Firehouse 12 to Present the Joe Morris Quartet

On Friday, April 11th, New Haven's Firehouse 12 will welcome back acclaimed guitarist/composer and New Haven native Joe Morris to its Spring Jazz Series for a two-set performance with his quartet. This will be be Morris' sixth appearance at Firehouse 12 and his second as a leader. His quartet, which can be heard on the 2006 release, Beautiful Existence (Clean Feed), features saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Matt Rousseau.

"With hauntingly atmospheric modal grooves, tender, reflective ballads and invigorating, angular free bop, Morris's singular talents as a guitarist have never been more evident," wrote's Troy Collins in his review of Beautiful Existence. "Operating conceptually outside of current trends, the quartet eschews electronics, sampling and postmodern structures, opting instead for a stripped-down, classic but free-leaning post bop sound. A stunning album and a welcome return to form, Beautiful Existence is one of the year's finest jazz guitar records, if not one of the finest period."

For nearly 35 years, the self-taught guitarist has forged his own distinctive path on his instrument, working with a long list of improvised music's most respected performers and appearing on more than 50 recordings. Critics have called him “an uncompromisingly original guitarist" (Wilson McCloy, All Music Guide), “one of the most profound improvisers at work in the U.S." (Will Montgomery, The Wire) and “the most exciting guitarist working in the jazz tradition" (Ed Hazell, Boston Phoenix). His latest CD is 2007's Rebus (Clean Feed) with saxophonist Ken Vandermark and drummer Luther Gray.

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