These 14 pieces document a series of instances in the journey of becoming. One person's renditions at the crossroads of the particular: this time, this place, this breath.... While rumors of a jazz chord are occasionally heard, these compositions exist primarily in a realm of their own delineation. And have no doubts about the use of the word "composition" when applied to improvisation. Dave Stone's inventions, while spontaneous, are highly organized and not only self-consistent, but emotionally and musically "logical" and complete (non-fragmentary). About this series of improvs, the musician tells us:
This music is about nature: a walk in the woods with all of one's senses open to every detail. The wind blows in the trees and the grass, birds sing in the distance, thousands of insects and small animals go about their business. Now night is falling. The light fades from the sky, the air cools, and one feels enmeshed in the mutual awareness of all existence.
Improvisation is a magical act: a creation ex nihilo. Manifestation depends on inspiration. The physical is always a vector for the metaphysical. Breath, literal inspiration, is a vector for the simultaneous transformational inflowing of the abstract unnameable. Expiration, the expressive outflow of audible vibrations evidences invisible events. A joyful noise is a finger pointing at the moon, a full moon riding high in the starry heavens. And the moon points back at the beholder and outward towards all that is endless, eternal & incomprehensible. The individual connecting with the transpersonal in the instantaneous magic of the momentary is a fleeting affinity swallowed by infinity. Here, we are invited not only to walk in nature--a very specific and personal nature--but to open ourselves to the life-song sung there in the heart of existence & mutual awareness; the music urging us to re-ignite our relationship with the deep source of inspiration, breath & life.... And while you might find birds & bumble bees on your walk in the these woods; you are more likely to find wyverns & griffons and the unnamed mythic denizens & strange attractors of the yet-to-be-discovered.
Born to a military family in 1971, David Stone "moved around a lot as a kid". Movement and change. Energy in motion. Should it surprise anyone that he's long been a virtuoso improviser? Dave began piano when he was seven, and trumpet when he was ten. In high school he became infatuated with heavy metal and electric guitar, then jazz, improvised music and the saxophone. Moving to St. Louis in 1989, Dave attended Webster University in music where, emphasizing jazz performance, he studied with Paul DeMarinis
. After graduating in 1993 he worked with unsung home-town jazz greats drummer Joe Charles
and tenor-man Jimmy Sherrod
. In 1996 Stone formed his own trio with bassist Eric Markowitz
& drummer Kyle Honeycutt
. Five-time winner of the St. Louis Riverfront Times annual "Best Jazz Group" award, The Dave Stone Trio
has been a major fixture on the St. Louis jazz scene for the last 11 years. Currently, he can also be heard with veteran reed-man Jerry Green
fronting The St. Louis Jazz X-Tet
. During this same period his love for creative improvisation has led to major involvement in the free jazz/improvised music movement in River City. Leading his own big band, The Dave Stone Free Jazz Unit
, he also plays electronic sax in Chris Smentkowski's Brain Transplant
, electric bass with prog-rockers Man Igno
, and has been a multi-reed regular in Jay Zelenka's Free Jazz Posse
for the last decade. Throughout this time he's offered numerous instances of his solo art some of which appear on this CD. Whether it's jazz improv or free improv, Dave Stone's playing is known for its passion, intensity & inventiveness, a genuine and personal voice, a consummate musicality, and a propensity for singeing eyebrows and twisting knickers on a regular basis.
Accolades for Dave Stone...
Born in 1971, Dave Stone grew up as a multi instrumentalist but as an improviser has specialized in reeds, sharing experiences with several central figures of the St. Louis jazz scene (all of them quite mysterious to the author, who doesn't miss a chance to prove his enduring lack of knowledge despite four abundant decades of swallowed recordings). In the fourteen episodes of Solo (2008) the protagonist showcases irrefutable talent and innate musicality through an array of saxophones and clarinets, occasionally naming the pieces with incomprehensible words ("Dundtor", "Ackakaplakakpla", "Belelelell") that I instantly fell in love with. If you manage to last the whole of the album's duration – not easy for a ham-fisted listener at over 68 minutes – the repayment comes under the shape of serious virtuosity characterized by legitimate intelligence. Stone chooses the right technique to explore every time, knows the value of silence and space between clean notes, convulsive spurts and unkind upper partials, unafraid of showing that he can play the damn instruments, not hiding behind pensive postures and false humility (the latter "qualities" always useful for getting profiles on major magazines). In some of the improvisations we were tempted to associate the playing to certain pages from Anthony Braxton's book, but this may just be a silly flight of the imagination. The core of the matter is that this is great self-propelling music requiring patience and attention, exposing the artistic sheen of a man who wants people to really understand what he means, translating intentions into a rewarding physicality distinguished by a near-flawless command of the instrumental dynamics.
--Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault, 28 Aug 2010