Avram Fefer | Eric Revis | Chad Taylor | Eliyahu | Not Two Records

Not Two, 2011 | MW 854-2 | CD

Avram Fefer – Alto, Tenor Saxes | Eric Revis – Bass | Chad Taylor – Drums

All compositions by Avram Fefer (SACEM) except track 1 and track 5.

Recorded January 9, 2010 by Ivan Julian in NYC at HED Recording Studios. Mixed September 3, 2010 by Jason Candler at The Maid’s Room. Cover photo by Avram Fefer. Photos of Revis and Taylor by Michael Jackson. Photo of Fefer by Marie-France.

Tracklist: 1. Song for Dyani [06:24] 2. Wishful Thinking [07:39] 3. Appropriated Lands [07:51] 4. Eliyahu [05:26] 5. Trued Right [06:08] 6. A Taste for Love [06:51] 7. Essaouira [08:19] 8. City Life [04:11] 9. Eliyahu (2) [05:06]

Avram Fefer

is a musical force to be reckoned with. With a distinctive voice on alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, as well as Bb clarinet, he brings depth, intelligence, and soulfulness to every musical situation he’s in. These include performances and recordings of straight-ahead and avant-garde jazz, as well as jazz-funk, West-African, and modern orchestral music. His latest trio recording— with long-time collaborators, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor—brings these strengths and influences together in a coherent and powerfully moving way that reinforces the group’s status as one of the scene’s preeminent sax-bass-drum trios.

Avram Fefer was born near San Francisco, but his family then moved to Stockholm (Sweden), Pittsburgh PA, and Washington D.C. before finally settling near Seattle, Washington. After several years in the hands of inspirational high school jazz band director Leo Dodd, Avram went on to receive a liberal arts degree at Harvard University and studied music at Berklee College and New England Conservatory. He then moved to Paris, France (1990-95) where he began his career as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader and teacher.

Paris offered many new sources of inspiration and growth including a vibrant African and Arabic music scene and a wealth of American expatriate musicians. His own bands were featured regularly in many of the city’s top jazz clubs and he performed with fellow ex-pats Jack Gregg, Bobby Few, Graham Haynes, Archie Shepp, Kirk Lightsey, Oliver Johnson, John Betsch, Sunny Murray, and Rasul Siddik among others. He played in countries in Europe, Africa and the Mideast and is featured on diverse recordings, including by rap originators, the Last Poets (Scatterap/Home ), and with jazz legend Archie Shepp on drummer Steve McCraven’s Song of the Forest Boogeraboo [World McC Music]. He was also one of the founding members and featured soloists of the French ‘acid-jazz’ group, Beigels Daisy Toasts, recording two top-selling CD’s for Virgin Records in 1994 and 95.

Since moving to New York, Avram has continued to indulge his passion for a wide variety of music while developing a unique sound that crosses genres. He has always loved the sax-bass-drum trio format (as demonstrated on several of his recordings) and continues to use this as one of his primary musical vehicles. The influence of Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis-inspired funk was evident in his band The Tone Poets (featuring the instrumental pyrotechnics of Reggie Washington, Dave Fiuczynski, Jonathan Crayford and Marlon Browden) and, more recently, with his latest project, Electric Kool-Aid. His embrace of trip-hop, jungle, and drum ‘n bass was on display in the groups Squelch and Auto*Dope, both of which featured extensive improvisation, groove, and the unique tape manipulations of Bruce Grant (Huge Voodoo). His love of North and West African music has been drawn upon in a variety of great bands, including those of Cameroonian bassist Francis M’Bappe, ex-Fela drummer Tony Allen, Moroccan singer Abdeljalil Kodssi, balifonist Famoro Diabate, and on the 2004 release, New Destiny , by the world’s only Afro-Hungarian jazz group, Dallam-Dougou.

As a section player and soloist, Fefer has been featured in a number of large ensembles, including Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra, the David Murray Big Band, Butch Morris Orchestra, Joseph Bowie Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe, and the Rob Reddy Octet.

His trio with Taylor and Revis on was featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival, while his duo with pianist Bobby Few performed at the Free Music Festival in Antwerp, Belgium and at the Burlington Jazz Festival in Vermont. Other past festival performances include the JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall, the Heineken Jazz Festival, the Verizon Jazz Festival, the Knitting Factory What is Jazz Festival, the Tel-Aviv Jazz Festival, the Williamsburg Jazz Festival, and the Casa del Popolo Festival in Montreal, among others.

