San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
8pm - Mo'Fone
Jim Peterson - sax
Larry De La Cruz - sax
Jeremy Steinkoler - drums
9pm - Jeff Denson Trio 'I'll Fly Away' CD Release Party
Jeff Denson Trio
After more than a decade in the internationally acclaimed cooperative trio Minsarah (which he founded with Florian Weber and Ziv Ravitz) and his seven-year tenure in the Lee Konitz New Quartet, bassist and composer Jeff Denson is forging into new territory with his new trio, featuring Joshua White on piano. Connecting powerfully when they first met in 2005, Jeff and Joshua have been performing together in a variety of settings ever since, often in a duo setting focusing heavily upon hymns and spirituals. Their recent duo recording, "I’ll Fly Away" – featuring unique interpretations of this music — was released on pfMENTUM Records in April. Deciding to expand into a trio, Jeff added drummer Jon Arkin whose dynamic, polyrhythmic technique provides the ideal complement to complete the synergy needed to best convey Jeff’s musical vision.
"Never satisfied to merely accept the role of a session player and with a forward thinking vision to expand his horizons as a leader, Jeff Denson is quickly moving up the improvisational food chain as one of the preeminent bassists in world." — Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
"Jeff is an exceptional musician who is a creative force on the double bass and has an original approach and voice on the instrument." — Lee Konitz
With its surprising and highly combustible line-up of two saxmen and one drummer, the Bay Area-based group Mo’Fone has thrilled audiences with some of the funkiest jazz—and jazziest funk—being played today. Powering its way through inventive high-energy original compositions,Mo’Fone explores the sonic landscape of its unique instrumentation with a relentless adventurousness, creating a huge sound that belies its compact size.
Combining serious musicianship with an infectious sense of fun onstage, Mo’Fone also manages to groove with abandon while keeping miraculously in balance, as each member of the band pushes his instrument well beyond its role in a more traditional trio. What’s more, Mo’Fonedelivers adventurous riffs and grooves, while achieving a sound that’s not only accessible, but instantly addictive. Their groovy improvisations and original concept have earned them the award for Best Jazz Group in the 2008 East Bay Express Readers’ Poll, and secured them slots at the Monterey, San Francisco and Sonoma Jazz Festivals, in addition to gigs at the Bay Area’s premier live music venues.
“I was hooked from the first track,” wrote the Contra Costa Times of the band’s debut disc, Surf’s Up (Evander Music, 2003). “Mo’Fone proves it’s the biggest little band on the scene. On each piece, the trio finds ingenious ways of creating a full, multitextured, hard swinging sound.”
A healthy portion of that swinging sound comes from the mighty baritone sax and bass clarinet ofJim Peterson, alternating seamlessly between walking bass lines and powerful melodic riffs. A stalwart of the Bay Area scene for more than 20 years, Jim is a veteran of leading bands like Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s, Indigo Swing, and Motordude Zydeco. Soaring overhead on alto sax, clarinet and flute is Larry De La Cruz, whose own impressive résumé includes stints with Phil Woods, Bobby Hutcherson, the Temptations, Boca do Rio, and Doc Severinsen. Completing the Mo’Fone magic is drummer Jeremy Steinkoler, “a master of second line syncopation” (SF Bay Guardian) whose orchestral approach to the traps drives the trio’s turn-on-a-dime dynamics and gives Mo’Fone its third ceaselessly inventive solo voice.
As AllAboutJazz.com summed up the group’s exhilarating and cohesive sound: “This jazz trio is a powerhouse to be reckoned with.... If Mo'Fone doesn't blow your socks off, you're not paying attention.”