Dave Wayne

Dave Wayne

The first thing I thought when listening to “5000 Poems” the new recording from trombonist / composer Steve Swell and his 'Slammin' the Infinite' band was: “...good old Free Jazz!” This disc instantly transported me back to the late 1960s, when free jazz was really 'The New Thing,' and was really new - fresh and unencumbered by several decades worth of uninformed media baggage. 'Not Their Kind' opens “5000 Poems” with trombone and saxophone essaying a brief theme in a rush of splashy drums and C
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, Rich Halley has flourished into one of the world's very finest jazz tenor saxophonists. Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival is Halley's 11th as a leader, and his second with former Ornette sideman Bobby Bradford. The ace cornetist is a logical choice as a front-line partner – his cool, concise playing contrasts sharply with Halley's heated, note-intensive offerings. And though Halley's sound and approach to the horn clearly comes from the John Col
The seemingly endless parade of very worthwhile jazz recordings by artists I've never heard of continues with the Britton Brothers' debut CD, Uncertain Living. Ben and John Britton play the saxophone and trumpet, respectively, and have made a name for themselves in academic jazz circles while remaining relatively unknown to the jazz-listening public at large. “Uncertain Living” shows that the Brittons and their band are clearly ready for prime time – the playing here is marvelous and the writing
Guitarist and composer John Czajkowski's latest recording,“West ZooOpolis,” is one of the most unlikely projects I've encountered in quite some time. Equal parts progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion, and some other sort of undefined musical sub-genre, “West ZooOpolis” was conceived as a musical overlay to a 52-minute long, pre-recorded drum solo created by German drum virtuoso Marco Minnemann. For those of you who aren't familiar with Minnemann, he is possibly one of the greatest technical drum
Reedman and composer Ken Thomson is one busy dude. Besides his steady gigs with the edgy avant-jazz-rock group Gutbucket and the avant-garde marching band The Asphalt Orchestra and his affiliation with the Bang On A Can project, he's also a member of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, Brad Lubman's 'Signal,' Fire in July, the No Net Trio, and is a co-founder of the Anti-Social Music collective. And that's just a partial list! 'Slow / Fast' is Thomson's latest project, and composing, arranging
Though he is relatively new to the New York jazz scene, Memphis-born bassist Stephan Crump already has an impressively broad-minded musical resumé, having worked with (among others) blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald, ex-Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, singer-songwriter (and wife) Jen Chapin, saxophonist Greg Osby, and Gregg Bendian's Mahavishnu Project. His current primary gig is with the avant-jazz piano genius Vijay Iyer. Crump's own Rosetta Trio with acoustic g
Since arriving in the US a couple of decades ago, the Netherlands born-and-bred VW (van Wageningen) Brothers, drummer Paul and bassist Marc, have become two of the Bay Area's most respected and prolific session musicians. Their work can be heard on recordings by bands and artists such as Tower of Power, Henry Kaiser, George Duke, Jan Akkerman, Paul Winter, Sheila E. and Stan Getz, to name a few. For "Muziek," their debut CD, the VW Brothers have wisely chosen to work with a cohesive and stable b
Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff's American Rock Beauty extends and embellishes the music he presented on his previous artistShare release Afterburn. Leading a well-established, highly simpatico and cohesive backing band that, with the exception of new keyboardist Jon Cowherd, is the same as the one featured on Afterburn, Waldorff seems to take some more risks and ventures into somewhat heavier musical environments than he did on his previous release. That said, an appealing, friendly and bucoli
After listening repeatedly and closely to “Forty Fort,” I decided that the music of the wonderfully creative quartet Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDTK for short) is more 'cutting edge' than 'avant garde.' This distinction is important. Avant garde – while a completely appropriate term for many musical forms and styles - carries the connotation that one must be in a special state of mind, or have a certain sort of intellectual qualification, to truly appreciate the music. But the music o
Prana Trio is actually the duo of vocalist Sunny Kim and multi-percussionist Brian Adler. Their stunningly original CD, “The Singing Image of Fire,” is one of the best things I've heard in the music + poetry realm in many years. I was going to call this a 'spoken word' CD, but that would be really misleading as Kim truly sings the texts – mostly very ancient, and from a variety of sources including Rumi, Hafiz ( a 14th Century Iranian poet), Kabir (a 13th Century north Indian poet and saint), an