What the critics have to say about Tenor Tantrums:
Tantrums is a riveting effort from a band who have been tearing it up, predominately on
the East Coast. "The Schulldogs" may be the best band you never heard, well ?
here's your chance! Here is a band who integrate bloodthirsty or ferocious soloing and
tight ensemble work all within George Schuller's bright and modernistic compositional
approach. Tenor Tantrums covers a lot of ground yet the band convey a personalized style
through at times dissimilar concepts, which can only assist with the unending or
evolutionary process of jazz." * * * * 1/2
"A three year project comes to fruition for drummer/composer George Schuller, and he brings bassist/brother Ed, and saxophonists Tony Malaby and George Garzone along for the ride. Of the seven of nine pieces the drummer wrote for this recording, many fall into a swinging free bop context allowing the tenor tantrums to exhaust themselves. Malaby and Garzone are quite expressive players, joining in lots of unison lines, occasionally going out, but mostly keeping within the written framework. At their most quick witted, the quartet jump starts a popping melody for "The Symptoms" minus Garzone plus trumpeter Dave Ballou, while both tenors really dig in on the hard swinging, head noddin' "No Hazmats" interrupted by a fine bass solo from Ed Schuller. The 12/8 groove with contrapuntally delayed melodies for "Slightly Round" and the beautiful unison of Malaby's soprano sax and Garzone's tenor for "Boogie Two Shoes" with an r & b ostinato bass line shows the drummer at his compositional best.
A bluesy thang "URWUP" (i.e. U R What U Play) is more sneaky, the drummer on brushes with Malaby on soprano. "Nameless" is at once mournful and reverent with bass and tenor tandem notes and free clarion calls. The title track is a snarly collective improvisation with hard swing inferences by the drummer, while Ornette Coleman's "Free" with Ballou and a time shifting 5 to 15 to 4 beats per measure "Loose Bloose" by Bill Evans, Malaby again on soprano, gives the arranger Schuller something to adapt and make his own.
music here for those open minded to various combinations of jazz tradition
and new music innovation. There's some chaotic baby screaming here,
but the tantrums, as mentioned, do step aside for some meaty on the
table playing, everyone involved offering their fair share of excellence."
George Schuller has made the definitive tenor saxophone CD of the last
decade. Schuller's compositions create an effective balance between
form and freedom; his melodic sense is firmly rooted in the post-Ornette
vocabulary, and his rhythmic conception is finely connected to the time/space
continuum. As a drummer, Schuller propels, swings hard and has the rare
ability to conjure form out of seeming chaos. Bassist and brother Ed
Schuller has been a key figure on the improvised music scene for many
years, known as a player that can groove, bow and solo with inventiveness.
Trumpeter Dave Ballou appears on two tracks, filling out the ensemble
with enormous tone and a sense of drama -- his solos explore the gap
between Freddie Hubbard and Don Cherry. In George Garzone and Tucson
native Tony Malaby, Schuller has two of the most talented and uncompromising
reedman around. Garzone has influenced multitudes of sax players over
the last 25 years (including Malaby), and has finally emerged to his
rightful place as a leading voice among jazz tenors."
is solid contemporary Jazz. The style is post-Ornette in fact,
like Masada and other contemporary groups the principal prototype would
seem to be Don Cherry's Complete Communion period. Schuller plays drums
and writes effective lines that use harmony and counterpoint quite effectively.
Sometimes bass lines underpin the solos, but whether there are preset
harmonic reference points for the soloists is hard to hear (and irrelevant,
after all). The writing reminds me of Mark helias, who organizes things
particularly well in a comparable way. But good as the writing is, it's
the excellent soloing and group listening that make this record stand
out. The tenors are George Garzone and Tony Malaby, Ed Schuller is on
bass, and Dave Ballou's trumpet is heard on two tracks. The two saxes
are both fine and complimentary players, and Malaby even manages to
sound interesting on soprano. I have to advise impenetrable annotator
Mike Silverton that the 60's sitcom F-Troop indian tribe that he keeps
refering to was the Hekawis, not Fugawis (think about it)."
"The apple rarely falls far from the tree. Witness drummer George Schuller and his bass-wielding brother Ed. They're scholar and composer Gunther Schuller's offspring, and they display their father's wonderment at the varieties of musical experience. No doubt, this is a far jazzier CD than anything else. But it's unusually searching in its rhythms, where Ed manages pedal point, stop time, and untold odd effects to color the proceedings as long-heralded Boston-based sax wonder George Garzone and his reeds-mate Tony Malaby play it breathy and then riff hard and then careen to the outer realms. Ornette Coleman's 'Free' opens the session, and from there the band thickens, favoring a rich middle where solos and melodies change faces quickly, integrating bop elements with soulful segues and punching energy. This is a potent recording, full with moments where the ears discover new things almost by the minute." Andrew Bartlett (Amazon.com)
"You know the Village on Halloween: mucho blockage. So last Saturday night's Schulldogs gig at the Internet was affected by a predictable goblin: delayed in his schlepp from Jersey City, Tony Malaby missed the opening blast by horn mate George Garzone. Yet, in an amazing feat of empathy, the tardy tenor player proved wavelengths are what you make them. His blistering free-bop salutation was a fierce complement to Garzone's kickoff, adding queries and retorts to assure a bit of creative tension. It was as if he'd been listening outside the window, taking notes on possible perfect approaches.
"That level of accord was amplified during the rest of the set, one of the most walloping stretches of music I've witnessed all year. Instrumentation is subject to change in drummer George Schuller's foursome. This edition of the S'dogs assured that tenor madness is a condition that still tickles jazz fans. It was one of those scenes where ringing phones and audience whoops enhanced the music's inherent rambunctiousness. With formal tunes and arrangements banished, succinct free episodes were key to a chain of random moods dominated by blues motifs. Imagine a Jazz at the Philharmonic show in a post-Mingus environment.
"This approach suggests Schuller's no chip off the old block; the attack of each participant--especially the leader nearly tattooing his ride cymbal at one point--all but decried the planning and polish of his father Gunther's third-stream strategies. Rather, it made a case for the value of impromptu coordination. Garzone and Malaby sustained their individualism while blowtorching the place with polyphony. But even their counter lines framed them as kissin' cousins. As bassist Mark Helias bowed plush drones during the set's outro, the pair chose separate but similar ways to float themselves home, more Wilbur and Orville than Romulus and Remus." Jim Macnie, Village Voice, Nov. 98
"Hooray for this little coffee bar, which quietly nurtures good jazz groups even when there's little street traffic and no new record to help advertise the gig. Case in point: a newish band led by drummer George Schuller, with a terrifying saxophone tag-team of George Garzone and Tony Malaby, and the bassist Ed Schuller. Schooled, knowing musicians, they're all connoisseurs of that point where form implodes and then recoheres." Ben Ratliff, New York Times, Feb. 99
For US & Canadian bookings, please contact: George Schuller at (718) 854-6727 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For European bookings, please contact: Andreas Scherrer at (212) 281-9785 or email: email@example.com
Please visit Company of Heaven website: members.liwest.at/companyofheaven/NeueSeiten/frameschuller.html
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