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Coalescence - Coalescence 2
Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Steph Cosme, Staccatofy


From tender ballads to searing bop sensibilities each song on Coalescence 2 is a shimmering example of articulate playing and deeply felt comradery, all in service of sheer exploration and improvisation of well-crafted compositions.


The groups name is aptly given. The group coalesces as a strong unit, with nimble saxophone work by Shanker, his tone is focused and penetrates the group sound with authority. Bassist Waki and drummer Fishler flush out the tunes with texturally complex rhythms when needed and heartfelt tenderness when the tunes call for it. Abe’s single lines are inspired, his tone and attack are darkly hued and spot on. Pianist Eckroth arpeggiates with lightning speed, creating complimented comping and meaningful solos throughout the album. Though Coalescence is comprised of different compositions by each member, the overall binding ingredient is the clear and respectful chemistry that each player lends to the tunes. Congealed and united, Coalescense 2 is a tour de force. That’s the short of it!


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Coalescence - Coalescence 2
Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Jeannine Reid, All About Jazz


Coalescence is a suitably titled ensemble from New York City, its namesake rings true. Each member is a seasoned player in his own right, playing in various ensembles, but together they congeal and offer a coalesced sound.


The band has a very relaxed and interactive energy about their playing. Each player is exceptionally talented, but as a whole, they really shine. Shanker especially is an exciting player, his lines bringing together the heritage and modern musical influence in a way that is stimulating and gratifying to hear. Eckroth has a wonderful feel and touch that is melodic and building.
What Coalescence brings to the table is a chemistry of friends which relies on a given language that translates into adroit performances. That same trust is represented in their compositions, perfectly tailored to the ensemble's stylistic approach. Their songcraft is buoyant and filled with depth, which makes for an engaging listen. This recipe works, and the result is piquant and robust on many levels on Coalescence 2.  

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Coalescence - Coalescence 2
Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Stamish Malcuss, Jazz Sensibilities


Coalescence brings forth their second offering, Coalescence 2 featuring compositions by five close friends and colleagues who share a like-minded vision. 


Shanker is a an amazingly lyrical saxophonist. He plays with energy, but never blurs the line between sophisticated pattern at the expense of melodic weight. Abe’s guitar tone is warm and round as he snakes through the changes. 


This band is a well oiled machine and anything they play is always deep with emotion and substance.


One might have the tendency to think too many cooks in the kitchen might make for a disjunctive or too broadly-based album.  Not so, Coalescence is a band aptly named, it is the congealing and coalescence of these akin musicians that makes the recipe such a delightful ambrosia.


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Coalescence - Coalescence 2
Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Elberton Cisnero, Five Finger Review


What is so magical about Coalescence 2, is the continued comradery of the group.  Truly a collaborative whole, with each piece fitting tightly together for a woven sound of tapestry that resonates with brilliance.  Each player’s musical strengths are highlighted, and the varied styles of the songs add to the sonic landscape of an overall highly musical outcome.  Total sum of the parts; great playing, superb compositions and solid chemistry all around.  A triumph for this longstanding collaboration.


"Lynx" starts the record with an up-tempo waltz that is an outstanding vehicle for this power group to explore through improvisation. The quintet is versed in the modern language of jazz, while still holding true to the roots of the tradition. Shanker takes a driving solo that is inspired, his lines are musical and his rhythm is excellent. Eckroth follows Shanker in both energy and musical purpose. Abe’s guitar sound is warm and acoustic in nature; his lines are fluid and musical. The cross-current rhythms of Fishler is wonderful throughout the solos. This band is so fun to listen to and "Lynx" is a fun start to an excellent set of music.


It is said that one can really hear the abilities of a musician when they are playing a ballad, and that rings true here on the track "Galileo’s Dialogue." With Shanker playing the beautiful melody with quick fills by Eckroth in the spaces. Shanker’s improvisations are stunning displays of musicianship. Even in the most complex phrases, his time and direction of melodic flow is absolutely clear. The interaction between Shanker, Eckroth and Fishler is conversational and enthralling. Shanker is a player that has it all: great time feel, strong melodic direction and the ability to make each phrase build to an exciting shape that is meaningful.


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Coalescence - Coalescence 2
Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Coalescence - Coalescence 2

Debbie Burke 


A new CD born from collaboration and camaraderie has just been released by five stellar New York City musicians, including Kenny Shanker on saxophones; Mike Eckroth on piano; Daisuke Abe on guitar; Yoshi Waki on bass and Brian Fishler on drums.


"Coalescence 2" does sweet and light ("Downhill"), high-stepping funk ("Whatever, That Was"), melodies that twist intervals into delicious pretzels (with a bitchin’ bass) in the song "Mars"; and fascinating, contrasting textures in "Galileo’s Dialogue." Showcasing the amazing chops of these musicians, "Coalescence 2" is also a trip worth taking into the minds of five awesome composers.


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Lois Bruno - And So It Begins
Lois Bruno - And So It Begins

Michael Doherty reviews And So It Begins:

Lois Bruno - And So It Begins
Lois Bruno - And So It Begins

Take Effect reviews And So It Begins:


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Lois Bruno - And So It Begins
Lois Bruno - And So It Begins

Check out what Jazz2Love says about And So It Begins!


“Lois Bruno wins over the listener with a natural ease, captivating her audience at the start and holding them entranced until the end. The recording is absolutely lovely.”


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Rich Willey - Conspriacy
Rich Willey - Conspriacy

Conspiracy is at #1 on the RMR jazz charts!
Rich Willey - Conspiracy
Rich Willey - Conspiracy

Conspiracy is the #1 most added on the NACC Jazz Charts!
Rich Willey - Conspiracy
Rich Willey - Conspiracy

Conspiracy is the most added at Jazz Week. 
Rich Willey - Conspiracy
Rich Willey - Conspiracy

Check out what The Jazz Word has to say about both Down & Dirty and Conspiracy!


Read the full reviews here

Rich Willey - Down and Dirty
Rich Willey - Down and Dirty

Check out what Downbeat has to say about Down and Dirty!


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Rich Willey - Down and Dirty
Rich Willey - Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty is back at #1 on the RMR Jazz Charts!
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