Reviews that mention Christopher Hoffman

August 8, 2021

James Brandon Lewis/Red Lily Quintet

Jesup Wagon
TAO Forms TAO 05

Expanding his creative reach as he augments his musical associates, New York tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis’ Jesup Wagon is a mediation and amplification of the work of US post-bellum botanist George Washington Carver (1864-1943). Although best known as the agricultural scientist who developed hundreds of uses for the peanut, Carver was also an artist and musician. Except for Lewis’ recitation of a couple of his own concise poems, the seven-track homage is all instrumental. Other members of the Red Lily Quintet are cornetist Kirk Knuffke, who plays with Jeff Lederer; cellist Chris Hoffman who has worked with Henry Threadgill and drummer Chad Taylor and bassist William Parker, who have been associated with multiple innovative improvisers. MORE

June 17, 2019

Anna Webber

Pi Recordings P179

By Ken Waxman

Reaching an elevated trajectory following her last CD, B.C.-born, New York-based tenor saxophone/flutist Anna Webber aided by a seasoned septet, re-conceptualizes into new compositions impressions of 20th Century composers’ percussion works.

Percussiveness not percussion is the major focus, even though her studio reassembling of Ches Smith’s echoing tympani on the Felmanesque “King of Denmark II” are suitably staggering. Mostly though Smith sticks to drums and vibraphone to provide the precise clamor and ringing clatter that swing alongside Jacob Garchik’s emotional trombone flow; place-marking stops or sweeping glissandi from Christopher Hoffman’s cello and Chris Tordini’ bass; pulsing chromatics from pianist Matt Mitchell; and stylistic chirps or snarls from Webber and tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Jeremy Viner. MORE

February 16, 2019

Josh Sinton

Predicate Trio
Iluso Records IR CD 14

Fish from Hell

Moby Dick Wanted

Mr Morezon 015

Overcoming the limitations of having the baritone saxophone as the one front line instrument backed by a two-person rhythm section is a challenge aptly met by the trios featured here. Still each constitutes the program in a diverse fashion. The American Predicate Trio with reedist Josh Sinton, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Tom Rainey offers a low-key audit of the extended techniques that can be expressed from aggregate pitches and timbres of the three instruments. Just as Sinton sometimes breaks up the tripartite interaction by switching to bass clarinet, the French players on Moby Dick Wanted each uniquely extend their instrumental textures. Fabien Duscombs adds percussion implements to his drum set; bassist Sébastien “Bakus” Bacquias extends his tones with loops; and Marc Démereau plays musical saw (!) as well as baritone saxophone. MORE

September 26, 2018

Yoni Kretzmer’s New Dilemma

Month, Weeks and Days
OutNow Recordings ONR 029

Although Israeli-American tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer describes his New Dilemma ensemble as a chamber-improv group, the string-heavy sextet is perceptively as far away from the expected sax’n’strings session as Donald Trump is from presidential norms. Except for the odd interlude, most noticeably in the penultimate section of “Tishma “, the final track, the viola, cello and double bass don’t accompany him, but instead interact to create a harmonious whole.

By the same token the so-called string section isn’t your standard chamber group either. Each – violinist Frantz Loriot, cellist Christopher Hoffman and double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper – have extensive Jazz and notated music experience in North America and Europe. As a further designator, the 11 Kretzmer compositions which made up this two-CD set are stabilized by the unforced drumming of Flin Van Hemmen, with Josh Sinton’s bass clarinet on hand as counterbalance to the saxophonist’s textures. MORE

July 6, 2015

Henry Threadgill Zooid

In for a Penny, in for a Pound
Pi Recording

By Ken Waxman

With battering-ram-like force, some composers thrust mammoth themes at the listener, creating an impression through the weight of their ideas. Henry Threadgill follows an antithetical path. His compositions are organized with pointillist insinuation; the true shape of the exposition is only obvious after every motif has locked into place. He has been experimenting with application of this formula since the late ‘70s, and after a 14-year history together has found his ideal vehicle with the members of Zooid. MORE