Steve Adelson Stick - Tet
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"Emmett Chapman reviews Steve's CD"

Baton Master
Emmett Chapman | www.stick.com
February 10, 2007
Jazz Baton Master Leading A Parade Of Guitar Stylists review by Emmett Chapman To the uninitiated, jazz appears as merely a musical style, with an overall sameness in sound, as in "all that jazz". The incredible diversity of jazz stylists and expression of individual personalities is usually missed. After witnessing a few jazz innovators and stylists in action, however, it finally sinks in - you can't ever pin this music down. More to the point, jazz is an idealized form of communication where everybody is free to talk at once in an agreed upon framework of harmony and rhythm, and if all goes well, everybody listens together too. You have to be "seasoned", of course, conversant in the general language in order to speak music and listen at the same time. Seasoned maturity is what Steve Adelson brings to his newly released CD, "Adventures in Stickology", a series of live duos with eight distinctive jazz guitar stylists (and one song with bassist Tony Levin). Some of these encounters are backed by drums or percussion for a more dynamic and colorful trio presentation. Others are just the core ideas, Steve on Stick with a friend on guitar discovering in live recording sessions how their styles will jell. This album is almost all strings but the chemistry of musical personalities radically changes with each song. The common thread is Steve's smooth and effortless jazz bass, lead, chords, arpeggios and MIDI'd orchestrations, usually all played at once on his 12-string Grand Stick. Over and above the notable instrumental skills present on this album, there is the larger jazz ethic of improvisation and interplay "on the fly", so to speak. Steve finds a way to "meld" with each guitarist on that artist's own stylistic terms, each reading the motion of the other's mind. The overall result is an incredible variety show of strings, jazz, styles and empathy. Track list of Stickist Steve's successive encounters with guitarists: 1) Chieli Minucci's jazz guitar is articulate with tasteful, graceful lead lines. Steve's 12-string Grand Stick and John Favicchia's trap drums make it a full jazz trio. 2) Ben Lacy's guitar is percussive with a unique, intricate rhythmic technique, then it goes double-time and finally triples in speed. Steve matches this tuneful finger drumming on Stick - a duo of 18 strings. 3) Dean Brown's guitar expresses funk and soul with tasty tube distortion and singing sustain. Steve's Stick supports from the bass on up through chordal vamps and orchestral textures via his Roland VG-88 multi-effects guitar processor. John's drums add dynamics and colorful phrasing to this trio. 4) Lacy's guitar percussion again - a funky arrangement of Stevie Wonder's hit single, "I Wish". Steve joins in to make it a duo and the string percussion reaches new intensity. 5) Kerry Kearney's slide guitar "speaks" strongly as the lead voice, backed by Steve's flamenco progressions on Stick and Nydia Mata's complimentary and colorful percussion. 6) Toby Walker's fingerpicking guitar in duo with Steve covers the entire "bluegrass" sonic range from the very low Stick bass strings on up through the acoustic guitar and mandolin registers. 7) Stephane Wrembel's guitar seems to be stamped with Django Reinhardt's soul and style, from the excited lead lines to the churning rhythm guitar chords. Here it is uniquely employed in the familiar Lennon and McCartney tune, "Blackbird". Steve plays a tight unison theme together with supporting bass line. David Langlois holds down a driving rhythm on an authentic washboard, pie tin and fondue pot, and even takes a wild solo. 8) Donnie Celenza's expressive electric guitar sound dominates in this ballad by Wonder, "Cause We've Ended as Lovers", with soaring/diving passages and slow, sustained vibratos. Steve's Stick bass and lead melody along with John's drums form a tasteful trio with Steve and Donnie trading powerful solo spots. 9) Lacy plays straight jazz guitar this time in a tight arrangement of Wes Montgomery's "Sundown", together with Steve's walking bass, chordal vamps and unison theme. Nydia's solid Latin percussion makes it a trio. 10) Tony Levin's fretless bass takes an expressive lead with distortion and a sliding technique on Steve's ballad, "Planetarium". Steve accompanies on Stick with MIDI'd chordal "pads" and a simple bass line. John's drums expand the trio sound. 11) Chieli's speedy and versatile guitar style again, in a dynamic, improvising trio with Steve and John. 12) The track list ends with legendary Phil DeGruy's multi-stringed guitar, the 17-stringed "Guitarp", which merges beautifully in duo with Steve's Grand Stick on Eric Clapton's "Layla". So many strings, 29 in all, have great orchestral depth and potential, ranging from Steve's low bass, through Phil's polished guitar register and all the way up to the harp like highs plucked from his array of short, non-fretted strings. What a great idea to showcase al - Stick Enterprises


