Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Contemporary mainstream at its best
Petri Krzywacki | Helsinki, Finland | 09/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bert's Playground captures brilliantly the interplay and energy of Ari Hoenig's band. The CD balances beautifully between originalized versions of standard tunes and Hoenig's original compositions, both of which are full of inspired playfulness and deep musical direction. Bert's Playground is definitely one of the most inspiring records I have bought in a while.
Hoenig's drumming is a marvelous example of an artistic vision guiding his stupendous technical mastery of both the instrument and the music. For a guy who can seemingly do everything and anything with his instrument, he does a lot, but always with unerring musicality. Dynamics play a big part in the success of his style; quite often the most intense polyrhythmic excursions are played at a mezzopiano level, leaving room for the other players to communicate in. And that they do - Hoenig has assembled a brilliant group of musicians to play with him: the amazing Chris Potter, Hoenig's longtime guitar player Jonathan Kreisberg, alto player Will Vinson and bassist Matt Penman. For two trio tracks, there's another group consisting of Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Orlando Le Fleming on bass. They do a nice job, but the real focus is definitely on the larger group.
For anyone interested in contemporary playing that still has its roots firmly in the jazz tradition, Bert's Playground is a must have."
Allan Suchinsky | Kensington, MD | 01/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a tremendous cd, without a filler track in the mix. Ari Hoenig is an artist on drums. Jonathan Kreisberg and Gilad Hekselman show why they are guitar players that should be atop the polls; Chris Potter on tenor sax certainly is and deservedly so. Bassists Matt Penman and Orlando Fleming, and Will Vinson on alto sax excel on the pieces they participate in. "Green Spleen" says it all. Try to sit still while listening to it."