Saxophonist Joel Press is
a versatile musician who has performed with such diverse players
as pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Jimmy Garrison of the John Coltrane
Quartet, vocalist Sheila Jordan and Duke Ellington's ubiquitous
cornetist/ violinist/ vocalist Ray Nance. A native New Yorker, he
pursued classical studies at The Manhattan School of Music, where
he earned a Master's degree.
Joel Press speaks the language of swing
based, post-World War II jazz in as singular a fashion as any living
saxophonist. He has been listening to this music all of his life,
and playing it for almost a half century.
In recognition of the scope of his artistry,
JAZZ RECORDS which released his CD, MAINSTREAM
EXTENSIONS, included his MUSIC FROM A
PASSIONATE TIME in their historical series. The latter is a
unique sampling of multi-track recordings of compositions and improvisations
written for dance and film in the early 1970s. While reflecting
his mainstream roots, this music is of a distinctly avant garde
nature, a language which Press continues to explore in his duo and
quartet performances with pianist Kyle Aho.
National Public Radio recently described
Press as "The legendary Boston jazz musician." (He relocated
to Boston in the late 1970s.) Grammy award winner, Bob Blumenthal
wrote in his review of The Boston Globe Jazz Festival 's, Tribute
to Lady Day and Prez, for which Joel served as music director: "All
three tenors played well throughout and got better as the evening
wore on. Press, closest to the source, took the coolest approach,
but all burned in their own manner".
In a subsequent concert review, Arthur Hepner,
of The Boston Globe wrote" Solid techniques, rich sounds, imaginative
improvisations and well meshed interplay yielded fine embroideries
of music by Johnny Green, Cole Porter and others. Press's supple
work on BODY AND SOUL constituted the high point.
contact Joel Press at: (617) 527-5227