The Fonda | Stevens Group Trio + 2 | Live in Katowice | Not Two Records

Harvey Sorgen – Drums |Ireneusz Wojtczak – Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet | Maciej Obara – Alto Saxophone | Joe Fonda – Acoustic bass | Michael Jefry Stevens – Steinway Grand Piano. Recorded on October 22, 2009 at the Upper Silesan Centre of Culture in Katowice, Poland / Jazz Club Hipnoza. Recorded by Marcin Chlebowski. Edited and mastered by Jon Rosenberg. Produced by Joe Fonda and Andrzej Kalinowski. Continue reading

Gebhard Ullmann | Michael Jefry Stevens | Joe Fonda | George Schuller | Conference Call | What About…? | Not Two Records

One of the finest improvising units working today Conference Call is a complete band, capable of touching all the jazz bases, be they individual or group improvisation, or the performance of composed music. The quintet’s sixth release, What About…? is a two-disc session from the band’s 10th anniversary tour, and was recorded live at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland.– Mark Corroto – All About Jazz Continue reading

Jacek Kochan | Joe Fonda | Franz Hautzinger | Tellef Ogrim | musicConspiracy | Do I The In? | Not Two Records

This was recorded live at Alchemia in Cracow in September of 2007 and has excellent sound. I had not heard of Polish drum wiz, Jacek Kochan, before we got a half dozen discs of his from Not Two & Gowi. After reviewing a few of them I was impressed with his playing, arranging and the varied personnel on each disc. This new disc also has an inspired line-up of musicians from Austria (FH), Norway (TO), Poland (JK) and the US (JF). Each player has contributed two pieces as well as three great groups improvisations. Starting with Joe Fonda’s “Song for My Mother”, the rhythm team hits their stride quickly with some twisted fretless guitar and Miles-like electric trumpet up front. What is great here is how well the guitar and electric trumpet play together and sound similar. On “Golden Angel”, the bowed bass, el. guitar and mutant trumpet seem to complete each other’s line as they swerve around one another and bend their notes close. The band swings hard on “Feed the Hamster” with Franz taking that great Electric Miles-like tone and squeezing it higher. The ever-incredible Joe Fonda sounds splendid throughout as his bass buzzes underneath all of the action, creating a tight connection with Jacek’s uplifting drums. All four of these musicians are play wonderfully throughout, exchanging ideas, tossing riffs back and forth and consistently surprising us with their tight, interconnected tapestry. Another outstanding disc from the folks at Not Two. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading

The Nu Band | The Dope and The Ghost | Live in Vienna | Not Two Records

Formed as a collaborative venture in 2000 The Nu Band consisting of Mark Whitecage on alto saxophone and clarinet, Lou Grassi on drums, Roy Campbell on trumpet and flugelhorn and Joe Fonda on bass explores in a very interesting way the intersection of mainstream and free jazz. It is clear that the musicians have a great respect for the jazz tradition and use that as a springboard for their compositions and improvisations on this album. “Lower East Side Blues” opens the album with a strong and deep performance, with the soloing and ensemble playing marking a fertile and earthy feel . . . This was a well played and thoroughly enjoyable album of progressive jazz that is quite accessible. The music is both thoughtful and exciting and the musicians involved have a deep sense of the jazz tradition without being beholden to it. — Tim Niland. Music and More Continue reading

The Fonda – Stevens Group | Trio | Not Two Records

This is the tenth disc from the great Fonda/Stevens Group, but it is the first one to feature them as a trio. This disc was recorded live at The Alchemia in Krakow, Poland in April of 2006. I was intrigued to see that this is a rare trio date for these three musicians who have been playing together for some 20+ years, but rarely as a trio. There is no leader in the trio, as each member is integral to their sound and explorations. “Soon to Know” (by Mr. Fonda) seems to feature the amazing Joe Fonda, whose bass is central to the way this trio expands and contracts and moves. There is a constant throb going on, with the piano and drums slowly swirling around him majestically. Mr. Stevens’ “The Search” has a delightful theme that is difficult to forget, with Michaels’ piano playing dreamy, elegant waves that fade into the distance. Joe begins “Andrea” by plucking his strings in a unique way, making way for Michael’s exquisite piano – the piece is quite lovely and sublime. “From The Source” features Michael’s piano playing flurries of notes as Joe holds down the center until the trio starts swirling quickly together, the tempo speeding up and slowing down together. Throughout this disc, one gets the feeling that this trio has been together for a long time since they consistently flow together as one formidable force. Joe Fonda’s bass continues to blow me away as he reaches for the impossible and achieves what he strives to do. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery. Continue reading

The Nu Band | Live in Paris | No Buiness Records

The release of this, our fifth album, coincides with the tenth anniversary of our first concert together, in Philadephia in 2000. Thanks to all the friends, fans, promoters, and producers who have made it possible for us to continue playing, recording, and touring together all these years. It’s a privilege and pleasure for us and we look forward to sharing the next decade with all of you. — The Nu Band Continue reading