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Joe Fonda Interview, Jazzthetik

Joe Fonda Interview, Jazzthetik

Joe Fonda inerview April 2017, Jazzthetik, Germany

Joy Trio , to release first cd , in June 2017

Joe Fonda ,Jasmine Choi, Harvey Sorgen

Bud Kopman Picks Gernerations Quartet , Flow , Best release 2016

Budd Kopman's Best Releases of 2016

Of the seventy or so albums I was fortunate to review this year (with many still waiting in the wings), the releases below (in chronological order) are those that moved me the most and hence that I remember the clearest, even after a year. The quality of the music is uniformly high, and leaving something off this list was a bit difficult. Of course, reactions to music are completely subjective, so one man's gold is another's lead—your mileage may vary.

Michael Jefry Stevens: Flow

July 9, 2016

Michael Jefry Stevens: Flow

Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has been involved in many projects in his career over the past forty years. The Generations Quartet started out as a trio six years ago, consisting of Stevens with his long-time musical partner, bassist Joe Fonda and newcomer, drummer Emil Gross. The trio became a quartet with the addition of saxophonist (and Renaissance Man) Oliver Lake, perhaps best known for founding the World Saxophone Quartet with saxophonists David Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett.

Flow, the group's latest recording, is a smoking, full-bore live performance recorded at Bunker Ulmenwall in Bielefeld, Germany on October 30, 2015, that can only be described as demonstrating what modern "creative improvised music" is all about and how such music can tap into the heart and mind of the listening audience.

While the music is quite free, this is not "free" jazz, but rather compositions that have some combination of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structure which anchors each individual piece and provides the jumping-off point for the group improvisation.

In the notes, Stevens talks about how originally, young jazz musicians apprenticed with a master and learned by doing, noting that today, while this type of learning still exists, the majority of jazz education takes place in the classroom. Stevens then states his appreciation of being able to work with Lake for the past few years, and how Lake's "dedication, passion and intensity on the bandstand" affected his own playing and the experience of performing.

Of the set's seven pieces, two are by Lake ("Rollin'" and "Flow"), two by Fonda ("Me Without Bella" and "Read This") and three are by Stevens ("Mantra #2," "La Dirge de la Fleuer" and "Coda"). The album is not a set recorded straight through, but rather selected performances from two one-hour sets. Both "Rollin'" and "Flow" end with audience applause and cheers, with the former sounding like the end of a set.

In any case, the music is excellently recorded and the excitement is palpable from the first notes of the ominous and driving bass vamp of "Rollin.'" Fonda is an extremely strong bassist, with a deep, broad tone and drive second to none. Gross immediately shows why Stevens thinks so much of him; his rhythmic propulsion has many colors and he is very responsive to all around him. Stevens' playing balances Fonda by adding sharp chordal commentary to Lake's flights of fancy. Lake is not a "pretty" player, having a slightly acrid tone, and he can get quite free with squeals and such. However, everything he does fits and has a searching intelligence about it that ties the band together. The quartet is not merely front man and rhythm section, but a finely tuned group of strong individuals who combine to create a unique sound.

This exciting, intelligent sound continues with the longest tune, Fonda's "Me Without Bella." Taking its time, the six-minute introduction gradually leads to the tune proper, which has another driving bass vamp, amplified by spot-on drumming. The tension is almost unbearable as Lake and Stevens play the long-lined melody; this is the wonder of the unpredictability of jazz at its best.

Stevens' "Mantra #2" has lower energy initially, but its opening is full of drama and low-burn tension. The melody proper played over this is quite pretty, as is Lake's empathetic improvisation, which Stevens answers with simple elegance, leading ultimately to an enigmatic ending. "Flow" opens with solo Lake, eventually accompanied by the band. Tension and density build in this track which is freer than the others; however, lines, development and movement can most definitely be heard, making the title quite apt. Lake really takes off, with the band following after the midpoint, but again structure can be heard.

There is more of course, but more words will not increase understanding the impact of this music. Recording live, truly improvisatory jazz is somewhat paradoxical, but giving the rest of the world a chance to hear something of what the audience heard is to highly lauded. The Generations Quartet is an extraordinary group, creating in Flow music of power and grace. Fabulous!

