Brian profiled inDownbeat Magazine.
Listen to the SoundNotion podcast with Brian on jazz and contemporary classical music, the nature of improvisation, andFluiDENSITY
Listen to Brian's interview with Jazz Session's Jason Crane about making Torque with Sam Rivers
JazzReview talks to Brian about modern progressive music and working on Torque
BRIAN GRODER TRIO - Luminous Arcs     get it here
"One of the traditional attractions of the pianoless jazz trio is the room it allows for harmonic and melodic inventiveness, absent a chording instrument. The Brian Groder Trio, a trio of trumpet/flugelhorn, double bass, and drums, is no traditional jazz trio, but it does take advantage of the format in ways that both recall and go beyond the harmonic freedom of other pianoless trios. Luminous Arcs is the third release for the group, which in addition to Groder includes double bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen. Their experience together tells, as the tightly integrated playing on display on all eleven tracks gives evidence of a well-developed chemistry. Groder and Bisio work particularly well together and provide fine contrapuntal playing on Spanglin, on the free-fugue introduction to the moody ballad Until Eyes Met, and throughout Smoored. On Bonds of Now, a duet for trumpet and drums, Rosen’s relentless, free-pulse drumming coils tautly around Groder’s line until Groder drops out to let Rosen finish alone. Bisio gets a brief solo piece with Pirr, which balances on strummed chords and tart harmonies. Adding to the album’s audio pleasure is the verbal pleasure of the vivid imagery and wryly kaleidoscopic observations of poet Randee Silv’s Wordslabs, which serve as an appropriate liner note to this ultimately poetic music." — Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News

This is their masterpiece so far and one of the best albums of the last 12 months.

"The trumpeter’s trio with Michael Bisio and Jay Rosen has been around for a while now, and it shows. There’s an instinctive closeness and empathy in these delicately executed tunes, which suggest nothing closer than Paul Smoker’s early recordings, but warmer and less abstract in intent. Many of Groder’s titles are taken from old, specialised words, mostly Scots, used to describe atmospheric conditions. Famously, Orcadians and Shetlanders have 43 words for drizzle and another couple of dozen for different consistencies of sleet. Pirr’s the perfect title for the penultimate track, meaning the lightest zephyr you can imagine, while Smoored means to be buried in snow. The only oddity (not that it matters with such lovely music) is Sundog, which is explained as napping under a warm sun, when surely it refers to the parhelion illusion of multiple suns near the horizon. No matter. It wouldn’t make any difference if these tracks were simply numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . They’re quietly beautiful and the discipline of playing without a harmony instrument (though that’s Bisio’s job, really) and easily reached pedal points makes the playing all the more impressive. The trio previously released Reflexology and R Train On The D Line, which are both well worth chasing down via Groder’s website, but this is their masterpiece so far and one of the best albums of the last 12 months." — Brian Morton, Jazz Journal UK
BRIAN GRODER TRIO - R Train on the D Line    get it here

This trio is one of the finest ensembles working in modern improvisation."

" An album like R Train On The D Line is what separates jazz listeners from non-jazz listeners. The Brian Groder Trio plays the kind of composed yet improvised music that portends to go off the rails at any time, yet never does. And that may be the true definition of jazz. Consider the audiences' double-take when Louis Armstrong put a trumpet to his lips to open "West End Blues." Satchmo broke all the musical commandments with his improvised phrasing, yet his internal logic rewrote the possibilities. Ninety years later, Brian Groder opens "Asterix" with the same spirit, plus his collaborators, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen, don't just accompany, they also go off script. Non-jazz listeners walk away, jazz fans run towards this kind of interplay.

This trio is one of the finest ensembles working in modern improvisation. The opening piece, "Quanta" sprints through multiple time changes with the stoic trumpet of Groder taking on all comers with a sharp, crisp champion sound. Groder's compositions give way to the individual voices, Bisio's on "Retooled Logic," where he pulls well paced notes before a bowed solo that layers a dreamy fog of pause over the affair and Rosen's mini-concerto of drums and cymbals on "Drawing In To Pull Away." The two ballads "Isolating The Way" and "Whispered Sigh" relax the undertaking to allow the listener to more easily observe the trio's interplay. These demonstrate the band's affinity and rapport. This is indeed, jazz played at the highest level." — Mark Corotto, AllAboutJazz 
"Redini lasche entro confini che non dà quasi l’impressione di desiderare, o sognare, di varcare, come irretita o intrappolata – e non può esserlo che dalla scrittura che l’ha disegnata, che ne governa la lettura e ne alimenta l’offerta di nessi non solo costruttivi da sviluppare – in questa registrazione in uno studio di Brooklyn. La musica – tutta accreditata a Groder e frazionata in otto brani per complessivi circa 50 minuti, riconducibile stilisticamente a un post-bop – si dispiega così in punta di tromba e flicorno coma da un bozzolo risuonante, una specie di cabina di comando che oscilla e rolla, ma è stabilissima, sul movimento insistente e lontanamente orbicolare, fluido e armonicamente inequivoco del contrabbasso di Bisio. Moto le cui scansioni rivelano un Rosen incisivo e mai intrudente, anche nelle numerose e spesso sorprendenti digressioni timbriche. Brani ai quali si può forse rimproverare l’instaurazione di una certa monotonia: quella, peraltro, dell’erudizione che si esprime nell’universo delle variazioni, non solo sui materiali tematici ma sugli stessi modi dell’ispirazione, al punto di sfidare in grovigli un po’ autoindulgenti disgregazioni o perdite di senso che non sempre appare razionalmente riconquistato ma solo ricomposto in effetti pseudo-impressionistici o grevemente materici." — Dalla Bona, MusicaJazz 

One of the finest composers and musicians on the New York scene"

A New York City jazz scene regular, the trumpeter and flugelhorn player Brian Groder returns with the trio that helped make Reflexology (Latham Records, 2014) such a highly satisfying recording. Bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen are well-suited to supporting Groder's flexible, energetic and probing objectives. Following their previous work together, their mutual empathy of free-form approaches, combined with uncompromising melodies, the trio has proven to be an ambitious unit with a truly different sound. The individual improvisations often differ in the players abilities to take their instruments beyond their customary nature. Throughout his career, Groder has created idiosyncratic compositions that are both challenging and accessible. He writes with a literary type of intelligence and a virtuosic understanding of instrumentation. The work that this trio has produced is an unusual amalgam of tradition, free improvisation and minimalism. Even in the silences, there is nothing wasted here. After two fine recordings, Bisio and Rosen's work with Groder has clearly proven this trio to be one with even greater potential." — Alessandro Manitto, MusicaJazz, Italy

Some of the brightest, telepathic musicians in the avant jazz world

"The trumpeter, flugelhorn master and composer continues to explore the wide-open opportunities presented in a skinny combo that once again adds only Jay Rosen (drums) and Michael Bisio (bass). Having working together for several years now pays off nicely for their follow up disc. Throughout eight often concise tracks, Groder blurs the lines between in and out with tunes that exhibit cannily structured turmoil. As with that prior trio outing Groder charts the paths while allowing everyone — himself included — to drive down these paths in their own way, as long as they do so in concert with each other. Dynamic compositions are carried out by some of the brightest, telepathic musicians in the avant jazz world. Brian Groder has a trio of which people should stand up and take notice, and R Train on the D Line is another good reason to pay attention to them." — Something Else Reviews

Brian Groder has a style and a personal aesthetic that hold up for the entire record"

"The music (contemporary modern jazz) is excellent and authentic. Musically, Groder's trio plays at the level of the late Roy Campbell's, but in comparison with relative restraint and more introverted lyricism. All the attention of Groder is to phrasing with precision and application on the rhythm and the intervals of the theme. The cadences are full of rhythmic subtleties and trumpet player Groder has a style and a personal aesthetic that hold the road for the full length of the fifty minutes of his R Train on the D Line. We can only applaud: this music demonstrates the great artistic and musical integrity of this musician beyond the solid know-how. Controlling the sound of a trumpet with such musical sense as Groder's is quite exciting." - Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Orynx Improv and Sounds

They are giants on their instruments, and stand 100% in the service of the music."

