Daniel Carter | Shanir Ezra Blumenkrantz | Kevin Zubek | Chinatown | Not Two Records

This recording by Chinatown an unusual trio made up of downtown’s wildly diverse music scene, finds the venerable free player Daniel Carter still doing his thing, this time with a young, unique rhythm section. Bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’s playing is muscular and gutteral, and his bowing is turgidly pleasing. On this outing he also shows off his prowess on the oud. Drummer Kevin Zubek, mostly self-taught, has an unconventional drumming style—spacious and asymmetrical, largely eschewing standard jazz or even free jazz rhythms. He sits oddly high at the kit and attacks with what seems an impossibly awkward comportment to some, but produces percussive music that transcends technique. This trio toured Poland last year, where they developed a strong rapport from the sound of it, and landed a recording deal with the Polish label Not Two. — All About Jazz Continue reading

Ted Daniel’s Energy Module | Innerconnection | No Business Records

Trumpeter Ted Daniel’s Energy Module was a short-lived band. They played exactly two gigs in the course of one week in the fall of 1975—and never played again. They gelled quickly as a quintet, however, in large part because everyone knew each other from working in Daniel’s big band, Energy. However, the Energy Module was a less formal affair than the large ensemble, in which they played Daniel’s original compositions and arrangements. “We had a couple of rehearsals and played through the tunes, but our main focus was on collective and individual improvisation,” Daniel says. “We were getting ready to take care of business.” — Ed Hazell Continue reading

Jeff Platz | Daniel Carter | Francois Grillot | Federico Ughi | Past & Present Futures | Glitch Records

PAST & PRESENT FUTURESThe future of improvised music, and or, for lack of a better term “modern jazz”, continues to thrive and evolve. To spite the drawbacks, lack of venues, media support etc, the music just keeps moving forward with a new generation of players carrying on the tradition of freely improvised music. The past meets the present and the future can only hold an even higher quality of musical interpretation and concepts. Past & Present Futures was recorded on a fall afternoon just outside of New York City. This was my first time meeting and playing with bassist Francois Grillot and drummer Federico Ughi. Multi reeds player, trumpeter Daniel Carter and I have recorded and played together several time over the years. The music and ideas flowed naturally. After a long and productive evening of playing the group walked away with several hours of recorded music. We were ail happy with the outcome and felt that some cohesive playing and improvising had been accomplished. After much consideration we selected here what I feel are the highlights of the session. I hope you enjoy the recording as much as well all enjoyed the project. Many thanks again for listening! —Jeff Platz Continue reading

Hamid Drake & Bindu | Bindu | RogueArt Jazz

Who could have imagined that Hamid Drake would wait such a long time before giving life to his first band – as a leader that is? As one of the most important drummers in Afro-American music’s History, Drake is the guide to many musicians the world over while his rich, thorough, eclectic and fully controlled playing is used as the backbone to many orchestras. For ages, his numerous duets gave us a clear view of his music skills but this first recording as the leader of Bindu allows Hamid Drake the necessary space to fully display at last his own brilliant and original expression. No matter how unusual the orchestra is (four reeds and a drum), we really are confronted here with a great band. Who else than Hamid Drake would have dared to pick such strong personalities as Ernest Dawkins and Greg Ward from Chicago, Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen from New York, with no other goal and challenge than a meeting of pioneers willing to break new grounds? And what more beautiful introduction to this musical structure could be made than this duet with Nicole Mitchell and her refined, sparkling playing? It won’t be difficult, in these circumstances, to forgive Hamid Drake for having taken his time so long before leading such a group. Hamid Drake, we thank you for honoring us with that perfect Rogue Art opening. Continue reading

William Parker | Centering | Unreleased Early Recordings 1976 – 1987 | 6 CD Box Set | No Business Records

This box of music is dedicated to my wife, Patricia. I would also like to thank the producer Danas Mikailionis for his conviction to the project and Ed Hazell for guiding us through these musical memories. I give sincere thanks to all the musicians who made a commitment to the music; those who have passed on to the next life – Billy Bang, Malik Baraka, Denis Charles, Raphe Malik, Jay Oliver, Charles Tyler, Arthur Williams – and those who continue to play and create beautiful music of their own today – Ramsey Ameen, Brenda Bakr, Roy Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Ellen Christi, Charles Downs, Charles Gayle, John Hagen, Masahiko Kono, Rozanne Levine, Alex Lodico, Zen Matsuura, John Mingione, Jemeel Moondoc, Lisa Sokolov, Ricardo Strobert, and David S. Ware. — William Parker Continue reading

