JOE MORRIS PETR CANCURA LUTHER GRAY. .Wildlife. .AUM056



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1 .Geomantic .13.35 (MP3 Excerpt)
2 .Thicket
.19.21 (MP3 Excerpt)
3 .Crow .10.06
(MP3 Excerpt)
4 .Nettle .13.34

All compositions by Morris/Cancura/Gray (Riti publishing, ASCAP)
P+C 2009 AUM Fidellity

Joe Morris: bass
Petr Cancura
: tenor and alto saxophone
Luther Gray: drums

Produced by Joe Morris
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Petr Cancura
Recorded at Riti Studios, Guilford, CT on March 16, 2008

Photo by Joe Morris; Cover layout by Anne Marcotty

VILLAGE VOICE:  An Alternate, Unsettled Top 10 OF 2009 Feature by Tom Hull: Honorable Mention

LOVEGLOOM Blog: Top 10+ of 2009
"The wonderful Joe Morris was seemingly everywhere playing his “second” instrument, double bass, and doing so with effortless authority and taste.  While I like The Flow Trio and Today on Earth, the trio record, Wildlife (AUM Fidelity), had the standout piece: the long Eastern-flavored, “Thicket,” with Petr Cancura’s wailing and forlorn sax. "

"This is a music that soars and bounces along in a warm-hearted, open way. Much recommended"
–Simon Adams, Jazz Journal (UK)

FREE JAZZ blog
"4 stars --- It is extremely rare to have a record start with a three-minute drum solo, as an introduction for an uptempo free bop power improvisation by a trio. Gray and Morris take care of the drive and the forward motion, Cancura keeps the attention going with his powerful and sensitive playing. The second piece "Thicket" made me think more than once of Ethiopian composer and vibist Mulatu Astatqé, not only because of Cancura's longing and very melodic development, but also because of the more expansive rhythms. Regardless of the influence, the piece is a pure beauty. The third piece "Crow" is more spiritual and bluesy, slow and deep and emotional and soulful, keeping the deep essence of the tradition, but packaged in a more modern and free way. The album ends with the upbeat "Nettle", uptempo and boppish again, full of great playing by all three musicians. Luther Gray is great. Morris as unpredictable as ever - and I always welcome his lyricism on bass. Cancura is a guy to watch. Enjoy!" –Stef

JAZZWISE
"Striking the right balance between tenderness and aggression, light and dark .. a very articulate jazz post-modernism that draws equally on the lexicon of post-bop, avant-garde and non-western improvisation to create music whose rich historical roots do not choke its sense of newness or vitality." –Kevin Le Gendre

THE NEW YORK TIMES / Arts & Leisure / Sunday, July 12, 2009
PLAYLIST / Nate Chinen

Not quite a decade ago the perceptive jazz guitarist Joe Morris began a side career as a bassist, developing a new set of techniques and strategies for improvisation. “Wildlife” (Aum Fidelity), a trio release with the saxophonist Petr Cancura and the drummer Luther Gray, highlights his ascendant command of the larger instrument. The album’s four long tracks were spontaneously conceived, and Mr. Morris steers the action with bullish clarity, whether he’s plucking tangled clusters or walking four beats to the bar. His rapport with Mr. Gray, a regular colleague, runs impressively deep. More surprising is his bond with Mr. Cancura, a relative newcomer (to me, at least) whose robust exertions on alto and tenor access free-jazz legacies from both sides of the Atlantic. –Nate Chinen

ALL ABOUT JAZZ.com
“The trio's congenial interplay is superlative, whether careening through the quicksilver changes of "Nettle" or extrapolating the somber motifs of "Crow." A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”
–Troy Collins

ALL MUSIC GUIDE
"This album is a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians." –Phil Freeman

DUSTED
".. deeply satisfying.” –Bill Meyer

THE WIRE – August 2009
"Wildlife .. is a thoroughly assured outing. Morris .. sounds outgoing on double bass in a vigorous trio with saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray. Morris notes on the cover that they improvise "openly and collectively". Certainly no one takes the back seat, but Cancura's engagement with various post-bop options is undoubtedly the heart of this group's vitality. It's his robust sound and its dynamic presence that galvanizes Gray and Morris, who are clearly loving it." –Julian Cowley

 

Wildlife is the debut recording of a new group concept from Jazz Master nonpareil Joe Morris. Within this trio anything is possible. Joe Morris is here featured on bass. Petr Cancura, a remarkably gifted young musician (featured here on tenor and alto sax, and as recording engineer!), is a Czech Republic native who now resides in Brooklyn (by way of Ottawa, then Boston). Petr's name was new to us at AUM Fidelity when Joe first spoke of his great musical gifts, which are on gorgeous display here. Drummer Luther Gray developed from kicking it in punk rock bands in Washington DC in the late 80s to being a jazz drummer of great finesse and technique in the modern day.  He has been working with Joe Morris since 2002.
 
The warm and inviting glow of their first group recording together emphasizes a very modern swing with each member of the trio drawn toward melodic elucidation via joy of creation. This is an incredible and profound album of fully improvised music and it brings a great wealth of enduring sonic sustenance.
–SJ

From the liner notes by Joe Morris:
“Wildlife improvises openly and collectively. Understanding the value of spirit and emotion is a part of the improviser’s skill set. Having the means to display them is essential. Discovering shape, groove, melody and form in the process of making them is the great reward for working this way.”


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