"The trumpet player writes catchy, often somewhat jumpy themes, and punctuates the structures with tempo and beat changes that always feel logical and organic. Like good comrades, they set off, looking for wide distances to gain new experiences. It is understandable that Bisio and Rosen are much sought-after instrumentalists in the Big Apple. They are giants on their instruments, and put themselves 100% at the service of the music. It is absolutely incomprehensible that Groder is a rather unknown trumpet player. Someone with such a fine tone, who conjures up clich.free improvisations and writes strong pieces, deserves attention. Much more attention - Herman te Loo, Jazzflits, Netherlands

They also sound stunning when they strike a calmer pose"

"Trumpet-led trios can be a challenge, in terms of maintaining dynamics and momentum, but Brian Groder has proven his skill with this set-up. Long brass tones and bowed bass make "Isolating the Why" a penetrating statement, and one of the shortest tracks on the album, which leads me to believe it was written-through with no improvisation. Later in the set "Whispered Sigh" delivers a mood of tranquility. Although Bisio played with both Groder and Knuffke, these brass players each have an approach that's hard to be pin down technically and impossible to really compare to one another. Both favor a rugged tone, but that's really where it ends. Better to just revel in the strength of their ideas at the moment." — ShanleyOnMusic

Disarming eloquence

 "Brian Groder’s “R Train on the D Line” is an excellent follow-up to “Reflexology”, which was recorded with exactly the same partners in 2014. The leader’s talking trumpet/flugelhorn evinces melodic consistency and a disarming eloquence regardless the pace and mood of the tunes. Groder's phrasing slides freely and whimsically over the non-static rhythmic masses created by the dauntless bassist Michael Bisio, a distinctive skipper in the pizzicato and bowing approaches, and the off-kilter drummer Jay Rosen. Attentive listeners will notice transitory swinging sections being intercalated with the more exploratory ones, an option that avoids steady routines by suggesting a different trajectory. The super balanced trio approaches Groder’s crisp compositions with discipline, maneuvering the sounds and rhythms with perception, purpose, and accuracy. Multiple listenings will bring new discoveries."  — Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail

Tough, smart, tight music making on the border of jazz and free.

"An excellent trio, and Groder plays the trumpet with particular verve and a big sound. Terrific in every way." — George Grella, The Big City Blog

Builds on the spirit of free-jazz and delivers with a laser-like focus.

"Trumpeter Brian Groder's trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen plays a sleek style of modern jazz that builds on the spirit of free-jazz and delivers with a laser-like focus. You're immediately struck by the clear, focused sound of the trumpet. The lines between the composed and the improvised are blurred as the tune segues seamlessly between rhythmic figures. Groder's discography is slim, but each entry is a thoughtful collaboration that invites return visits. Some highlights include his meeting with Sam Rivers on 2007's Torque as well as his 2009 collaboration with pianist Burton Greene. Both of the albums are full of verve and clarity that is found in Groder's playing also here on R Train on the D Line." — Paul Acquaro, Freejazzblog

Confirms a beautiful jazz vein that combines dense and reflective modern themes.

"Brian Groder can be defined in the mediumism of the approaches and styles: he has always occupied a particular place on the international jazz scene with a sound that right in the middle between be-bop and cool jazz (cannot belong entirely to the first because of speed, but not even to the second because of more complex melodies), as his jazz is to be considered a post-bop of a particular nature, far from the structures created by Lester Bowie or Dave Douglas, closer to free freedom of a Wadada Leo Smith, although he does not share the same harmonious openness to free improvisation. Recorded in Brooklyn in 2014, "R Train on the D Line" offers a hook to the best projection of the jazz trumpet, in the absence of processing and preparation of the instrument, taking hold only on the excellence of the musicians." —  Ettore Garzia, Percorsi Musicali

This is art, and a fine art indeed.

"The Brian Groder Trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen scored big with me in 2014 with their first outing, and this one is as good or even better than that one. Brian Groder is the thinking person's trumpet-flugel master and composer. His compositions are complicated modern vehicles with a readily grasped core. They serve as excellent launching pads for the profound three-way goings-on between Groder, Bisio and Rosen. Groder gives us eight substantial compositions that form the basis for the angular geometric togetherness and bright improvisations to be heard. His special unvarnished but directly communicative prowess on his horns make the music come vibrantly alive. The music swings mightily and as needed crosses the border to freely articulated timelessness that nonetheless swings with the same energy and drive as the time-based grooving. Everybody connects with a most eloquent unleashing of meaningful and moving music speech, something that is as rare in this realm as it is in the spoken word world we otherwise inhabit. They SAY a great deal, in other words, and what that is should very much be heard! It is some music that brings you a model of how new jazz has evolved over the years to incorporate the expressive opening up of the music in the '60s into a new kind of superlative classicism. It thrives as chamber jazz but decidedly not of an anemic sort, far from it. If you want to know something of where new jazz is today, I recommend this volume heartily. It has much great music to explore and unwrap. This is art, and a fine art indeed. Get a copy!!" — Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review

R Train on the D Line is as fine an example of trio communication as I’ve encountered in recent memory."

"New York-based trumpeter/flugelhornist and composer Brian Groder has been a fixture in East Coast jazz communities since the 1980s. He made something of a splash on the creative music scene several years ago in collaborative recordings with pianist Burton Greene and reedist Sam Rivers. Groder doesn’t necessarily need such undeniably heavy company to make his own stamp, however, and is able to hold his own in the front line as a brass player, bandleader and composer. On R Train on the D Line, the second disc with his working trio of bassist Michael Bisio and percussionist Jay Rosen, they make few late-night detours that supplely engage varied moods on eight original tunes. Groder has a fat, steely and crackling tone and his phrasing is witty, clear and inventive. The three expand and contract amid matched flurries and make economical, spry music that occasionally veers into like hues – while not exactly a suite, there are snatches of commonality between these vignettes, in the hum of comparable actions or lines that pick up where a previous trace left off. Even as they coil and uncoil these narrow treads, it’s difficult not to marvel at the clarity of Groder’s “classic” tone and natural pacing, laconic incisions that are reminiscent of someone like Paul Smoker. Exhibiting a rangy calm yet continually smoldering with activity, R Train on the D Line is as fine an example of trio communication as I’ve encountered in recent memory." — Clifford Allen, Jazz Right Now

Groder is free to soar, dive and spiral

"A welcome continuation of the figurative bread broken on their 2014 outing, the Brian Groder Trio’s R Train on the D Line transfers the conveyance connotations of its title directly to a propulsive and populist strain of improvised music. Bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen are both back on board, providing the trumpeter with the sort of active, poly-directional support that fits pointedly with the leader’s exploratory aims. Shared history works as a catalyst for interplay of a high order in an eight piece program that celebrates Groder’s compositional acumen while leaving the door wide open for the extemporaneous decisions of his partners. Groder is free to soar, dive and spiral; his smudged and slurred arcs evincing a comparative emancipation from rhythmic gravity. “Drawing In To Pull Away” opens with orchestral-canted percussion from Rosen, a struck bell decaying in sound again the low rumble of malleted tom toms and the splash of cymbal punctuations. Groder and Bisio enter in tandem, voicing a buoyant theme that receives commentary and response in Rosen’s polyrhythmic bursts. Riding the ensuing bustle, Groder keeps his cool and creates clean tonal contrast with the coruscating momentum of his colleagues. The ballad “Isolating the Why” and tone poem “Whispered Sight” demonstrate the close tonal rapport between Groder and Bisio, the former piece benefiting from another extended display of arco agility by the bassist against of bed of brushes and bells from Rosen. “Praxis” also hits beautifully on that synergistic parity of purpose despite a slightly workaday theme, trumpet and bass engaging in a string of sentence-finishing exchanges as snare and cymbals saunter alongside. The rapid fire “Asterix” achieves better results in half the time with Bisio’s fingers mustering up a speaker-booming head of pizzicato steam while “Keel” closes the date on an synopsizing note hopefully indicative of more to come from this particular convening of complementary musical miens." — Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine

In many ways this is a perfect trio

"Although ace trumpeter Brian Groder has worked with elders like Sam Rivers, Burton Greene and Andrea Centazzo, he has remained under the radar for some strange reason. Over some half dozen discs he has shown himself to be an inventive musician and crafty composer. This is his second disc with his current trio: bassist Michael Bisio (in demand bassist for Joe McPhee, Matt Shipp & many others) and drummer Jay Rosen (Trio X, Cosmosamatics & Mark Whitecage). It seems obvious that Mr. Groder spent a great deal of time composing the music here as each piece provides a different challenge. Mr. Groder has a warm, enchanting tone which he uses selectively throughout depending on the direction of the piece. This is an all acoustic affair and is warmly recorded with no effects, hence it is the arranging and dynamics that are most consistently inventive. In many ways this is a perfect trio, balanced just right, sounding like they have been together forever. Bassist Bisio is featured on a few of these pieces and is in fine form, the interplay between all members on “Keel” is just incredible! This is a trio that is not afraid to take the subtle or lyrical side at times yet remains endlessly inventive no matter what. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
BRIAN GRODER TRIO - Reflexology      buy it here

Trumpeter Brian Groder distinctive style marks his intelligent versatility and superlative musicianship.