Daniel Carter | Alberto Fiori | Tom Abbs | Federico Ughi | Perfect Blue | Not Two Records

Daniel Carter – alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet | Alberto Fiori – piano | Tom Abbs – bass | Federico Ughi – drums. Recorded on December 2, 2008 at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY by Jim Clouse. Edited by Alberto Fiori. Mixed and mastered on May 8, 2009 at ARTESOUND RECORDING STUDIO, Cavalicco, Udine, Italy, by Stefano Amerio. Produced by Alberto Fiori. Quartet photo by Alberto Fiori. Layout by Marek Wajda. All music by D. Carter / A. Fiori / T. Abbs / F. Ughi except # 1/3/5 by D. Carter / A. Fiori Continue reading

Whit Dickey Trio | Emergence | Not Two Records

Ms. Eri Yamamoto is a NY based jazz pianist who has been playing regularly with her own trio for nearly a decade. After releasing three discs on her own Jane Street label, Eri hooked up with Matt Shipp and William Parker and has been moving into freer playing and forms. After playing on two discs for William Parker, Thirsty Ear released two discs under Eri’s name, another trio date and a duos session with William Parker, Hamid Drake, Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi. On each of these discs, Eri’s playing gets more adventurous. I caught this trio with Eri, Daniel Carter & Whit Dickey at this year’s Vision Fest (2009) and was knocked out by their performance. This is a studio recording and does have impressive sound and although these are group improvisations, it rarely sounds that way. “Conversation” is sparse and rather bluesy yet minimal piano, simmering muted trumpet and ultra subtle drums. What’s is interesting about this disc is that both Daniel Carter and Whit Dickey are known for being some of downtown’s most intense free improvisers, yet here they are unusually restrained and fit perfectly with the calm yet quietly provocative overall vibe. For “Get Up”, it is as if the players are moving through a dream and swinging at a medium tempo. “Mobile” is even more sparse and haunting, with exquisite flute from DC and suspense-filled sounds from Eli and Whit. “Twirls” is aptly titles since Whit sounds like he is twirling, providing the central uplifting rhythmic flow with the piano and tenor spinning around him. Throughout this disc Eli paints a skeletal thread between the members of this fine trio, weaving as one elegant singular force. A surprise move, a sly feint, from what we might otherwise expect from these folks. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading

Matthew Shipp Quartet | Cosmic Suite | Not Two Records

Featuring Matt Shipp on piano, Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet, Joe Morris on double bass and Whit Dickey on drums. As the amazing pianist and composer, Matt Shipp, closes in on his 100th disc as a leader or sideman, it is good thing that he didn’t honor his promise to retire from recording like he said a few years back. I believe that this particular quartet has not recorded before this, although all of the members have played together in other combinations. Matt, Joe & Whit have been playing as a trio for the past few years and Daniel can be heard on a variety of previous Matt Shipp dates. Starting with “Cosmic Suite – Part One,” Daniel is playing some lovely, laid-back, muted trumpet while the rest of the quartet swirls calmly around him. This has to be some of the most calm and enchanting music we’ve heard from Matt and his cohorts in recent memory. When Daniel switches to tenor sax, the quartet starts swirling more intensely, the waves building higher and higher. The recording and balance are especially well done, so the quartet sounds mighty fine. On each piece, Matt provides a different yet somehow connected theme, often reflective yet also quite intense. “Cosmic Suite – Part Four” reminds me of a Monk songs, it is somewhat lopsided and it is interesting to hear Daniel Carter playing in such a more inside way. On “Part Five,” Matt plays these shimmering, dark chords that sound as if we are swimming at the bottom of the ocean in slow motion. As we rise closer to the surface, there is a peaceful calm that washes over us until things get a bit bumpy once more. Each part of the “Cosmic Suite” seems to evoke a slightly different spirit or image. It sounds as if Matt has selected just the right musicians for this suite since each one fits so perfectly into the cosmic flow. This might just be Matt Shipp’s finest disc, it certainly feel that way as I sit back in my chair sipping on some coconut coffee in front of my computer on a hot summer’s night. — BLG, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading