Basho Records - Contemporary JazzBASHO RECORDS


Julian Siegel Trio - Live at the Vortex


JULIAN SIEGEL (reeds) JOEY BARON (drums) AND GREG COHEN (double bass)




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Label Basho Records
Release Date: 10th November 2008
Title "Live at the Vortex”
Artist Julian Siegel
Catalogue Number SRCD 26-2

1 Atlantic 10.00
2 Wigsworld 9.20
3 Alfie 8.11
4 Stop Go Man 7.57
5 Night at the Opera 6.26
Total time 42.01
1 Incantation #1 10.18
2 M.A.B. 5.58
3 Haunted Waltz 13.13
4 Sandpit 11.38
5 One Mint Julep 11.04
Total time 52.20


"This Trio is full of Music and Magic and will capture you as it did me with repeated listening..Bravo !!!" Joe Lovano
"Dazzling" Observer
“This latest trio project seems once again to have struck gold" Jazzwise
“Kept an awestruck audience on tenterhooks” JazzUK
“Musical bliss” Birmingham Post

This CD is the long awaited live sessions recorded at the Vortex in London in January 2007 during a sell-out tour of the UK, which proved hugely popular with both audiences and press. The trio originally came together as a result of a major commission from the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in 2006, but has developed into a real meeting of musical minds who enjoy each other’s company. Siegel and the ace downtown New York rhythm section of Greg Cohen (double bass) and Joey Baron (drums) create real fireworks and provide a perfect setting for fresh improvisations and great dialogue between the musicians, who between them share an impressive CV. The album will be released on Basho Records on 9th November 2008 as Basho’s first double CD – “Live at the Vortex”. To celebrate the release, the trio will tour the UK again in January 2009. Thanks are due to Jazz Services who have generously funded the project and to the Vortex Jazz Club who will be hosting the band for two nights to celebrate the launch.

This classic Saxophone - Bass - Drums line-up is the perfect setting to see Julian Siegel "That lissom, free -wheeling saxophonist... his wailing, swerving lines burst with character" John Fordham, The Guardian.

Julian Siegel has played with Hermeto Pascoal, Bill Frisell, Andrew Hill, Partisans, Django Bates and Steve Lacy; Greg Cohen has played with Ornette Coleman’s Quartet, John Zorn, Lee Konitz and has been featured on many of Tom Waits classic Records; Joey Baron has played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, the Bill Frisell band, John Taylor and John Scofield to name a few.

Julian Siegel received the award for Best Instrumentalist in the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards.

JULIAN SIEGEL Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet

"A world class saxophonist" Jazz UK

Julian Siegel has become one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the European Jazz scene today, working with many of the top figures in the music. He has just been awarded the BBC Jazz Award 2007 for Best Instrumentalist. Besides his trio, Julian’s current bands are Partisans, co-led for the last 10 years with guitarist Phil Robson, and the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble. He played with the Anglo-American Big Band of the legendary US pianist and composer Andrew Hill. In 2004 he toured the UK with Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal UK Big Band. He has performed with Django Bates Delightful Precipice, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone and Robert Mitchell, Gwilym Simcock, Byron Wallen's Octet featuring Tony Kofi, Jason Yarde's 'Acoutastic Bombastic', Mark Lockheart's Big Idea, Colin Towns, the NDR Big Band, Stan Sulzmann's Big Band, Larry Bartley's Septet, and Hans Koller New Memories Band, which recorded in December 2003 with soprano saxophone legend Steve Lacy.
He regularly guests with Django Bates' Human Chain and Quiet Nights + the Smith Quartet, most recently at the Venice Biennale Festival 2003, Umea Festival in Sweden and the Sarajevo and Belfast Jazz Festivals in 2004. He plays with Dexter Gordon's long time pianist Kirk Lightsey's Quartet, the Jazz Jamaica Big Band, Julian Arguelles Octet, Ingrid Laubrock Band and the Dave Green Trio.

At the Ruhr Trenniale festival 2006 he worked with NYC performance artist/violinist Laurie Anderson and pianist/singer-songwriter Steve Nieve. The band also featured Drummer Kenny Wollesen, cellist Vincent Segal and bassist Greg Cohen.

He has also performed with Beverley Knight, Joe Lee Wilson, Eddi Reader, Charlene Spiteri, Jacqueline Dankworth, Lizz Wright, Juliet Roberts, Keziah Jones, Liane Carroll, Cleo Laine, Terri Walker, Christine Tobin, Anita Wardell, Craig David and punk rock legend Steve Ignorant (formerly of Crass).
Julian recently featured in a major UK tour with the Mike Gibbs Big Band, to celebrate Mike’s 70th birthday, alongside a world-class line-up of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic including Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum.
Julian performs his own compositions with Partisans, co-led and written for by guitarist Phil Robson, featuring Thaddeus Kelly and Gene Calderazzo "the highlight of the 2003 Cheltenham International Jazz Festival" (The Guardian). This gig featured special guest, U.S. guitarist Wayne Krantz.