"This is, of course, not news for those familiar with his work. Whether in electronically tinged improvisational ensembles like Confusion Bleue, large orchestras or intimately small groups Groder's unconventional yet always engaging approach morphs to fit the setting while remaining singularly recognizable. His trio outing Reflexology is a sparse, haunting exploration of hard bop motifs that is simultaneously provocative and endowed with a visceral rhythmic sense. The loosely swinging "Hexadox" for instance starts with a catchy head out of which emerges Groder's darkly melodic and intriguing extemporization. His full-bodied tone meanders unhurriedly over his sidemen's deeply reverberating vamps creating a delightfully textured, almost ethereal sound. An adventurous touch is apparent on such tracks as the cinematic "Haiti-B." Groder's long, yearning notes loosely weave a spontaneous and poetic theme over the slow simmer of thuds and thrums. Drummer Jay Rosen takes a thrillingly angular turn in the spotlight with breathtakingly agile and complex, polyrhythms. Rosen's thunderous beats drive the free flowing "Veer." A pensive mood highlights this provocative piece that features Groder's contemplative horn and bassist Michael Bisio's intricate and inventive solo that brims with lyricism and soul. One of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass Bisio's signature, melancholic con arco phrases flow in a somber procession with Groder's languid horn on the mystical and dramatic "Tarried Breath." Rosen's deep rumble and his lightning sharp cymbals enhance the solemn and tense ambience. This memorable and stimulating tone poem of sorts is perhaps the centerpiece of this otherwise uniformly superb album. Introspective, at times atmospheric, always engrossing Reflexology pays tribute to Jazz's innovative spirit while concurrently remaining delightfully accessible. Unlike the dubious "medical" discipline of the same name this record is a solid, consistently gratifying slice of creative music." -  Hrayr Attarian, AllAboutJazz

Delicate and tastefully done, Reflexology is a solid and enjoyable album

"Trumpeter Brian Groder's trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen is a real treat. Their album Reflexology is an expertly crafted mix of composition and improvisation that delivers something more than a sum of its parts. Lacking a chordal instrument, the trio has a lot of space to fill, which they do - to some extent - while sticking to a more traditional jazz vocabulary. By this I mean, the musicians don't veer into extended technique or over-blowing to fill space, but rather through clever phrasing and counterpoint they connect the dots, still leaving plenty of breathing room in their music. Groder has a clear limpid tone and uses it to deliver his melodic ideas with precision, while Bisio and Rosen work together to ensure the type of solid foundation that reveals their years of playing together. The opening track 'What Not' begins with a tense syncopated melody that plays against the counter motion of the sparse rhythm section. After a few moments, the group moves quickly into improvisation, interacting with aplomb. Another highlight is 'Veer,' about half way through the album. Bisio's simple but effective bass line is captivating as it underscores Groder's thoughtful playing. The bassist's own turn at the helm is just as effective, as he locks in tightly (but not to tightly) with Rosen with an evocative solo. Additionally, the track 'Tarried Breath', which seems like the most freely improvised track on the recording, kicks in with the bass, textural percussion and a languid melody that lingers hauntingly long after it ends." — Republic of Jazz

Simply Beautiful

"The cover of trumpeter Brian Groder new trio tells much about his aesthetics. He is well-versed with the compositional ideas of the great American jazz masters and their improvisation strategies—Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, including trumpeters as Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard. But in the same manner that these innovative and creative musicians marked their sonic footprint in the rich legacy of the genre, Groder not only reflects on past achievments but wants to take this genre a step forward. Groder enjoys the company of experienced and highly versatile improvisers—double bassist Michael Bisio, who lives close to Groder, and drummer Jay Rosen. Both graced many albums of forward-thinking masters as Sam Rivers, Joe McPhee and Matthew Shipp. The compositions emerged through many meetings between Groder and Bisio, both shaping the ideas, later the two were joined by Rosen. Groder compositions are rooted in a strong rhythmic basis, and the expansion of the fluid, game-like, intimate interplay characterizes all these pieces. Groder has a clean, warm tone, often a reserved one, and his articulation is clear, often stressing the dramatic narrative of a complex, cinematic stories. Bisio and Rosen solidify and enrich the rhythmic conception with light-swinging feel, exemplary command of their instruments, melancholic nuances and rich colors, adding surprising, imaginative elements to the tension building and release. The trio rhythmic versatility embraces also the sensual cover of Groder's mentor, JoAnne Brackeen "Haiti-B." - Eyal Hareuveni, AllAboutJazz

A deep knowledge of jazz history and the musicality to add inspiration to it

"Groder is a fine trumpet player for whom musical expression is more important than virtuosity. Although he knows his instrument inside and out, he mainly molds it with melodically strong storylines. It is not for nothing that Bisio and Rosen are among the best on their instrument in New York, and are just as averse to effect seeking as the man who invited them for the recording.In eight compositions by the nominal leader and 'Haiti-B' by Groder's teacher Joanne Brackeen (with a superior bass groove), this collective trio of 'musicians' musicians' show that they have a deep knowledge of jazz history and the musicality there. to add their inspiration." - Herman te Loo, Jazzflits Netherlands

Each time out by Groder is a different adventure

"When Brian Groder issued FluiDensity with pianist Tonino Miano last year, it struck me as “an elegant dance between jazz and classical”, but the broad-minded Groder finds more than one way to make improvisational music. Reflexology — released last month — presents Groder in a trio format, playing songs that stick to the far modern jazz side of things. Crucially, he chose sympathetic partners for this cause, drummer Jay Rosen (Joe McPhee, Sonny Simmons) and Michael Bisio of the Matthew Shipp Trio. Through this collection of eight tunes, Groder eases his trio through twisting melodies that blur the distinction between what’s improv and what’s charted. With no full chords at hand, Groder leans on Bisio to make up the gap, who tracks perfectly with the trumpeter on his sinuous themes and then discreetly slips out to solo. All the while, Bisio stays in touch with Rosen, and both alternate between keeping time and venturing out to follow the flow. Each time out by Groder is a different adventure, but he consistently creates sketches of definable character performed open-ended but never unhinged and above all, polished. Reflexology attains all of those things, with a rhythm section that acts as a natural extension of its leader." - S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!

Sincere and genuine jazz

"An original trumpet personality with a very personal style. With inspired and experienced teammates like bassist Michaël Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen, the music is generous, elegant and racy. 
 In this album, they focus on the swing and cohesion necessary to rock the leader's compositions while opening the game with free escapades and articulated on the pulsation. Groder practices an open contemporary jazz and sentences his melodic inventions / improvisations on the structure of the theme in a temperate manner. No lightning, but a shaded game of shadows with a certain fragile tenderness. The rhythm breathes without purring. There is a real coherence throughout the album, as if it were a homogeneous suite dedicated to an elastic lyricism full of freshness. As one would write news in an atmosphere or a time to make a book of which all the parts are held. Brian Groder strives above all to play music that makes sense rather than creating under the pressure of a fading rhythm. We think of the spirit of Jimmy Giuffre, Jack Sheldon or Bob Brookmeyer, rather than Booker Little or Clifford Brown. A sincerely endearing record of sincere and authentic jazz." Jean Michel van Schouwburg, Orynx Improvandsounds, France

The sound of Groder's instruments is both powerful, casual and unadorned, evocative in the manner of a Don Cherry.

"the three partners are also exceptional improvisers, giving them a lot of flexibility and interpretation. We also feel that healthy emulation is in the works, with everyone giving their best to the community. Groder's sound on his instruments is both powerful, casual and unprepared, evocative in the manner of a Don Cherry. Here is a fine example of acoustic jazz in the present, whose artisanal and honest approach attests to the vitality of this musical genre, here freed from sectarian pastism as false innovations to the taste of the day, in favor of a true commitment in depth. New York is (still) Now !" - David Cristol ImproJazz Issue #208

A clean and supple tone and a rounded, flowing phrasing that’s deceptively ripe with interesting depth.

"Trumpeter Brian Groder had a busy July, tying the knot with his new bride just weeks after the release of his latest disc as a leader. Reflexology features a clever cover schematic that arranges an array of jazz influences into a podiatrist’s version of a phrenology map. None are explicitly audible in Groder’s music, and that’s a testament to the individuality at the core of his art. More evidence of his creative credibility comes with his chosen colleagues. Basssist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen share a long history together both in performance and recording, and their deep rapport is an immediate asset to the leader. The project had its genesis in duo jam sessions between Groder and Bisio over the summer of 2013 and a similar intimacy informs their work in the studio with Rosen. Eight of the compositions come from Groder’s pen with the calypso-tinged “Haiti-B” borrowed from his mentor Joanne Brackeen. There’s a natural integrity to the program with most of the pieces building smoothly off theme statements and into collective and individual improvisation. Rhythmic variability plays an integral part in the interplay and both Bisio on Rosen take to the flexible structures with palpable enthusiasm.” - Derek Taylor, Dusted in Exile

A remarkable display of Groder's considerable multifaceted skills.