"Adventures In Stickology CD review"

Reviews of Adventures In Stickology
various | varied
February 02, 2007
#1 Adventures in Stickology nails the entertainment aspect from track 1. I like the cover art a lot too, especially the fretboard inlay work and the way it relates to the shot of Steve, and the painterly treatment of the nightclub scene. The album has good pacing throughout, a nice range of feeling and edgy musical styles. Stephen Rekas (Mel Bay publications) #2 Ohhhh I second and third that. I just got the CD yesterday... "Oh and the handsome stylin' kinda guy on the cover" STEVE! Oh He's goooood! Nice artwork on the back too. Now in the middle there's just great high pro glow music. All tunes have the 'professionals' playing edge to all the performances. You have to have 'played' and been a musician with a lot of experience to pull those kind of nuances off. Sure, you can copy stuff but Steve and company pull off their music from the heart and spirit of 'being' a player. There's no substitute for that. I really enjoyed the track with Tony Levin (OKAY okay I'm a bassist at heart... forgive me!). Steve's solid foundation while Tony put that smooth lead distortion bass melody over top. Just deluxe really. AND, but wait there's more. I enjoyed Steve's bass work (did I mention the bassist at heart thing?). He really came forward with that. The beauty of being a Stickist is that no matter where your 'frame of reference' starts on the instrument (clarinet, bassoon, bass, guitar etc,.) you end up grasping the totality of range and what to do with it. "... you become a "Stickist" instead of a transplanted clarinet, bassoon, bass, guitar etc,. player. Wonderful guitar playing as well, excellent selection of diverse players. I could go on and on but just listen for yourselves, there's something there for everyone. Great work is great work. Good one Steve. AND one of my favorite renditions of one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tunes. Which tune is it???? Get the CD.... Gol darn cliff hangers, I hate those. Take care, Don Schiff #3 Nice from start to finish. Really! The interplay between you and the various guitarists is excellent. I'm finding that, these days, I'm appreciating the Stick in an ensemble a lot more and have been a bit bored with the "solo Stick" thing so this was right up my alley as far as listening goes. Good job! Glenn Poorman #4 Congrats to Steve on his new disc! My favorite from him, yet. Lots of nice interplay and great musicianship, well-produced and fun to take in. I particularly likes the duets with Ben Lacy. Killer. Greg Howard #5 u have to ask? i thought it was brilliant. Blackbird's my favorite cut. the whole thing is very inspired, in my opinion Dean Brown (guitarist w/ Marcus Miller, David Sanborn etc.) #6 Just got it today and can't stop listening to it. It's absolutely incredible!!! Toby Walker (plays on track 6) #7 I've been digging the CD man! Thanks for including me on this very creative project' Your rendition of Blackbird is KILLING me bro! I'm really enjoying the adventure in your new CD..you have BALLS! Chieli Minucci #8 Thanks for firing the CD off so quickly...I've been listening to it all day, and it's great, just great. Mr. Mike (a happy purchaser) #9 Finally got a chance to listen. It really is remarkable. I wish you great success with it. Dom Minasi (Blue Note guitar legend) #10 Steve Adelson - Adventures In Stickology 3/3 O's Notes: Steve is the master of 'the Chapman Stick', a unique strung electronic instrument. He adds a wealth of supporting guitarists to his band including Chieli Minucci and Dean Brown. They play a mix of originals and covers. We liked their arrangement of Wonder's "I Wish". The session is varied with pop, funk and some R&B. They also play some blues with "'Cause We've Ended As Lovers" and swing on "Sun Down". A good set. -- D. Oscar Groomes O's Place Jazz Newsletter P.O. Box 2437 Naperville, IL 60567-2437 http://www.OsPlaceJazz.com #11 Steve Adelson Adventures in Stickology ©2007 Steve Adelson/Essay Delson Music While there are many unique instruments throughout the music world, there is one instrument that is very alluring to many artists. The Chapman Stick is probably the most alluring to many guitarists, especially Steve Adelson. Being one of the most prominent musicians on Long Island, he has truly mastered the instrument that aroused his curiosity in 1984. His talented projection of sounds on that instrument brings a totally different feel to any style of play, heard in a long time. Especially to this genre of music. The prominently instrumental cd, "Adventures in Stickology", has many musicians from across the country. Featured on the CD are Chieli Minucci- guitar, Dean Brown - guitar, Ben Lacy - guitar, Tony Levin – fretless bass, Stephane Wrembel - guitar, Phil DeGruy - guitarp, Kerry Kearney slide guitar, Little Toby Walker - guitar, Donnie Celenza - guitar, with John Favicchia on drums, Nydia Liberty Mata handling percussion and David Langlois on the washboard. The CD m - Good Times


