"Stephan Crump represents a new breed of bassist/bandleader/composer, one who asks himself and his listeners to entertain new ideas about what jazz can be and where it can go. He released his previous recording, Poems and Other Things, on his own Papillon Sounds label, enlisting the talents of pianist Roberta Piket, saxophonist Chris Cheek, and drummer Rob Garcia.
"Now he follows up with Tuckahoe, keeping Cheek on board and adding alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon, guitarist Jamie Fox, and drummer Dan Rieser.
Together, this lineup performed live at regular intervals during the course of 2000. The new compositions borrow from a wide variety of stylistic influences, from country-tinged folk to Latin to reggae. But holding it all together is Crump's uncompromising individualism, an expressive core that elicits inspired improvisation from all involved.
"You can hear Crump's unique musical persona in the contrapuntal mysteries of the opening track, "Dega," the free Latin feeling of "Deluge" (shades of Ornette with Dewey Redman), the slow soul-shuffle of "Hazy Days." You can hear the band's fine-tuned chemistry in the music's subtlest moments, such as Cheek's harmonizing entrance toward the end of "Here's a Goodbye," or Zenon's key-waving effect on the concluding melody of "Stolid," or Rieser's exquisitely sensitive drumming under Crump's solo on "Allende." The compositional variety, for that matter, never ceases to expand.
"Cheek's soprano sax colors the beautiful "Eweslepe," while Fox's versatility is on full display during the rock-influenced title track, the hybridized country of "The Clowns Go Marching On," and the quiet jazz waltz (and closing trio feature) "Dance of the Infidels." Crump is equally at home crafting dark dissonance, tender melodies, or driving tempos. With Tuckahoe, he issues the next chapter in his musical journey, giving us a well-wrought portrait of his talents as a composer and bandleader."
~David R. Adler -allaboutjazz.com
"Memphis-bred bassist-composer Stephan Crump has gained some notoriety around New York as an electric bassist with such renegade fusion outfits as Bobby Previte's Voodoo Down Orchestra and Gregg Bendian's Mahavishnu Project. For Tuckahoe he focuses strictly on upright bass while showcasing his eclectic compositional tendencies in the company of a savvy postmodern outfit featuring Chris Cheek on tenor and soprano saxes, Miguel Zenón on alto sax, Jamie Fox on guitar and Dan Rieser on drums.
"There's a touch of melancholic introspection on the CD's evocative opener, "Dega", as Cheek's soprano and Zenón's alto weave delicately over the open-ended form. The lively "Allende" carries a distinct Latin flavor and features a particularly fiery solo by newcomer Zenón, who is also gaining recognition with David Sanchez's band. The spirit of Crump's native Memphis can be heard on the Muscle Shoals-ish ballad "Here's a Goodbye" and they travel down to N'awlins on a funereal procession entitled "Stolid", which features more strong alto work from Zenón. The influence of Ornette Coleman's writing style can be heard on "Deluge", which features a frantic, free-wheeling breakdown section between Fox's guitar and Rieser's drums. The suite-like title track is a darkly dissonant crawl while the lyrical closer, "Dance of the Infidels", is sweetness and light by comparison. The moody, shape-shifting "Eweslepe" and the mellow, gospel-flavored number "The Clowns Go Marching On" are examples of Crump's best writing on this collection.
"First-rate playing by all the principals on this auspicious debut from Crump, a talent who bears watching."
-Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes April 2002
"In this collection bassist/composer Stephan Crump conjures up many moods. His understated ensemble approach occasionally gives way to a well-formed solo concept. With his burnished tone and deft fingers, Crump keeps it percolating until it's his turn to boil."
Bass Player Magazine
BIO from StephanCrump.com:
Memphis-bred bassist Stephan Crump is among the latest generation of up-and-coming players on the NYC jazz scene. As a sideman with mainstream jazz stars, downtown explorers, singer/songwriters and others, he has become known for the elegance and purposeful groove of his acoustic and electric bass playing. As a composer, he is emerging as a singular voice.
Shunning barriers of musical genre, Stephan has performed and recorded in the US and across the globe with a diverse list of musicians- from Motown legends Ashford and Simpson to Portishead's Dave McDonald, The Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Tom Chapin, Lucy Kaplansky, Mahavishnu Project, Big Ass Truck, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Henderson, Ernie Watts, Greg Osby, Kenny Werner, Marvin Stamm, Frank Foster, Bobby Previte, and late blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland.
Currently, Stephan can be heard as a long-standing member of the Vijay Iyer Quartet, the Liberty Ellman Quartet, Joel Harrison's Free Country, and singer/songwriter Jen Chapin's band.
While maintaining a busy schedule as a sideman, including regular studio work for film, television, and radio, Stephan remains intensely involved with composing and performing his own music. His compositions can be heard in Miramax, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, and Simple Focus Films, as well as on his two albums as a leader, Poems and Other Things and Tuckahoe, the latter of which, in addition to receiving enthusiastic reviews, has been number one on several jazz radio playlists across the country. Stephan is currently preparing for the October 10th release of his newest album, Rosetta, on the Papillon Sounds label. This new recording features an evocative string trio format with long-time allies, guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman. In addition to writing, arranging and producing his own music, Stephan has recently expanded his role as producer and arranger into his long-time collaboration with singer/songwriter Jen Chapin -first, for her debut Hybrid Recordings release, Linger, and now for her follow-up album, Ready, which was just released on July 11th.
Stephan was raised in music. His mother, an amateur pianist from Paris, and his Memphis-born father, an architect and jazz drummer, provided a home that was rich in their two native cultures, French and Southern. After several years of classical piano study and two years with the alto saxophone, Stephan picked up the bass guitar at age thirteen and was soon playing in a variety of groups, performing in festivals, and touring the Southeastern U. S. By the end of high school he was leading his own jazz/rock trio, which performed and recorded his original compositions.
Stephan received his Bachelor of Music degree from Amherst College, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlin and was awarded the Sundquist Prize for performance and composition. While at Amherst he began studying the acoustic bass, with a focus on classical training that culminated in a year of study abroad in Paris with Gary Karr-protégé Patrick Hardouineau. Stephan's jazz studies at Amherst included work with jazz greats Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Ray Drummond. Upon leaving Amherst, he toured the U.S. and Canada with the Tommy Dorsey Band before moving to New York. After arriving in New York, Stephan continued his studies with bass virtuoso Michael Moore.
Stephan is an enthusiastic endorser of Reverend basses, AMT acoustic bass microphones, and Aguilar bass amplifiers.