"Making a parallel with the rich and refined style of Charlie Parker is inevitable for this work by Brian Groder and his band. In the elaborate and refined trumpet cuts, it seems that that way of making jazz revives, not at all crystallized in the cold and sterile repetition of that musical current. In fact, it should be emphasized that the comparison ends where the rhythmic elaboration begins, and the creativity of the group, admirably fused and close-knit. In all the pieces Groder sports a perfect be-bop and cool style, very clear and articulated, Bisio appears very fluid and discursive, while Rosen seems to remain more tied to the melodic lines." - Ri.DR. Jazz Colours , Italy

His horn soars with an extraordinary and emotional energy

"A long-time fixture in the his native New York City jazz scene, trumpeter and flugelhorn player Brian Groder has devoted a considerable part of his career to the frequent use of free-form approaches. His previous trios have included bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Newman Taylor Baker. Groder has also worked with trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum and many others. On Reflexology he surrounds himself with very like-minded improvisers in bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen.The title Reflexology may imply a specific scientific bent in the eight original Groder compositions (plus one cover); the correlation may be as simple an action/reaction analogy. Little of Reflexology swings in the traditional sense but neither is it atonal as a rule; rather it is clean and un-wasted playing where every idea comes through and each is relevant. Though the instrumentation is uncommon the imagination and empathy of the players make it accessible and a pleasure to listen to." Karl Ackermann, AllAboutJazz 
"A beautiful CD by trumpet player Brian Groder, a program of his original compositions performed with his trio, i.e. Michael Bisio on bass and fantastic drummer Jay Rosen. Groder is in top shape here, especially in regards to his writing, rooted in jazz yet prospective, and rich in memorable tunes. The musicians’ playing, the balance of the tracklist, the strength of the solos – even the cover – are appealing to me. Recommended." - François Couture, Monsieur Delire

Do not wait! Get this one because it rings out as one of the best this year!

"I have been appreciating Brian Groder for a while now. He plays trumpet very architectonically. What? Architectonic...having a clearly defined structure. There is form in his improvising which is related to his composing. We get Brian's architectonics laid bare, so to speak, on his new trio album, with the self-explanatory title Brian Groder Trio (Latham 5901). There's one piece by Joanne Brackeen; the rest are by Groder. He chose well in including bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen. Both respond with brilliance to free architectonics. Brian and Michael interact with exceptional grace and inventiveness. Both play out of the compositional implications of each number in interactive bliss and on their own. The performances are not to be missed. The compositions hit you in the ears and the trio through-improvises on them with a musical logic that is outstanding." - Gapplegate Music Review

Reflexology is an expertly crafted mix of composition and improvisation that delivers something more than a sum of its parts.

"Trumpeter Brian Groder's trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen is a real treat. Lacking a chordal instrument, the trio has a lot of space to fill, which they do - to some extent - while sticking to a more traditional jazz vocabulary. By this I mean, the musicians don't veer into extended technique or over-blowing to fill space, but rather through clever phrasing and counterpoint they connect the dots, still leaving plenty of breathing room in their music. Groder has a clear limpid tone and uses it to deliver his melodic ideas with precision, while Bisio and Rosen work together to ensure the type of solid foundation that reveals their years of playing together. Delicate and tastefully done, Reflexology is a solid and enjoyable album." - Paul Acquaro, Freejazz Blog
"New York-based trumpeter/flugelhornist comfortable in free ensembles yet committed to song form convenes trio for a tribute to Archie Shepp and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen’s 1981 Looking At Bird duet outing. But give Groder credit for acknowledging that no mere flugelhorn could fill the mighty roar left by Shepp - the vital addition of percussionist Jay Rosen allows both leader and bassist Michael Bisio to relax a little. It helps that all three collaborators are melodists (Joe McPhee-associate Rosen coaxes trills from his cymbals), which means even decidedly abstract lines dart out with the quick fragmentary logic of Anthony Braxton at his most direct. And for those who find the spartan interplay too, well, spartan, Groder’s old composition teacher Joanne Brackeen offers some relief in the guise of lone non-original “Haiti-B”: first a Strata-East bass vamp, then the drummer giving what for." - Jason Gubbels, Odyshape

A fine disc on many levels, warm, thoughtful and well-played.

"Downtown trumpet hero, Brian Groder, materializes every year or so with another impressive disc and has remained one of Downtown's best kept secrets. Although he has worked with elders like Sam Rivers, Burton Greene and Andrea Centazzo, he should be more renown than he is. For this date, he has organized an incredible trio with two of NY's finest collaborators: Michael Bisio who is the bassist of choice for Matt Shipp, Joe McPhee and Steve Gauci and Jay Rosen, CIMP-all-star drummer who continues to work with Trio X, Ivo Perelman and the Cosmosamatics (Sonny Simmons & Michael Marcus). It seems obvious that Mr. Groder and his colleagues have studied the long history of jazz. All of the songs were written by Mr. Groder except one by pianist Joanne Brackeen who was/is a longtime teacher to Groder. That sense of jazz history pervades throughout this disc as each song reveals another link (or series of links) to the stream that holds this history together. It sounds like Groder has spent a good deal of time writing as each song sets a mood and/or tells a story. If you think that this being just a trio would limit any expressiveness, you would be wrong as each member of the trio is important to the structure and story which unfolds on each song. One of the good things about this disc is that both Mr. Bisio and Mr. Rosen are more known for playing well in the free situations, here play Groder's charts with precision, craft and grace. On a song called, "Haiti-B", Rosen plays a most impressive drum solo while Bisio plays his swell repeating line over and over.  - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

An amazing virtuoso performance, the future for improvisational trumpet is in good hands.

" An open ended approach that challenges the imagination while transcending traditional theory. Stellar! Listed as an "avant garde" recording on some web sites, Reflexology is the aptly titled adventurous recording from the Brian Groder Trio. The term "avant garde" was coined by critics in an effort to describe music that was left of center and well past the standard accepted traditions of improvisational music of the day. This particular archaic term is neither accurate or adequate to describe the critically acclaimed work of Brian Groder whose background is as varied as his approach to composition. Brian Groder is an artist, not a genre. The trio is comprised of rising star bassist Michael Bisio and one of the most sought after lyrical drummers in Jay Rosen. All compositions with the notable exception of Haiti-B are from Groder. A piano less trumpet trio while not the norm is not terribly unusual. Instead of the predictable covers from Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw, The Brian Groder Trio pulls from a myriad of melodic influence and adapts this inspiration to a textured shading that showcases their own lyrical intent. At times rhythmical complex while keeping a minimalist presentation, The Brian Groder Trio skillfully works a harmonic net that moves well past what some would consider traditional improvisational music. Simplicity is indeed the ultimate sophistication. One foot in the past and a keen lyrical vision for the future has garnered Brian Groder critical acclaim from All About Jazz and Downbeat. Reflexology should fair well across the board and is certainly a release that is worth closer examination." - Brent Black, Bop-n-Jazz

"Groder sports a trumpet sound in a perfect, crystal structure be-bop and cool style."

"Reflexology could pair with ornithology. The trumpet-double-bass-drums trio by Groder-Bisio-Rosen was created to satisfy the long time echo of be-bop and "Reflexology" to highlight a double value of sounds: music of the past as a reflection of today's and direct beneficial effect. Groder, in the liner notes, admits that in the creative phase he had in mind "Looking at Bird", the popular duet album between Archie Shepp and Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen, a tribute to Parker (most of the songs are remakes of the American saxophonist ) in which the expressive dialogues are well defined and the usual evocative sound of an era stands out.
 "Reflexology" is a collection that exhibits its best prerogatives in the central part: after showing what it means to organize a theme, deepens it with solutions that bite in another way; letting oneself be carried away by the passion and freedom of musical intent, this trio's merit is in the special evocation of die-hard styles, which is not bebop tout court, what we have been used to hear normally, but where there is a character of reflexivity (the second value mentioned before) that is rewarded, as in the remake of Haiti-B (a song by Brackeen, further source of inspiration for Groder), Groder sports an opaque trumpet sound in perfect be-bop and cool style." - Ettore Garzia, Percorsi Musicali
BRIAN GRODER and TONINO MIANO - FluiDENSITY                                               buy it here

Profound and beautiful music.

"These two like-minded musicians draw inspiration from diverse and influential composers, Duke Ellington, Cecil Taylor, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók and Frederic Rzewski and transcend their influence into a set of lyrical, carefully nuanced spontaneous improvisations.  The emphatic interplay and the rich vocabulary of both musicians enable them to turn the nine improvisations into an organic and quick-thinking exchange of ideas and gestures, patiently accumulating them into, provocative and engaging compositions. The fragile, airy "Depth of Field" exemplifies the duo method of communication. It is structured from spare, colorful, often muted blows of Groder, framed gently by Miano who anticipates his moves, till it blossoms as an expressive ballad, that is concluded on the following "Brushmarks," that adopts similar, fragile mood. Inclination" and "Opposite Geometry" suggest different approaches. Groder and Miano move in colliding attacks, creating complex, labyrinthine structures that mature in the following, "Phase Shift." On this improvisation a reserved and subtle exchange of ideas develops into an intense exploration of shifting rhythms, harmonizations and melodic motifs. "Pinion" refers to the piano suite Squares by American avant-grade composer Rzweski and combines beautifully elements from this suite with improvisational commentary. This set is closed with a playful game of variations on "Wiser Counter Clock" and a gentle and thoughtful ballad "Pas de Deux." — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

Quite simply one of the most extraordinary duo performances of contemporary music that I’ve heard in recent memory.

"There is something classically elemental and appealing about brass-piano duos, rare as they are in improvised music. Of course, like many group formations, the personalities of the players should make up the text of the performance as well as the output itself – in other words, the player is more important than what instruments are used. Therefore, it’s easier to imagine the as-yet-unreleased duets of Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor in terms of a compositional and personal interaction rather than a recital of material specificity. So while the landscape appears tangibly related between the above players or less well-known figures like Brian Groder and Tonino Miano, the results are markedly different. "FluiDensity" is the debut recording of Groder and Miano in duet. Groder is a clarion trumpet player whose turns of phrase are incredibly varied and on point; dance-like and incisive. The Italian-born pianist Tonino Miano has been in New York since 1993 and recorded sporadically; interestingly, this is not his first trumpet-piano duo recording (seek out 2008’s The Curvature of Pace with Mirio Cosottini), though it is his first with Groder. Across nine improvisations and co-compositions (including a piece based on composer-pianist Frederic Rzewski’s Noctamble #3), Groder and Miano flutter, spike, skitter and arch with some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard from these particular paired instruments. One can hear the rangy motifs and jutting postwar classical feel of someone like Alexander von Schlippenbach in Miano’s movements, for which Groder’s narrow, rippling control of valves, breath and embouchure is a perfect foil. As players in a duet context, improvisers should be ready and able to stand alone, and while the rigor and grace of Miano are assured reflections of his embrace of piano repertoire, a trumpeter able to hold similar shape and weight is uncommon. Groder is certainly able to do this in spades, and the pair reflects on apartness and devilish unity on “Depth of Field.” “Inclination” builds from swinging flecks to roiling and gestural direction, puckered incisions and fluffs working their way through dense right-handed fisticuffs. There’s a sardonic atonal delicacy that begins “Pinion,” the aforementioned Rzewski homage, with Groder pensive and romantic, floating against overlapping swirls and cut-off palimpsests. “Wiser Counter Clock” employs repetitive flicks that nod in the direction of both Herbie Hancock on Grachan Moncur III’s “The Twins” and von Schlippebach on Manfred Schoof’s “Glockenbär,” while the closing "Pas de Deux" is metallic and sensual. Mimicry and internalized reflection are part of the nature of duets but the language shared between pianist and trumpeter here is so ingrained, natural and tautly expressed that little thought is possible beyond present grace." - Clifford Allen, Ni Kantu

This is music of fascinating texture and structure.

"Groder is a trumpeter with a full, rich tone and excellent technical command. Miano tends to play in a linear style, not too busy, somewhat related to late-’50s Lennie Tristano. Together, the music they create has a more angular form, almost (one might say) baroque in rhythm if decidedly late-modern in harmony. Several of Groder’s licks have the sound and feel of bop, at least melodically, but as soon as Miano enters the music seems to be in two different keys much (but not all) of the time, which essentially draws the listener in. Much of the time, Miano’s piano part has the quality of counterpoint to Groder’s trumpet; at other times, it sounds as if both musicians are improvising simultaneously but differently on the same motif; at yet other moments, it sounds as if the pianist was “leading” the trumpeter rather than vice-versa. FluiDensity inhabits a certain Zen-like space in the musical cosmos, that it ignores and negates any semblance of Fusion (which I normally detest anyway), and that it makes a conscious attempt to be artistic without consciously trying to sound over-studied or pretentious. In short, it was a fascinating musical journey well worth taking with these two thoughtful and talented musicians, and I recommend it to your listening experience as well." — Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine

Groder and Miano have politely but firmly torn down artificial boundaries between musical genres

"Listening to the stimulating FluiDensity is akin to eavesdropping on an intelligent, ad-lib conversation between two friends. Trumpeter Brian Groder and pianist Tonino Miano, both master improvisers, mine the modernist western musical canon for the majority of their ideas and spice it up with a bit of jazz and various ethnic motifs. The deep camaraderie that the two share makes for a gratifying listening experience, as Groder's hypnotic and lilting horn and Miano's clever, glissando-filled pianism produce imaginative and penetrating poetry on "Opposite Geometry." A consummate musician, Groder is known for his progressive and unorthodox approach to composing. On "Phase Shift," he brings this unique touch to extemporizing as well. His burnished tones engage in a delightfully dissonant duet with Miano's breakneck arpeggios and percussive notes. No stranger to working with unconventional and edgy pianists, Groder deftly matches his fast staccato lines to Miano's inventive acrobatics, bringing the tune to an intriguing climax. The Bologna-native/New York-based Miano is conservatory trained and holds dual degrees in musicology and classical piano performance. The influence of groundbreaking 20th century composers is clear in his improvisations. He combines a sophisticated atonality and dark passion in his heady and mordant sound on the cinematic "Wiser Counter Clock," which ends in a thought-provoking sonic explosion, and also features Groder's angst-laden, meandering melody. Although it may be not for purists, this provocative yet accessible album enthralls and fascinates through several spins." — Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

'Inclination' moves along like a stage play, with some moments of peacefulness, hope, tension and release, sometimes at once.

"FluiDensity is an elegant dance between jazz and classical, rendered by a couple of veteran hands experienced in the nuances of both. Such a bare setup enables so much more freedom and pure expression, and that’s just what is delivered on FluiDensity. These nine compositions were nothing more than informal discussions between takes before they were performed for the record. Thus, it’s a very instinctual set of recordings, and while there are some classical and jazz, it evokes those styles seemingly more by coincidence than some conscious effort to make an album that blends certain kinds of music." "Miano’s piano has too much classical grace in his approach to draw close comparisons to Cecil Taylor, but does share Taylor’s intensity and adventurous streak. Together, the pair plays with one mind, like a solo performance involving two instruments. FluiDensity presents music that’s both unencumbered and generally placid. Brian Groder and Tonino Miano send out a clear message that spontaneity doesn’t have to be chaotic." — S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!

A mastery of a tumbling, widely harmonic, melodically rich tonal invention.

"Brian Groder plays a singular trumpet. He can be dense, soulful, technically diverse and melodically pristine, all in one gulp, and that he is on these recordings. Tonio Miano makes the perfect foil for Brian on piano. He has some of the forward momentum of a Cecil Taylor but his cascades are musically distinct. He is all over the place on the instrument but at the same time has ideas in his phrasings that sound as if they could be composed, in that they have a logical, speaking component, so to say. There are parts that do indicate either extraordinary telepathic synchronicities or pre-planned motifs. They could be either and that says much of the flow of the music here. If you are looking for free but very meaty content in a trumpet-piano duet set, look no further. This one is a model of what two fine players can come up with in the course of a recording session." — Gapplegate Music
"Brian Groder is an avant- garde jazz trumpeter from New York City and has performed with a number of artists, composed film soundtracks and multi-media presentations, and received a number of awards for his compositions. In February 2013, Groder introduced his sixth and latest avant-garde CD, FluiDensity. The work has a Charles Ives-esque melodic and harmonic feel that intertwines and focuses on neither melody nor harmony. The theme that seems to be portrayed in FluiDensity is one that combines the tangible and intangible, the subjective and the objective. Overall the works are inventive and the trumpet performances inspired. FluiDensity is certainly a welcome addition to the avant-garde genre." - Jim Martincic, International Trumpet Guild Journal

Throughout the disc Groder’s trumpet is fluid and lyrical, with a rounded, singing tone.

