Reviews that mention Patricia Brennan

October 23, 2019

Matt Mitchell

Phalanx Ambassadors
Pi Records Pi 81

One of the go-to keyboardists on the present New York scene, Matt Mitchell has been a sought-after associate for everyone from Tim Berne to Dan Weiss. Re-convening his own group for Phalanx Ambassadors, Mitchell creates a layered program of themes and overtones that ironically in instrumentation updates the line-up of the quintets pianist George Shearing led from the late 1940s to the 1970s.

It’s not very likely any fan of the Shearing Quintet’s pop-Jazz approach could confuse this group of contemporary improvisers with that group’s members, and it’s as feasible that none of Mitchell’s crew is cognizant of the link, even though such major stylists as Gary Burton and Joe Pass were in the Shearing quintet over the years. In contrast to Shearing’s easy listening three- minute tracks, as well, Mitchell’s original compositions range from less than two minutes in length to almost 16. Throughout the seven tracks, textural contrasts and extensions come from Miles Okazaki’s guitars: Patricia Brennan’s vibraphone and marimba, Kim Cass’ bass and electric bass and Kate Gentile’s drums and percussion as well as Mitchell keyboards and acoustic piano. MORE

March 18, 2018

Matt Mitchell

A Pouting Grimace
Pi Recordings 71

Onze Heures Onze Orchestra

Vol 1

Onzeheurs Onze ONZ020

Having a singular, original vision is often cited as the best way to create outstanding music, more so when, as on these sessions here, concepts can be communicated to a large ensemble. Yet individualism doesn’t necessarily edge out a collegial approach. New York-based keyboardist Matt Mitchell for instance obviously aimed to create an original take on contemporary sounds that mixed notated, improvisational and electronic tropes, and he rounded up a dozen of the city’s most accomplished players to interpret his 10 compositions. Yet all too often on A Pouting Grimace, the composer and his associates appear to be leaping from one idea to another, exposing a variety of concepts, but with no logical continuum that draws together the detonating themes. MORE

June 6, 2016

Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus

The Distance
ECM 2484

The Who


Auricle Aur 14+15


Cosmopolitan Greetings

Red Piano RPR 4699-4419-2

Eric Platz

Life After Life

Allos Documents 012

Florian Hoefner


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