Peter Margasak

Peter’s Contributions


December 2001    Albums

Amen: Improvisations on Messiaen
Keith Yaun Quartet

Jazz history is peppered with well-intentioned attempts to improvise on classical music, from the Modern Jazz Quartet's elegant spin on Bach to pianist Uri Caine's recent po-mo pummeling of Mahler. The highly idiosyncratic work of the great French composer...


November 2001    Hearsay

Ted Sirota

Drummer Ted Sirota traffics in musical diversity. On the superb Vs. the Forces of Evil (Naim), the third album by the Chicagoan’s group Rebel Souls, he tackles a dazzling variety of material, from the reggae-fueled “Tubby” to the Ornette Coleman-tinged “Dig...


September 2001    Albums

Tom Beckham

Vibist Tom Beckham is a recent addition to the Fresh Sound New Talent stable, and his debut session, Suspicions, delivers a solid dose of clear-eyed hard bop. Joined by a superb trio of fellow Berklee chums and Fresh Sound regulars-saxophonist Chris Cheek...


September 2001    Albums

Polaroid Memory
Sebastian Weiss Trio

German pianist Sebastian Weiss moved to New York in 1997 to study with the late Jaki Byard-the expat currently works with guitarist Rodney Jones-but on his debut album, Polaroid Memory, a much stronger stylistic signpost is Bill Evans' pretty introspection...

September 2001    Albums

Speak, Memory
Roberta Piket Trio

Evans also turns up as a key influence on pianist Roberta Piket's Speak, Memory, a trio recording that features bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Jeff Williams. And as with Weiss, her light touch and highly lyrical approach benefit from the dynamic execution...

September 2001    Albums

A New Beginning
Paul Norris Quintet

Trumpeter Alex Norris was introduced to Fresh Sound honcho Jordi Pujol by pianist George Colligan, another part of the label's roster and a former high-school trumpeter who grew up envying Norris' skills. On Norris' debut album, A New Beginning, he presents...


September 2001    Albums

Variations on a Summer Day
Frank Carlberg featuring Christine Correa

Pianist Frank Carlberg features a vocalist, Christine Correa, on his Variations on a Summer Day, but she's much more integral to the collection, a cycle of tunes that set Wallace Stevens' poetry to music. Correa's performance veers toward somber abstraction...


September 2001    Albums

In Metropolitan Motion
Ben Waltzer

Pianist Ben Waltzer's In Metropolitan Motion, his third offering for the label, is a strong release. His music is both probing and calm; tunes like "Bass Line" and "The Blonde Bedouin" deliver a honeyed melancholy melodically, while settling into an imperturbable...


July/August 2001    Albums

Listen To The Band
Orrin Evans

With his latest album the superb pianist Orrin Evans has eschewed the tightly programmed approach he's employed in putting together his previous recordings on Criss Cross in favor of a bandstand-oriented strategy. In his liner notes he emphasizes the word...


June 2001    Hearsay

Baikida Carroll

“The essence of what we do is improvisation,” says trumpeter Baikida Carroll of jazz musicians. “That means you’re supposed to be making stuff up every night. To constantly do that throughout the years you have to bring in new elements, new sources to pull...


May 2001    Hearsay

Roy Campbell

Pyramid Trio, one of several groups fronted by New York trumpeter Roy Campbell, relies heavily on quicksilver intuition to bring its leader’s world-music-flavored tunes to life, and that sort of fluid interaction literally drips from the speakers when the...


May 2001    Albums

An Hour With…
Clusone 3

Clusone 3-the hyper-malleable Dutch trio of drummer Han Bennink, cellist Ernst Reijseger and reedist Michael Moore-disbanded not long after giving the March, 1998, concert that fills this 62-minute hour because, as John Corbett's liner notes state, it had...


May 2001    Albums

Axel Dörner/Fred Lonberg-Holm/Michael Zerang

It's not unusual for free-improvisation sessions to feature extended experiments with pure sound, but rarely is such a task approached with the sort of delightful playfulness that distinguishes Claque, a dynamic meeting between Germany's Axel Dorner and...


May 2001    Albums

Live at the Bunker
Fonda-Stevens Group

A wonderfully inclusive quartet date-recorded live in Germany in 1999-that makes no fuss over its broad range; whether tackling pianist Michael Jefry Steven's gorgeous, richly lyrical ballad "For Us" or leaping into the freedom of bassist Joe Fonda's open...


May 2001    Albums

Scattered Clouds
Anthony Ortega Trio

Saxophonist Anthony Ortega is one of the most original, peripatetic postbop players to emerge from California; he's also one of the least known. His career spans more than 50 years; he played with a young Eric Dolphy during bop-era jam sessions on L.A.'s...


April 2001    Albums

The Magic Line
Scott Colley

In the last few years Scott Colley has become one of New York's most desired bassists, offering superb, expertly restrained support to combos led by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill and Greg Osby, among others. While eight of the 11 compositions...

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About Peter Margasak