Conference Call

Conference Call

 Berlin, Berlin, DEU

With almost 20 years of performing together this powerful acoustic international jazz ensemble is one of the premier working modern jazz groups on today's international scene. The ensemble performs exclusively original music by each member of the group and just released their latest CD "Seven" on Nottwo Records.


The quartet was formed in 1998 and features original music from each member of the group utilizing the distinctive improvisational and textural talents of each of the 4 members: Gebhard Ullmann's extensive woodwind pallette (bass clarinet, bass flute, tenor and soprano sax); the textural and timbral virtuosity of drummer Dieter Ulrich; the organic and highly creative piano/bass interplay between Joe Fonda and Michael Jefry Stevens. All these ingredients create a highly creative and unique variety of musical flavors.

Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens performs extensively in Europe and North America. He was the 'Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow for 2000-2001 " at the MacDowell Artist Colony, received 2nd prize in the prestigious Monaco International Jazz Composition Contest and was a composer fellow at Centrum Arts in Port Townsend, WA in the summer of 2006. Michael currently co-leads several working musical ensembles including The Fonda/Stevens Group, the Conference Call Quartet, Eastern Boundary Quartet and the Cayolle/Stevens Band featuring New Orleans horn man Brian "Breeze" Cayolle.  He has released over 80 cds which feature his original music including most recently "What About...?" on Nottwo Records and"Six" on Konnex Records.. Artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman, Han Bennink, Charles Moffett, Cecil Bridgewater, Valery Ponomarev,, Gerry Hemingway, Miles Griffith, Leo Smith, Thomas Chapin, Gebhard Ullmann, Herb Robertson,, Matt Wilson, Dominic Duval and Dave Liebman.

Bassist/composer Joe Fonda has developed an extensive international reputation over the last several years recording and touring with the world-renowned Anthony Braxton including performances at some of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. He is also featured bassist on numerous recordings with Mr. Braxton including the famed Charlie Parker Project Recordings as well as the piano quartet recordings with Braxton on piano. Mr. Fonda has performed with such notable musicians as Ken McIntyre, Charlie Persip, Lou Donaldson, Perry Robinson, Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Curtis Fuller, Chico Hamilton and others. He recently recorded his first solo bass CD and has released numerous CDs on the Konnex jazz label, Leo Records and Music and Arts label. He is the co-founder of the FAB trio featuring Barry Altschul and Billy Bang.

Saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer Gebhard Ullmann has recorded more than 30 CDs as a leader/co-leader for labels such as Soul Note, Leo Records, Between the Lines, 482 Music, Songlines Recordings and Intuition Records. He is considered one of the leading personalities in today's international jazz scene and has received several awards for his work including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award ('99), and the nomination "best jazz CD of the year" by the German Schallplattenkritik for his CD "T Lam" in 1996. He has toured extensively with his music and performed on most of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals. Musicians he has performed or recorded with include Paul Bley, Ellery Eskelin, Willem Breuker, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Barry Altschul, Keith Tippett,Glen Moore,TrilokGurtu, EnricoRava, Michael Moore, Art Lande andHamid Drake.

Dieter Ulrich (Percussion/Composer) joined the quartet in 2015. Dieter Ulrich is a Swiss jazz and improvisation musician and art historian. Zurich born and raised. Piano trained. Plays drums since 1972 and is self-taught. Since 1975 he has played with Harald Haerter, Kurt Grämiger, Nathanael Su, Urs Blöchlinger, Werner Lüdi, Hans Koch, Bob Mover, Trevor Watts, Urs Voerkel, Co Streiff, Vinny Golia, Alfred Zimmerlin, Claudia Ulla Binder, Tom Varner, Jacques Siron, Christoph Baumann, Dave Taylor, Jürg Solothurnmann, Glenn Ferris, Luten Petrofsky, Sri.N.S. Krishna Murthy, Dr. L. Subramanian and others. Ulrich has also collaborated on the following multi-media projects with Daniel Mouthon; "Wasteland" 1986, "Finnabout" 1991, "air à l'en verre" an opera project for the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in Zürich 1997.  Dieter is one of the most sought after Swiss improvising musicians and composers.  A sampling of his large discography include:

Urs Blöchlinger: Neurotica (Hathut Records, 1984); Werner Lüdi: Serendipity (Creative Works Records, 1987); Day & Taxi All (Percaso, 1991); Nat Su: At Ellington (Jecklin, 1998);Truss Zimmerlin-Ulrich: Out of a Suitcase (MGB, 1998); Cheaper Bauer: The Silence behind Each Cry (Intakt Records, 2001; Friedli-Streiff-Schlegel-Ulrich: objets trouvés. Fragile (Intact, 2005) and many others.


Final Answer (Soul Note Records) 2002
Variations on a Master Plan (Leo Records) 2003
Spirals: The Berlin Concert (482 Music) 2004
Live at the Outpost Performance Space (482 Music) 2006
Poetry in Motion (Clean Feed Records) 2009
What About (Nottwo Records) 2010
Seven "Live at Firehouse 12" (Nottwo Records) 2014

Set List

The Quartet's normal concert performance involves 2 sets of approximately one hour each in length. Each set will usually contain 4 to 5 original compositions by the members of the group.