Avram has a thriving private teaching practice in downtown Manhattan and has collaborated on projects with dancers, poets, painters, and actors and has also performed and/or composed for theater, television, film and computer-interactive media.

Chad Taylor

was born in Tempe, Arizona on March, 19, 1973. Chad came from a musical family. His father was once a concert pianist. Eager to get his father’s attention he started playing guitar at age 7. In 1983 he moved with his mother and sister to Chicago where he attended Ogden Elementary. Chad wanted to participate in music at school so in addition to guitar he began studying percussion. In 1987 Chad attended Lane Tech High school where he continued his studies in the orchestra and concert band. While a freshman in high school Chad met Mathew Lux (Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra, Iron and Wine) who encouraged him to pursue the drumset and encouraged him to start listening to jazz. After his classes ended at Lane, Chad would frequently go to the Bloom school of Jazz and take more music classes. At night he would go to jazz clubs to hang out and learn from great musicians like Lyn Holiday, Dennis Carrol and Bobby Broom. In 1988 Chad started performing gigs around the city with Rob Mazurek, Jeff Parker, Eric Alexander and other great young musicians. In 1991 Chad was offered a scholarship to study classical guitar at Milikin University in Decatur Illinois. Reluctantly he accepted. Eventually he grew frustrated with the guitar and classical music in general, and decided to concentrate his studies on jazz drumming. “One day I listened to Henry Threadgill’s Air Song with the great Steve McCall on drums.

It was at this point that I knew I was a drummer and that I was in the wrong place.” Chad moved to NYC in 1992 to attend the New School of Jazz where he studied with Reggie Workman, Joe Chambers, Horrace Arnold, Yoron Isreal, Pheroan Aklaff. While in New York Chad played in the Life Ensemble which featured Andy Bemkey, Tom Abbs, Brian Settles and David Minasian. He also got the opportunity to perform with jazz legends Lou Donaldson, Arnie Lawrence and Junior Mance as well as young talented musicians like J.D. Allen and Kurt Rosenwinkle. In 1997 Chad moved back to Chicago, where he helped form the Chicago Underground Ensembles with Rob Mazurek and Jeff Parker. He also started performing regularly with the Fred Anderson Trio and the trio Sticks and Stones, a collective with Matana Roberts and Josh Abrams. In 1999 Chad recorded and toured with singer-song writer Sam Prekop (The Sea and Cake) In 2001 Chad moved back to New York where he started working again with Tom Abbs. In 2004 they formed the band Triptych myth with Cooper-Moore. Chad and Cooper-Moore later on formed the band Digital Primitives with Assif Tashar. In 2006 Chad started playing with Marc Ribot in his Spiritual Unity project. In 2008 Chad started playing drums with the indie rock band Iron and Wine and also recorded with the Oscar winning artist The Swell Season. Chad has performed at most major jazz and rock festivals around the world including The Chicago Jazz festival, The Tel Aviv Jazz Festival,The Berlin Jazz, Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, Banlieus Blues, The Roma Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Vancouver Jazz Festival, The London Jazz Festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Lalapolooza, Mt Fuji Festival, Pitchfork, and Bonnaroo.

Chad has performed on over 50 recordings and has had the opportunity to work with Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Derek Baily, Ken Vandermark, Matana Roberts, Angelica Sanchez, Eugene Chadbourne, Joe McPhee, Peter Brotzman, Roscoe Mitchell, William Parker, John Zorn, Rob Brown, Kid Jordan, Leroy Jenkins, Fred Hopkins, Evan Parker, Henry Grimes, Nicole Mitchell, Ernest Dawkins, Marilyn Crispell, Ellery Eskelin, Steve Lehman, Bobby Bradford, Jeff Parker, Butch Morris, Doug Carn, Joe Manneri, J.D. Parran, Nate Wooley, Mary Havelson, Tony Malaby, Craig Taborn, Jim O’rourke, Eric Revis, Charles Gayle, Malachi Favors, Roy Campbell, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Jemeel Moondoc, and many other great improvisers. Chad currently lives in Jersey City where he leads his own band Circle Down.

