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

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

Harvey Sorgen | Steve Rust | Michael Jefry Stevens | Decade | Not Two Records

Over the past 35 years Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens has been associated with some of the most important figures in modern jazz. Beginning with his first CD release in 1991 as a member of Mark Whitecage’s Liquid Time Group, Mr. Stevens has been in the forefront of the NYC improvised music scene. Between 1988-1990 he co-led the now legendary “Mosaic Sextet” with Dave Douglas. This group included Mark Feldman on violin, Michael Rabinowitz on bassoon, and the rhythm section of Harvey Sorgen on drums and Joe Fonda on bass. Their “Today This Moment” CD release on Konnex Records and re-release on GM Recordings is considered one of the classic modern jazz recordings of the 1990’s. This rhythm section went on to become the nucleus for Mr. Stevens working quartet the Fonda/Stevens Group. Since the quartet’s inception in 1993, the Fonda/Stevens Group has released 10 cds, repeatedly toured Europe and is one of the premier working modern jazz groups on the international scene. Mr. Stevens also began a very fruitful and fulfilling relationship with Leo Records with his duo “Haiku” CD release in 1994, featuring Mark Feldman on violin. These piano/violin improvisations proved to be a pivotal link between Mr. Stevens work in both the composed and improvised music worlds. Mr. Stevens has currently released nine cd’s on Leo Records, including “Elements” with bassist Dominic Duval, and “Twelve Improvisations” with the Fonda/Stevens Group. To date he has released over 60 cds.

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