He is currently touring a set of new music with the Julian Siegel Quartet, featuring Liam Noble, Oli Hayhurst and Gene Calderazzo. “Virtuoso post-bop quartet” John Fordham, The Guardian

GREG COHEN Double Bass

Greg Cohen is a linchpin of the NYC Downtown music scene. He played in Ornette Coleman's award winning ‘Sound Grammar’ Quartet and he is featured on many well known recordings including Dave Douglas' 'Charms of the Night Sky', John Zorn's 'Masada' with Joey Baron and Dave Douglas and the Masada String Trio with Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander, the Hal Wilmer production 'Weird Nightmare - Meditations on Mingus' alongside Henry Threadgill, Elvis Costello, Geri Allen and Bill Frisell. He has also played with The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Susana Baca, Norah Jones, Tricky, Ken Peplowski, and Woody Allen and on the LA scene Teddy Edwards. He has been a mainstay on Tom Waits' albums since 1980's, 'Heartattack and Vine', 'Swordfish trombones', 'Rain Dogs' and 'Frank's Wild Years'.
His rich bass sound and arranging skills have been heard on the soundtrack to many great movies including 'The Big Lebowski', 'One from the Heart', and 'Million Dollar Hotel.'
In March 2006 he was Musical director in a concert of the Alfred Hitchcock film music of Bernard Hermann, Nightmare Romance featuring Marty Ehrlich and Bill Frisell at the Barbican, London. In August/September 2006 he was Musical director of the Century of Song series at the German arts festival Ruhr Triennale. He invited songwriters and performers such as David Byrne, Holly Cole and Laurie Anderson
He has released two albums under his own name, 'Way Low' and 'Moment to Moment', both on the DIW Label.


Besides being a member of the Bill Frisell Band for ten years until 1995 as featured on the seminal recordings 'Where in The World', 'Have a Little Faith' and 'Look Out for Hope', Joey Baron has also recorded and performed with an impressive list of musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, John Scofield notably on 'Grace Under Pressure' with Charlie Haden, Big Joe Turner, Joe Lovano's 'Trio Fascination', Carmen McRae and Laurie Anderson. His current bands include KILLER JOEY with Brad Shepik - guitar, Steve Cardenas - guitar, Tony Scherr - bass, Joey has lead his own trios, one with John Medeski and Marc Ribot; and BARONDOWN which featured Ellery Eskelin (saxophone) and Josh Roseman (trombone). Barondown recorded three albums - Crackshot (Avant), RAIsed Pleasure Dot (New World) and Tongue in Groove (JMT). He also co-leads the group "Miniature" (with Tim Berne and Hank Roberts) and was a member of "Naked City" (with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith and Wayne Horvitz) and of Zorn's group Masada (Dave Douglas and Greg Cohen). He also has recorded and toured with his band Down Home with Arthur Blythe, Bill Frisell, and Ron Carter as featured on the Records 'Down Home' and 'We'll soon find out'.

"Is there anything Joey Baron can't do? Put a tricky chart in front of him, and he'll clarify complicated passages like a great actor doing Shakespeare. Turn him loose on simpler forms, and his witty phrasing and impossibly deep groove will make you smile almost as widely as he does whenever he's seated at the kit."
Modern Drummer (Feb. 2001)

23/01/2009 Ray Comisky, The Irish Times 4 stars****

Live at the Vortex (2 CDs) Basho ****

Caught during a UK tour in 2007, this trio’s flexibility and mutual responsiveness are remarkable. Among the great characteristics shared by bassist Greg Cohen, drummer Joey Baron and leader Siegel (whose exceptional tenor, clarinet and bass clarinet do much for the group’s texture and colour) is a razor-sharp ability to pick up on found cues and ideas and take a performance in fresh directions in terms of mood, rhythm and how freely they handle the original material. Siegel’s originals and tenor have some of the quirky wit, imagination and authority of Sonny Rollins (although Lovano might be a closer influence), Baron’s musicality is stunning, and Cohen is brilliant. When they put their stamp, jointly and individually, on Siegel’s Atlantic , Haunted Waltz and the tour de force Sandpit , as well as Bacharach’s Alfie , it’s jazz at close to its inventive best.


