Reviews that mention Dave Ballou

November 16, 2017

Mario Pavone

Vertical
Clean Feed CF 423 CD

Mario Pavone Dialect Trio

Chrome

Playscape Recordings PSR #060316

Moving into his eighth decade, bassist Mario Pavone still maintains the organizational and compositional smarts that have characterized his career as a musical partner with players as different as reedists Anthony Braxton and Thomas Chapin as well as pianist Paul Bley and guitarist Michael Musillami. Like writers such as Vladimir Nabokov and John O’Hara, whose later fiction was at least as eminent as their work as younger scribblers, one could say Pavone has improved with age. MORE

August 1, 2016

Michael Jefry Stevens

Brass Tactics
Konnex KCD 5315

Steve Swell

Reflections & Renewals

NotTwo MW 929-2

Building on your experiences and concentrating on your best attributes are two elements of many people’s persona once they reach their sixth decade. It’s the same with musicians – especially if they’re involved with Jazz and/or improvised music. Attaining or coming close to seven decades of life either side of 60 gives provides many enhanced creativity. Gifted with new maturity, unlike most Pop performers, who fasten on their teens and twenties, creative improvisers continue producing major works, some of which because of honed skills are even better than those produced before. MORE

June 6, 2016

Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus

The Distance
ECM 2484

The Who

Zoo

Auricle Aur 14+15

Carlberg/Morris/Niggenkemper/Gray

Cosmopolitan Greetings

Red Piano RPR 4699-4419-2

Eric Platz

Life After Life

Allos Documents 012

Florian Hoefner

Luminosity

Origin Records 82706

Something In The Air: Those Who Teach Can Also Play

By Ken Waxman

As shibboleths go, the hoary “those who can do, those who can’t teach,” must rank at the very top of the list. Besides libelling the majority of educators who devote themselves to the task of imparting knowledge to students, it negates the activities of those who teach and do. Here are some musicians who maintain a full-time teaching carer along with consistent gigging. MORE

April 6, 2012

Andrea Centazzo

The New York City Jazz Record Interview
By Ken Waxman

Founder in the late ‘70s of ICTUS, one of the first European artist-run labels that recorded free music, Italian-American percussionist, composer and multi-media artist Andrea Centazzo is celebrating the label 35th anniversary at The Stone this month. The festival showcases the many genres of experimental music Udine, Italy-born Centazzo, 64, has been involved with over the years. On hand will be many of his collaborators from the US and Italy. Centazzo’s musical scope is so large that some of his other musical ventures, such as composing for film, theatre and large non-jazz ensembles, could barely be mentioned in the conversation below. MORE

April 2, 2009

The MacroQuarktet

Each Part a Whole
Ruby Flowers RF06CD

Alban Darche

Trumpet Kingdom

BMC CD 136

Brass improvisation in duo or trio forms characterize these two sessions. Both take advantage of trumpet and other horns’ timbres. However the American MacroQuarktet is engrossed in sound patterns available from sonic interaction, while the Hungarian-Belgian-French octet led by Gallic tenor saxophonist Alban Darche is cast in the more familiar form of a modern jazz showcase.

Darche, who composed all the tunes save one here, designed the CD to exhibit how he and follow French musicians – bassist Sébastien Boisseau, drummer Emmanuel Birault, woodwind player Sylvain Rifflet – plus Pécs-born guitarist Gábor Gadó, now based in France, react to the input of different trumpet soloists. While the results are impressive, if not outstanding, the irony is, that except in a matter of degrees, none of the prize-winning trumpeters – Eric Vloeimans from the Netherlands, Belgian Laurent Blondiau and Geoffroy Tamisier from France – sound that different from one another. MORE

April 2, 2009

Alban Darche

Trumpet Kingdom
BMC CD 136

The MacroQuarktet

Each Part a Whole

Ruby Flowers RF06CD

Brass improvisation in duo or trio forms characterize these two sessions. Both take advantage of trumpet and other horns’ timbres. However the American MacroQuarktet is engrossed in sound patterns available from sonic interaction, while the Hungarian-Belgian-French octet led by Gallic tenor saxophonist Alban Darche is cast in the more familiar form of a modern jazz showcase.

Darche, who composed all the tunes save one here, designed the CD to exhibit how he and follow French musicians – bassist Sébastien Boisseau, drummer Emmanuel Birault, woodwind player Sylvain Rifflet – plus Pécs-born guitarist Gábor Gadó, now based in France, react to the input of different trumpet soloists. While the results are impressive, if not outstanding, the irony is, that except in a matter of degrees, none of the prize-winning trumpeters – Eric Vloeimans from the Netherlands, Belgian Laurent Blondiau and Geoffroy Tamisier from France – sound that different from one another. MORE

November 14, 2005

JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE

A Blessing
OmniTone OTI 15209

Already praised as a first-class drummer, composer and combo leader, John Hollenbeck now shows that he can handle the writing, arranging and guiding of an 18-piece ensemble as fluently as his other talents.

Since for all reports his drumming is a clear-headed and multi-directional as it is on A BLESSING, is it any wonder that his employers have ranged from mainstreamers Bob Brookmeyer and Lee Konitz, more advanced players like Brad Shepik and Jorrit Dijkstra plus New Music doyen Meredith Monk? MORE

October 15, 2005

Michael Musillami Trio

Dachau
PSR #020505

Confounding expectations, guitarist Michael Musillami adds a couple of twists to this otherwise exceptional classic guitar trio album. There’s the off-putting title and the fact that his basic combo – bassist Joe Fonda and percussionist George Schuller – is joined by pianist Peter Madsen on two tracks, tenor saxophonist Tom Christensen on one, plus those two and trumpeter Dave Ballou on “Dachau”.

Blighted by its association with the nearby Nazi concentration camp, Dachau is the German city where ironically Musillami felt the trio members’ musical ideas really fused. You can hear that in three of the selections, as the guitarist’s unique chording structure brushes up against Schuller’s unforced time-keeping and Fonda throbbing bass line. Longtime Musillami associate Madsen makes his presence felt on numbers like “Part Pitbull” and “Today the Angels” where his cascading chords and modal voicing push the others into tempo switching face-offs, including staccato guitar licks and exposure of the drummer’s bell and shaker add-ons. MORE

March 14, 2005

KEVIN NORTON’S BAUHAUS QUARTET

Time-Space Modulator
Barking Hoop BKH-008

TONY MALABY TRIO
Adobe
Sunnyside Records SSC 1137

Evolving his improvising from the odd side of convention, while maintaining a healthy respect for tradition, soprano and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby could be the successor to Joe Lovano in terms of being an all-around, advanced inside player.

Like the older woodwind player, he teaches sax workshops, is on call as a sidemen for many bands as well as his own, interprets standards, jazz and otherwise, as well as writing his own material. Heck, with his girth and beard he could pass for Lovano’s kid brother. MORE

April 12, 2004

DENMAN MARONEY

Fluxations
New World # 80607

SOPHIE AGNEL/OLIVIER BENOIT
Rip-stop
IN SITU IS 237

Orchestral and monochordal at different times, the piano is the cornerstone of Western music because of its versatility. But this versatility sometimes limits its adaptability to more experimental music.

Over the second half of the 20th century composers and pianists decided that one way to overcome the keyboard’s innate conventionality was to prepare the strings with different objects. These two CDs -- one American and one French -- show how these preparations can be used in the context of improvised music. Each is vastly different. American Denman Maroney’s quintet is strongly allied to jazz, whereas the Parisian duo of pianist Sophie Agnel and guitarist Olivier Benoit leans towards free music and electronics. MORE

December 29, 2003

YVES ROBERT

In Touch
ECM 1787

DANIEL LEVIN QUARTET
Don’t Go It Alone
RITI CD009

Brass, percussion and cello are the points of symmetry between these sets of modern, improvised chamber music. Atmospheric IN TOUCH, helmed by veteran French trombonist Yves Robert, features his longtime associate cellist Vincent Courtois as well as drummer Cyril Atef. DON’T GO IT ALONE is an appropriate title for the debut release by young American cellist Daniel Levin, whose brass input comes from cornetist Dave Ballou. Vibraphonist Mat Moran adds subtle percussion, and the session is anchored by Joe Morris, who proves that his convincing guitar techniques can be transmitted to double bass playing. MORE