New York Standards Quartet
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New York Standards Quartet

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Jazz


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"The New York Standards Quartet with Tim Armacost and David Berkman at the Jazz Factory"

Saxophonist Tim Armacost has been a mainstay of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops for many years now. Hearing him play with his current band, the New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ), rather than one-off groupings, was a special treat. In addition to Armacost, the NYSQ consists of pianist David Berkman, bassist Yosuke Inoue and drummer Gene Jackson. Inoue has been named the number one bassist by the Japanese magazine Swing Journal, a point made verbally by Armacost several times, but, more significantly, demonstrated by Inoue's playing. Berkman has performed here before, including a great evening back in March 2004. Jackson contributed photography and cover design for the group's first CD, Live In Tokyo (TMA Records TACD 010), recorded in April of 2007 and just released. The performance here on Saturday, March 22, was part of a tour in support this album. According to Armacost, if you can't find this locally, it is available online at, and
Near the end of the first set, Armacost remarked: "Since we chose standards as our reason for being, we can just get up on the bandstand and play." The point was well-proved, as the band delivered a first set comprised of "Alone Together*," Monk's "Green Chimneys," "But Beautiful," and Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo." Picking up where they left off, another Parker tune, "Confirmation*," opened the second set, followed by "Star Eyes," McCoy Tyner's gorgeous "Search for Peace*," an exposition of "The Theme," and Benny Golson's "Stablemates." (Asterisks note songs from the CD.) Despite playing only four tunes the first set and five the second, the sets were 70 and 80 minutes long respectively. These artists clearly relish the opportunity to stretch out, with the knowledge that they are among highly accomplished peers.
"Alone Together," usually played at a slow tempo, was played up tempo and featured an explosive solo by Berkman, followed by Inoue. Jackson got "Green Chimneys" off to a rousing start, with more intense keyboard work by Berkman, a hot sax/drum duet, followed by a Jackson solo which wasn't "just another drum solo"; rather, it showcased not only his chops, but also his ability to maintain the feel and form of the song. While perhaps better known for his sax prowess, Armacost demonstrated mastery of the flute as well, on his beautiful solos during "But Beautiful" and "Search for Peace." The Live In Tokyo CD captures the energy and mastery displayed here in Louisville and shows how "the standards" can serve as a foundation for exploration, not just as museum pieces.

Martin Z. Kasdan, Jr.
June 1, 2008
- Louisville Music News


Live in Tokyo
TMA Records TACD 010
Released June 1, 2008

The Shape of Change
Challenge Records
January 2011 release



Pianist David Berkman, drummer, Gene Jackson, Saxophonist Tim Armacost, and bassist Yosuke Inoue make up the NYSQ. The band, assembled by Tenor Sax great Tim Armacost, came together in the fall of 2006. The New York based members cut their teeth in many of the top jazz groups in the world, and as a working unit have developed near telepathic relationships. Conceptually, the NYSQ strives to create its own language within the tradition of the great American Songbook.
The bond the group shares is further strengthened by a common love for Japanese culture, food, and language. The band has crisscrossed Japan five times already, in addition to completing two tours in the US, and one in Europe. The group made its first recording, "Live in Tokyo," while on tour in Japan. It was released by TMA Records in the spring of 2008. The second record, "The Shape of Change," will be out on Challenge Records in the winter of 20011.