Reviews that mention Keefe Jackson

September 11, 2016

Keefe Jackson/Jason Adasiewicz

Rows and Rows
Delmark DE 5024

Like a spectacle featuring a monkey and a crab, collaboration between a reedist and a vibraphonist may seem aberrant. The woodwind’s multiplicity of keys puts more textures and tone on display in quicker time than the vibist’s strategy that depends on mallet pressure and motor speed. Despite that, there have been some memorable meetings in the past: John Coltrane and Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Getz and Cal Tjader. Yet each of those instances had conventional rhythm section backing. MORE

September 6, 2016

Greg Ward & 10 Tongues

Touch My Beloved’s Thought
Greenleaf Music GRE-CD-1050

Brooklyn Blowhards

Brooklyn Blowhards

Little (i) music No #

Umlaut Big Band

Euro Swing Vol. 2

Umlaut UMFR-CD18

Quartetski Does Bartok

Mikrikosmos Sz 107

\Ambiances Magnétiques AM 224 CD

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Another Side Of Blonde On Blonde

Tiger Moon: Records TMR 003

Something In The Air: Musical Inspirations Arise from Unexpected Sources

By Ken Waxman
MORE

June 1, 2016

Festival Report

Doek ABC
By Ken Waxman

With many parts of the Netherlands reclaimed from the sea over the centuries, the Dutch have long been adroit recycling, reusing and repurposing. So it’s no surprise that except for the soft-seated Bimhuis, with its magnificent waterfront view, most venues for this year’s Doek ABC Improvisation Festival in Amsterdam, April 29 to May 4, had initially been built as schools, warehouses and even a dungeon. These locations were particularly pertinent for this year’s fest which united local improvisers (A) with visitors from Berlin (B) and Chicago (C). The festival also demonstrated how different musicians repurpose the jazz and improvised traditions. MORE

October 21, 2015

James Falzone/The Renga Ensemble

The Room Is
Allos Documents 010

Like a bee which continuously transfers nectar from one plant to another, Chicago-based composer/clarinetist James Falzone flashes among Jazz, academe, so-called classical, liturgical, World and improvised musics. Illustrative of this approach is the six-piece, all-reeds, Renga Ensemble, which melds compositions and improvisations. Unlike the flying drone not all the textures Falzone conveys are sweet. But the 14 tracks here could serve as textbook example of how to operate a woodwind ensemble. MORE

March 18, 2015

Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet

Afterimage
Driff Records CD 1404

The Urge Trio

Live in Toledo

Veto-records/exchange 010

By Ken Waxman

Fayetteville, Arkansas’ gift to improvised music, saxophonist/clarinetist Keefe Jackson is gradually expanding his base from his new hometown of Chicago, where he leads several ensembles Both Live in Toledo and Afterimage offer unique displays of his talent. Skewed chamber-jazz, the first calculates how many varied tones can be sourced from the dual tenor saxophones and bass clarinets of Jackson and Swiss reedist Christoph Erb, with Tomeka Reid’s cello the single chordal back-up. Also recorded live, but a more formal date, Afterimage features four Windy City players – reedists Jackson and Dave Rempis, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Frank Rosaly – playing the compositions and arrangements of Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. MORE

March 18, 2015

The Urge Trio

Live in Toledo
Veto-records/exchange 010

Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet

Afterimage

Driff Records CD 1404

By Ken Waxman

Fayetteville, Arkansas’ gift to improvised music, saxophonist/clarinetist Keefe Jackson is gradually expanding his base from his new hometown of Chicago, where he leads several ensembles Both Live in Toledo and Afterimage offer unique displays of his talent. Skewed chamber-jazz, the first calculates how many varied tones can be sourced from the dual tenor saxophones and bass clarinets of Jackson and Swiss reedist Christoph Erb, with Tomeka Reid’s cello the single chordal back-up. Also recorded live, but a more formal date, Afterimage features four Windy City players – reedists Jackson and Dave Rempis, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Frank Rosaly – playing the compositions and arrangements of Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. MORE

March 3, 2014

Keefe Jackson's Likely So

A Round Goal
Delmark DE 5009

S.O.S.

Looking for the Next One.

Cuneiform RUNE 360/361

Robert Marcel Lepage

Le lait maternel.

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 212

Double Trio de Clarinettes

Itinéraire Bis

Between the Lines BTLCHR 71231

Something In The Air: Reed Blends.

By Ken Waxman.

