Reviews that mention Jason Adasiewicz

December 16, 2016

Adasiewicz/Erb/Roebke

More Dreams Less Sleep
Veto Records/Exchange 013

More Dreams Less Sleep is characterized by Veto as a “very limited edition” and there’s evidentially a good reason. A cross-oceanic affiliation between Swiss reedist Christoph Erb and Chicagoans, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and bassist Jason Roebke, the five tracks are as unvarnished and edged as hand-made furniture. Unlike the equivalent of viewing polished, off-the-rack projects, the musical progress here involves observing how functional themes are hewn from raw materials as all three players contribute in building an apparatus. MORE

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

June 21, 2016

Mental Shake

Mental Shake
Otoroku 10

From the very first seconds of the single almost 39½-minute improvisation that makes up Mental Shake it’s obvious that this is an extraordinary session. Stretching the distinctive timbres of the tarogato as if they’re the bellows of an accordion, Peter Brötzmann conjures up the raw cry of a wolf, ferociously prowling the Hungarian countryside. Brötzmann, whose commitment to the most raucous variant of free jazz has been evident since his first recordings in 1965, is plainly invigorated by the venue – London’s Café Oto – and more so by his associates. 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

March 22, 2016

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 16-20, 2015

By Ken Waxman

Story telling of the verbal and instrumental variety was an important feature of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival. Trying out new venues such as Heritage Hall (HH), Guelph’s first black church; and the soft-seated Guelph Little Theatre (GLT), the festival added a feeling of intimacy to its innovative programming.

Front and centre with tales, tall and otherwise were two Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) members, multi-reedist Douglas Ewart and alto saxophonist Matana Roberts. Confirming the old adage that actions can speak louder than words were musicians as cerebrally intricate as Evan Parker’s soprano saxophone forays or as raucous as guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog trio. MORE

January 6, 2016

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1: 7 Compositions for Duet
Relay Recordings 009

Vox Arcana

Caro’s Song

Relay Recordings 010

Steel Bridge Trio

Different Clocks

Relay Recordings 011

By Ken Waxman

Quietly – well as quiet as a drummer can be – and consistently, Chicago-based percussionist Tim Daisy has over the past decade established himself as one of jazz’s go-to players. Besides ongoing partnerships with the likes of reedists Dave Rempis mostly in a duo and Ken Vandermark in small and large ensembles, Daisy’s discs showcase his own bands playing his compositions which range from the raucous to the refined. Like a screenwriter equally proficient at penning action thrillers and character-driven dramas, the drummer proficiently showcases particular genres on each of these releases. MORE

September 6, 2015

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Room

From The Region
Delmark DE 5017

Fred Frith/Evan Parker

Hello, I Must Be Going

Victo cd 128

Mary Halvorson Trio

Ghost Loop

ForTune 0010/010

Ingrid Laubrock Anti House

Roulette of the Cradle

Intakt CD 252

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up

After All Is Said

482 Music 482-1089

Something In The Air: Many musical Interconnections at 2015’s Guelph Jazz Festival

By Ken Waxman

As the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF) settles into maturity, dependable musical choices and the vagaries of touring means that a few of the performers at this year’s bash, September 16 to 20, are featured at more than one ensemble. The happy end result is that the audience gets to sample some musicians’ skills in more than one challenging setting. MORE

August 16, 2015

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1
Relay Recordings 009

Aural scrap book, calling card and historical document wrapped together, this CD highlights the improvisational and compositional strategies drummer Tim Daisy has evolved during his years as part of Chicago’s burgeoning improvisational scene. Each of the lucky seven duets here is with a different associate – reedists Rempis (baritone saxophone), James Falzone (clarinet) and Katherine Young (bassoon); cornetist Josh Berman, violist Jen Clare Paulson plus Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone and drummer Marc Riordan playing piano – and follows a unique pattern. MORE

June 14, 2014

Something Else Musically in Steeltown

A New Music Festival
By Ken Waxman

With local jazz festivals becoming increasingly populist improvised music audiences and musicians yearn for programs oriented towards more experimental sounds. Unexpectedly the situation is being resolved 60 kilometres away in downtown Hamilton. From June 16 to 21 the first SOMETHING ELSE! festival of creative music, takes place at Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James St. North, when local musicians share the stage with international improvisers.

