A Pouting Grimace is the audacious new release from pianist/composer Matt Mitchell, whose prior release Vista Accumulation (Pi 2015) The New York Times calls “a bold signature” that “simmers with deep intensity.” Not only is he one of the most in-demand pianists in jazz – Mitchell plays in bands such as Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse, the Dave Douglas Quintet, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Jonathan Finlayson’s Sicilian Defense, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Birdcalls, and David Binney’s Quartet — he has established himself as a composer of bold distinction. Substantial in scope, the album, which features twelve musicians: five woodwinds, four percussionists, harp, bass, and the leader on piano, Prophet 6, and electronics, weaves an intricate web of off-kilter rhythms and logical frenzy. Produced by the acclaimed guitarist/composer David Torn, the work is completely beyond genre, a daring tour de force that headily mines the interstice between precision-plotted compositions and the thrill of improvisation.
Phalanx Ambassadors is the latest release from pianist/keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell, whom Will Layman in PopMatters calls “the most complete and well-integrated improvising pianist of the last 15 years.” He also called his prior release, A Pouting Grimace (Pi 2017), “brilliant and varied… animated by breathtaking compositional imagination and startling arrangements.” Phalanx Ambassadors similarly features works that burst forth with intricate detail, featuring precise execution of multi-layered rhythmic material, adventurous harmonic exploration and otherworldly melodies. While rigorously structured, the music also leaves ample room for intertwining improvisation.
This three CD boxed set features a number of live recordings of Joni from concerts and sessions recorded for FM Broadcast in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Starting with a number of live cuts from shows she performed in the mid to late 1960s, her full set from the Newport Folk Festival in 1968, and a couple more cuts recorded in the early 1970s, Disc One provides an excellent introduction to the girl s live material from that early era. Moving on to Disc Two we are now in the early 1980s.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. These two musicians usually make any date that they're a part of a success and this rare duo date together is no exception. Jones' effortlessly swinging style is matched beautifully by the bassist's imaginative lines. The material is all very familiar, from the easygoing "Gone With the Wind" to a percolating "Wee" and the absolute show-stopping run through "I'll Remember April," which finds both men at a creative peak. It's a pity they didn't record a follow up to this very enjoyable session, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio.