Avant-Garde Jazz / Vocal Jazz • United States
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John Hébert, bassist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he first began to study double bass with Bill Huntington. John attended Loyola University of New Orleans where he received a full scholarship. After two years of performing with many of New Orleans greatest musicians and performing at various clubs including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival he moved to the New York tri-state area to attend William Paterson University where he continued his studies under bassist, Rufus Reid and received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. Since that time John has lived in New York City and has become a highly in-demand bassist. He has worked along side such world famous artists such as Andrew Hill, Lee Konitz, Paul Bley, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, David Liebman, Uri Caine, Greg Osby, Bill Stewart, Marc Copland, Fred Hersch, Maria Schneider, and many others. He also leads his read more...
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JOHN HÉBERT Byzantine Monkey album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Byzantine Monkey
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
JOHN HÉBERT Spiritual Lover album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spiritual Lover
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
JOHN HÉBERT Floodstage album cover 3.95 | 3 ratings
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
JOHN HÉBERT Rambling Confessions album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Rambling Confessions
Vocal Jazz 2015

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JOHN HÉBERT Rambling Confessions

Album · 2015 · Vocal Jazz
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After excellent "Floodstage",released on Portuguese Clean Feed label last year, advanced American bassist John Hébert comes with very different new album on American label. If "Floodstage" was a sophisticated piano trio album (with most interesting modern French pianist Benoît Delbecq and busiest American drummer around Gerald Cleaver),"Rambling Confessions"(Sunnyside Records) is modern avant-garde vocal jazz quartet inspired by vocalist Carmen McRae legacy but doing all things on unorthodox way.

With no doubt,vocalist Jen Shyu is a key figure of this new release. US-born(to Taiwanese and East Timor parents) experimental vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and Fulbright scholar becomes an significant artist on modern jazz scene. Few days ago she sung in Paris as Steve Coleman band member and her new solo album will be released next week. Jen combines jazz vocal techniques with South East Asian improvisational singing, classical vocals and experimental wordless vocalize.

For listener unfamiliar with Jen Shyu singing,this music from very first seconds is a new experience (which probably could be compared with Jeanne Lee or Irene Aebi singing even if all three vocalists are very different). All-acoustic instrumental trio works perfectly as singer's minimalist accompanists with a few soloing but it would be great to hear more their musicianship besides of pure vocalist's support - from artists of that level listener expects more, especially on album where bassist,not singer is stated as leader.

Main album's attraction is to listen how inventively Jen reworks jazz standards - often on the very border,but never crossing the thin red line.The only factor why this album isn't a true masterpiece is that that all songs are of same slow to mid-tempo and despite of unique singing manner after some time "sameness" factor hampers to appreciate really great music.

One of the strongest candidate to the best experimental vocal jazz album of the year.

JOHN HÉBERT Floodstage

Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Thinking about modern avant-garde jazz, we usually expect noisy, quirky, atonal, scratchy music - as if to sound listener-friendly is a sign of bad manners. Lousiana-born acoustic bassist John Hebert's third album breaks this rule - fortunately!

"Floodstage" is a piano trio album, mostly acoustic, dark, slow and lazy, rooted in New Orleans traditions. John Hebert is better known as the collaborator on many modern American jazz albums (Uri Caine, Fred Hersch and Mary Halvorson among others). Two of his trio colleagues are established jazz masters: Gerald Cleaver is probably the busiest drummer around New York's "new avant-garde scene", working with Tim Berne, Michael Formanek, Craig Taborn and many others; while French pianist Benoît Delbecq is a fast-rising star, probably the most interesting jazz pianist in the modern Paris jazz scene.

Quite surprisingly for a modern avant-garde jazz album, there are a lot of tunes, moods and soul on "Floodstage". Being a collaborative work of three equal musicians, there is enough space for each trio member. Louisiana atmosphere is surprisingly organically mixed with chamber piano on some songs, it continues with bluesy-rooted fusion like compositions where Delbecq plays vintage analog synth. Tasteful use of prepared piano doesn't destroy American South's atmosphere on quite cinematographic tunes, sounding almost like movie soundtracks.

Can't remember the last time I listened to a whole new album from beginning to end with such pleasure. With no doubt this album is another Clean Feed label success. Recommended - not only for adventurous listeners, but for every jazz fan interested in the best modern releases.

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