" FluiDensity finds Italian-born pianist Tonino Miano in the congenial company of New York trumpeter Brian Groder. Its harmonic vocabulary is drawn equally from recent art music and advanced jazz. Miano’s sound can be finely splintered as it explores the outer edges of atonal clusters. But it can also verge on a Monkish bop at times, especially on a piece like Inclination, with its half-step movement and exuberantly fractured swing. Overall, this is a fine and cohesive collection of duets." — Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News
"Miano’s virtuosity is all over the piano. He is most often the “dense” to Groder’s “fluid” in this equation. He never lacks for textural and gestural ideas that contribute a sense of designed space to the improvisations, his harmonies ranging from modal to atonal. Groder’s sound is the more deeply “jazz,” especially in the way a jazz wind player accesses quasi-vocal lyricism. His phrasing, articulation, pitch modulations and Miles Davis-like staccato identify him as the American in this European-American pairing. The lonely, elegiac solo trumpet is an iconic 20th century American sound that here avoids cliché by virtue of its sincerity." — Nic Gotham, The Whole Note

The beauty of Groder’s trumpet playing is in the character of his “dialogue”, that way of being in improvisation that was a quality of the masters of the instrument

"This Italian-American duo presents itself as one of the most interesting projects of 2013. Trumpeter Brian Groder and pianist Tonino Miano release Fluidensity in “grand style”, the result of their most complete allegiance to jazz improvisation. The beauty of Groder’s trumpet playing is in the character of his “dialogue”, that way of being in improvisation that was a quality of the masters of the instrument, especially those at the edge between hard bop and free; his path however is not a forced one, but simply the expression of a tenacious musician. Stylistically close to Cecil Tayolr, Miano’s influences exceed the American contour: the ruminating style deeply blends with the classic pianism of the post-Schoenberg European avant-guard, hence there isn’t a clear dominance of a particular idiom. Moreover, the duo form with the trumpet seems to be one of this Italian artist’s favorite, for years now living in New York, a territory not too crowded with (foreign?) jazz players. Fluidensity, therefore, descends into the discourse of musical dynamics that not only point out the musician’s proficiency, but also a will to describe a world of thoughts and indirect emotions that are a part of our reality. The two reach a climatic interplay, where piano and trumpet investigate diverse ideas with many variations, and probably where the apex of their expressiveness resides, confirming that of works without prejudice and that transcend time we still feel the need." — Ettore Garzia, Percorsi Musicali
"Brian Groder and Tonino Miano's FluiDensity is the work of a duo so conversant and solid that one could imagine that they were working off rather dense charts rather than engaged in the give and take of pure improvisation. Groder's melodies are quite engaging and Miano's imaginative accompaniment never fails to be supportive. Together they have made an album the straddles the line between classical and avant-garde jazz with accessible spiraling melodies and evolving improvised ideas. The album as a whole breaths, expanding and contracting, leaving space for listener to ingest, digest and reflect and then do it all over again. FluiDensity is an imaginative and sophisticated album of dense, fluid, melodic and intriguing improvisation." - Paul Acquaro, Freejazz Blog
"Both musicians sound like they have classical training and a wealth of ideas at their disposal. The musicians appear to finish each other's lines, weaving delicately around one another in a tight communion. There is an elegant quality to this music, inventive without ever dealing with too many high or fast notes. The pace is more moderate and thoughtfully displayed. Even when they they to go a bit further out, it is never too far. The duo remain connected to a similar calm sensibility with occasional flashes of brilliance or fireworks. Eventually the duo erupt in short flashes which are impressive yet don't last too long before they are transformed into something else. You can tell that Mr. Groder has worked long and hard on his tone and playing since every note fits just right on the open canvas that the duo paint upon. This disc is more like a classical recital than a jazz duo recording. It is still quite dazzling any way you look or listen to it. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
BRIAN GRODER and BURTON GREENE - Groder & Greene          buy it here

A feast of elaborate free-thinking ideas

" Groder & Greene was recorded in 2007, issued last year and is an exceptionally fine example of modern free jazz. The first thing I noticed was the vivid recording quality, allowing the contributions of the five players to shine like diamonds in crystal clear water. Invited in by that warm sound, you start to decode and untangle the ingenious compositions within, which have all the depth and complexity we could hope for from such clearly intelligent and well-informed players; at their best, the quintet manage to pull things in five or six different directions at once, giving the amazed listener a feast of elaborate free-thinking ideas to feed on. What’s most exciting, for example on ‘Separate Being’, is how the piano holds down a completely opposing argument which contradicts yet somehow complements the discussion being held between Groder and his partner Rob Brown on the alto. There’s deep wisdom and experience engrained in these mystical, odd-fitting abstractolid chord shapes of his. Plus there’s even one track graced with a witty Mingus-inspired title, which wins extra points with this paid-up fan of Th’ Mingster. Fabulous work, totally recommended to fans of 1960s Dolph and early Ornette." — Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector
Trumpeter Brian Groder has a talent for creating combinations of players to achieve certain musical outcomes. This instinct is especially important when the territory traversed is free jazz, where the mixtures of players are indispensable if the music is to be coherent. On Groder & Greene, the free jazz is indeed cogent and compelling. It is pure magic. With eight group improvisation and just one composition, Greene's 'Can You Thropt The Erectus?,' the expectations might be for chaotic, shambolic music. But this music is nothing of the sort. The group interplay tends toward coherent statements and organized, at least for free improvisation, tracks. This band's music crystallizes into fully formed conceptions." — Mark Corroto, AllAboutJazz

Cool and groovy yet elusive and ethereal

"Trumpeter Brian Groder, over a small handful of recordings, is established as an improviser creating his own pathway apart from his influences. Decades of dedication to creative music have given pianist Burton Greene a mighty reputation in his field, with a unique perspective that crosses over into 20th and 21st century contemporary classical music. With ex-Cecil Taylor sideman, alto saxophonist Rob Brown, the fantastic bassist Adam Lane, and drummer Ray Sage, this thoroughly special collective makes music in the moment with a certain grit, spirit, and depth.  This talented ensemble plays music unique unto itself, liberated of any barriers save the occasional pulse or beat rooted in the tradition. What Groder and Greene accomplish is an integration with their band members, sounding unified while retaining their individuality in a cohesion that not so much defines a sound as it consistently triggers their best assets. At times, other gruff tones or late-night elements enter, but in general, there's grounded improvisation with a firm background and experience playing with masters of the idiom. Groder & Greene is an excellent example of new, modern-day music lined with the wisdom of the pioneers of free jazz, creative improvised, or spontaneous composition, whatever you wish to term it." – Michael G. Nastos, Boom 997, Ottawa, Canada

Equally fluent on trumpet and flugelhorn, Brian Groder is a venerated composer, trumpeter, and ensemble leader that has been cited as one of the most original jazz voices of his generation.

"Free or modern progressive jazz can take many forms but for seasoned artists like trumpet /flugel horn player Brian Groder and pianist Burton Greene the outcome is always definitive and enduring. On their first collaboration for Latham Records the duo’s album Groder & Greene hit the shelves on October 1, 2009 after nearly two years prior to the original recording date. Good things come with time and jazz listeners will be rewarded with their patience by receiving a classic rendering of the free form style of jazz popularized in the 1950′s by such icons as John Coltrane, Sun Ra and others. The inspirational improvisations of pianist Burton Greene, alto saxophonist Rob Brown, bassist Alan Lane and drummer Ray Sage help Brian Groder to take the music to another level. Groder’s penchant for working with other composers gives his brand of modern progressive jazz distinctive richness and depth when the collaborations reach their fruition during a performance. Fortunately this particular group of songs was captured during the heat of spontaneity created by the artists in the studio. Groder and Greene complement each other beautifully on the release and allow the rest of the musicians to contribute in equal measures making Groder & Greene a true partnership of musicians allowing the voice of jazz improvisation to be heard loud and clear throughout the recording." - Keith Hannaleck, All That Jazz
A sense of form and cohesion makes Groder & Greene a success. Veteran “free” pianist Burton Greene cogitates at the center of all this. Even when he engages in atonal keyboard cascades he exhibits clarity of intent and certainty of direction; when he shifts gears, even subtly, he carries the rest of the musicians with him. Let’s consider the opener. Bassist Adam Lane offers a folk-like tune that trumpeter Groder picks up and gives a Blues tinge. Joined by drummer Ray Sage’s ride pattern and Greene’s jabs, the band strides forward in a manner that would warm a bopper’s heart. Then Greene interjects a single note line that’s harmonically askew, and the steady sense of swings grows looser, slowly coming undone. This leads to alto saxophonist Rob Brown entering, offering a jagged commentary on the piano figure Greene now lines the middle of the soundscape with. All comes undone as the group reaches a free form rubato with Groder rejoining the fray that resolves seven minutes in to a soft, quick ride pattern. Groder and Brown whisper as the tune closes with the trumpeter echoing some of the blues phrasing of the opening minutes. Such shifts of temperament are witnessed throughout the session.” — David Dupont, Cadence Magazine
"This disc, which gives top billing to the trumpeter Brian Groder and the seminal free-jazz pianist Burton Greene, is perhaps my favourite disc of this batch. It has the greatest range of expression and timbre, as well as the strongest sense of momentum, and — pardon my bias is showing — the greatest connection to jazz of the unfree kind." — Ottawa Citizen, Canada
"As your musician friend would say upon listening to this marvelous free jazz CD, 'That's some serious heavy ---- !' Fill in the blanks." — Dick Crockett, "The Voice", 88.7FM, Sacramento

One of the freshest and most enjoyable releases of the year.