“We moved to Hamilton two years ago, and while it’s fine to see music in Buffalo and Toronto, eventually there comes a time that you want good things to happen wherever you live,” explains Zula Presents’ festival curator Cem Zafir. Discovering that some of his favorite musicians would be in the area in June, Zafir decided to showcase them in Hamilton alongside deserving local artists. Suddenly the festival was born. MORE

May 4, 2014

Adasiewicz/Erb/Roebke

Yuria’s Dream
Veto-records/exchange 009

Wheelhouse

Boss of the Plains

Aerophonic AR-002

Chamber music with a difference, these two improvising trios use their unusual instrumentation to its best advantage, by fixing on the contrasting textures that result when vibraphone resonation superlatively blends with reed expansion. What’s more the entire percussion function is left to the bassist. Tellingly, although recorded more than three years apart, both share a similar Chicago orientation,

Most obvious link between Boss of the Plains and Yuria’s Dream is the presence of vibist Jason Adasiewicz on both discs. Recorded in 2010, following bassist Nate McBride’s relocation to the Windy City from Boston, the first CD’s nine tracks are mostly built around specific but contradictory timbral examinations. The third Wheelhouse member is local alto and baritone saxophonists Dave Rempis. With its focal point a single improvisation, Yuria’s Dream is limited to one track, which ebbs and flows with the contributions from Adasiewicz, Chicago-based bassist Jason Roebke and Lucerne Switzerland native tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist Christoph Erb. Recorded in 2013 this more-than 43-minute reverie is one of the many results of Erb’s four-month stay in Chicago in 2011, where musical relationships ripened into permanent Euro-American bands. MORE

May 4, 2014

Wheelhouse

Boss of the Plains
Aerophonic AR-002

Adasiewicz/Erb/Roebke

Yuria’s Dream

Veto-records/exchange 009

Chamber music with a difference, these two improvising trios use their unusual instrumentation to its best advantage, by fixing on the contrasting textures that result when vibraphone resonation superlatively blends with reed expansion. What’s more the entire percussion function is left to the bassist. Tellingly, although recorded more than three years apart, both share a similar Chicago orientation, 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 13, 2013

Joshua Abrams Quartet

Unknown Known
Rogueart R0G-0045

Envision Bags & Trane if bassist Paul Chambers was leading the session and the program played was all his compositions. That’s a simple way to imagine the achievements of this disc, although the most known unknown on this Chicago-recorded session is that without legend emulation, the bassist-leader and crew have created a high-gloss, well-paced CD that’s comfortable (post) modern without being too experimental.

One of the most in-demand bassists in the Windy City, Joshua Abrams has a high profile with a variety of bands, working with everyone from flutist Nicole Mitchell to guitarist Jeff Parker. This quartet – like the Modern Jazz Quartet – is filled out by others who are often leaders of their own bands in Chicago. Vibist Jason Adasiewicz, who takes the Milt “Bags” Jackson role here is also part in different Rob Mazurek projects; tenor saxophonist David Boykin, who comes out of the John Coltrane-lineage via the AACM connection, is cast in the Trane spot; while Frank Rosaly, like Connie Kay in his day, is also a busy sideman in bands led by the vibraphonist, Mazurek, Parker and saxophonist Dave Rempis. MORE

September 14, 2013

Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal

Aquarius
Delmark DE 5004

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do

Time Stands Still

NotTwo MW 897-2

Bomata

Arômes d’allieurs

Malasartes mam 016

Wadada Leo Smith and TUM Orchestra

Occupy The World

TUM CD 037-2

Something In The Air: The Guelph Jazz Festival Turns 20

By Ken Waxman

Twenty years after its modest beginning, the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), which this year takes place September 3 to 8, has grown to be one of this country’s major improvised music celebrations. Unlike many other so-called jazz fests which lard their programs with crooners masquerading as jazz singers, tired rock or pop acts, or so-called World or C&W performers who make no pretense of playing jazz, the GJF continues to showcase committed improvisers in sympathetic settings including during the fourth installment of the dusk-to-dawn Nuit Blanche. MORE

