New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Inspired by the Miles Davis and John Coltrane groups of the early 1960s, drummer Aaron
Comess has delivered by far his most straight ahead, purely-jazz album to-date, a high energy collection of originals and seminal covers inspired by an era that changed the course of his musical life. Soon to be featured in Jazziz Magazine, DRUM! Magazine, JazzPolice, Drumhead Magazine, and elsewhere, Comess has already been praised in early reviews: "With this new project, he provides a focused opportunity to see what a new generation of acolytes can do with towering achievements like (Coltrane's) "Resolution
"" - and -- Comess' CD "Contains that special feeling of authenticity as the music could easily be mistaken for one of the classics."
Comess aims to honor the Miles Davis Group from 1964 to 1968 (with Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock
and Wayne Shorter,) as well as by the John Coltrane Group (featuring Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison,) between 1962 and 1965. His new CD, entitled 'Aaron Comess Quintet' and set for March 17, 2015 release, seeks to evoke the joyful intensity he felt when exposed to these groups. He comments: "The music made by these two groups changed my whole way of thinking -- and to this day are as inspiring as when I first heard them."
Comess will perform a CD release concert at Rockwood Music
Hall 3 on March 21st, and will feature Teddy Kumpel on guitar and Keith Loftis on sax, as well as Andy Ezrin on piano and Matt Penman on acoustic bass for this event. All attendees will receive a free copy of the new CD!
"With this new project, he provides a focused opportunity to see what a new generation of acolytes can do with towering achievements like (Coltrane's) "Resolution
"The new release brings us back to the influential jazz era of the 1960s, when the Miles Davis Group and the John Coltrane Group both featured superstar performers and created some of the greatest jazz music of all time." Comess' CD "Contains that special feeling of authenticity as the music could easily be mistaken for one of the classics."
In other news, Comess recently completed work on an upcoming Rachael Yamagata record, produced by John Alagia. He has also finished work on an Edie Brickell record, recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin and produced by Charlie Sexton, as well as an upcoming James
Maddock album. He looks forward to a New York Electric Piano record, to be out soon, and will also perform on upcoming tour dates with Spin Doctors
(he is a founding member,) Joan Osborne
and Maddock. In May, Ruf Records will release a Spin Doctors
CD/DVD Collection, 'Live From the Road'. More details will be announced soon.
Fans of Aaron
Comess' work with the Spin Doctors
are to be forgiven if his forthcoming new jazz project leads to some head scratching. The truth is, though, that Comess has long professed a love for mid 1960s-era recordings by Miles Davis and John Coltrane — even as his more recent solo outings have seen Comess move far afield of the chart-climbing, neo-hippie fun rock that made his main band famous. Comess was, in fact, twice named best jazz soloist in Downbeat's High School Student Awards.
With all of that new information in mind, check out this exclusive advance stream from Aaron
Comess Quintet, which finds the drummer leading a crack group of collaborators through one of John Coltrane's signature tunes at the Smoke Jazz and Supper Club in New York City. Playing with a smooth confidence, that lengthy relationship with the music shines through.
Loftis, Barney McAll, Richard Hammon and Teddy Kumpel — alumni from bands led by such jazz greats as Kenny Garrett, Jimmy Cobb, Roy Hargrove and Gary Bartz, among others — join Comess for an album recorded over three live sets. Coltrane's "Resolution
" is featured along with a choice cover of Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Suite" (made famous, of course, by Miles), as well as originals by Aaron
Comess and Kevin
Comess touched on some of his more jazz-inflected tendencies with 2011's Beautiful Mistake , before making a bold return to rootsy rock on 2014's Blues for Use . With this new project, he provides a focused opportunity to see what a new generation of acolytes can do with towering achievements like "Resolution." Comess plans an album-release party March 21 at Rockwood Music
Hall in New York City. https://www.ticketfly.com/event/769201
The Record-Journal, Meriden, CT -
CD REVIEW - 1/14/15, By Jim Paskinski
Comess has dabbled in jazz music before, but his latest release "Aaron Comess Quintet" is his first full-on jazz album. The new release brings us back to the influential jazz era of the 1960s, when the Miles Davis Group and the John Coltrane Group both featured superstar performers and created some of the greatest jazz music of all time. Comess' new album features himself on drums along with Keith Loftis on sax, Barney McAll on piano, Richard Hammond on upright bass and Teddy Kumpel on guitar. The new six-song release contains that special feeling of authenticity as the music could easily be mistaken for one of the classics. The Aaron
Comess Quintet does cover Coltrane's "Resolution
" as Comess gives us a taste of his skills on the drums with a short solo, as well as "Freedom Jazz Dance," made famous by Miles Davis, to which McAll's piano keeps the energy going. The music slinks on by with less direction and more innovation in "Catskills Last Waltz," while the album closer "Intangible" tries to finish the night with a relaxing piece of music to just sit back and absorb. The new CD will be released in March and a concert is already planned for the Spring
This is a traditional jazz project, recorded live on-stage over the course of three sets and featuring Keith Loftis on sax (Roy Hargrove, Michael Carvin,) Barney McAll on piano (Gary Bartz, Kenny Garrett, Jimmy Cobb,) Richard Hammond on upright bass (Patti Austin, Angelique Kidjo,) Teddy Kumpel on guitar (Martha Redbone) and Comess on drums.
