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STIX AND STONES

Artist: David Haney

Date of Release: 29/01/2016

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 567

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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Pianist David Haney in a series of duets with some of his favourite drummers:
Bernard Purdie, Han Bennink, Giovanni Barcello, Marvin “Bugalu” Smith and Jimmy Bennington.
One of the most inventive pianists in USA, David Haney probes the potentials and the challenges of the piano/drums duo.

“Stix and Stones represents a collection of duets from the past 10 years featuring a few of the drummers that I really love to work with. I'm always fascinated at the range of style and technique that drummers display. Playing the drums is not about holding down the beat, and it's a huge pleasure to work with a variety of styles. When I work in duet with drummers I get so many ideas in terms of rhythm, dynamics, etc and that propels me to play harder and play more like a drummer than a pianist.” David Haney


David Haney, piano all tracks
Bernard Purdie, drums tracks 1, 5, 8.
Jimmy Bennington drums track 2
Han Bennink, drums track 10
Giovanni Barcella, drums tracks 3, 6, 9.
Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, drums tracks 4, 7.

Track details and running order:
1 Angel Foot 5:33 (Haney, Purdie)
2 Pretty Prancing Woman 3:47 (Nichols)
3 Dophy’s Hat 5:07 (Haney)
4 Ticking Time Bomb 8:52 (Haney, Smith)
5 Six Four Four Four 6:04 (Haney, Purdie)
6 Opposites with Barcella 5:06 (Haney, Barcella)
7 Octavios with Bulagus 4:34 (Haney)
8 Improvisation on a Theme by Tomas Svoboda 8:29 (Svoboda, Haney,)
9 Quantum Galopy 7:02 (Haney, Barcella)
10 House Party Starting 5:30 (Nichols)

Recording details:
Date and place of recording.
November 21, 2014 - Shapeshifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY
April 9, 2013 - Rezistanza, Gent, Belgium
February 17, 2009 - Magic Closet, Portland, OR
June 29, 2003 - X-centric Studios, Vancouver, Canada

Mixed and Mastered at Falcon Studios, Portland, OR

Name of sound engineer(s) for recording and mastering.
Dennis Carter

 

Reviews

 

29/09/2016 Jason Bivins

I’ve never thought of Haney as a pianist who necessarily emphasizes the percussive qualities of his instrument but here he plays with crisp imagination and responsiveness in the company of some very different drummers. It’s a great idea for a record, and it’s a justifiably well-loved format. The improvisations with Purdie are fairly revelatory, Haney always seeming to hint around the edges of recognizable songs (I heard a hint of Chapin, perhaps, and some Monkish allusions) while Pretty Purdie grooves hard, but with openness enough to suggest he’s perfectly at home in this context. Haney’s heart is really with the two Herbie Nichols tracks, though his style is his own. Bennington is deft in his brushwork on “Pretty Prancing Woman,” filling the tune with bright edges and rhythmic jitters that match what Haney’s up to. Bennink is well and truly reined in on “House Party Starting,” his accents just so and his swing peerless. Barcella is new to me, but he’s wonderfully texturally sensitive on Haney’s ruminative “Dolphy’s Hat,” which features some of the pianist’s most engaging playing on this date. Things are appropriately tense and taut on “Ticking Time Bomb,” with some of Haney’s most adventurous playing (harmonically dense but somehow also filled with space), and they’re simpatico on “Octavios” too. It’s quite a range of material and things are fresh throughout, from the deliciously abstract funk on “6444” to the coiling “Opposites,” all the way to the rimshot groove of “Theme.” Vivid and creative, a fine record. Jason Bivins. http://www.cadencejazzmagazine.com/membersonly/admin/assets/CadenceOct2016(2).pdf

 

11/02/2016 Bruce Lee Gallanter

One of the most inventive pianists in USA, David Haney probes the potentials and the challenges of the piano/drums duo. "Stix and Stones represents a collection of duets from the past 10 years featuring a few of the drummers that I really love to work with. I'm always fascinated at the range of style and technique that drummers display. Playing the drums is not about holding down the beat, and it's a huge pleasure to work with a variety of styles. When I work in duet with drummers I get so many ideas in terms of rhythm, dynamics, etc and that propels me to play harder and play more like a drummer than a pianist." - David Haney
No doubt, this is the only CD to feature drum legends Han Bennink and Bernard Purdy on the same disc. Oregon-based pianist David Haney has consistently chosen a diverse cast of collaborators to work with: Julian Priester, Andrew Cyrille, John Tchicai and Duck Baker. Each of the five drummers here were recorded in different places and each gets two tracks apiece. Each duo is very different since each drummer has their own style.
Seven of the ten pieces are improvs with two Herbie Nichols covers. World renown drummer, Bernie Purdie, has played on more famous pop and R&B songs than anybody else so he may seem like an odd choice. His subtle, skeletal groove sounds fine on the opening duet, which was recorded at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn. Each piece seems a different time, period or place. Haney takes Herbie Nichols' "Pretty Prancing Woman" and twists it into some new shapes while Jimmy Bennington plays with subtle brushes underneath. Haney often lets the drummers lead the dialogue, each one crafting their own rhythmic/melodic world. It almost sounds as if there is only one or two drummers involved since there is certain continuity going on here. Nothing here sounds totally free as each member of the duo pushed the flow in a certain direction. Mr. Haney is a most inventive pianist who appears to dip into various periods of jazz's long history. A truly solid excursion! -

 

