Artist pic




Club d'Elf will play first. Both bands will play one set approximately 60-75 minutes.

Club d'Elf is nominated for Boston Phoenix's best music poll 2007 in "Jazz Act."

"A breadth and vision nearly untouched in modern jazz except by the likes of Wayne Shorter and Bill Frisell."
- Signal to Noise, 2006

"Sameness of Difference is a post-modern jazz masterwork, a disc that will still seem fresh in five years even though it also seems right in the present moment."
- Jazzitude Magazine

Double-Bill: JFJO & Club d'Elf

Pianist Brian Haas, drummer Jason Smart, and bassist/effects wizard/guitarist Reed Mathis are JFJO. To say that JFJO's music transcends boundaries and expands minds is an understatement. Since 1994, JFJO has brought their progressive, improvisational vision from the Midwest's Bible-Belt to many of the world's finest music festivals and clubs.
Clearly in the midst of a sonic metamorphosis, the group's acclaimed, innovative bassist Reed Mathis has now added electric guitar to the mix. This has allowed JFJO to further explore a more accessible sound based on more melodic concepts.
Released in the Fall of 2005 and recorded in collaboration with acclaimed producer Joel Dorn, The Sameness of Difference is a 13 track collection of both covers and originals. It is a living, breathing testament to the 13 years that the ensemble has spent together. Throughout the album, the band explores their influences and offers interpretations of music by The Flaming Lips, Charles Mingus, Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Dave Brubeck, The Beatles, Bjork and Jimi Hendrix.
On JFJO's follow-up, Tomorrow We'll Know Today, a digital exclusive collection of live recordings from Europe and America, JFJO is found pushing their music even further. Improvisations such as "Nightlight" and "Gypsy Tea" create ambient sonic tapestries based on melody and sweeping tonal textures that sound like nothing you have ever heard.
Even the most cynical critics are blown away by JFJO's instrumental creativity, musical risk, and near telepathy on stage. In the past 18 months, JFJO has travelled to Europe three times for two dozen performances and have played at major jazz festivals all over the world. In 2007, JFJO is working on their fourth album with Brooklyn-based Hyena Records to create their most unique album yet.

CLUB d'ELF is a Boston-based band led by bassist Mike Rivard. They've just released three two-CD live sets---recorded at the Knitting Factory in New York City in 2000, at Vassar College Chapel in 2001 and in Athens, GA, in 2002, on Kufala Records.

These are just about the only simple statements you can make about Club d'Elf.

What kind of band is Club d'Elf? What sort of music do they play?

Club d'Elf is a free-form floating ensemble centered around composer, conductor and bassman Rivard, an experienced Boston hand from work with Paula Cole, Aimee Mann, Jonatha Brooke and The Story.

Club d'Elf almost (but not) always includes Rivard, Erik Kerr on drums and Brahim Fribgane on percussion and oud, a Middle-Eastern lute common to ancient North African, Greek, and Egyptian cultures. John Medeski, who worked with Rivard in the Either/Orchestra, has been a regular in this Club since it opened. Guitarist Dave Tronzo, a veteran of such demanding avant-rock and -jazz gigs as John Cale and the Lounge Lizards, is usually around. Mister Rourke's turntables on loan from Soulive are too. Other guests such as Reeves Gabrels, guitarist for David Bowie and Tin Machine, are sometimes there. Sometimes they are not.

Club d'Elf plays improvised mainly instrumental music. It's difficult to be more specific because no matter what you say, its opposite is often also true. There's no country-western or bluegrass on any of these six live discs. No opera or catholic classical music either. But everything else sounds fair game to Rivard and company - EVERYTHING, and not just from the current or previous century, either. No song or personnel introductions or other explanations: You sort of just have to jump on and ride Club d'Elf's music until it either throws you off or its bucking comes to rest.

And like every other great bass player, Rivard serves as the rhythmic, melodic, and conceptual center of what sounds like an animated cartoon musical universe. "Cartoon" is complimentary. Dig this: "We try to create the sort of moment that occurs when you hear a really good joke or see a great Simpsons episode," says Rivard. "We attempt to reframe reality in the same sense that all great comedy does, where your expectations set you up for one thing, and then something entirely unexpected comes along."

Some experiments do seem to work better than others, and you can go crazy trying to figure this stuff out. "I write charts out and get together with individual musicians to discuss strategies, but only the rhythmic foundation between me and the drummer really gets worked out beforehand," says Rivard. "Before the performance takes place, nobody quite knows what all the different elements will be, so it all gets mixed live.

It all hangs together so tightly and swings so fiercely that you will have to remind yourself, often, that these six CDs consist of mainly improvised music.

-Chris M. Slawecki, All About Jazz