This CD features Herb Robertson on trumpet, Mark Whitecage on saxophones, Harvey Sorgen on drums, Joe Fonda on bass and Michael Jefry Stevens on piano. This is our 2nd cd release coming after the Wish.
\"Over the past fifteen years and the course of nine CD\'s, the Fonda/Stevens Group has evolved into one of Jazz/improvised music\'s most accomplished ensembles.
Straddling the line between post-bob and free, they have come up with consistently satisfying albums. What\'s impressive is how these four create a cohesive unit without grandstanding egos getting in the way.\" - Cadence Magazine
With over 20 years of performing together in various ensembles, this powerful acoustic NYC based jazz ensemble features the music of bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens performing with master percussionist Harvey Sorgen and the brilliant modern jazz trumpet legend Herb Robertson. In addition, the group also performs as the F/S Group Trio with occasioinal guest artists. Past guest artists have included Daunik Lazro and Szilard Mezei.
The group has performed 20 European tours in the past 11 years (1997 - 2008) including radio broadcasts for BRTN (Belgium), Saarbrücken Radio (Germany), WDR Radio Köln (Germany), Radio Bremen (Germany), Radio Zurich (Switzerland), Radio Nürnberg (Germany) VPRO Radio Amsterdam (Holland) and has been featured artist at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (Canada), Halo Jazz Days (Brugge, Belgium), Jazzmeille Thuringen (Weimer, Germany), Jazzkroe Gent (Belgium), Westfalisches Musikfest 1998 (Munster Germany), Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI) and recently appeared at the Cerkno Jazz Festival in Slovenia in May 2007.
\"Michael - You and your band are awesome. Several people came up to tell me
how your concert last week was one of the most enjoyable events they\'ve ever
experienced at the Vermont Jazz Center; the music conveyed a deep sense of
purpose, humor and warmth, plus it was delivered with a superb sense of
musicianship and communication. Thank you for the gift!\"
April 4, 2008
Artistic and Educational Director
Vermont Jazz Center
\"You guys\' music is still reverberating here in Brandon. Many thanks. It
was a smash. What brilliant musicians and music.\"
Fran Bull - April 4, 2008
Gallery In the Field
Original Liner Notes from 1995!!!
As musicians we are profoundly affected/influenced by the company that we keep (on and off the bandstand). As we develop our musical and spiritual identities we move through and learn from a variety of people and end up, finally, playing and growing with a core group of fellow musicians/friends whom we continue to rehearse, perform, record and compose with and for. The Joe Fonda/Michael Jefry Stevens Group is such a group.
Mark Whitecage, Harvey Sorgen, Herb Robertson, Joe Fonda and Michael Jefry Stevens have been performing together in a variety of groups fot the past 11 years. These groups include Mark Whitecage\'s Liquid Time, Mark Whitecage\'s Glass House, The Mosaic Sextet, Joe Fonda/Scott Miller and Bottoms Out, the Stevens/Rust/Sorgen trio and a variety of other musical ensembles.
Stevens remarks: \"I have never experienced the simultaneous freedom, openness and absolute formal musical structural integrity with any ensemble as I experience with this particular collection of musicians. Each member of this group has the conviction to play what he feels and the intelligence to integrate their voice into the larger musical whole of the ensemble/composition. I feel completely liberated to play from my deepest musical self knowing that everyone is equally profoundly attuned to the moment.\"
Fonda says: \"For me this band plays together so well. There is a wonderful sense of freedom, spontaneity and most of all musical honesty. I am very happy to be a part of this band.\"
Willard Jenkins for Jazz Times
Here\'s a comely date that again illustrates the fact that good jazz can come from disparate sources, in this case a label new to these ears out of Berkeley, CA. The leaders are bassist Fonda and pianist Stevens, and they are joined by the under-recognized talents of trumpeter Herb Robertson and saxman Mark Whitecage, along with drummer Harvey Songen, and the title track vocal of Laura Arbuckle. The blue extraction \"Mischief,\" a Fonda original with a shuffling affinity, is one of the date\'s highlights.