Andy McWain Quartet | Starfish

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Jazz: Modern Free Jazz Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Moods: Mood: Sex Music
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by Andy McWain Quartet

So have YOU heard this yet ??? Creative modern jazz that features Andy McWain (piano); Assif Tsahar (tenor sax/bass clarinet); Noah Jarrett (acoustic bass); and Chris Poudrier (drums/percussion)
Genre: Jazz: Modern Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Periodic Stasis Amid Torrent
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8:29 $0.99
2. Duo Interlude
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3:18 $0.99
3. Thorn Tea Jar [ I ]
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10:31 $0.99
4. As a Starfish
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6:30 $0.99
5. Pure Iris Chord [ I ]
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5:09 $0.99
6. Wind Can May
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4:47 $0.99
7. Toxins [ Parts I-III ]
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12:36 $0.99
8. Thorn Tea Jar [ II ]
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7:19 $0.99
9. Pure Iris Chord [ II ]
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6:54 $0.99
10. Another Dynamic Starfish Precursor
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6:05 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Andy McWain Quartet: Starfish
[Fuller Street Music 8854-2]

Andy McWain, acoustic piano
Assif Tsahar, tenor saxophone & bass clarinet
Noah Jarrett, acoustic bass
Chris Poudrier, drums & percussion


"Can an avant jazz album be both challenging and memorably tuneful? Starfish suggests that it can." -Christian Carey, splendid

"Pianist Andy McWain leads his quartet thru ten pieces that offer an enlightening mix of modern jazz, interspersed with cunning dialogues and excursions into the free zone. Simply stated, the musicians' demonstrate a rather uncanny mechanism for blending the best of both worlds into a unique sound and style that hits home in a huge way. Thus, a major and altogether delightful surprise..." -Glenn Astarita, "New & Noteworthy" Column,

Andy McWain is a versatile pianist who thrives in a variety of settings... His piano technique draws from a variety of modern stylists (Hancock, Evans, Taylor], yet unlike many current young pianists, he doesn't fall prey to mimicry, but actively seeks to make personal statements. Starfish is indeed a convincing debut with all four musicians interacting at a high level." -Jay Collins, Cadence Magazine (May 2003), New York, USA

"Andy McWain's piano work can be delicate and feather light, then seismically percussive, sometimes in the same song... The impression that won't let go after multiple listenings is Classical music, modern mode; chamber sounds, with jazz teeth... McWain and crew are a phenomenon, a very exciting discovery." -Dan McClenaghan,

"If you're into atonal jazz, but your friends aren't, this just might be the CD to convert them. McWain's compositions are accessible in the way that early atonalist Alban Berg's "Violin Concerto" is: the atonality is only a means of expressing a lyrical theme..." -Matt Rand, Squid's Ear , NYC

"Released early this year, Starfish is a strong candidate for the list of 2003's best albums." -Vangelis Aragiannis, Ipirotikos Agon, Syros Island, GREECE

"In the centre of it all is Andy McWain's delicate acoustic piano work....a highly percussive and persuasive style. Starfish is an album that works on multiple levels.... technically high skilled musicianship and interaction. "
-Roger Teeling, Vital Weekly, no. 387, Nijmegen, The NETHERLANDS

"McWain applies a '60s-bop piano sound to a fairly free-form setting. Dark, lush sound well informed by the jazz tradition, and some nice burning solos from Assif Tsahar on sax. Great stuff -- every track's good. [Track 1] Free-form jazz intro, great lush bop piano solo in the last few minutes..." -Craig Matsumoto, Jazz Director, KZSU 90.1 FM, Stanford, CA, USA


* WFMU 91.1 FM, Jersey City, NJ (relay WHXD 90.1 FM, Hudson Valley); "Stochastic Hit Parade"; Bethany Ryker, host
* WPKN 89.5 FM, Bridgeport, CT; "Radio Nothing"; Rod Richardson, host
* KFOX 93.5 FM, Redondo Beach, CA; ""; Fred Jung, music director
* CKUT 90.3 FM, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
* KGNU 88.5 FM, Boulder, CO; (with 93.7 FM, Ward, CO; 89.1 FM, Ft. Collins, CO); "Jazz & Beyond"; Karl Eggert, Glenn Arndt, Russell Bertolette, hosts
* WSMU 91.1 FM, North Dartmouth, MA; "Music for Sunday"; Ron Teachman, host
* WERU 89.9 FM, Blue Hill, ME; 102.9 FM Bangor, ME; "The New School"; Wade Kohlchek, host
* AAJ-Internet Radio -, "Jazz Excursion"; John Sutton, host
* WCBN FM, Ann Arbor, MI, Joslyn Lane, jazz music director
* WREK 91.1 FM, Atlanta, GA
* CFUV 101.9 FM, Victoria, BC, CANADA
* KZSU 90.1 FM, Stanford, CA; "Umami Jazz Program"; Ben, host; "Memory Select"; Wade, host [Jazz Top 30, Mar-Apr 2003]
* KOSMOS 90 FM, Hermoupolis, Syros Island, GREECE; "Jazz on 90FM"; Vangelis Aragiannis, producer
* WNUR 89.3 FM, Evanston,IL "Chicago's Jazz Experiment", (Jazz Top 50, Feb 2003)


to write a review

Don McWain

Tell cousin `Andy it is a nice sound to listen to
Have played it several times, different but very soothing

jason smith

Wouldn't have even looked at this, if not for Assif Tsahar's name, but Andy McWain's writing AND playing are the real stars here. It is a varied and enjoyable album of very sophisticated post-bop jazz all of which flows together wonderfully. Personally, I think it's fabulous background music--it's just far more rewarding when you pay attention.

Vangelis Aragiannis, Greece

Albums like “Starfish” show up out of nowhere just to remind us that great music do exist in our times, but sometimes we do not notice it. That jazz is certainly not dead, but many of us do not seek for it where it blossoms. “Starfish” is a demanding album; it demands full attention and active participation from the listener and may in no way function as background music. Pianist Andy McWain draws inspiration from classical and modern classical music and in his compositions the atonal parts are succeeded by melodies, hard swinging and free jazz improvisation. His compositions and the way he touches the keys, with outstanding sensitiveness or with drummer-like power are influenced by Keith Jarrett and Cecil Taylor. His quartet functions as a tight group despite the fact that each member is an excellent soloist. Tenorist and bass clarinetist Assif Tsahar steps on solid jazz ground, and his playing is full of imagination, volatile energy and continuous outbursts. He is an integrated improviser, “a true professional and a true poet” according to McWain. Noah Jarrett’s arco, ostinato and walking bass lines follow the structure of the tracks and are always expressive and well knit with Chris Poudrier’s drums.
Released early this year, “Starfish” is a strong candidate for the list of 2003’s best albums.