Dan Loomis Quartet
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Dan Loomis Quartet

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"All About Jazz Review"

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch for. Not the furtive loner, living behind drawn shades at the end of your cul-de-sac; but the music that crawls into your ear on little cat feet and whispers, “This is not what you’re used to. This... is something else.” I Love Paris sends that message loud and clear, using the Cole Porter standard as a bridge to a perspective that is as beautiful as it is harsh.

Saxophonists Brian VanArsdale and Nathan Heleine man the Dan Loomis Quartet’s front line, with no keyboards to blunt the edges or widen the focus. But where Gerry Mulligan’s super-cool piano-free recordings with Chet Baker cooled the head and lowered the pulse, VanArsdale and Heleine’s unsettling, multi-faceted dynamic is not for the timid, and is wholly satisfying for those who want to peek outside the box.

The lyrics to “I Love Paris” are typical Porter, an international bon vivant who celebrated the romance inherent in the City of Lights. The DLQ’s take is entirely different: Driven by Loomis’ steel cable-taut bass line and Jared Schonig’s volcanic percussion, Heleine delivers a flat opening melody that delivers that lyric with a palpable cynicism. As the band sinks its fangs deeper into the piece, we see the parts of Paris where tourists fear to tread and the Left Bank is a work of fiction.

I Love Paris chooses the hard road over the easy path every time. VanArsdale’s “Hildy Speaks (Jon’s Lament)” is a physical impossibility—a dirge-like bossa nova, broadcasting loss in the face of Heleine’s light lines. On the other side of VanArsdale’s coin is “Lakesha,” a funky Second Line composition that yanks you out of your seat while staying rooted in the seamier areas of New Orleans. “Pied Noir” has got a great beat, but you’d look like you were having a fit if you tried to dance to it, while “The Thrill Is Gone” is light-years from B.B. King’s majestic original, but its message is the same: It’s over, and so is the magic.

For all the light and heat in the front line, the real business happens in the rhythm section. Schonig’s percussion has such drama and power, even in quiet moments like the Eastern-flavored “For Harry Carney” (where Schonig’s hand-drumming wraps around Heleine’s snake-charmer alto) or Loomis’ stripped-down take on Coltrane’s “Dear Lord.” Loomis’ no-nonsense bass has the whip-crack feel of Dave Holland, double-teaming you with style and substance. Loomis’ solo moments—on “Thrill” and on the contemplative “Goodbye”—are stunning in both approach and result; by and large though, he is content to steer his unit through waters that are challenging for both the players and the listener.

I Love Paris is more proof that great things come from small labels. Like the early Impressionists, the Dan Loomis Quartet has created a series of portraits that may not be pretty, but they sure are real. As the title implies, I Love Paris, especially when it sizzles, which is all the time. - J Hunter

"Dan Loomis"

Daniel Loomis

Bassist Daniel Loomis currently resides in New York City where he is rapidly becoming one of the most in-demand bassists on the scene. Daniel grew up and learned his trade in St. Louis, home to such important jazz figures as Miles Davis, Clark Terry and John Hicks. He began studying the bass at the age of 15 and within a few years was performing professionally throughout the St. Louis area.

In 1998 he enrolled in Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he had the opportunity to study with the renowned jazz bassist Tom Kennedy. He also found important mentors in pianist Reggie Thomas and guitarist Rick Haydon, two of St. Louis’s most celebrated and in-demand jazz musicians. The musicians had a strong influence on Daniel’s musical thinking, imbuing him with a strong respect for groove and tradition while reminding him to always keep an open ear and mind. Throughout the course of his study, Daniel maintained a busy playing schedule, appearing in all of St. Louis’s major venues, including Powell Hall and the Sheldon Concert Hall, with some of the region’s finest musicians and ensembles. During his time at SIUE Daniel began teaching during the summers at the Birch Creek Music Academy, a selective jazz summer academy in Door County, Wisconsin. Here he met bassist Jeff Campbell, who was to become his teacher and a major influence upon his playing.

Upon graduating from SIUE in 2002 he relocated to Rochester, NY to attend the prestigious Eastman School of Music where he was appointed as a teaching assistant to Dr. Campbell. Daniel quickly became actively involved in all the conservatory had to offer, playing virtually round the clock with ensembles ranging from the celebrated Eastman Philharmonia to the Eastman Jazz Ensemble. He also had the chance to study with an outstanding jazz faculty, which included Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, Walt Weiskopf, Clay Jenkins and Rich Thompson.

