Tiny Reviews: Dave Phillips, Gunhild Seim, Matt Otto, Amadablam Quartet, & Studnitzky

Tiny Reviews edition!

Featured album: Dave Phillips & Freedance Confluence.

Plus:  Gunhild Seim & Time Jungle Elephant Wings, Matt Otto Broken Waltz, Amadablam Quartet London-Samarcande, & Studnitzky KY Do Mar.



Dave Phillips & Freedance – Confluence

Dave Phillips - "Confluence"Interesting release by bassist Dave Phillips.  On Confluence, he shifts between two phases… a mildly dissonant post-bop and a folk-influenced mainstream jazz… and never completely shrugs off one while focusing on the other.  The result makes for an appetizing bit of contrast between divergent sounds made to sit at the same table.

The album doesn’t reveal much of this in the beginning, instead spends its time establishing a strong post-bop foundation.  Even absent the folk brush strokes that, later, make this such an intriguing album, Phillips offers a solid set of tunes with both feet in Jazz territory.  But the fun really begins with third track “Cricket Song,” with its galloping tempo blended with a countryside ease, mostly bought about with Abbasi’s acoustic guitar and a dynamic percussive element.  A track like “RT,” which brings a stronger Jazz presence via piano and bass contributions counterbalances it with some rustic sax, guitar, and drum sections.  “Gathering Rain” is all moody, with gentle guitar and arco bass, the soft murmur of sax and whisper of drums… a folk tune that dreams of being a post-bop ballad one day.

An album which generates some excitement via inventive compositions, and, also, promising signs of what might come next.

Your album personnel:  Dave Phillips (bass), Rez Abbasi (guitars), John O’Gallagher (alto sax), Tony Moreno (drums), Jon Werking (piano), and Glen Fitten (percussion).

Released on the Innova Recordings label.

Jazz from the Bronxville, NY scene.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: CD | MP3


Other Albums of Interest:


Gunhild Seim Tim Jungle – Elephant Wings

Gunhild Seim - "Elephant Wings"Beautiful quintet date, with trumpeter Gunhild Seim collaborating with pianist Marilyn Crispell.  Best part is the constant interaction between Seim tendency to soar and Crispell’s tendency to scramble. Creates a tension that serves the album well.

Your album personnel:  Gunhild Seim (trumpet), Marilyn Crispell (piano), Arild Hoem (alto sax), John Lilja (double bass), and Dag Magnus Narvesen (drums).

Stream the album on Seim’s soundcloud page.

The album is Self-Produced, released on Seim’s Drollehola Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Matt Otto – Broken Waltz

Matt Otto - "Broken Waltz"Album with an easy sway, even as it takes asynchronous steps.  Saxophonist Matt Otto leads a sextet through a series of tunes that drift way more than they groove, which lets the bass clarinet use its nuanced range and lets Rhodes try something a little different.  Neat album, especially for a debut album.

Your album personnel:  Matt Otto (soprano, tenor sax), Brian Walsh (bass clarinet), Leonard Thompson (Rhodes), Jason Harnell (drums), David J. Carpenter (bass), and Sara Gazarek (vocals).

The album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Kansas City, Missouri scene.

Available at eMusic.


Amadablam Quartet – London-Samarcande

Amadablam Quartet - "London-Samarcande"Amadablam Quartet is a moody piano trio plus one member who casts ripples of electronics and effects throughout their tunes.  Haunting at times, catchy at others.  Sometimes the sampling gets a bit intrusive, but overall adds some nice texture.

Your album personnel: Roland Favre (piano), Benoit Converset (bass), Julien Aubert (electronics & effects), and Luc Berney (drums).

Stream the entire album on the artist bandcamp page.

The album is Self-Produced.

Available at eMusic.


Studnitzky – KY Do Mar

Studnitzky - "KY Do Mar"The music of Studnitzky is lite and atmospheric, with effects not unlike a Nils Petter Molvaer recording.  Breathy languid trumpet, drifting piano lines, some twangy guitar, intermittent thump from drums interspersed between steady pulse tapping.  Peaceful music. Unlikely to blow anybody away, but a likable recording.

Your album personnel:  Sebastien Studnitzky (trumpet, keyboards), Paul Kleber (bass), Tommy Baldu (drums), and Andreas Hourdakis (guitar).

Released on the Sonar Kollektiv label.

Available at eMusic.



The Dave Phillips review is original to Bird is the Worm, but portions of the other reviews were originally used in my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ and “New Arrivals Jazz Picks“ reprints courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2012  eMusic.com, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.  Cheers.