Daniel Levin Quartet

"5 stars"

(Aftenposten - Norway)

"Dazzling"

(Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader)

“Nothing short of superb.” “A stunning showcase for how jazz music has developed.”

(All About Jazz)

 “As a foursome, these musicians interact with crystalline clarity.”

(The New York City Jazz Record)

 “4 stars”

(The Penguin Guide to Jazz)

Cellist Daniel Levin’s drummerless quartet occupies a musical space bordered by many kinds of music, but fully defined by none of them. Elements of European classical music, American jazz, microtonal and new music, and European free improvisation all figure prominently in the band’s unique sound. But as critic Chris Mays observes in All About Jazz, “Like all the most successful post-modern creative ventures, Levin’s quartet positions its antecedents in plain sight, but rises above them to create something novel, fascinating and unmistakably of its own time.” Levin and his quartet with violist Mat Maneri, vibraphonist Matt Moran, and bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg, is “a provocatively assembled group of adventurous musicians,” that makes music with “the wild chaos of nature somehow centered in a sense of harmonious majesty,” according to critic Donald Elfman.

Without drums, Levin and his band mates are free to explore rhythm, melody, timbre, and texture in extremely subtle and varied ways, creating an alluring braid of lines shaded by autumnal colors, vocal inflections, and precise dynamics. “This group is able to rethink the dynamics and dialectic of a “jazz” group and find new phrasing, spacing and modes of interaction,” notes Elfman. Levin’s compositions set a lyrical tone suffused with mystery and ambiguity. But the quartet remains poised and open to the possibilities offered by the music. “For all its balance and clarity,” says Point of Departure, “the music tempers its delicacy with a dark, unsentimental edge that pushes it past the polite banter of chamber jazz into something deeper and truer.”

 Recordings:

Don’t Go It Alone (Riti, 2003)

Some Trees (HatOLOGY, 2006)

Blurry (HatOLOGY, 2008)

Live At Roulette (Clean Feed, 2009)

Bacalhau (Clean Feed, 2010)

Organic Modernism (Clean Feed, 2011)

Friction (Clean Feed, 2015)

Live At Firehouse 12 (Clean Feed, 2017)

Photo credits: Daniel Levin - Joachim Ceulemans; Mat Maneri - Remi Angeli; Matt Moran & Torbjörn Zetterberg - Peter Gannushkin