Shawn Maxwell's Alliance Bridge

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance

Downbeat Magazine -
Editor's Pick
; December 2014

“This is bold music. Maxwell isn’t afraid to try out new ideas and take chances. On Bridge, that risk–taking pays off – big time.”
– Frank Alkyer, Downbeat Magazine

Another enjoyable release from saxophonist and composer Maxwell, whose mix of modern jazz and chamber is typically upbeat, tuneful, complex and unmistakably pretty...
– Dave Sumner,

a brief album full of rich musical ideas, colorful passages, and unique musical constructs.
– Dan Bilawsky,

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance at City Winery

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance
at City Winery, Chicago
Photograph © Bryan Creely

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance

Downbeat Magazine -
Editor's Pick
; February 2014

– Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine

“Nobody writes like this.”
– Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“a singular work of true musical fusion.”
– Hrayr Attarian,

– Dave Sumner,

“…predictably unpredictable… In the best possible way”
– S. Victor Aaron‚

“4 Stars”
– Grady Harp‚ Top 50, Vine Voice & Hall of Fame Reviewer

“The tonal palette employed here, with the high reeds and vibes leading the way, recalls the performing unit that classical composer Glass used during the 70s, when he burnished his minimalist compositions to notable popular success. And many of Maxwell’s tunes – with their jaunty, angular melodies, deceptive time signatures, and metronomic rhythm arrangements – sound as if inhabited by the ghost of Zappa”
- Neil Tesser
    (from the album notes)

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance Group Photo


Makaya McCraven CD Cover

Makaya McCraven
Split Decision

“This is music made by a 21st century man who sees no need to suppress his hip hop chops or rock spirit in an effort to fit in and be dubbed a jazz drummer”
– Dan Bilawsky,

“Don't usually give "stars" around here, but if I did… it would be Five Stars all the way for Split Decision”
– Ron Pelletier, Jazz From Gallery 41

“their intuitive communal sense of groove and rhythmic flow is completely remarkable”
– Brent-Anthony Johnson, Bass Frontiers Magazine

“a fresh take on the age-old piano trio, catapulted by McCraven's propulsive percussion into an orbit that few first-time groups ever achieve”
– Neil Tesser
    (from the album notes)

Makaya McCraven Trio at Showcase

Howard Levy CD Cover

Howard Levy
Tonight and Tomorrow

One of Downbeat Magazine's "Best CDs of 2010"

4 Stars! (“Excellent”)
Michael Jackson, Downbeat Magazine

“a marvelous piano-trio album featuring Levy's harmonica… The trio interplay is first-rate throughout, as are the arrangements.”
- George Kanzler, Jazz Times

“When you combine this iconoclastic skill with his energetic yet lyrical approach to improvising, you get a style that has beguiled artists from across the musical spectrum … His harp playing can easily detract from Levy’s piano praxis, which he displays on many of the more than 200 recordings he’s made. The piano remains his first instrument, and he always greets it like an old friend, embracing it in his lanky limbs and long thin fingers, before putting it through its paces.”
Neil Tesser
    (from the album notes)

“With such a diverse and extensive history, it would be almost impossible for Levy to sum his career up on one disc, but Tonight and Tomorrow comes as close as possible to doing just that… These three musicians have come together to prove, once again, that it’s not necessary to only look to New York for the best in American jazz.”
Matthew Warnock,

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Howard Levy at Music Institute

Howard Levy CD Release show at The Music Institute

Paul Wertico at Space

Paul Wertico's
Mid-East/Mid-West Alliance

CD Release show at Space

Larry Gray at the Green Mill

Larry Gray at the Green Mill celebrating the release of 1, 2, 3…
Photograph © John Broughton

Matt Nelson in the Studio

Matt Nelson in the studio recording Nostalgiamaniac
Photograph © Andy Keil

Makaya McCraven at Showcase

Makaya McCraven during 2012 Chicago Sessions Weekend at Jazz Showcase

Aaron Koppel in the Studio

Aaron Koppel during the recording sessions for Mutliverse
Photograph © Andy Keil

Paul Wertico in the studio

Paul Wertico in the studio during the recording of Impressions of a City
Photograph © John Broughton

Paulinho Garcia at Space

Paulinho Garcia at Space for the CD Release of My Very Life with Brett Benteler, Geraldo de Oliveira and Heitor Garcia
Photograph © John Broughton