Live at the Outpost Performance Space is the fourth CD from the all-star collective, Conference Call. As the title indicates, this follow-up to 2004's Spirals: The Berlin Concert (482 Music 482-1028) was recorded live at Albuquerque, New Mexico's Outpost Performance Space during the band's Fall 2003 tour of the Western United States and Canada. It also features the band's fourth drummer in as many recordings, with drummer Gerry Hemingway joining core members Gebhard Ullman (reeds), Michael Jefry Stevens (piano) and Joe Fonda (bass) in place of longtime drummer George Schuller due to a tour scheduling conflict.
"Conference Call as a whole swings with a gleeful impetuosity that's hard if not impossible to dislike," wrote JazzTimes' Chris Kelsey in his review of Spirals. "Kinda sounds like what the late '60s Miles Davis band might have become had they stayed the course." Other critics shared a similarly positive response to the band's last release, saying "Conference Call is making some amazing music under everybody's radar" (Jerome Wilson, Cadence), "Conference Call is a quartet comprised of adventurous and versatile musicians, each of whom are also talented composers" (Scott Yanow, All Music Guide), and "While their first two albums had much to recommend them, Spirals is their finest album yet" (Robert Iannapollo, Signal to Noise).
A working band since 1998, Conference Call brings together versatile German multi-instrumentalist/bandleader Gebhard Ullman with the twenty-year musical partnership of Fonda and Stevens, the core of another long-standing all-star ensemble, the Fonda/Stevens Group. Conference Call's revolving cast of high-profile drummer/composers has included Matt Wilson and Han Bennink, in addition to Hemingway and Schuller, who has since held down the position for the past four years. The result is four veteran bandleaders coming together to create a democratic musical synergy that features compositions and solos from all four members, which they have documented in nearly ten years of performing all over the world. More information about the group is available at http://www.gebhard-ullmann.com/cc.htm