Greg Ward's New York Sound | Bleader

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Greg Ward's New York Sound

Posted By on 11.30.10 at 02:13 PM

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Greg Ward
  • Greg Ward
In a preview I wrote back in September for a live gig by alto saxophonist Greg Ward and his group Fitted Shards, I praised his skill as a reedist and improviser but criticized the quartet's debut album, South Side Stories (19/8), as too fussy and fusiony. The Chicago native moved to New York more than a year ago, but he's maintained a regular presence here—Fitted Shards is a Chicago-based group, with bassist Jeff Greene, drummer Quin Kirchner, and keyboardist Rob Clearfield, and a few weeks ago Ward gave an excellent performance with Mike Reed's Loose Assembly at Pritzker Pavilion. Of course he's also been forming new partnerships out east, and yesterday the Newark all-jazz radio station WBGO posted a new interview and session recorded for the Checkout, a program hosted by DJ Josh Jackson, that offers a glimpse of what Ward is putting down in his new home.

Here he plays in a lean, aggressive trio with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Damion Reed. Two of the three tracks were featured on the Fitted Shards album, but freed of cloying synthesizers and electric bass, the tunes slay—Ward's agility, fluidity, and confidence come through even more strongly in this context.

photo: Don Getsug

Today's playlist:

The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy (Rhino/Sire)
Urs Leimgruber, Jacques Demierre, and Barre Phillips, Albeit (Jazzwerkstatt)
Trevor Wishart, Journey Into Space (Paradigm Discs)
Os Ipanemas, Que Beleza (Far Out)
Luther Ingram, I've Been Here All the Time/If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want to Be Right (Kent)

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