JAMAALADEEN TACUMA & WOLFGANG PUSCHNIG
Eine schöne Platte ist da Wolfgang Puschnig (sax,flute) und Bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma gelungen. Mit Unterstützung von Drummer Adam Guth, Tim Motzer an der Gitarre und Dave Falciani an den Tasten wurden funkig-jazzige Kompositionen mit coolen Grooves aufgenommen. Geschmackvolle Synthie-Sounds und das tighte Zusammenspiel der Rhythmusgruppe sind die Basis, dazu kommen die spannenden Saxophonlinien von Puschnig, die herrlich gekonnt outside klingen. Tacuma hält sich solistisch zurück, glänzt aber mit seiner soliden Spielweise und interessanten Fills. Galaktisch gute Platte.
(am) gitarre and bass berlin
A MIND FOR JAZZ
Tim Motzer has King Britt to thank for a lot of things, but Jazzheads isn't among them-directly, at least. Lately, it seems the talented, low-key guitarist for King Britt's living, breathing, funky acid-jazz project, Sylk 130, has taken the entrï¿½e into loftier East Coast player circles provided him by Britt and run with it. The result: avant wot not (1k), the first standard-issue cd from Motzer's Jazzheads quartet. The 10-track effort is a nimble, all instrumental excursion into the disparate corners of all that boogies, simmers and swings, from acid jazz to improve, from drum n bass to funk.
"It's kind of looking back at what has gone down-from the 70's up to this moment in time-and also looking a bit toward the future," says Motzer of the new album, which is available at Jazzheads gigs and on the web at
Aside from Motzer (whose credits also include work with Kenny Lattimore and Isaac Hayes), the group includes drummer Ari Hoenig (James Hurt, Richard Bona), bassist Ben Bocardo (Everlast, Bass-X) and sax player Chris Cuzme (Leslie Chueng). That combined experience pretty much ensures that the playing in dizzyingly fine throughout. But what's most compelling about avant wot not is its unhampered sense of fun, an "up" vibe that carries listeners over some rought compositional patches and murky stylistic transitions.
That giddy quotient should come as no surprise, seeing as Jazzheads were, in essence, born out of a simple love of playing. "Ari Hoenig and myself kind of met through the house band at Silk City," Motzer recalls. "He used to come out and listen every Monday night. One night we started talking, and he said, 'Hey man, you want to
come out and play some night?' And I said, 'Sure man, let's do it.' I had a bunch of tunes, we booked some gigs and it just jelled."
Not that Sylk 130's points of origins weren't a blast in their own right. But what began as a Silk City house band overseen by Britt will always bear his overwhelming influence-as it should ("It was something Britt had in his mind for a long time." Motzer says). While a more collaborative spirit is said to inform the upcoming Sylk 130 release (due this fall on Britt's Columbia-affiliated Ovum label), nothing beats running your own show. And Jazzheads is, by and large Motzer's baby.
"There are certain flavors reminiscent [of Sylk 130]," he says. "But this is a jazz thing. It's all tunes that I wrote or collaborated on with Chris Cuzme. The thing about the band is the interplay that's happening; it's really collective improvisation."
Hobart Rowland Philadelphia Weekly
GLOBAL ILLAGE SUSHILOVE SESSIONS
-Sean O Neal Philadelphia City Paper
FRACTAL ARK RAISES JAM-BAND STAKES
Yet from Jimmy Smith shaking up the bebop scene of the late 50's, John Coltrane's exploratory spiritual trip of the 60's and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's 70's soul salvation to Schooly D's late-80s hiphop jolt and the Roots' beat breakthrough in the 90s, whenever music seemed to be getting stale, you could always count on someone from the City of Brotherly Love to offer a timely ass-kick that would bring things roaring back to life.
Tough acts to follow, but Philly groove unit Fractal Ark - involving session guitarist Tim Motzer (Ursula Rucker, King Britt), poet Elliot Levin (Cecil Taylor, Odean Pope), sub bassist Barry Meehan (the Bears), keyboardist Mark Boyce (Delta 72), and turntablist DJ Ian Jolah Riddle (Ghat Math)- have the skills and the wisdom to liven up a jam-band genre overpopulated by wank specialists.
A brief sampling of the brain-scattering improvisations on their recent Live Volume 2 disc should be proof enough that Fractal Ark have what it takes to create in the moment as a group rather than merely exchanging solos.
"What makes playing with Fractal Ark so exciting is the experimental nature of the group," says Motzer from Philadelphia. "We come to each gig ready to improvise the entire set. It's all based on what DJ Jolah does with his turntables and beatbox, and then we each build on that and move out from there.
"We've done 24 shows now, and the more we play together the more this sound gels. Having Mark Boyce come aboard with his incredibly funky keyboard parts has helped bring it together."
But laying stone-solid grooves over house and broken beats isn't enough for Fractal Ark - they intend to bring the studio to the stage.
"With the technology available now you can cut and paste beats, pitch things up and down and manipulate minute sounds in endless ways in the recording studio.
"What we need to do next is to bring these sound concepts into a performance context and create this sound with instruments. The challenge for us and the audience is to keep the music moving forward-that's what Fractal Ark is all about."
Toronto's Independent Weekly
February 28-March 6, 2002
Issue 1050 Vol. 21 No. 26
URSULA RUCKER - SUPA SISTA (k7) Reviews
"Like Laurie Anderson, there's an acrid electronic clatter behind her, provided by Phillip Charles, 4 Hero, Tim Motzer (who creates a Bjork-
blues environ for the title track) and Motzer/Britt."
a.d amorosi city paper
"Spring is a triumph of smooth beats (from King Britt and Tim Motzer) and languid
phrases that drift into a dreamy ether."
Tom Moon philadelphia inquirer
"Supa Sista reads like a who's who of respected producers; 4 Hero's Dego MacFarlane and Marc Clair deal the goods on 'what' and '7,' King Britt and Tim Motzer man the desk 'Spring' while Cali's Jonah Sharp is called up for production on 'one million ways.' Supa Sista makes for a fluid listen with Rucker's voice the single constant."
London Darker than Blue
"The title track "Supa Sista" sounds like some funked-up "gangsta folk" music that invokes the flavor of Cassandra Wilson's major label breakthrough Blue Lights 'Till Dawn (1994). Produced by Tim Motzer who Rucker originally worked with on King Britt's Sylk130, the song begins with Rucker's slow big drum chant of "I rose and fell / As he called my name . . . he changed my name / Called my blackness untamed / He put me in chains / He changed my name / Then he changed my names."
mark anthony neal --popmatters
"Philly native Rucker, along with collaborator Tim Motzer and another musican or two, turned out a brilliant set of her socially engaged neo-soul and spoken-word, but it was tough to focus on her performance amidst the swirl of people... The claustrophobia was almost worth it, though, seeing Björk plow her way through the crowd, a star happy to come back down to earth for the afternoon."
neumu needledrops nyc -- from a review on nyc ps1 festival w/ herbert, dj mark rae and ursula rucker.
"And the music -- a delicious blend of black soul and electronica crafted by heavies like King Britt, 4Hero, Alexkid, Robert Yancey III, and Tim Motzer -- is as intoxicating as the words."
errol nazareth - toronto sun
"Prominent producers are helping out; 4Hero, AlexKid from French F-Communications and
Tim Motzer (who has also written many of the songs together with Ursula), just to name a few. Because of this, "Supa Sista" is a soulful mix of different styles. Tracks to especially mention are "Brown Boy", "Supa Sista", "7" and "Womansong"."
senait belaynesh pitch adjust
"On the acoustic-funk-driven title track , produced by jazz guitarist/producer Tim Motzer
(Jazzheads, Sylk 130), Rucker calls black women to arms, liltingly proclaiming, "I call on all Supa Sistas/ To emerge from the muck and the mire/ Set the brainwashed-up masses on fire."
lynne d johnson -- tablehouse