Eric Revis

Grammy-winning bassist/composer Eric Revis has been one of the most solid and forceful voices in the contemporary jazz scene for over 15 years despite his young age. The deep-running power of his beat, his potent and gorgeous tone, and his dynamic approach to music keeps him in high demands among notable musicians such as Branford Marsalis and Jeff “Tain” Watts.

Born in Los Angeles, CA on May 31, 1967, he grew up listening mostly to funk and rock music. It was not until when he was 14 years of age that he picked up an electric bass and taught himself how to play. After attending Southern University as biology major for a year, Eric relocated to San Antonio, TX where he got a regular gig playing 6 nights a week. As Eric worked the gig, his fellow band members introduced him to jazz. Eric recalls Kind of Blue as one of his first influential jazz recordings. As he discovered this new element of music, Eric decided to switch to an acoustic bass. Eric met Delfeayo Marsalis while volunteering for the Arts Council of San Antonio. Delfeayo strongly suggested that Eric study under his father’s program in University of New Orleans. Eric then moved to New Orleans where he has studied under Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, and Victor Goines from 1991 to 1992. New Orleans then offered fertile environment for growing musicians with huge appetite: Musicians whom Eric played with and learned from are Brian Blade, Nicholas Payton, Chris Thomas, Mark Turner, Troy Davis, Peter Martin, and Greg Tardy to name a few.

It was through his association with Peter Martin that Eric learned of Betty Carter’s “Jazz Ahead” program. Eric’s persistent request to be in the program resulted in him playing in Ms. Carter’s band which turned out to be a true schooling experience for Eric. Eric made his inevitable move to the New York City in 1994, as he became a regular bassist for Ms. Betty Carter. It did not take long for the New York musicians to take a notice in Eric. He had worked regularly with Billy Harper, Louis Hays, Lionel Hampton, Tess Marsalis, Russell Gunn, etc. Around this time, Small’s Jazz Club in Greenwich Village provided a place for an array of young musicians to spend countless hours, days and nights, to practice, discuss, and experiment their musical ideas. Eric spent considerable amount of time there with his fellow musicians such as Sherman Irby, James Hurt, & JD Allen.

In 1997, Eric met Branford Marsalis at a recording session with Russell Gunn. Mr. Marsalis who was impressed with the young bassist asked Eric to join him on his recording, Bug Shot along with Kenny Kirkland and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Eric has been Branford’s most reliable allies since then. Rafi Zabor, author of The Bear Comes Home says, “Eric Revis seems to me the finest rhythm partner yet to join him in a working Marsalis group: a terrific band bassist whose work evades casual notice, the lunging, deep-running power of his beat, acuity of accent, and his instinct for the right propulsive run of notes have given this band stronger legs to stand on, and an increased capacity for friendly earthquake.”

Eric Revis is a force to be reckoned with as he embarks on his own project.– Allaboutjazz.com



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One thought on “Avram Fefer | Eric Revis | Chad Taylor | Eliyahu | Not Two Records

  1. It’s been two years since this trio released “Ritual”, and this new release continues in the same, and excellent vain. I praised Avram Fefer’s soulful lyricism on alto and tenor, I praised the fantastic rhythm section of Eric Revis on bass and Chad Taylor on drums, and I can only do the same now, and possibly even more.

    From the very first notes, this album is guaranteed to bring you in a good mood. The ingredients are familiar, but it takes a good cook to turn these into a real special dish. You will hear lots of soul, African rhythms, blues, and all this on a solid relentless, often hypnotic rhythmic foundation with the leader sharing warmth and sympathy and musical joy and the love of life itself. Interestingly enough, it’s only after writing the previous sentence that I read the same phrase in the liner notes, as one of the values that Fefer’s late father, Eliyahu, tried to share with him. So he really manages to get that feeling across : the love of life, even in times of sadness.

    Fefer’s tone is like magic, it is round, clear, precise, and deeply emotional. Apart – or maybe as part of – from his lyricism, he also has an incredible sense of rhythm and pace in his improvisations, emphasising, pausing, building tension, or blowing away, accompanied with an incredible sense of focus on the original theme.

    And as a trio the band is strong, you hear the spontaneity and fluency of their interaction as a perfect match, as well in tone and overall musical approach, just listen how the solidity of Revis’ vamp on “Essaouira” allows Taylor to go along on his cymbals with the lyricism of the tenor, then taking the lead in some deep rumbling on his toms.

    Indeed a joy from beginning to end. You need a good mood? Don’t hesitate.

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