Reed sections have been part of jazz’s performing vernacular since its earliest days. But only with the freedom that arose with modern improvised music in the 1960s were the woodwinds able to stand on their own. In the right hands, with the right ideas, a group consisting only of saxophones and/or clarinets can produce satisfying sounds that don’t need the intervention of a rhythm section or even brass for additional colors. All of the fine discs here demonstrate that. MORE

December 19, 2013

Frank Rosaly

Cicada Music
Delmark DL 5006

Nate Wooley Sextet

(Sit In) The Throne of Friendship

Clean Feed CF 280 CD

Transferring personal compositional notions to an ensemble can be challenging, depending on the size and makeup of the group. Both the vibraphone-centred sessions here – led respectively by Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly and New York trumpeter Nate Wooley – avoid the obvious drawbacks by entrusting the interpretations to long-time associates. However the drummer hedges his beats by mixing brief earlier tracks, recorded solo or in quintet formation, with far superior sextet outings from three years later. By maintaining a consistency of vision however, Wooley’s CD comes out on top. Another point of intersection is that while both leaders are identified with the so-called avant-garde, there’s a genuine commitment to showcasing exciting motion in the composition – call it jazz or swing if you wish. MORE

November 26, 2012

Josh Berman & His Gang

There Now
Delmark DE 2016

Venerating a bit of Chicago history while turning the concept on its head, is the idea behind cornetist Josh Berman’s There Now CD. Titling his seven-piece group as a “gang”, he references the Eddie Condon-Austin High “gang” of the late 1920s, and arranged five of the Chicago School’s Dixieland signature tunes plus three of his own compositions for this project. But the subversive allure of the CD is that it isn’t a Trad Jazz retread, but an exercise in post-modern voice approximation. MORE

June 20, 2012

Boris Hauf Sextet

Next Delusion
Clean Feed: CF 238 CD

Boris Hauf/Steven Hess/Keefe Jackson

Proxemics

Creative Sources CS 184 CD

Fascinated by the minimalist textures revealed by balancing percussion and reed timbres plus an overlay of electronics, Berlin-based saxophonist Boris Hauf convened these telekinetic exercises in collective improvisation during a 2010 busman`s holiday in Chicago.

A frequent visitor to that city, Hauf is best known for his work with the efzeg combo, but these CDs are even more reductionist. Replacing the guitars that were part of efzeg with piano micro-tonalism of one-name Austrian Juun, plus his own harmonium playing on Proxemics, Hauf fills out the juddering narrative with contributions from his tenor and soprano saxophones, Keefe Jackson’s contrabass clarinet and tenor saxophone and Steven Hess’s drum beats. Hess, who is almost prominent in metal bands; Hauf and Jackson, who leads his own band and is a fixture in Chicago FreeBop combos; are all accounted for on Next Delusion with the trio augmented by exploratory Windy City bass clarinetist Jason Stein and two additional drummers: Michael Hartman and Frank Rosaly, both of whom gig frequently on the Chi-town Jazz scene. MORE

June 20, 2012

Boris Hauf/Steven Hess/Keefe Jackson

Proxemics
Creative Sources CS 184 CD

Boris Hauf Sextet

Next Delusion

Clean Feed: CF 238 CD

Fascinated by the minimalist textures revealed by balancing percussion and reed timbres plus an overlay of electronics, Berlin-based saxophonist Boris Hauf convened these telekinetic exercises in collective improvisation during a 2010 busman`s holiday in Chicago.

A frequent visitor to that city, Hauf is best known for his work with the efzeg combo, but these CDs are even more reductionist. Replacing the guitars that were part of efzeg with piano micro-tonalism of one-name Austrian Juun, plus his own harmonium playing on Proxemics, Hauf fills out the juddering narrative with contributions from his tenor and soprano saxophones, Keefe Jackson’s contrabass clarinet and tenor saxophone and Steven Hess’s drum beats. Hess, who is almost prominent in metal bands; Hauf and Jackson, who leads his own band and is a fixture in Chicago FreeBop combos; are all accounted for on Next Delusion with the trio augmented by exploratory Windy City bass clarinetist Jason Stein and two additional drummers: Michael Hartman and Frank Rosaly, both of whom gig frequently on the Chi-town Jazz scene. MORE