09/01/2009 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars****

This powerful international trio, led by UK reeds-player Siegel and featuring sometime Ornette Coleman bass partner Greg Cohen and New York downtown drummer Joey Baron, starts a UK tour next week. This double album (all Siegel originals apart from a radical remake of Alfie and a smokily bluesy One Mint Julep) was recorded at London's Vortex in January 2007. It triumphs in the tricky pursuit of making an unplugged horn-led trio sound varied (helped greatly by Siegel's rich resources on clarinets as well as tenor sax), and is a spectacular flyer for the upcoming gigs. Siegel's tenor inventiveness (reflecting, among many things, Coleman's dancing phrasing, the unflurried melody-building of Warne Marsh and the tonal range of Joe Lovano) is teased by Cohen's melodic twists and racing four-four pulse, and by Baron's fizzing cymbal-patterns and peremptory rimshots. The tunes are mostly strong (from Siegel's dark and rugged Atlantic to the captivating rhythm-shifting swinger Stop Go Man, the frisky MAB or the abstract Haunted Waltz), and the appetite for adventure of all three players means that almost every piece has an intriguingly evolving, spontaneous narrative.


01/12/2008 Andy Robson, Jazzwise 4 Stars ****

This may be Basho’s first live and first double album but it only takes a bar or so to understand why they were keen to break those ducks with this special release. Siegel doesn’t always project as the most assertive of tenor men – The Partisans, or as a willing sideman has seen much of his best witty, delicate, intellectual (but never dry) work. But, in the esteemed company or Baron and Cohen (a shame Siegel’s not monikered Sacha ‘cos it could have been the Sacha Baron Cohen trio), Siegel, far from being overawed beside such US jazz royalty, blossoms and blooms.
Part of Siegel’s inspiration came from listening to the bass/drum duo with Lee Konitz on Some New Stuff, and there is something of Konitz’s lightness of touch, sense of space and Debussy-like impressionism in Siegel: all qualities a tenor’s not readily recognised for. What’s more, the band has been recorded to catch every buzz on the bass or key pad flap, giving us the sense we’re eavesdropping on the trio. Not that this is stiff necked, musos only, chamber stuff. ‘One Mint Julep’ swings and wallops as much as ‘Incantation No.1’ sighs and meditates, ‘Haunted Waltz’ is a mad Austrian tea dance car crashed into a free jam, Stop Go Man’ summons Mingus even as ‘Alfie’ evokes, er, Michael Caine. Overall this is 90 minutes of virtuosic music but carried through with a verve and sense of fun that seduces you back over and again for repeated listening. Siegel, the quiet man, has stepped up to the plate and delivered big time, jokes and all. Who needs Borat.  


28/11/2008 Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman 4 stars****

SAXOPHONIST Julian Siegel won the Best Instrumentalist category at the BBC UK Jazz Awards in 2007, and this two-CD set alongside with New York-based musicians Greg Cohen (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) will add further lustre to his reputation. Saxophone trio is a very exposed environment, but all three musicians respond to the challenges in exhilarating fashion.

Siegel is an inventive and unorthodox musical thinker, and the two Americans – well used to playing without the harmonic support of piano or guitar, not least in John Zorn's great Masada quartet – respond to the energy and serpentine melodic logic of his improvisations in equally imaginative fashion.

Eight tunes by Siegel and cover versions of Alfie and One Mint Julep are given extended and absorbing treatments, although both the writing and their freewheeling musical interplay may prove a little oblique and abstract for some tastes. 


17/11/2008 The Telegraph

Can the austere sound of a piano-less jazz trio really hold our interest over a double album of 94 minutes? Yes, if the players are as brilliant and nimble-fingered as these. The chemistry between sax player and composer Julian Siegel, drummer Joey Baron and bass player Greg Cohen is almost uncanny.

14/11/2008 Al Brownlee, Manchester Evening News ****

Jazz as it should be – captured on the wing. Two nights at The Vortex are spread over two CDs. Clearly these were immortal events. Brit saxophonist Julian Siegel is in great form, insouciant and free, and the mid-Atlantic rhythm team of Joey Baron and Greg Cohen respond to every move. Odd that the music should be so fresh, when it’s so firmly cast in the Coleman/Dolphy School of Improv By Inner Logic, over half a century old now. Siegel is a player of unshowy virtuosity – he strips the music down to the melodic essence. His tone is dry and full voiced. The detail of the recording is vivid, and captures more than human ear could discern at the gig itself.  


01/10/2008 Joe Lovano

"This Trio is full of Music and Magic and will capture you as it did me with repeated listening..Bravo !!!"  


2009 DATES


Candelriggs, Glasgow G1 1NQ
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31a Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PD.
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19/20 LONDON, VORTEX JAZZ CLUB 8.45 p.m.
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