Ron Welburn

Ron’s Contributions

May 1999    Albums

Mark Whitecage 4Tet & Joseph Scianni Trio

Whitecage and Scianni honor the integrity of improvisation while allowing the fancifully irrepressible and the humorous the most mileage. They and their cohorts apply technique to depiction; Whitecage and cellist Tomas Ulrich portray the insect roar of...


May 1999    Albums

Orange Then Blue
Orange Then Blue

The orchestra Orange Then Blue (the name is derived from a Mingus title) recorded these nine tracks between May 1985 and March 1986 for its first LP release. Four recordings later its growing stature encouraged issuing it in CD format. You'll find spirited...


May 1999    Albums

Solitude in the Crowd
Barry Ries

James Aerbersold has recorded veteran trumpeter-drummer Barry Ries's highly successful mid-forties leader debut. From Cincinnati to North Texas State, the Apple, Miami to Boston, you may recall Ries with Silver, Hampton, Machito, and in the studios with...

March 1999    Albums

Scratching the Surface
Ron Brown/Lou Grassi Quartet

There was a time in the early post-Coleman days of the "new thing" that even its devotees felt more performance editing would save the music from burnout. The prominence of long pyrotechnical solos in the overtone series became challenged by carefully constructed...

March 1999    Albums

North Story
Misha Alperin

Pianist Alperin's eight compositions (of nine), performed by his quintet including tenor and french horn doubling flugelhorn, are stark and terse realizations, owing much to Bartok and Brubeck. His own piano solos suggest a composed quality beneath their...


December 1998    Albums

Gilson Schachnik

Sao Paolo's Gilson Schachnik plays sturdy piano, sensitive to harmonic turnbacks and reveling in the material's lyrical evocations. While I'm amused that he's hyped as "an artist for the 21st century," there's no denying his command of eclectic resources...


November 1998    Albums

Even Your Ears
Richard Grossman Trio

This trio with bassist Ken Faliano and drummer Alex Cline coordinated with pianist Grossman for these first-time isssued tracks recorded in 1990 (4-6) and just before his demise in 1992 (1-3). All three were associated via 9Winds, and here they explore and...


January/February 1998    Albums

The Voice Of The Saxophone
Don Braden

An outstanding feature of this CD's packaging is the lengthy annotation by Benny Golson, perfect sense that an elder statesman tenor saxophonist- composer-arranger would support a younger giant this way. Braden displays his huge sound and visceral approach...


January/February 1998    Albums

Balkan Blue
Dusko Goykovich

Compositional derivations distinguish this two-CD set's music, and this isn't terribly unpleasant given the choices available for trumpeter Goykovich and his cohorts. "A Night in Skopje" features consistent performances by a quintet and it opens with "Simona...


December 1997    Albums

Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 1
Jon Jang Octet

Containing parts two through six of his lengthy Immigrant Suite, Jon Jang's music addresses the degrading detentions experienced by Chinese at the Bay Area's Angel Island during 1910-1940, and most poignantly, the music and the singing and recitations by...


December 1997    Albums

Monkey: Part Two
Fred Ho and the Monkey Orchestra

I'm honored to discuss this CD. I found Fred Ho's Monkey: Part One a glorious surprise, and this second section of his musical setting for the trickster tale is no disappointment. The ensemble's personnel has few changes, notably Francis Wong as tenorist;...


December 1997    Albums

The Meltdown
Jonny King

Pianist and composer King defies neat classification since his eclectic stylings open the spectral varieties of versatile expression. Is he a chameleon? Consider how Chick Corea alternates his performance settings; King does so with a wider range, and there...


October 1997    Albums

Live in Europe
Dave Douglas/Tiny Bell Trio

Tiny Bell Trio is an apt name for this collective of trumpeter Dave Douglas, guitarist Brad Schoeppach, and drummer-percussionist Jim Black. Their forte is less the dynamics the name suggests but in how they render Douglas' music to exploit its fragmentary...


October 1997    Albums

The River
Ketil Biornstad and David Darling

You could say The Sea (ECM 1545) created The River from what pianist-composer Ketil Bjornstad describes as "a becalmed duo moment." With cellist David Darling joining him from that previous quartet, the duo's improvisations are inextricably in the ECM tradition...


October 1997    Albums

Hangin' Fire
David Sills

Tenor watchers may never let young David Sills forget his dreary and lackluster unaccompanied reading of "In A Sentimental Mood" at the end of an otherwise respectable debut CD-better it was not included. Even his quartet performance of "Chelsea Bridge...


October 1997    Albums

The Enchanted Messenger
Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra Featuring Bill Dixon

This 1994 Berliner Jazztage program conceptualized by Tony Oxley, primarily a drummer-percussionist and a Briton residing in Germany, is an acquired taste for the unsuspecting listener. Bill Dixon's breathy fragmented textures contribute to the astute navigation...

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About Ron Welburn