April 1, 2012

Jason Stein Quartet

The Story This Time
Delmark DE 2013

Having chosen to make the often unwieldy bass clarinet his only horn, Chicago-based Jason Stein has also had to use good-old American ingenuity to carve out a singular path for himself. Unlike the relative handful of bass clarinetists who don’t double on other reeds and mostly concentrate on New music or abstract expressionism, Stein defines himself as a Jazzman. Thus this CD’s program mixes five knotty Stein originals with a half dozen other tunes composed either by Thelonious Monk or members of the so-called Lennie Tristano school. Additionally the entire program is anchored by the woody time-keeping of bassist Joshua Abrams and the rhythmic accents of drummer Frank Rosaly. MORE

January 23, 2011

Keefe Jackson Quartet

Seeing You See
Clean Feed CF 176 CD

Jeb Bishop Trio

2009

Better Animal Recordings 1

One of the youngish Americans who have helped create a humanistic approach to trombone playing, Chicago’s Jeb Bishop has been omnipresent in that city’s improvised music scene as well as on gigs elsewhere and in Europe.

These CDs – serendipitously recorded almost exactly a year apart – show why he has been able to work in bands with leaders as different as saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and drummer Mike Reed. Bishop’s first disc as leader in a decade, 2009 provides 11 instances of his composing and improvising aided by bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Frank Rosaly, who individually or as rhythm team, work as often in the city as Bishop. MORE

May 12, 2010

Aram Shelton’s Fast Citizens

Two Cities
Delmark DE 590

Jason Adasiewicz’ Rolldown

Varmint

Cuneiform Rune 292

Organizing many bands with shifting, but similar, local personnel seems to be a factor uniting the newest generation of Chicago improvisers, with earlier jazz folk from territory towns like Chicago and Detroit. Unlike places such as New York, Los Angeles and Toronto where every player seems to be from somewhere else and may soon be heading elsewhere, Windy City folk have an overriding sense of place – even if they eventually move on. MORE

August 11, 2008

Keefe Jackson's Project Project

Just Like This
Delmark DE 580

Making the most of the varied textures available from a 12-piece ensemble, reedist Keefe Jackson’s straight-ahead Project Project adumbrates jazz’s future, while alluding to its past. Built up from the four-square walking of bassist Anton Hatwich, and the rolls and flams of drummer Frank Rosaly, the piano-less group, consisting of yet another wave of new Chicago players, is somewhat reminiscent of Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band.

But with Marc Unternährer’s tuba prominent among the brass, plus with clarinets’ tremolo trills and coloratura glissandi heard as often as saxophone slurs and honks, Jackson’s extended compositions include an overlay of post-modern impressionism. Perhaps alluding to the band’s double-barreled name, a common trope is to twin two instruments – such as the trombones of Jeb Bishop and Nick Broste – in contrapuntal theme elaboration, then followed a transitional growl from Dave Rempis’ baritone saxophone, fluidly showcase variations from the others. MORE

October 25, 2006

Lucky 7s

Farragut
Lakefront Digital LFD-2-006

Close cooperation between New Orleans and Chicago musicians has a history that goes back as far as King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. While the rapprochement lessened during the modern jazz era, better communication and the devastation caused by a certain recent hurricane has created fortuitous couplings like the one captured here.

New Orleans trombonist and tubaist Jeff Albert and Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop were the catalysts. Looking for a Chi-Town gig for his hometown band, Albert was convinced by Bishop to put together this septet which blends Louisiana and Illinois players. Bassist Mat Golombisky and drummer Quin Kirchner are also from the Big Easy, while cornetist Josh Berman, reedist Keefe Jackson and vibist Jason Adasiewicz are Windy City residents. Miraculously for a first-time match up, the combined ensemble ends up sounding as if they’re long-time band mates. MORE

June 27, 2005

TIM POSGATE HORNBAND

Featuring Howard Johnson
Guildwood GR 006

CHICAGO LUZERN EXCHANGE
Several Lights
Delmark DE 561

Long the most neglected member of the improv brass family – at least since Wellman Braud switched from it to the string bass to meet the demands of Duke Ellington’s 1920s band – the tuba’s orphan status has improved over the past decades.

Because of such subterranean sound sponsors as Americans Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart and Joe Daley, and Giancarlo Schiaffini, Melvyn Poore and Carl Ludwig Hübsch in Europe – among many others – it’s now accepted as a solo as well as a rhythmic instrument. Modern tubaists have so extended the flexibility and range of the brass beast that it’s showing up with increasingly frequency on all sorts of sessions, such as these two. In fact, tuba suppleness is such that each quartet sounds completely unlike other. MORE