The upcoming album is a combination of original compositions by Comess and one by Loftis, as well as covers of 'Resolution' by John Coltrane, 'Freedom Jazz Dance' by Eddie Harris and made famous by Davis…and more. The collection is highlighted by its contrasting tracks -- 'Africa' is intense, melodic and truly memorable, and then 'Catskills Last Waltz' shifts to a completely different vibe, humorous, witty, nostalgic...'Intangible' is smoky and kinda sexy, and 'Resolution' soars...
'Aaron Comess Quintet' marks Comess' fourth solo instrumental release and his first to be described as "pure jazz instrumental". His 2013 'Blues For Use' had more of an overt rock vibe, and 2011's 'Beautiful Mistake' was somewhere in between. 'Aaron Comess Quintet' was recorded live, in front of an audience, at Smoke Jazz in NYC. Comess adds, "The time felt right for me to make a record like this, as this music has always been a huge part of my musical makeup."
Comess' headlining appearances have previously been previewed in The New York Times, Time Out NY, Modern
Drummer and elsewhere, and he has long ties to jazz and Blues. Aaron
has played with such greats as Roy Hargrove, Brad Meldau, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Roswell Rudd, Arnie
Lawrence, Deanna Kirk and more. Nate Chinen has shown support for Comess' shows over the years, saying "Comess has long been a jazz adept." As a member of the group New York Electric Piano (for the past 12 years,) Comess and band-mates scored a Top 10 jazz album with their most recent CD. Comess is currently studying with legendary drum master Michael Carvin.
More background info:
Comess recently appeared on legendary jazz trombonist's Roswell Rudd's record...and played a sold-out concert with him at le poisson rouge (other noted musicians on the record and show were John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Bob Dorough and Fay Victor).
Comess also happens to be the drummer and a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling SPIN DOCTORS. The band recently released an acclaimed album of original Blues music, 'If the River Was Whiskey,' which earned the best reviews of their career and was featured in such A-level outlets as CONAN (TBS-TV), USA Today, Elmore Magazine, M Music
& Musicians Magazine, RELIX Magazine, NY Observer, Time Out NY and much more.
Comess is a musician's musician, long respected as a collaborator who has played on, co-written and/or produced over two hundred albums with an acclaimed and diverse roster of artists including Osborne, Edie Brickell, Isaac Hayes, Marc Cohn, Bilal, Rachael Yamagata, James
Maddock, and more. Other upcoming and/or recent work includes Phil Ramone, Andrea Bocelli, David
Foster, Malcolm Burn and Natasha Bedingfield. Comess is active in the local NYC rock, jazz, experimental music scenes and singer songwriter circuits, and records and produces at his 'His House Studio' in Brooklyn. Comess has successfully navigated the tricky music industry for over 20 years, managing to keep his original band (Spin Doctors) together, build an active career as a sideman/session player/producer, and make his own records as a composer/leader. With his 2015 jazz album he shines as a songwriter and continues to distinguish himself and expand his repertoire.
Visit Comess' eclectic Discography to get a sense of the wide range of projects he's been involved with over the years, from Chris Whitley's final album to Joan Osborne's 'Righteous Love' to a dozen releases as a member of Spin Doctors: https://www.aaroncomess.com/discography.htm