" After taking octogenarian saxophonist Sam Rivers on one of the most exciting rides of recent years on 2006's Torque, trumpeter Brian Groder has teamed up with another iconic figure of free jazz, pianist Burton Greene, for nine magnificent musical adventures recorded, appropriately enough, in Greene Street Studios NYC in October 2007. Without wanting in any way to downplay the importance of Groder's limpid and remarkably inventive trumpet and fluegelhorn playing, or alto saxophonist Rob Brown's technically and musically outstanding contributions (there's no point in even saying that, as everything Brown has committed to record in his lifetime has been technically and musically outstanding), the date belongs to Greene, not because he deliberately pushes everyone else to the sidelines, but because his contributions as both soloist and especially accompanist are so startlingly original that they command attention.  This is a truly splendid album, easily the best thing Burton's released in years" — Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic Magazine
" A marvelously free interplay of five strong musical personalities in the "Instant Composing" process, to be experienced and enjoyed." — Jazz Dimensions Magazine, Germany 
" A brisk session of free jazz from some terrific modern players. I first heard of trumpeter Brian Groder on the album Torque, where his backing band with Sam Rivers‘ trio (with Sam Rivers included). Here, he’s got another crackerjack band, with pianist Burton Greene up front. Very nice work, overall. Groder surrounds himself with good company, and as on his previous CD, it pays off." — Memory Select

Top 10 of 2009 - Jazzhouse Diaries

Best New Releases of 2009

" It’s somewhat surprising, on the heels of Greene’s Klezmer projects and the uniquely boppish dates he’s recently produced for CIMP, that his collaboration with trumpeter Brian Groder harks back to the blowouts of yore. In a quintet with altoist Rob Brown, bassist Adam Lane and drummer Ray Sage, the emphasis is on collective improvisation. However, playing free in this decade is something decidedly different than it was 40-odd years ago, for musicians’ technique and knowledge is generally at a much higher level. Groder has a precise, steely tone and his statements are economical - cool, yet full, like a less-brash Ted Curson. It’s hard not to reach back in time when hearing Brown boil over as blocky piano motifs and turbulent gut and horsehair pool and shove underneath, but even within those choppy waves, there’s a sense of composure directing the ensemble’s bombs towards a plotted explosion. Greene mirrors and recombines phrases into dense dialogues in a mutable, cubistic approach to comping." — Clifford Allen, AllAboutJazz NY
"This is one smokin' hot little (9-track) CD that features trumpet and flugelhorn from Brian, with keyboards from Burton Greene, along with alto sax by Rob Brown, double bass from Adam Lane and drums by Ray Sage. It's an October 2009 release jammed full of very interesting spontaneous improvisation, and I dug it in many different ways. Sage has played with some other underground folks we've reviewed here, most notably Bonnie Kane, reviewed in issue # 81, so I expected something different... something "off the path"... and I got it in spades! The keyword for the playing these guys do is "different", in fact... not so strange that a reg'lar jazzer couldn't dig down into the soul of what they do, but certainly off-kilter enough that no self-respecting "middle-of-the-roader" would be caught with a copy of their CD. Of course, this kind of music is more suited to the readership of this fine 'zine, where the unexpected IS the norm... because that's what keeps life moving in new directions... one of the best examples is "Only The Now", one of my favorites... just listen to Lane's double bass on this one - truly moving (every second of every measure). My absolute favorite, though, had the sounds of hobgoblins from the netherworlds... that would be "Hey Pithy, Can You Thropt the Erectus"... definitely something along the lines of an improvised exorcism... ha! ha! These guys clearly know how to have fun with their music, and easily pass it along to the receptive listener. They get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.98." — Dick Metcalf, IMPROVIJAZZATION Nation
" Groder is poetic and unique, with a sound all his own." — Vittorio Lo Conte, AllAboutJazz Italy
"Appearing on numerous top-ten lists for 2009, Groder & Greene brings together NYC free jazz trumpeter/flugelhorn player Brian Groder with Chicago-born/Amsterdam-based free jazz piano legend Burton Greene. They are joined by alto saxophonist Rob Brown, double-bassist Adam Lane and drummer Ray Sage in creating eight efficacious improvised pieces that range from ferocious to quiet and strange with every variation between. The strength of the players and exceptional rapport they bring the sessions takes what should by any means be chaos and instead weaves spontaneous compositions out of the cacophony. All of the players exhibit exceptional abilities within this genre, with Greene attracting the ear with piano work that at times tinkles odd notes, or canters across the keys and at others pounds out furious fistfuls of block chords. He truly seems a perfect foil for Groder's strong melodic touch, and the other musicians also seem especially well chosen for this project." — JazzChicago.net

A confirmation that we're in front of a musician of international stature

"We are dealing with a work of high caliber, where the quintet follows a compact and with a group identity. In their performances they appear to have a mysterious bond, because everything works perfectly without there being a single moment of routine. The beautiful voices of the soloists are on display within well-designed tracks, which show how, after all, even within a genre defined as 'free' there's room for an organization of sounds, an internal evolution different from what has been recorded decades ago. It is worth mentioning Groder's previous recordings: here we have a worthy sequel." — Cosimo Parisi, Musicboom, Italy

Top 10 of 2009

" In addition to the leaders, Groder on trumpets and Greene on piano, Rob Brown and Adam Lane join the forces to put this one over the edge. Great playing all the way around." — Jazz Corner
"This recent outing finds Groder surrounded by some heavy company. The evidence of this disk suggests he is a trumpeter anyone would welcome on a free date. He's limber and filled with good musical ideas. Collectively they come up with a program that updates the classic free date with plenty of permutations, landmarks, signposts and traffic signals, always showing green (or is it Greene?). Seriously this is excellent music and some of the best Burton Greene in a long time. But it's everybody shining. I don't give out stars, that always reminds me of second grade penmanship, but if I did, this would get the highest rating. Grab a copy and give it a spin." Gapplegate Music

One of this year's finest works of fully improvised material.

"Groder & Greene is a decisive case that proves 20th century free jazz continues to be vital and expertly accomplished in the 21st century. Pianist Burton Greene and trumpeter/flugelhorn player Brian Groder - along with alto saxophonist Rob Brown, bassist Adam Lane and drummer Ray Sage - are experienced pros of the progressive jazz scene and together the five artists have forged one of this year's finest works of fully improvised material. There is, above all, a high degree of focus and communication." — Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition Magazine
"Brian Groder and pianist Burton Greene are veterans of New York’s progressive, free jazz scene, so it’s no surprise that the duo’s latest work, Groder & Greene, is a masterful example of the 20th century avant-garde jazz in which they were bred. As with many totally improvised, “out” recordings, it’s often best to sit back, turn off your brain, let the cacophony come to you, and absorb the constructive and destructive interference of sounds. With atonal mayhem that would sound at home on a horror-movie soundtrack, spontaneous melodies that ooze emotion, and exhilarating bursts of rhythm that drive the release, it’s a work that could only result from giving world-class musicians the total freedom to communicate with one another musically. Greene and Groder should be commended for fostering such uninhibited communication." — Michael Kabran, Popmatters

