Bassdrumbone at Firehouse 12

On Friday, May 2nd, New Haven's Firehouse 12 will welcome the all-star trio BassDrumBone to town for a two-set performance as part of the venue's ongoing 2008 Spring Jazz Series. This improvised music supergroup, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, brings together the distinctive talents and well-established rapport of bassist and Yale alumnus Mark Helias, drummer and Hartford native Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Ray Anderson. Their latest release is The Line Up (Clean Feed, 2006).

“Like a well-oiled machine, BassDrumBone's interplay is piston-perfect," declared's Troy Collins in a recent CD review. “The Line Up is a beautiful, vivacious album and a testament to their creative longevity." Other critics write, “they make new jazz that's as warm-hearted as it is intelligent" (Jon Pareles, New York Times), “their accessible brand of avant-garde jazz is quite colorful" (Scott Yanow, All Music Guide) and “their musical risks often provide exceptional results" (Chuck Obuchowski, Hartford Courant). “Best of all," adds New Haven Advocate contributor Bill Carbone, “while they are seriously talented improvisers, BassDrumBone pursues the endeavor with pranksterish levity."

Helias, Hemingway and Anderson first came together as a trio in the fall of 1977, and have since worked together in a variety other configurations over the ensuing decades. Their body of work as BassDrumBone includes performances around the world and recordings for the Auricle, Clean Feed, Data, Enja, Minor Music and Soul Note labels. In addition to this group, which remains a labor of love that reconvenes every few years, each member is an acclaimed bandleader and composer in his own right who has worked with some of the most respected names in creative music. Collectively, they have appeared on more than 300 recordings, and collaborated with such notable musicians as Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor and Henry Threadgill among many others.

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