"Answer's Inside review"


The Answer's Inside
Dave Zaworski | DownBeat
January 01, 2004

The Answer's Inside
A fearless jazz player, Adelson covers a lot of stylistic ground here, going from ballsy free jazz to straight ahead swingers to Caribbean and Latin inflected fare. His agile Stick technique is ear-boggling as he handles walking bass lines, chordal comps and solos simultaneously with abundant ease and impressive hand independence- "Tap Dance" finds him playing Wes Montgomery-like octaves and comps backed by his insistently swinging bass line. Guests artists include Tony Levin (in a Stick duet), guitarist Larry Coryell and drummer Matt Wilson.



- DownBeat mag


"Answer's Inside review #2"

Pop Matters Magazine's Review of "The Answer's Inside"
Marshall Bowden | Pop Matters Magazine
February 10, 2003

The Answer's Inside

Steve Adelson, a virtuoso performer on the Chapman Stick, provides a number of different grooves here. Accompanied by an able group of musicians, he does Carribean jazz ("Tone Eleven"), swing ("Tap Dance"), free ("The Answer Is Free") and Latin ("Fran's Mambo"). He also brings in a couple of heavy guest performers. Guitarist Larry Coryell brings some real excitement and a bluesy feel to "Nadda Chants (9 on 12)", offering a fast-paced, well-constructed take on the modal changes and trading licks with Adelson later in the piece. Pianist Dennis Moorman also takes a nice turn, offering echoes of McCoy Tyner's robust style. Stick master Tony Levin joins Adelson in a stick duo on "Woodstick Suite", and the depth of texture that is created by these two musicians is incredible. Throughout the CD, Adelson plays bass lines, guitar-like melodic lines and chordal accompaniment simultaneously without the use of overdubs. A solid effort that will be appreciated by jazz, fusion, and progressive rock fans alike.

- Pop Matters


"Answer's Inside #3"

Consistently Great Playing
Jim Fisch | Twentieth Century Guitar
December 30, 2002

The Answer's Inside
One listen to Steve's latest CD will confirm that he is a musician open to, and capable of playing anything. Steve composed all of the disc's eight tracks, and has done so successfully with great spirit. Don't even ask me how Adelson is also able to solo at the same time as he picks out his bass lines. The trade-offs with Larry Coryell on one track are superb. If you've never gotten into "Stick" music , or were just plain scared off by its daunting multi-string presence, pick up on this CD. Mr. Adelson has put together a package filled with some clever tunes, and most important, consistently great playing."

- Twentieth Century Guitar mag


"Various reviews for Answer's Inside CD"


News & Reviews Reviews

Praise For "The Answerís Inside"
Various | Compilation
January 02, 2003
"Jazz is the sound of suprise, and Steve Adelson's The Answer's Inside keeps the unexpected going with the lyrically swinging Chapman Stick, adding a new dimension to listening."
--Nat Hentoff (jazz literary legend)

"There is serious musicianship on display here. Steve Adelson is one heck of a nimble-fingered musician."
--Jazz Improv Magazine

"A unique sound on a unique instrument. No gimmicks here. Music is the bottom line."
--Gnarly Geezer Records (Allan Holdsworth's label)

"A well put together set, good playing, hip tunes and arrangements and beautiful production. The Stick doesn't sound like a gimmick- it's musical and natural."
--Donald Elfman (Koch Entertainment)

"Steve's CD is a smokin', poppin' and burnin' piece of work. Great tunes, tone and vibe"
--Phil DeGruy (master guitarist)

"Having been a fan of Steve's for quite some time, I thought I would be ready for his bag of tricks when I listened to his new CD. I was surprised to hear what I thought were two seperate instruments. Steve has somehow managed to play bass and guitar, with not only seperate conception for each, but totally different tones. This coupled with a great crew of musicians makes for a unique and swingin' CD"
-- Dean Brown (Guitarist with David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Billy Cobham......)

