Print Page | Close Window

Michael Feinberg, 'Blues Variant'

Printed From:
Category: Jazz Music Lounges
Forum Name: Jazz Music News, Press Releases
Forum Description: Submit press releases, news , new releases, jazz music news and other interesting things happening in the world of jazz music (featured in home and artist page)
Printed Date: 24 Jul 2024 at 6:38am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.16 -

Topic: Michael Feinberg, 'Blues Variant'
Posted By: snobb
Subject: Michael Feinberg, 'Blues Variant'
Date Posted: 24 Jan 2023 at 10:16pm
Michael Feinberg, Noah Preminger, Dave Liebman, Leo Genovese and Nasheet Waits
Left to right: Michael Feinberg, Noah Preminger, Dave Liebman (below), Leo Genovese and Nasheet Waits (Photo by Anna Yatskevich)

Michael Feinberg, touted as a “musical prodigy turned evil genius”, has become a wonderfully prolific and consistent bass player on the New York circuit all the while still enjoying a reputation as a relatively young talent. Originally hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, a teenaged Feinberg took his earliest steps into a musical career with a regular sideman gig for trumpeter Russell Gunn until leaving to study music at the University of Miami. Later relocating to New York to study and play, he’s since made a name for himself not only as one of the first choices for bassists in the local area – endorsed by John Pattituci, no less – but also as an educator. For a short time Feinberg even took a self-imposed break from composing original tunes to form the Elvin Jones Project, which as the name implies was a studio project dedicated to the venerated drummer’s compositions.

Now several albums into his career, Feinberg’s latest collection of songs, Blues Variant, lands him on Dutch label Criss Cross Jazz, with the material mostly written by Feinberg with some extra contributions from bandmates Noah Preminger (saxophone) and pianist Leo Genovese (piano) respectively. There’s still plenty of that Elvin Jones/John Coltrane DNA in Feinberg and co’s originals, as well as a pop-like lyricism that brings a refreshing accessibility and earworm-y quality to the record via these bass groove-led tunes.

Michael Feinberg

Another piece of the Jones legacy comes in the form of collaborator Dave Liebman, the similarly storied saxophonist and former bandmate of Jones who contributes both guest solos on sax as well as the odd flute accompaniment throughout Blues Variant. You can hear Liebman alongside Jones on 1973’s Live at the Lighthouse and 1982’s Earth Jones, the latter of which Feinberg cites as his introduction to Liebman’s playing – he’s been a fan of Liebman for quite some time now, so it must feel like quite the accomplishment to have him featured on this new album. While Liebman’s guest spot on ‘Gather Power’ is a particular highlight for its angular licks, another standout of the tune is Nasheet Waits’ killer drum solo towards the end.

‘Improvisation (For Leslie)’, a purely solo piece by Feinberg, is a warm and expressive palate-cleanser that has him flexing what feels like a light dash of classically-influenced melodic choices, while things get really electric on the following ‘Cycle Song’ employing some cool fusion-evoking textures, with Genovese playing the electric keys and Feinberg swapping out his upright for an effected electric bass.

Criss Cross jokingly nickname this album ‘Bassist in the Background’ – an homage to Duke Ellington’s 1960 record Piano in the Background which features the composer/bandleader also leading the band on piano – owing to the fact that Feinberg doesn’t take any solos on this record save for the one improvised piece; though he mostly leads the band from the shadows sometimes in the low-end, he more than makes his presence known as a compositional force throughout Blues Variant.


Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.16 -
Copyright ©2001-2013 Web Wiz Ltd. -