Michael Feinberg

One of the most important jazz ensembles of all time was the John Coltrane Quartet, which emerged in the 1960s. As new generations of musicians have explored the Quartet’s repertoire and the sidemen’s, the group’s influence continues to be felt in contemporary jazz. Elvin Jones, the drummer who formed the rhythm section of Coltrane’s twenty-five year-old bandleader Michael Feinberg, was particularly inspiring to Feinberg. Feinberg was drawn to the interaction the legendary percussionist had made with many bassists while he perused the catalog. Feinberg quickly discovered that Jones was one of his favorite bassists. These relationships were the basis for Feinberg’s Elvin Jones Project project and recording. Although Feinberg is new to the New York City jazz scene, he has already made a name for his abilities as a composer and bandleader. Born and raised in Atlanta Georgia, the bassist received his bachelor of music degree from the University of Miami and his master’s from New York University. Feinberg has been a part of legends and progressives such as George Garzone and Jean-Michel Pilc. He also worked with Jim Black, John Scofield and Ambrose Akinmusire. Feinberg recorded with them for the forthcoming Concord release Rhythm Sessions, along with John Pattitucci, Christian McBride, and Lee Ritenour. Feinberg’s third recording, The Elvin Jones Project, is his third as a leader. It was inspired by the friendships that Jones had with bassists Gene Perla and George Mraz, Richard Davis, Dave Holland, and Jimmy Garrison. Feinberg created an ensemble to tackle compositions that reflect the rhythmic connections between these two groups without imitation. Feinberg wanted to capture the spirit of the various bass players so he hired the legendary drummer Billy Hart as his replacement. Hart, who was two years older than Jones, had a close and brotherly relationship to the drummer. They were good friends, and Jones’s methods had rubbed off on Hart. Feinberg selected Hart to be his project leader because Hart played in a similar style to Jones. He emphasized the 1 and most drummers tended to focus on the 4. Feinberg chose Hart for this project because he felt Hart played with a similar style to Jones, with an emphasis on the 1 while most drummers focused on the 4. As a veteran frontline, George Garzone (saxophonist) and Tim Hagans (trumpeter), are featured. While Leo Genovese (a member of Esperanza Spalding’s ensemble – plays the keys. Jimmy Garrison, Feinberg’s favorite bassist, was the first person with whom Jones developed a special relationship. Feinberg composed two Coltrane Quartet tunes to honor Garrison’s inspiration, Coltrane’s “Miles Mode”. (Coltrane. Impulse! 1962) and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Nancy with the Laughing Face” (Ballads. Impulse! 1962). Garzone’s energetic solo on Miles Mode echoes the blues-drenched early tone of Coltrane. Genovese’s fervent solo pushes jazz language boundaries into the avant-garde, while Feinberg concludes it with a pleasant solo exploration. Feinberg’s tenderly bowed bass introduces “Nancy With the Laughing Face”, a beautiful ballad that highlights the rhythm trio. Jones was a leader in a variety ensembles that included a wide range of bass players after he left the Coltrane Quartet. Because of Gene Perla’s advanced harmonic approach and his virtuosic solo ability, he recruited him. Perla was a part of a variety of risk-taking ensembles that challenged jazz and fusion. Feinberg’s tracks were taken from Steve Grossman’s 1970s session “Taurus People” and Frank Foster’s “Unknighted Nations” (Live at The Lighthouse Vol. 1, Blue Note 1972) as well as Frank Foster’s “Unknighted Nation” (At The Point In Time, Blue Note 2002). Feinberg opens “Taurus People”, a duet with Hart’s drums and his bass. This off-kilter composition is a mix of solo expression and group interaction, most notably the Genovese and Garzone. “Unknighted Nations”, a funky, grooving number, provides solo spots for Alex Wintz and Mr. Hart. During the 1980s and 1990s, Jones was often served as Jones’s bassist by George Mraz. Mraz, like Perla was an advanced harmonic player with a great solo vocabulary. Feinberg used two Jones originals (from the 1982 album Earth Jones, Palo Alto Jazz 1982), to highlight the group, “Earth Jones”, and “Three Card Molly”. The upbeat “Three Card Molly,” is a lively workout for the ensemble. Garzone’s mysterious voice highlights the latter, and Hagans’s brilliant trumpet ignites the finale. Feinberg was impressed by the work of Jones and Dave Holland on guitarist Bill Frisell’s Bill Frisell with Dave Holland (Nonesuch 2001). Feinberg’s original composition, “It Is Written”, was inspired by the music. It is a warm, hazy composition that moves at its own pace thanks to Wintz’s guitar and Feinberg’s steady beat. Feinberg started this project to discover his favorite bassists. He also discovered a love of the music and legacy left by Elvin Jones. Feinberg will continue to explore the catalog and we can expect more great recordings. Sunnyside Records -Michael has recorded or performed with: Billy Hart and George Garzone. Recipient of the Six String Theory Rhythm Section Contest 2012. Semi-Finalist in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition. Official artist of the 2010 sxsw festival. -Reputable venues and festivals are: The Blue Note at Lincoln Center, Smalls Jazz Club and Cornelia St. Cafe; Recipient of 2010 Downbeat Student Music Award; Resident at 2008 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead; Semi Finalist in 2007 International Songwriting Competition for performance and jazz composition; Official Artist of the 2010 sxsw festival. Michael is an active Clinician, educator, and has given master classes and clinics to Belmont University, The University of Miami and Indaba Music. He is also a member of the New York Jazz Academy, where he is also an active faculty member. -Feinberg has been an active session bassist/arranger for many musical theater and cabaret productions in the U.S., and has recorded on numerous independent films. He performs with Reina Williams and Tatiana Kochkareva, FL Jones and Dexter Scott. Allabout Jazz

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