"As expected, Steve Adelson's CD is a grand listening experience. His masterful Stick playing alternately leads and supports a cast of accomplished musicians in the creation of exciting new jazz of lasting value. The result is a rich energetic, sophisticated sound, with playful and contrasting moods and rhythmic exploration"
--Ned Steinberger (NS design)

"There' s some serious groovin' that goes on here. Hoppin' tracks, excellent recording, and some power extended jams"
--Glenn Poorman (Stickwire website)

"I'm so impressed by the overall vibe of Steve's recording, such a spirit of fun and adventure, all with dangerous chops."
--Eric Wallace (Stick player)

"Virtuostic two-handed tapping technique........very impressive...piano player Dennis Moorman turns in some nice playing.....some aggressive jamming"
--Jesse Jarnow





- Various


"Adventures In Stickology reviews"


#1
Adventures in Stickology nails the entertainment aspect from track 1. I
like the cover art a lot . The album has good pacing throughout, a nice range of
feeling and edgy musical styles.

Stephen Rekas (Mel Bay publications)

#2
I just got the CD yesterday. STEVE! Oh He's goooood! Nice artwork on the
back too. All tunes have the 'professionals' playing edge to all the
performances. You have to have 'played' and been a musician with a lot of experience
to pull those kind of nuances off. Sure, you can copy stuff but Steve and
company pull off their music from the heart and spirit of 'being' a player.
There's no substitute for that.

I really enjoyed the track with Tony Levin (OKAY okay I'm a bassist at
heart... forgive me!). Steve's solid foundation while Tony put that smooth lead
distortion bass melody over top. Just deluxe really. AND, but wait there's
more. I enjoyed Steve's bass work

Wonderful guitar playing as well, excellent selection of diverse players.

I could go on and on but just listen for yourselves, there's something there
for everyone. Great work is great work. Good one Steve. AND one of my
favorite renditions of one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tunes. Which tune is it????
Get the CD.... Gol darn cliff hangers, I hate those.

Take care,
Don Schiff


#3
Nice from start to finish. Really! The interplay between you and the various
guitarists is excellent.

I'm finding that, these days, I'm appreciating the Stick in an ensemble a
lot more and have been
a bit bored with the "solo Stick" thing so this was right up my alley as far
as listening goes.
Good job!

Glenn Poorman

#4
Congrats to Steve on his new disc!
My favorite from him, yet. Lots of nice interplay and great musicianship,
well-produced and fun to take in. I particularly likes the duets with Ben
Lacy.
Killer.
Greg Howard

#5
I thought it was brilliant. Blackbird's my favorite cut. The whole
thing is very inspired, in my opinion

Dean Brown (guitarist w/ Marcus Miller, David Sanborn etc.)

#6

Just got it today and can't stop listening to it. It's absolutely
incredible!!!

Toby Walker


#7
I've been digging the CD man! Thanks for including me on this very creative
project'
Your rendition of Blackbird is KILLING me bro! I'm really enjoying the
adventure in your new CD..you have BALLS!

Chieli Minucci

#8
Thanks for firing the CD off so quickly...I've been listening to it all
day, and it's great, just great.

Mr. Mike (a happy purchaser)

#9
Finally got a chance to listen. It really is remarkable. I wish you great
success with it.

Dom Minasi (Blue Note guitar legend)

#10

Hello Steve; I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy Stickology. With
very broad song selection (great song writing on your part) and a showcase guest
musician on each track, there is a lot of variety on the CD. Well done :)
- John Vice


#11
Steve Adelson - Adventures In Stickology 3/3
O's Notes: Steve is the master of 'the Chapman Stick. He adds a wealth of
supporting guitarists to his band including Chieli Minucci and Dean Brown.
They play a mix of originals and covers. We liked their arrangement of Wonder's
"I Wish". The session is varied with pop, funk and some R&B. They also play
some blues with "'Cause We've Ended As Lovers" and swing on "Sun Down". A good
set.

--
D. Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter
- Various


Discography

Full albums
Adventures In Stickology 2007
The Answer's Inside 2001
Sailing Down The River Sane 1993
Getting There 1992
Stickology 1988
You can hear some sound clips and see videos at my website
www.steveadelson.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Our band sound is quite unique in sound and repertoire. There have been many great reviews and wonderful reactions to this revolutionary instrument and style.
I have played either solo or with the group (The Stick-Tet) at The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Berkshire Jazz Festival, The Long Beach Jazz Festival and many others. I've also played at premier venues such as The Blue Note (NY), The Bottom Line (NY) and The Ark (Ann Arbor). I have done many clinics and demos including NAMM and various vintage guitar conventions. I travel teaching clinics on The Chapman Stick. I've done numerous TV shows and also write for Twentieth Century Guitar magazine as well as Jazz Improv.
I also own a music school in Brooklyn, NY
Did I mention I will have a Stick method book out in the fall of 2007 with Mel Bay Publications?
For more info and jukebox samples go to:
http://www.steveadelson.com/mp3/myjukebox.html