10/02/2016 Vittorio Lo Conte

Prima partito come compositore di musica contemporanea e poi approdato al jazz nel 1997, è la parabola artistica del pianista David Haney, americano di Portland, che si muove in un terreno vicino all’ avanguardia ed ai pianisti monkiani, ma senza cercare necessariamente quei centri di energia materica che colleghi come Cecil Taylor o Guerino Mazzola regolarmente fanno intravedere nelle loro performances. Ha già inciso in USA per Cadence e CIMP e ora passa l’Atlantico e incide con la Slam Productions londinese, si tratta di una serie di duetti live con dei batteristi, una formazione che, dichiara nelle liner notes, lo stimola particolarmente, il faccia a faccia con il ritmo, la possibilità di interpretare il pianismo diversamente da quello che è il canonico trio insieme al contrabbasso. Sono musicisti diversi per stile e esperienze professionali, da Bernard Purdie, il batterista più registrato a mondo e che ha lavorato in tanti stili, dal soul al jazz al rock all’ olandese Han Bennink, protagonista dell’avanguardia europea. Ci sono ancora Jimmy Bennington, l’ italiano Giovanni Barcella e Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, famoso esponente di tante sessions di jazz mainstream. Ben cinque partner in dieci brani, Bennink è solo sul finale House Party Starting di Herbie Nichols, famoso pianista della bop era, Bennington su Pretty Prancing Woman, ancora di Nichols, Purdie e Barcella su tre brani e Smith rispettivamente su due. A parte i brani di Nichols ci sono due composizioni del pianista, Doplphy’s Hat insieme a Giovanni Barcella e Octavios with Bulagus con Marvin Smith, il resto sono improvvisazioni istantanee, attribuite ad entrambi i protagonisti. Un panorama piuttosto variegato, dalla composizione riveduta con un atteggiamento moderno all’estemporaneità di fronte al pubblico, al dialogo totale, nel qui ed ora che impone la situazione. I brani sono scelti con cura, così come l’editing, ed in ciò è un disco che riserva delle soprese, che non annoia, anche se lo stile dell’ambizioso pianista non dovesse piacere. Alcune prove sono decisamente interessanti, i ritmi swinganti e quadrati di Smith che incontrano il pianismo astratto di Haney, ad esempio, una tensione fra le due polarità che risulta piuttosto stimolante all’ascolto. Ottimo l’incontro con Bacella (di cui su Vimeo si può vedere un bel live insieme a Charles Gayle), anche qui scintille fra entrambi gli esecutori in situazioni che non diventano mai scontate. È un disco che ha un suo fascino proprio per la varietà di esecutori. Vittorio lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=25197#.Vrsf51iLTcu

Before the party as contemporary music composer and then landed at the Jazz in 1997, is the artistic career of the pianist David Haney, an American of Portland, which moves in an area near the 'vanguard and the monkiani pianists, but not necessarily look for those centers energy material that colleagues like Cecil Taylor or Guerino Mazzola regularly provide a glimpse into their performances. Has already recorded in the USA for Cadence and CIMP and now spends the Atlantic and cut with Slam Productions in London, it is a series of duets with live drummers, a formation that says in the liner notes, I particularly stimulates the face to face with the rhythm, the chance to play the piano unlike what is the canonical trio with bass. Musicians are different in style and professional experiences, Bernard Purdie, the most recorded drummer in the world and who has worked in many styles, from soul to jazz to rock to 'Dutch Han Bennink, leading avant-European. There are still Jimmy Bennington, the 'Italian Giovanni Barcella and Marvin "Bugalu" Smith, famous exponent of many mainstream jazz sessions. Five partners in ten tracks, Bennink is only on the final House Party Starting Herbie Nichols, famous pianist of the bop era, Bennington of Prancing Pretty Woman, even Nichols, Purdie and Barcella on three songs and Smith on two respectively. Apart from the songs of Nichols there are two compositions by pianist, Doplphy's Hat with Giovanni Barcella and Octavios with Bulagus with Marvin Smith, the rest are improvisations snapshots, attributed to both protagonists. A panorama quite varied, from the revised composition with a modern attitude extemporary facing the audience, the total dialogue, in the here and now that the situation requires. The songs are chosen with care, as well as editing, and this is a record that reserves of surprises, not boring, although the style of the ambitious piano player does not like. Some tests are very interesting, the swinging of Smith and square rhythms that meet the Haney abstract piano, for example, a voltage between the two polarities that is rather stimulating listening. Great meeting Bacella (including on Vimeo you can see a nice live with Charles Gayle), again sparking between both performers in situations that never become discounted. This is a disc that has its own charms to the variety of performers. Vittorio lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=25197#.Vrsf51iLTcu

 

09/02/2016 Ken Cheetham

There is quite a lot of ideas in these essentially piano works, so it’s not surprising to learn that the pianist has played with such artists as Andrew Cyrille, Roswell Rudd, Bud Shank and John Tchicai, never short of a few good ideas themselves. The instrumentation is of course innovative and the method is much more like outings into sound experiments than it is about playing melodies.
Haney is also very deft, so at times you may think you are hearing two pianos, but it’s never overpowering. He is adept at avoiding adornment and at creating balanced sculptures in sound which the drummer can fill as desired, as though they were blank areas of a canvas provided for the second artist to colour.

My earliest reaction on first hearing the opening track was that it was all too rough and irregular for there to be any continuity, but ultimately I found the work to be impulsive yet erudite. Spontaneous intellectualism? That’s what improvisation is all about. I was charmed and can now feel the even keel that these pieces are played upon.
Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://www.jazzviews.net/david-haney---stix-and-stones-ndash-pianodrums-duets.html

 

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