Posts Tagged ‘pirouet’

Acclaimed Bassist/Composer Drew Gress Ends Five Year Recording Hiatus With ‘The Sky Inside’ (Pirouet)

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Out July 2013,  And Featuring Longstanding Quintet

With Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Craig Taborn & Tom Rainey

It’s a dream group. Five musicians who have worked with the major players in jazz and in the process have themselves become a part of the Jazz Elite. On listening to this recording you are immediately taken by the beauty and expressive depth of this classic modern jazz lineup—trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums—notice that it’s alto saxophone rather than tenor saxophone, and the leader is the bassist. In other words, a musician out of the rhythm section pulls the strings. And he’s the one that holds it all together. Drew Gress was born in 1959 in New Jersey, and is one of the most sought-after bassists on the New York scene, anchoring the groups of John Abercrombie, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Tim Berne, Marc Copland, Tim Hagans, and Bill Carrothers  The title of his new Pirouet album,The Sky Inside, could also be the program for this recording. The compositions are Gress’ own, and they stake out a wide horizon of sound impressions and atmospherics. Here he continues to reveal his own strong, prominent profile as composer and leader, as evidenced on 2008’s Irrational Numbers, 2005’s 7 Black Butterflies, and 2001’s Spin and Drift, all on Premonition Records.

photo6Assembling this group wasn’t an accident. Gress brought these five together out of the New York jazz scene’s inner circle. Two of the players are partners with Drew in a trio formed at the end of the 1990’s: saxophonist Tim Berne (born in 1954), and drummer Tom Rainey (born in 1957). They named the group Paraphrase . Gress has also worked with trumpeter Ralph Alessi (born in 1963) over the years on a variety of projects. Gress is also the bassist in the star-studded quintet co-lead by Alessi and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Pianist Craig Taborn (born in 1970) has received kudos in Downbeat over the last years. He had already worked with Tim Berne in 2001, and has appeared with Gress on a number of recordings. These are musicians who have a mutual trust, musicians who belong to the highest level of international jazz, and are among of the most in-demand players on their respective instruments. (more…)

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