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If you think all the great mainstream tenormen (except Harold Ashby) are dead, try Joel Press and you shouldn't be disappointed.
Graham Colombe, Jazz Journal International

Mainstream Extensions is about perfect: unpretentious and entirely accurate...a confident and joyous record and everything in it is made new.
                   Michael Coyle, Cadence Magazine

(JP's) performance is consistent and strong...His solos are vibrant, creative and a joy to listen to.
                  Charles Chapman, Just Jazz Guitar

This album is one of those rare examples where there's no doubt that each player knows what the other is thinking. The result: another rarity - intimate jazz for both hardcore and casual fans. A-
                                       Ed Symkus, The TAB

With his sweet breathy tone and lyrical approach to soloing that caresses the melody line, lets hope that this isn't the last time we hear from Mr. Press and his associates.
International Association of Jazz Record Collectors



Mainstream Extensions

the Joel Press Quartet featuring Gray Sargent



liner notes:


Cadence Jazz Recordings CJR-1132 (2000)

JOEL PRESS saxophone
*Marty Ballou bass

NOSTALGIA (Fats Navarro)
IT'S YOU OR NOONE (Styne / Cahn)
FOOLING MYSELF (Lawrence / Tinturin)
JUST YOU, JUST ME (Greer / Klages)
*BLUE SEVEN (Sonny Rollins)
BODY AND SOUL (Green / Heyman)
SOMEBODY LOVES ME (Gershwin / DeSylva)
GONE WITH THE WIND (Rubel / Magidson)
SOLID (Sonny Rollins)

The native tongue is always the language spoken most naturally. While one may acquire the grammar and syntax, the vocabulary and even the slang, the ear always recognizes the second language as something learned, something appropriated.

Jazz has, in the past decade or so, undergone a sort of backlash towards traditionalism, a retro preoccupation that has seen the ascendancy of young players who have approximated the style the approach of the jazz masters of the past. While these young players are almost all unquestionably finely technically equipped musicians, the listener is still left with the impression of having heard a studied, and often mannered performance. The work has an italicized quality, easily discernible from its forbears.

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. Before relocating to Boston in the late '70's, he worked extensively in New York with a diverse range of players, which included Ray Nance, Jaki Byard, Sheila Jordan, Major Holley, and Jimmy Garrison. If the listener recognizes the traces of Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, and Lucky Thompson in Joel's playing, it is because these men were experiencing the same truths at more or less the same time. Even Joel's obvious similarity in tone and approach to late-period Ben Webster is a result of a deep familiarity and empathy with the source. It is a style learned through playing endless sessions with contemporaries, and the shared experiences of people who have lived, seen, and spoken eloquently on what they have observed. His is a sound and an approach to jazz for which there can be no shortcuts. Joel Press knows what to play. He also knows what not to play.

The other players on MAINSTREAM EXTENSIONS have resumes that illustrate their versatility and the high esteem in which they are held by their peers.

Gray Sargent , the guitarist featured within, has been a working member of Tony Bennett's quartet for the past three years. He began his career by playing with Big Joe Turner, and has since worked with, among others, Chet Baker, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Illinois Jacquet, Ruby Braff, Clark Terry, and Dave McKenna. Listen to him here and discover what the best jazz musicians have long known: he is one of the great players in modern jazz.

Marshall Wood is a bassist in the stalwart tradition of Ray Brown. He keeps great, swinging time, has a beautiful tone, and supports the soloists unerringly.

Drummer Bob Savine brings a wonderful combination of propulsion and restraint to the session.

The musicians of MAINSTREAM EXTENSIONS have kept company and played music together for over twenty years, and their music reflects this. It is conversational and colloquial, yet provocative and daring. It is a language spoken with tremendous authority and with no guesswork. It is music that can only be played by master musicians communicating with each other in the voice that each knows best.                                            Charles Farrell

contact Joel Press at: (617) 527-5227