Michael Jefry Stevens latest recording releases include:
“The Innocence of Spring” (live duo concert with saxophonist Don Aliquo) and The Mountain Chamber Jazz Ensemble’s “The Poet is in the House.”
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Direct inquiries to Michael Jefry Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Jefry Stevens
The music of Michael Jefry Stevens is well documented on over 100 recordings over the past 30 years. The Fonda/Stevens Group (Joe Fonda) has been together for close to 30 years. Conference Call Quartet with Gebhard Ullmann will be together 25 years in 2020. The Eastern Boundary Quartet which features Hungarian master musicians Mihaly Borbely and Balazs Bagyi has been together for over a decade. Other recent collaborations have included the Generations Quartet with Oliver Lake as well as the Core-tet with Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Saxophonist Don Aliquo has been described as a player “with an articulate flow of always surprising ideas, sophisticated with a dexterous technique and an incredibly smooth tenor sound that seduces rather than shouts.” Although his early influences are saxophonists John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Dexter Gordon, his recent playing also displays the influences of Lester Young, Stan Getz and Joe Henderson as well
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ANNOUNCING “The Innocence of Spring” BY Don Aliquo + Michael Jefry Stevens Live at Hinton Hall
The Innocence of Spring
(Live at Hinton Hall)
August 1, 2019
Recorded live at Middle Tennessee State University’s Hinton Hall, the release of The Innocence of Spring brings together two veterans of the US jazz scene in saxophonist Don Aliquo and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens.
In a live performance of raw improvisational clarity and sensitivity, inspiration from the jazz greats of years gone past is evident.
Not just in the modern, bebop, post-bop sound, but in the choice of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington tracks which enclose 7 original compositions.
On saxophone, Aliquo’s playing – “smooth as silk…with an unfailing feel for breath and phrasing” (All About Jazz) – combines delightfully with that of Michael Jefry Stevens, described by Cadence Jazz Magazine as “a sensitive pianist who ekes out droplets of sparkling gems or volumes of rushing waves…”
In an era where albums are often carefully constructed in a studio, this is a rare opportunity to hear two master improvisors at work live, complete with clapping, laughing & cheering from the audience at Hinton Hall.
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The music of Michael Jefry Stevens has been extensively recorded and reviewed.
Here are some quotes from various media and press:
“Stevens’ melodic sensibility shines through even the most free moments …”
John Sharpe, NYC Jazz Record
“Stevens probably does his most profound work as a composer … compositions flirt with intertwining Jazz, Blues, so-called classical and band music without fully plunging into the Third Stream.”
Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
“The continuous changes of mood and texture, from rhapsodic to Dadaist to wistful, are stunning, and only broken when the listener has to change CDs …”
Nathan Turk, Signal to Noise
“Stevens’ compositions apply the brass in a few different ways … strategies that feel closer to classical experiments … puts the horns in a slow, reverent mood — think of the closing credits to a film, with some piano in a jazz “color” to brighten the scene … What’s surprising is the quietude that lingers …”
Wedge Radio, KZSU-FM, Stanford University
“Anyone remotely interested “creative improvised music” (aka jazz) that intersects with the Classical aesthetic should take the time to listen closely to pianist Michael Jefry Stevens’ latest release Brass Tactics. Stevens is a thinking man’s player mostly known for his work in The Fonda/Stevens Group (see Folk Five) and Conference Call, as well as leading his own groups …”
Budd Kopman, All About Jazz