Steve Coleman’s Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets), his first live release in 15 years, captures the ensemble’s tight interplay, innovative compositions, and world-class musicality during a week-long residency at the Vanguard in 2017.
“…It was only a matter of time before the arrival of a document like Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1: The Embedded Sets… Listen for the spark in a tune called “Nfr,” which incorporates an M-Base funk groove and a poppish horn line, with transfixing solos by Coleman, Finlayson, and Okazaki.” – Nate Chinen, WBGO
“Live at the VIllage Vanguard, Vol. 1 represents a paradigm shift as Coleman Focuses on spontaneous composition and free improvisation. Unusual and complex time signatures are still present throughout this two-disc set, though the overall context is shaped in the moment.” Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz
“Artists don’t release Live at the Village Vanguard recordings unless they’ve truly got something to say… Documenting two nights of a weeklong residency in 2017, this phenomenal two-disc release more than lives up to the lofty Vanguard pedigree. It is also one of Coleman’s finest recordings—and perhaps the fullest realization of his work so far with Five Elements, his long- standing quintet with multiple iterations dating back to the mid-1980s.” – Troy Dostert, All About Jazz
“Coleman fans do not need a review; they know to expect an amazing blend of rhythms, spontaneous melodies, intelligent interactions, and one tremendous rhythm section… The music is, at turns, exhilarating, demanding, forceful, hurtling forward on the power of group interactions – whether the band is playing older material or working through brand-new compositions, the spirit of spontaneous improvisation can be felt from note one. “- Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
“The American saxophonist has been refining his sharp-angled music for 30 years, and there is nothing that breaks that mould here. This recording does, however, mark a shift from the dense orchestrations of his recent albums. The calibrated rhythms and unresolved harmonies remain intact, but are now more likely to be created on the fly. At their most intense they border on the ecstatic, making this release his most accessible for a while.” Mike Hobart, Financial Times
Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) is available here on CD and for Digital Download.
Pi Artists Henry Threadgill, Jen Shyu and Dan Weiss praised for their expansive compositions
Henry Threadgill’s Dirt… And More Dirt was included in NPR’s list of 40 Favorite Albums of 2018 thus far. Nate Chinen says, “The album, containing two new suites for the hilariously named ensemble 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg, pulsates with Threadgillian energies.” Henry and Zooid will be in Brazil this August. – NPR
Dan Weiss’s Starebaby project continues to collect praise as a highly original, heavy-metal-derived album. There’s important emphasis for Weiss, according to Jon Solomon at WestWord, on the word “derived,” as “Starebaby isn’t a metal record – far from it – but there are definitely sections where you hear the influence.” It’s varied components certainly come through to listeners, “it’s an unheard blend of heavy metal, electronic inspirations, Twin Peaks eerie moods, and a dash of jazz. The outcome is an unparalleled dark symphony filled with both mercurial meters and ethereal passages” – Jazz Trail
Weiss’s versatility is regularly noticed, and each of the group’s acclaimed musicians brings an impressive resume to the recording, all sharing a love of heavy-metal music.
“In addition to Weiss’s expansive, mind-opening compositions, which more from hard-hitting and visceral to heady and atmospheric, part of the appeal for jazz festivals, clubs, and fans is that Weiss has enlisted some of the biggest names in creative music-making for his group” – Ottawa Citizen
Song of Silver Geese, Jen Shyu’s masterfully crafted 2017 album, stands as an eclectic combination of many styles and traditions — most recently noted in a Band Camp article for its utilization of various microtonal instrumental techniques.
“Song of Silver Geese is a complex work, expansive and almost dirge-like in places yet aggressive and confrontational in others. It is a showcase for Shyu’s vast timbral palette” – BandCamp