While at Eastman Daniel formed the VeryTall Band with a group a fellow students. In 2004 this group received the DOWNBEAT award for best collegiate small group performance. In the winter of that year Daniel was selected to appear as a Featured Artist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Stars of Tomorrow Concert. Upon graduation Daniel was awarded the Schirmer Award, Eastman’s highest honor for jazz performance.

During this time Daniel also formed his own quartet. He drew musicians from the VeryTall band to form a smaller group with the unusual line-up of two saxophones, bass and drums. This instrumentation gave a very open, melodic mood to the group and allowed the members of the group to reach in new musical directions. The quartet recorded their first album, Tondos, while still in school.

Daniel decided that the next move in his career and the career of the group had to be a move to New York City. He seriously considered continuing his study in the academic world after applying and being accepted into the Julliard Artist’s Diploma Jazz Program, but decided instead to devote himself full-time to performance and personal study. Since relocating to New York Daniel has been very busy as a freelance bassist performing at some of New York top venues including Birdland and the Lincoln Center’s jazz club, Dizzy’s Jazz Club Coca-Cola. He has also continued performing with his own quartet in venues through downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.
- Bio

"Jared Schonig"

Jared Schonig

Drummer and composer Jared Schonig was born in Los Angeles on August 12, 1983. His parents, both professional musicians, encouraged him at an early age to take up the piano. After studying classical piano for 11 years he decided to switch to the drums (his fathers instrument) during his first year of high school.

Jared attended the prestigious Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles, CA, where he was surrounded by some of the best student musicians in the country. Studying with Jerry Kalaf, Jared soon became the schools "A" band drummer and was performing with George Duke, Eric Marienthal, Bobby Rodriguez, and a number of All-County and City honor groups. During his three years at Hamilton, Jared was the recipient of 4 Downbeat Student Music Awards, including a "Best Soloist" honor his senior year, in 2001.

After receiving scholarships to attend a number of different universities, Jared decided it was best to head out to the East Coast and enroll at the Eastman School of Music. Studying privately with Rich Thompson at the famed university, Jared began to quickly become noted as a new young talent in Rochester. Jared performed with a number of Eastman groups including the Bionic Bones with Fred Wesley and Steve Turre, the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, Harold Danko's JPW A (Jazz Performance Workshop), and the Eastman Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bill Dobbins. Jared was also fortunate to work and perform with faculty Jeff Campbell and Clay Jenkins.

During his time at Eastman, Jared won three more Downbeat Student Music Awards; in 2002 for his funk/jazz band Groove Brewery and in 2004 for his JPW The Verytall Band," which was recognized as the nations top collegiate combo, as well as another "Best Soloist" honor. The Verytall band included some other noteworthy musicians and Downbeat winners including Brian Vanarsdale, saxophone, and Clarence Hines, trombone. The Verytall band went on to play a number of different venues throughout the year including the East Coast Jazz Festival and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

During his time in Rochester, Jared performed with a number of different groups including the Bob DiBaudo trio, the Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Bill Tiberio Group, and Paradigm Shift. He also performed with Dave Liebman, Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Charles Pillow, and Bob Brookmeyer. He also performed with acclaimed vibraphonist Joe Locke as well as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Jared is currently a resident of New York City. He is a member of Dave Guidice's trio which performs at Tavern-on-the-Green, as well the group Thought. He also continues to perform with Joe Locke, the Dan Loomis Quartet and Brian Vanarsdale groups. Jared is featured on the Bill Tiberio Group CD Promise Street on Trier Records and Dan Loomis’s Tondos. A forthcoming Paradigm Shift CD will be released Spring of 2006 on Nagel-Heyer records.
- Bio

"Brian Vanarsdale"

Brian VanArsdale

Brian VanArsdale is an up-and-coming tenor saxophonist and composer currently based in New York City. After growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a city long known as the home to many great jazz and blues musicians, Brian moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he was able to start his own musical groups, starting as young as age 14. Brian first went to college at the University of Illinois where he gained a mentor in Ron Bridgewater, the celebrated tenor player, and and first became serious about pursuing jazz.

In 2000, Brian transferred to the University of North Florida where he studied mainly with Bunky Green and Kevin Bales. During his tenure at UNF, ensembles that Brian participated in were recognized with many national and international awards, including invitations to the 2002 and 2003 IAJE conventions, the East Coast Jazz Festival in Rockville, Maryland, and The Midwest Convention in Chicago, IL. During the two years Brian was at UNF, he was the recipient of a total of five DOWNBEAT student music awards for both his own writing and for the ensembles in which he performed. Brian’s writing can be heard on the UNF Jazz Ensemble’s CD Things to Come, and again with his playing on their release Second Thoughts. Brian graduated from UNF in 2002, and was the recipient of the “Outstanding Musician Award” from the music faculty.

