The event didn’t make the mainstream media. The few print journals devoted to improvised music didn’t report it. And the “jazz critics” online and off were quite taciturn about it. But it seems important to note that the surprising saxophonist (tenor and soprano) Joel Press, formerly commuting back and forth between Newton, Massachusetts, and New York City . . . has come to NYC to stay. Or, as they used to say, “for the nonce.”
If you haven’t heard Joel Press, you could ask pianist Michael Kanan about him. Or perhaps saxophonist Lena Bloch, pianist Spike Wilner, or a dozen other NYC jazz luminaries. Or you could take the cyber-shortcut and observe this:
Joel’s a creative player with his own sweetly energized internal swing machine, making his own way through the most endearing features of the tradition without being anyone’s repeater pencil or (to use an archaic objective correlative) sheet of carbon paper. He enjoys standards, ballads, jump blues, and more. Although he’s been on the scene for more than thirty-two bars, he is no relic, but a vigorous searcher. He hears rhapsodies and offers them to us.
The good news is more resonant than the fact that Joel now has a new address. He’s brought his horns, his energy, and his delight in melody with him. And you can hear it all this coming Saturday (April 6, 2013) at Smalls — 183 West Tenth Street, Greenwich Village, New York) beginning at 7:30 PM. Joel will be encouraged and supported by three of the finest: Tardo Hammer, piano; Sean Smith, bass; Steve Little, drums.
“Good deal!” to quote Sidney Catlett.
May your happiness increase.