Again, a great album; 4-1/2 stars

"More than two years ago trumpet-player Brian Groder released "Torque", a stellar CD with Sam Rivers on sax. Ever since, I've been scanning the usual information sources, eager to find new material by him, wondering what happened because I couldn't find any, but here it is: finally. Quite a band! And so is the music. Which is as free as it gets, and quite disciplined at the same time. Brian Groder explains "We would discuss the possible form, order of instruments entering and exciting, moods, dynamics and tempos ... but there weren't any melodies/lines, chord or special structure we were reading down". And even if that is the case, very often that is not how it sounds. I will not review every track, but you get the gist of it: lots of variation, lots of musical ideas, lots of fun too, and emotional moments, ... what more do you want? Some jazz musicians publish more than is possible to keep track of, other artists remain shamefully under-recorded. Groder clearly fits in the latter category. Not only for his technical skills on the trumpet, but also for his musical ideas." — Free Jazz blog, Netherlands read the rest here
"Groder & Greene is a new project bringing together trumpeter Brian Groder and pianist Burton Greene to create the kind of artistic jazz that borders between absolute freedom and brilliance. Along with Rob Brown, Ray Sage and Adam Lane, Groder and Greene play this music as if they were born to do it. This is an album you’ll want to recommend for anyone who asks about quality jazz albums of 2009. There are many, but this is one of the best." — This Is Book's Music
"High quality, under the radar trumpet man Groder is not only making a name for himself as an original jazz voice, he’s creating his own niche of doing duets with civil rights jazz-era free jazz players and making interesting collaborations that cross generations and sonics. Teaming this time around with one of the era’s piano men, this sounds like some post 'Bitches Brew' Miles that’s stripped down to the elephant funk basics but still delivers a full sound. Wild stuff for ears looking for a thrill, this seems to be sitting down jazz that gets you squirming in your seat. A delightfully wild ride." — Chris Spector, Midwest Records
"After "Torque", with legend Sam Rivers and his trio, it is now with veteran Burton Greene with whom Brian Groder joins forces for another tour de force. To begin with, it is a long time ago since I enjoyed so intensely a jazz recording as this one. Great vibrant and spirited music. Free jazz by musicians who can handle freedom and demonstrate a strongly focused operation, creating some fantastic and gorgeous moments. All pieces make the impression of being chaotic and cacophonic from the outward, but if you dive into them, all is dazzlingly intertwined and connected. Very communicative ensemble work. It is the contrast between Greene's 'primitive' playing and the playing by the others that make this one a very enjoyable record. Must have been two blessed days when these recordings were done in October 2007." — Vital Weekly webcast, Netherlands
BRIAN GRODER and the SAM RIVERS TRIO - Torque            buy it here

Once in a great while, a new release comes along in which all the elements of musical magic come together: great ensemble playing, impeccable and sensitive improvisation, and great compositional structures that make it all work. Trumpeter Brian Groder's Torque is one of those rare releases in which everything clicks. Music of ceaselessly fascinating possibilities." Samuel Chell, AllAboutJazz

Brian Groder brings impressive focus and impeccable chops to this encounter with Sam Rivers.

"The trumpeter holds his own as a player opposite a true giant of jazz, bringing poised, muted trumpet figures that fit perfectly with Rivers' elaborate flute filigrees on the freely improvised 'Behind the Shadows Part 1'. He also asserts his presence confidently into a tight band that's been going for more than a decade, finding firm footing in Oculus''s relaxed, swinging groove and joining into the collective tumult of 'Betwixt'. The other two players get a couple duets apiece with Groder, and each offers a strong example of unflagging engagement. The opener, 'Spellcast', features drummer Anthony Cole's masterful management of tension with fluid shifts from cymbals to toms. Bassist Doug Mathews' adroit shifts between unison and counterpoint on 'Jingo' are impressive. While it's Groder's date, Torque is an excellent opportunity to hear Rivers in a two-horns-and-rhythm-section setting that he hasn't employed for a while. His adroit tenor turn on 'Diverging Orbits' sounds individual yet completely integrated into Groder's free-bop framework; the energy and attunement of his playing belies the fact that he was 81 years old when this disc was recorded. Somehow that makes this recording seem even more special. Four stars."- Bill Meyer, Downbeat Magazine
"There are few productions that are widely recognized by the audience and the profession, as in most cases, either side is lumbering. The "Highlights" include the trumpet Brian Groder Torque, which has been widely welcomed by both sides. The disc has also been awarded Best Of 2007 by the prestigious Downbeat magazine." Papiruszportal (Hungary) read the rest here
"Subtle yet powerful, wrenching at the listener and weaving an intricate web of Jazz as Jazz should be, stunning compositions matched with great playing." - PBS 106.7-FM. Melbourne, Australia
"Groder converses very beautifully with the trio. Without exaggeration, this is one of the better recent samples of avant-garde jazz." - Radiophone Greece
"Brian Groder is imaginative and highly achievable with the daring tenacity of an avant jazz artist. The counterpoint between Groder and Sam Rivers is careful as explosive nitroglycerin." - Dick Crocket, "Still Another Jazz Show" 88.7FM Sacramento
"Music from Brian Groder and his perfect partners, the Sam Rivers Trio." - WJCT FM, Jacksonville FL
"Groder speaks jazz as if it were his mother tongue, but that also means that he does not leave it as he found it." - ImproJazz, France

In these notes is the entire history of jazz." - Vittorio LoConte, Musicboom.it

"It's remarkable that so much of this is improv, the rapport being copasetic at all levels." - Mark S. Turner, Signal To Noise
"Brian Groder plays his trumpet and flugelhorn with a fresh and authoritative sound. His presence is known after only a few seconds into the first track, 'Spellcast', and things get better from there. A great listen." - Marco Watercrest, Landmark Magazine
"Whether it is a gorgeous duet, tight ensemble playing or Rivers and Groder spitting fire, Torque twists and turns easily to move through its free and structured spaces." - Elliot Simon

This is easily one of the best and most exciting releases of 2006 and may prove to be an enduring classic." - Ken Kase All About Jazz

"Not only has Groder penned excellent material for the whole album, he is also an excellent executive musician who leaves enough space to allow the other members to shine." Jo Vanderwegen, - Gonzo Magazine
"Torque is marked by four brilliant musicians listening closely to one another and playing extremely well together. An enjoyable listen in parts, or taken in the lovely playing all at once. Rivers' technique is just as powerful as ever, after almost 50 years of playing." - Ollie Bivens, All About Jazz-LA
"Groder is a musician with spotless technique and a nicely open sound, harmoniously well grounded with a feeling for melody. For lovers of Sam Rivers, or of music of the afore-mentioned Ornette Coleman, this CD is certainly a welcome addition."  Jazz Podium
"The result is a subtle, creative CD in which the unprecedented suppleness of the rhythm section allows these two smoldering volcanoes to produce a splendid palette of sounds." - Mischa Andriessen, Jazzmozaiek Magazine
"Groder manages to create a common language which holds the middle between free, avant-garde and bop. Everything on this album is a success. A real must!" - Free Jazz blog
"Torque is a fine recording that deserves to be heard by as many fans of improvised music as possible." - Ronald Lyles, Jazz Improv NY
"The magic here is that even when these men are playing in the free mode, they seem to sail together and anticipate each other's moves, always flowing together in one stream." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"The cooperation between the younger Groder and old hand Rivers is perfect, sounding as if they have played together for years. Essential? Yes!"  - Jan van Leersum, MazzMusikaS
"Between them they produce an absorbing set of free-bop that yields up new riches with every listen. Recommended ."  - Ken Mathieson, JazzWise
"This is stimulating, fresh jazz with an eye to the future but a strong awareness of the past and as such, recommended." - Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal International
"Here's a superior set of contemporary jazz, blazing straight out of the long and unruly heritage of left-field explorations." - Daniel Spicer, Popmatters.com
"The impact of hearing the strong and incisive lines created by the "front-line" of Groder and saxophone veteran Sam Rivers was great, freeing shock waves that will be felt for a long time." - Publico (Portugal's National Daily Newspaper)
"Rivers is not diminished by his age, intense as always and sometimes playing with the force of a tornado." - Trem Azul Jazz Store, Lisbon
"A new vision for modern jazz that has a lot on the ball."  Midwest Records
"There's never a dull moment throughout this recommended CD." - Ken Dryden, All Music
"On Torque, his fourth as a leader, the trumpeter/flugelhorn player's music hearkens back to the '60s avant-garde where arrangements were wide open but the rhythm section usually swung and had a strong linear quality to it. The Sam Rivers Trio here backs Groder, including the saxophonist himself, so there is a solid chemistry that anchors each track." - Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek
"These four musicians sculpt new life into this paradigm through total presence and superb musicianship." Johan Scherwin, Lira Magazine
"You'll play the disc so many times, trying to find your favorite part, that the batteries in your remote will die. It's that kind of thing." - Jazz p Svenska
"This CD is right at the cutting edge of contemporary improvised music. Strikingly uncompromising in his approach. Music not only for today but also for tomorrow." - Bruce Crowther, swing2bop.com
"Groder shines during the full quartet meetings, and easily holds his own during the smaller settings. This is the kind of record you can listen to repeatedly without fatigue." - Jay Collins, Cadence Magazine
"It is music that can reach both fans of the avant-garde and those who rarely venture beyond modal hard-bop, which is actually quite something to say." - Joseph Bendel, J.B. Spins
"The musicians are generally restrained as far as tempo and tenor goes, and the spacious recording atmosphere allows each man's instrument to ring out in the mix, giving the listener a chance to fully engage in the process." - Jason Ferguson, Orlando Weekly
"Groder is clearly a formidable talent. If you like your jazz brisk and tonally adventurous without losing melody or a sense of restraint, Torque has everything you could want." - Sid Smith, Postcards From the Yellow Room