September 9, 2013

Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal

Aquarius
Delmark DE 5004

Watershed

Watershed

RogueArt ROG-0044

Nicole Mitchell

Engraved in the Wind

RogueArt R0G-0047

By Ken Waxman

A major Jazz flautist, Nicole Mitchell recently traded her Chicago base for an academic post at University of California, Irvine. But as these sessions attest, the flautist, who during her two decades in the Windy City played in numerous bands and was an executive of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM), hasn’t let geography or academe slow down her recording schedule. These CDs feature her with quartet of Chicagoans, a mixed French-American quintet and most challengingly, solo. MORE

March 15, 2013

Living By Lanterns

New Myth/Old Science
Cuneiform Records Rune 345

Mike Reed’s People Places & Things

Clean on the Corner

482 Music 482-1081

Drummer/bandleader Mike Reed has established himself as, among things, a deft interpreter of Chicago’s progressive music history. Nothing like a neo-con however, rather than imitation or emulation he and his People Places & Things create new variations of the city’s rich 1950s and 1960s Jazz heritage. On these exceptional sessions, he, and sidekicks, alto saxophonist Greg Ward – on both discs– and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz – on New Myth/Old Science – have taken the next step: integrated their own compositions with earlier ones. 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

October 7, 2012

Festival Report

The Guelph Jazz Festival
By Ken Waxman

A spectre was haunting the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), but it was a benign spectre: the ghost of John Coltrane. The influence of Coltrane, who died in 1967, was honored in direct and indirect ways throughout the five days of the festival which takes places annually in this mid-sized college town, 100 kilometres west of Toronto.

This year’s edition (September 5 to 9), featured two live performances of Ascension, Coltrane’s free jazz masterwork from 1965, one with the original instrumentation by an 11-piece Toronto ensemble at the local arts centre; the other on the main stage of the soft-seated River Run Centre concert hall featured the Bay-area ROVA saxophone’s quartet reimaging of the work, scored for 12 musicians adding strings and electronics to the basic ensemble. MORE

September 11, 2012

São Paulo Underground

Tres Cabeças Loucuras
Cuineiform Records RUNE 325

By Ken Waxman

Newest entry in Chicago-based cornetist Rob Mazurek’s ongoing Underground ensemble projects, this CD fuses American improv textures with the beats and melodies prevalent in Brazilian music. With both jazz and maracatu based on African roots, the other members of the São Paulo Underground – Mauricio Takara, who plays percussion and miniature Brazilian guitar, drummer Richard Ribeiro and keyboardist Guilherme Granado – find common ground with Mazurek through rock and samba beats plus the spirited use of samples and electronics. MORE

June 15, 2012

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms

Spacer
Delmark DE 2012

During its history as an instrument for improvisation the vibraphone has been utilized two ways. Either the player approaches it like a tuned drum or he or she lets the mallets, bars and motor-drive become the equivalent of a metal piano. Extroverts such as Lionel Hampton and Terry Gibbs and any number of R&B percussion colorists excelled at the first method, while more cerebral stylists such as Walt Dickinson, Milt Jackson and most of the Northern European vibes players concentrated on the second. MORE

