Reviews that mention Jeff Lederer

December 13, 2021

Joe Fiedler Open Sesame

Fuzzy and Blue
Multiphonics Music MM 006

Michael Vlatkovich

With You Jazz Cat

pfMentum PFMCD 142

They both may have toy-like fuzzy creatures pictured on their CD covers and be small bands led by American trombonists, but that’s where the resemblance between Fuzzy and Blue and With You Jazz Cat ends. Music director/staff arranger for Sesame Street at the same time as he works with his own Jazz bands, this is New Yorker Joe Fiedler’s second Open Sesame disc where he transforms kids’ show tunes into improvised music. Adding funk, Blues, Latin and other textures to the 13 selections his sophisticated arrangements resemble the beyond category feeling of some Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn projects for the Ellington band. Part of the West Coast contingent of advanced players, Michael Vlatkovich’s octet compositions suggest a contemporary take on the fluid creations produced by a California big band leader whose concepts were a large part of 1940s and 1950s Jazz, but whose name is more unfamiliar to anyone younger than 60 than Oscar the Grouch or the Cookie Minster: Stan Kenton. MORE

November 18, 2021

Jeff Lederer/Sunwatch Quartet

Eightfold Path
Little (i) music No #

Paul Bley Trios

Touching & Blood Revisited

ezz-thetics 1108

Jimmy Giuffre

Free Fall Clarinet

ezz-thetics 1119

Barry Altschul’s 3DOMFactor

Long Tall Sunshine

NotTwo MW 1012-2

Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio

Moon on the Lake

Libra Records 203-065

Something in the Air: Understanding Pianist Paul Bley’s Musical Legacy

By Ken Waxman

Although Paul Bley died in 2016 the extent of his legacy and associations are still being felt. That’s because the pianist was one of the few jazz players who moved through several musical areas and made his mark on each. Born in Montreal on November 10, 1932, he would have been 88 this year. A piano protégé Bley began as a teenage Swing pianist in his native city. Yet he became so proficient a Bopper after his move to New York in the early 1950s that he was soon playing with Charles Mingus and Charlie Parker. An encounter with Ornette Coleman allowed him to bring freer ideas to his improvising and composing during the 1960s and he worked with members of the burgeoning Free Jazz movement during that decade and afterwards. Later on, while continuing to play contemporary jazz with various acoustic bands, he expanded his interests into early experiments with the Moog synthesizer and when he started his own record label he made sure that visual as well as audio tracks were created. He also taught part time at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and over the years collaborated and recorded with a cross section of international musicians. Read a more detailed view of Bley’s life and career in the February 2016 issue of The Whole Note. MORE

February 16, 2021

Matt Wilson Quartet

Palmetto Records PM 2196

A pleasant curio from drummer Matt Wilson’s long-established quartet, Hug’s 11 tracks caress a distinct roll call of originals, Jazz-and-other musical standard with cultivated élan, and sardonic humor appropriate for the age of Donald Trump and Covid. That means that “King of the Road” and a burlesque of Trump’s outer spaces dreams share space with classics from Charlie Haden, Gene Ammons and others. Practiced players all, the quartet includes cornetist Kirk Knuffke, who works with Mark Helias; bassist Chris Lightcap, whose associations include Gerald Cleaver; and multi-reedist Jeff Lederer, who is part of numerous bands, many of which feature other quartet members. MORE

January 11, 2021

Jeff Cosgrove

History Gets Ahead of the Story
Grizzly Music No #

Matt Moran Trio

Return Trip

Diskonife Records 006

Two unusual takes on the organ trio prove their unconventionality by expanding it in singular manners. Although Maryland-based drummer Jeff Cosgrove works with the genre’s traditional configuration of organ, drums and a horn, instead of sticking to the usual program of standards and warhorses, all selections were composed by bassist William Parker, with whom the drummer worked earlier in the decade. As for New York-based vibraphonist Matt Moran, he adds his instrument’s unique intonation to the familiar drum and organ backing, a blend that was explored only briefly by Johnny Lytle and Lem Winchester during Soul Jazz’s heyday. MORE

July 6, 2018

Jeff Lederer’s Shakers n’ Bakers

Heart Love
little (i) music CD107

Although the objective of most Jazz repertoire bands remains to pay respects to certain, usually deceased, musicians or musicians by interpreting the recorded work, very few do more than collect tunes for a tribute, play them in an expected fashion and move on. Luckily as the honorees have evolved past saluting big names, alternative sounds’ novel nuances are sometimes conveyed. Case in point is tenor saxophonist Jeff Lederer’s Shakers n’ Bakers. For the past decade or so the New York-based academic, best-known for his work in Matt Wilson’s groups, has been working his way through the oeuvre of Albert Ayler (1936 -1970), linking it to the sacred songs of the Shaker religious sect, MORE

December 11, 2017

Joe Fiedler

Like, Strange
Multiphonics Music MM003

Dan Phillips Chicago Edge Ensemble

Decaying Orbit

No label No #

Organized with identical instrumentation and recorded within a month of one another, these CDs are instances of two approaches to contemporary Jazz, New York and Chicago versions. Like eccentric mirror images of one another as well, each disc’s most notable players are a guitarist and a trombonist, with one player of either instrument taking the leadership role. Somehow though the compositions of a returning Chicagoan, guitarist Dan Phillips, matched with top-flight Windy City associates come across with more flight and individuality that the nine tunes composed by Manhattan trombonist Joe Fiedler. MORE

September 6, 2016

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

Greg Ward & 10 Tongues

Touch My Beloved’s Thought

Greenleaf Music GRE-CD-1050

Something In The Air: Musical Inspirations Arise from Unexpected Sources

September 16, 2015

Kirk Knuffke

Arms & Hands
Royal Potato Family RPF

Tom Trio

Radical Moves

ForTune 0045 032

Circumventing the limitations of the brass-double bass-drums format with contrasting game plans are Polish trumpeter Tomaz Dąbrowski and American cornetist Kirk Knuffke. Each has come up with an equitable and equally valid solution to the challenge.

Dąbrowski, who now lives in Copenhagen structures his compositions on the Tom Trio’s second CD to take full advantage of the varied tempos, rhythms and interactions available from his improvising and that of bassist Nils Bo Davidsen and drummer Anders Mogensen, both in-demand players on the Danish scene. Cheating a bit, Knuffke’s newly constituted trio with veterans, bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bill Goodwin, features individual cameo appearances on six tracks by trombonist Brian Drye, alto saxophonist Daniel Carter and tenor and soprano saxophonist Jeff Lederer. Considering that the CD is made up of 15 tracks, including a concluding version of Ernest Tubb and his Texas Troubadours’ 1964 hit “Thanks a Lot”, the additional players broaden Arms & Hands scope, with the core trio featured enough to demonstrate its innate communication skills. MORE

May 26, 2003


Palmetto PM-2089

After a while, it’s embarrassing to keep repeating it, but Matt Wilson has emerged as one of the most accomplished -- if not the most accomplished -- inside/outside drummer of the 21st century.

Wilson, whose inside credentials include membership in mainstream pianist Bill Mays’ trio, and whose outside work includes being a part of the experimental Jazz Composers’ Collective, demonstrates once again on his own discs that he can switch effortlessly from the cerebral to the demonstrative. HUMIDITY provides 12 sizzling examples of this. MORE