Andrew Boniwell: Order CDs
Here's a review of Boomerang by Jim Galloway (former Artistic Director of The Downtown Toronto jazz Festival) in April's Whole Note.
"I enjoyed this CD—I have to admit that very often when I see a release with all original compositions I approach it with some trepidation, but there is no uncertainty with this recording. The compositions are inventive and the musicians all bring a cohesive and creative energy to the music. I hope that the leader/composer doesn’t mind if I say that some of the pieces bring to mind the work of Horace Silver; it is certainly meant as a compliment.
The musicians who lend their talents to the music of Mr. Boniwell are bassist Mark Cashion, drummer Mike McClelland, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and Richard Underhill on alto sax.
This recording is yet another good example of the fine talents right here on our own doorstep."
Listen and Download:
The quirky, moody dispositions of the Andrew Boniwell Quartet mark StopStart. The title track inspired by Bill Frisell and Carla Bley had odd lines that sniggle and snake their way out of the soprano saxophone, the passage dark and sombre, backlit by piano which retains the ambience though the touch is not as heavy. The shifting patterns of “Don't Stop There” make for some unexpected but welcome moves. The final piece “King's Tragedy” is sprightly and has a zest the other compositions do not. And while words and the music may make strange bedfellows, the foursome revel in free terrain letting the music flow out of their veins, inventing the next move and getting it all together.
— Coda Magazine: The Journal of Jazz
and Improvised Music, Issue 294 Nov/Dec 2000
Seems like every month in DownBeat there's a letter about "self-indulgent noodling" or some similar complaint that is emptying out jazz halls early. The culprit artists are well-known award-winners and won't be identified here. But the problem is a real one and comes when jazz loses contact with its audience.
By the mid-1950s, the bebop scene had begun to come apart through self-indulgence, insularity or maybe just the inability for people to get up and dance. As Miles complained, the chord changes were "thick". People just got tired of it. As a result, Blue Note Records was in such a perilous financial condition that it was seeking offers to buy the label when, with apologies to J.J. Johnson, "In Walked Horace."
Through force of will, Silver created the blueprint for what post-war jazz would be. The musical tropes he used ("funk", finger-popping, gospel elements) are beside the point. What he did was restore faith with the audience by re-connecting with them. Boniwell seems to have had something like that in mind with Boomerang.
Like some of Tom Harrell's recent records, the tunes here are simpler and more open-airy, with a nice touch of "funk". Solos are concise and to-the-point. Audience enjoyment levels are high. Highly recommended.
George Kaplan from Amazon review