In June 2002, Brian was a participant in the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL. There, he worked with faculty Dr. David Baker, Dr. Nathan Davis, James Moody, Rufus Reid, and Danilo Perez, and performed with some of the best young jazz artists from around the world.

In the fall of 2002, Brian began work as a teaching assistant and co-director of the Jazz Lab Band and 3:30 jazz performance workshop at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with an acclaimed faculty including Jeff Cambell, Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, Clay Jenkins, and Walt Weiskopf. Additionally, Brian led his small group to a performance at the East Coast Jazz Festival and the award of "Best Instrumental Combo" from Downbeat Magazine. Brian graduated in the spring of 2004 with a Masters degree in Jazz Performance, again receiving the top award for jazz performance from the faculty, the Shirmer Prize.

In 2003, Brian was the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his composition "The Beginning and the End". Brian was one of only 15 composers under the age of 30 to receive this award nationwide.

In early 2005, Brian celebrated the release of The Flood a CD he recorded with his new large ensemble, "The Brian VanArsdale Orchestra". This recording features a five-movement work Brian composed that portrays the flood story (most commonly known as the story of Noah's Ark from the bible). The CD features great musicians from all over the country that Brian assembled for the recording and a concert in the fall of 2003.

Brian has also just released his first trio CD, entitled Cryptography. The CD, with Dan Loomis on bass and Jeremy Noller on Drums, features five VanArsdale originals, along with three standards, and an original from alto saxophonist Bunky Green, dedicated to Brian. Both CDs are currently available online, or through the iTunes Music Store.
- Bio

"All Music Guide's Review"

This is a fun record. Bassist Dan Loomis' pianoless quartet features colorful solos, exciting interplay between the musicians and stirring ensembles. In general the melodies are strong and, because the musicians listen very closely to each other, a lot of magical moments occur. Starting with an adventurous but melodic rendition of "I Love Paris," progressing through some originals, rare revivals of John Coltrane's "Dear Lord" and Sy Johnson's "For Harry Carney," and concluding with the exuberant "Lakesha," there are no slow moments heard along the way. Tenor saxophonist Brian VanArsdale (who contributed two pieces) and altoist Nathan Heleine constantly play off of each other's ideas, Jared Schonig's drumming is full of rich tones (almost as if he were playing timbales) and leader Loomis mostly plays in support of the other musicians but his occasional solos are memorable. This dynamic set is one of the top new jazz releases of 2007. - Scott Yanow


'Tondos', Doomis Productions - 2005
'I Love Paris', Jazz Excursion Records - 2007

I Love Paris availble at your local Borders, Barnes & Noble and I-tunes. You can also hear it on your local jazz radio station nation-wide. Or dial it up online at www.jazzexcursion.com



This quartet is an ensemble composed of two saxophones balanced against acoustic bass and drums. This choice of instrumentation was inspired by the particular sound of two saxophones in harmony. More than that, it was inspired by the exceptionally soulful sound of these two particular saxophonists in harmony. The space within this instrumentation allows the harmony between the two saxophonists to feature prominently in the group’s sound. It also allows for exceptionally beautiful counterpoint to occur, a texture not often heard in improvised jazz. The result is an exciting, ever-interesting, and multilayered texture over the consistent groove of a driving rhythm section.

This quartet is essentially a group effort and not a feature for any one person. But at the same time, the group draws strength from the quality of it individual voices. Each member of the group is an incredible musician in their own right. In fact, all the members of the group also lead their own bands, which they compose and arrange for. Although most of the music for the group is written and organized by Dan, the quartet’s performances are synergistic experiences characterized by the strength of each individual’s contribution.

The quartet formed while the members were students at the Eastman School of Music. Coming from diverse musical backgrounds, Jared, Dan, Brian and Nathan found a common ground in the groove-oriented sounds of the quartet. Their differences, rather than dividing or impeding them, added an intensity and forward motion to their collaboration. After performing together for a year, they went into the studio to record their first album, Tondos.

Since relocating to New York City in 2004, the group has raised many eyebrows on the jazz scene. In performances throughout the New York City and in tours throuhgout the US, they have consistently impressed audiences with their fresh and powerful sound. In fact, even the US government got wind of the quartet! In their recent nationwide search for 6 experienced quartets to send abroad to represent US culture, the DLQ was selected as first alternate.

Their second album, I Love Paris, was released this spring to wide critiical acclaim. Scott Yanow of All Music Guide says, "This dynamic set is one of the top new jazz releases of 2007." The DLQ will be back the road this fall in support of this album. Look for them in a jazz club near you!