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Hank Shteamer's Annotated 2010 Jazz Top Ten
(from his blog DARK FORCES SWING BLIND PUNCHES)
#5. Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys - Betweenwhile "As I noted when contributing to the invaluable From Bacteria to Boys video roundup at (((unartig))) [see link above -ed.], I'd primarily understood Mike Pride up to this point as a connoisseur of the jarring gesture. Betweenwhile offers something quieter, a place to really get lost. Airy jazz filled with smoke and funk and fire and simmer. The whole album plays like a loving showcase for the talents of Pride's sidemen: the bite of altoist Darius Jones, the sumptuousness of pianist Alexis Marcelo, the patience of bassist Peter Bitenc. There's so much sublimated deep feeling in this record that no sudden movements are necessary. It's corny to talk about artists "maturing," but you can't hold Betweenwhile up to Pride's back catalog and not feel that he really and truly has."
“a successful balance of the tuneful and the abstract .. This group pulls together the two extremes without sacrificing the crystalline character of either.” –JAZZTIMES, Lyn Horton
“Mike Pride, a drummer-composer who balances metal-derived aggression with quiet finesse, leads his From Bacteria to Boys band [on] Betweenwhile, a funky yet elegant new record [-&-] among the year’s standout jazz releases.” –TIME OUT NEW YORK, Hank Shteamer
"Certainly, any attempt to pigeonhole this drummer is a lesson in failure.."
–ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Mark Corroto
“Mr. Pride, an intense and searching drummer, brings the full measure of his concentration to this working band.” –THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nate Chinen
“The playing by all is impressive throughout, and the disc is another bold statement of how contemporary jazz musicians make sense of all that's come before while still keeping a solid grounding in the popular music of today." –EXCLAIM, David Dacks
"One has only to hear the pyrotechnics in the curiously-titled “Reese Witherspoon” and its blend of trance-like states, hip-hop, and spindly classicism to appreciate the cohesion and daring within this group." –Clifford Allen
"Mike Pride was named as one of the "Top Ten Young Jazz Drummers to Watch" in the New York Times and his AUM Fidelity debut, Betweenwhile, showcases why we should pay attention."
–OTHER MUSIC, Daniel Givens
"The exceptional drummer-leaders find a way to bolster the songs and the guys in front of him .. From the sizzling 2/4 ruckus of the title tune to the Bill Evans mood of "Kancamagus," there's something completely distinctive and sophisticated about each song. The curiously titled "Reese Witherspoon" is a rhythmic clinic even though Pride takes no solos: he is seemingly directing every little turn--of which there are plenty--from behind his drum kit." –SOMETHING ELSE!, Pico
Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys features four of the most startling and beautiful new voices in modern jazz. They mesh the lines between forward-looking groove-based jazz, chant works, modern R&B (mainly R. Kelly) and 21st century classical music; with a singular intensity and center of focus. This is avant-garde soul music – the credo of AUM Fidelity – and we are proud to present this major work. Betweenwhile is a bad-ass, beautiful and bountifully unique album.
"[This] is the flagship document of what these four musicians, as led by drummer/composer Pride, have summoned and made animate in the world over a highly concentrated period of tireless live performance and group refinement. Its title, semi-quoted from a line in the expository intermediary Chapter 12.5 of R. Kelly's Trapped In the Closet epic, alludes to the many-layered accruement between human beings operating together and towards collective goals in time/space. From Bacteria to Boys has performed their due diligence in understanding not only the rhythmic micro-realities of R&B, but its contentedly ecstatic spirit as well. It is a music indeed fully alive and committed to the continuance and elevation of love and happiness through all the means that jazz music can employ." -excerpted from the liner notes by Sam Mickens
Since moving to NYC in 2000, Mike Pride has been supremely active adding his potent imprint to an unparalleled range of musical projects. He has performed and recorded throughout North America, Europe, Asia, & Australia with many of the world's most varied & important musicians, bands & composers including (short list here): Boredoms, Anthony Braxton, Califone, Eugene Chadbourne, Chinese pop-star Priscilla Chan, Nels Cline, Trevor Dunn, Milford Graves, Mary Halvorson, Curtis Hasselbring, Jon Irabagon, Vijay Iyer, Haino Keiji’s Fushitsusha, George Lewis, Bill McHenry, MDC (Millions of Dead Cops), Tony Malaby, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Jamie Saft, Chris Speed, Jason Stein, Otomo Yoshihide & John Zorn.
Betweenwhile is Pride's first fully visioned and manifest jazz album as a leader. Once again: it is bad-ass, beautiful and bountifully unique. Listen and believe. –SJ
A sample of Press Acclaim for Mike Pride's previous works:
'Listed as one of the 10 “young jazz drummers to watch” by the New York Times in 2009'
“Pride shadows, complementing and contrasting phrases with a mercurial mix of metallic double-bass drum blast beats, funky hi-hat accents, tribal tom-tom fills, second line shuffle patterns and so on, revealing an endless variety of percussive techniques.” –Troy Collins, All About Jazz
"Drummer Mike Pride stokes the furnace with fire, while never stinting on finesse." –TimeOut New York
“Mike Pride is a generous soul, the bellman-with-the-polished-cloth of drummers, seemingly in command of every nuance within the structure, ready to hang a "Home Sweet Home" plaque between the beats if necessary. Where other drummers simply sizzle or suggest a sizzle, Pride brings on the five-course grill sampler.” –Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide
further online resources: