ROVA’s four saxes, and one trumpeter interact with two drummers, two violins, electric guitar and bass plus electronic processing. MORE

January 15, 2008

Matthew Shipp Trio

Piano Vortex
Thirsty Ear THI 57180

Undeniably confirming that he can easily make an unhyphenated jazz album, Matthew Shipp puts aside the studio processing and remixing he’s used on sessions with electronica duo Spring Heel Jack or DJ Spooky for a standard jazz piano trio with notable results.

Filled out by the pianist’s long-time associates – drummer Whit Dickey and bassist Joe Morris – the New York-based combo runs through eight Shipp compositions, lodged so firmly in the tradition that the CD could be slotted alongside 1950s’Red Garland LPs with Paul Chambers and Art Taylor. Shipp quotes “Giant Steps” in the middle of one number and his unaccompanied track could be an offbeat variant on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. No Taylor, Dickey snaps his cymbals and finesses the beat, leaving the heavy lifting to the others. Morris sticks mostly to low pitches, thumping or pumping behind Shipp’s bouncy runs and flashing cadenzas, rarely unveiling squat arco runs. MORE

May 19, 2003


Prophet Moon

No Label No #

Putting together an improvising trio featuring saxophone and drums with guitar as the only chordal instrument creates a combination rife with potential hazards. Luckily Trio Anxoloxha includes Joe Morris, an inventive artisan, whose skills encompass knowledge of bass and banjo techniques, while Tone Dialing extends its musical menu with electronic attachments.

Ahxoloxha is a palindrome invented by its leader, drummer Whit Dickey to describe how the group works together, balanced on all sides. Dickey, whose experience encompasses the bands of pianist Matthew Shipp and tenor saxophonist David S. Ware; and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, who has also played extensively with Shipp and bassist William Parker, come to the drummer’s project from the core of New York’s so-called ecstatic jazz movement. Connecticut-based, Morris may not live near Ground Zero, but much of his playing history is with similar experimenters there and in Boston. MORE