Track Listing: Rollin'; Me Without Bella; Mantra #2; Flow; La Dirge de la Fleuer; Read This; Coda.

Personnel: Joe Fonda: bass; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Emil Gross: drums; Oliver Lake: saxophone.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: NotTwo Records | Style: Modern Jazz

Robert Bush Picks Joe Fonda Satoko Fujii recording , Duet as one the top Jazz Albums 2016

Satoko Fujii & Joe Fonda, “Duet” (Long Song Records 2016)
It’s hard to believe that these two haven’t been collaborating forever. The degree of intimate listening and deep exchange between Fujii’s piano and the woody, natural-sounding bass of Fonda is breathtaking. Unbelievably, this live album was only the second time they played.

Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/blogs/sounddiego/Robert-Bush-Top-10-Jazz-Albums-of-2016-406400525.html#ixzz4U1uT5FZb
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OGJB , Quartet records first cd for Tum Records

The OGJB Quartet, Oliver Lake, Grahm Haynes, Joe Fonda , Barry Altschul   recorded for Tum records  June  15 ,2016 . CD to to released in  May 2017 .

Joe Fonda Oliver Lake in Duo, May 15 2016 , NY NY

Joe Fonda Oliver Lake in Duo, May 15 2016 , NY NY

Joe Fonda and Oliver Lake in duo, May 15 2016, NY.

Joe Fonda Interview , Jazz Halo , By Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther


Bassists Joe Fonda , By Owen Mcnally


Generations Quartet, with Oliver Lake

Generations Quartet , with Oliver Lake , Joe Fonda, Michael Stevens , Emil Gross will release a live cd  in 2017 recorded during there October 2016 tour  . The recording was done at the Bunker in Bielefeld Germany on October 29th 2016 .

Joe Fonda,s ,10th Annual Composers and Improvisers Festival

Joe Fonda and the Nu Band will be releasing a new recording .

Joe Fonda and the Nu Band will be releasing a new recording dedicated to memory of Roy Campbel Jr. The cd will be released in April of 2015 on the Nottwo Record Label.

Fonda Stevens , records with Irek Wojtczak , In Warsaw Poland

The Fonda Stevens Group  recorded with Saxophonist composer Irek Wojtczak . The recording was done in July  in Warsaw Poland . The concept for the project was a reinterpertation of old Polish folks songs, that were rearranged by Erik . The cd is to be released in November of 2014 .

Joe Fonda, recording with pianist Karl Berger and drummer Harvey Sorgen

Joe Fonda recently  recorded with pianist Karl Berger and drummer Harvey Sorgen. The music was  composed by Karl Berger, and will  be released  under his own name in the fall of 2015 on Jon Zorns label, Tzidak . It was the most beautiful and challenging recording date of my musucal career.
Joe Fonda 

Joe Fonda's music featured on WMBR Radio, Boston Mass.

Joe Fonda's Music was featured on his  59 birthday, 12/16/2013 on WMBR Radio in Boston Mass. The DJ was saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase, the show is called research and development. Mr Kohlhase started the show by playing  music from Joe Fonda's first recording looking for the lake, Alarca Records. The broadcast  coverd a lot of material that  has been recorded from  1980, on up though 2013. Thank you Charlie. Joe

Joe Fonda , recording again with the Barry Altschul

Joe Fonda will  be recording once again with Barry Altschul and the 3dom Factor , on Feburary 11th nd 12th 2014 , in New York city , for the Tum Record label . This will be  the 2nd recording for the trio , both for the Tum Label .

The Fonda Stevens Group records live cd as part of its 20th year anniversary tour

The Fonda Stevens group has recorded there next cd. The recordig was  done live  in Dornbirn Austria at the end of there 20th year anniversary tour, which took place in October 2012.  The cd was released in January of 2014 .

Joe Fonda interviewed and featured and the cover of Improjazz

Joe Fonda was recently was interviewed by Philippe Levreaud. The interviw will be published in the April issue of Improjazz . Mr. Fonda can also be seen on the cover of the issue.

News Blog

Upcoming Performance

Eastern Boundary Quartet - US European Tour

  • Joe Fonda (bass)
  • Michael Jefry Stevens (piano)
  • Balazs Bagyi (drums)
  • Mihaly Borbely (reeds)
Baltimore MD. Wednesday, 11 April