October 5, 2011

Starlicker

Double Demon
Delmark DE 2011

Bill Dixon

Envoi

Victo cd 120

Taylor Ho Bynum/Joe Morris/Sara Schoenbeck

Next

Porter Records PRCD-4058

Pink Saliva

Pink Saliva

& Records &11

Something In The Air: Trumpeter Bill Dixon’s Lingering Influence

By Ken Waxman

Praised and reviled in equal measure during his 40-year career, Vermont-based trumpeter Bill Dixon was finally recognized as one of improvised music’s most original stylists and theorists before his death at 84 in June 2010. Fittingly his final concert took place a mere three weeks previously at Quebec’s Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, where a hand-picked octet played this composition under his direction. Luckily the performance has been released as Envoi Victo Records Victo cd 120. Not only do the two sections illuminate Dixon’s particular mixture of formalism and freedom, but with a horn section of four playing cornet, bugle and flugelhorn, Envoi also demonstrates Dixon’s influence on a younger generation of brass players. MORE

February 12, 2011

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly

Empathetic Parts (with Roscoe Mitchell)
482 Music 482-1074

Exploding Star Orchestra

Stars Have Shapes

Delmark DE 595

By Ken Waxman

One of the standout players among Chicago’s recent burgeoning crop of improvised musicians, alto saxophonist Greg Ward is versatile enough to gig with groups ranging from the chamber-oriented International Contemporary Ensemble to those lead by saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and other members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM). These CDs confirm his skills, although his role is more prominent in drummer Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly then as part of cornetist Rob Mazurek’s 14-piece Exploding Star Orchestra. His contributions to Reed’s Empathetic Parts are even more impressive, since he shares reed duties with saxophonist/flautist Roscoe Mitchell, more than 40 years his senior and an AACM founder. For his part, Mitchell is spontaneous enough to assimilate a performance strategy already tested with the existing five-piece band. MORE

February 12, 2011

Exploding Star Orchestra

Stars Have Shapes
Delmark DE 595

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly

Empathetic Parts (with Roscoe Mitchell)

482 Music 482-1074

By Ken Waxman

One of the standout players among Chicago’s recent burgeoning crop of improvised musicians, alto saxophonist Greg Ward is versatile enough to gig with groups ranging from the chamber-oriented International Contemporary Ensemble to those lead by saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and other members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM). These CDs confirm his skills, although his role is more prominent in drummer Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly then as part of cornetist Rob Mazurek’s 14-piece Exploding Star Orchestra. His contributions to Reed’s Empathetic Parts are even more impressive, since he shares reed duties with saxophonist/flautist Roscoe Mitchell, more than 40 years his senior and an AACM founder. For his part, Mitchell is spontaneous enough to assimilate a performance strategy already tested with the existing five-piece band. MORE

May 12, 2010

Jason Adasiewicz’ Rolldown

Varmint
Cuneiform Rune 292

Aram Shelton’s Fast Citizens

Two Cities

Delmark DE 590

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

December 12, 2009

Rob Mazurek Quintet

Sound Is
Delmark DE 586

Regenorchester XII

Town Down

Red Note RN 14

Although these similarly structured quintets play what could loosely be termed electric jazz, the complex patterns and unexpected strategies shouldn’t be confused with clichéd fusion sounds.

For a start the chief protagonists aren’t guitarists, but brass players – Sao Paulo via Chicago’s cornetist Rob Mazurek on one, Vienna’s Franz Hautzinger on the other. Another reason is that the inspiration for these sound-collages was as one way out of a conundrum, not towards fusion. As a matter of fact Sound Is doesn’t even feature jazz-rock’s most distinctive icon: a six-string electric guitar. MORE

December 12, 2009

Regenorchester XII

Town Down
Red Note RN 14

Rob Mazurek Quintet

Sound Is

Delmark DE 586

Although these similarly structured quintets play what could loosely be termed electric jazz, the complex patterns and unexpected strategies shouldn’t be confused with clichéd fusion sounds.

For a start the chief protagonists aren’t guitarists, but brass players – Sao Paulo via Chicago’s cornetist Rob Mazurek on one, Vienna’s Franz Hautzinger on the other. Another reason is that the inspiration for these sound-collages was as one way out of a conundrum, not towards fusion. As a matter of fact Sound Is doesn’t even feature jazz-rock’s most distinctive icon: a six-string electric guitar. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
AUM Fidelity AUM 046

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra

Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra
Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur

AUM Fidelity AUM 046

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. 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