THE IAN CAREY QUINTET+1: INTERVIEW MUSIC (2016)
Interview Music is the the fourth album from the Ian Carey Quintet+1 and the long-awaited follow-up to the acclaimed 2013 album Roads & Codes. Featuring longtime collaborators Adam Shulman on piano, Fred Randolph on bass, Jon Arkin on drums, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone and new addition Sheldon Brown on bass clarinet, the album represents Carey's most ambitious compositional work to date in its four part, 55-minute title suite.
Ranging from intricate through-composed sections to raucous group improvisation, the suite offers a commentary on the state of modern jazz composition while providing a showcase for the improvisational chops and cohesion of his group of Bay Area all-stars. KABOCHA B029
"Carey finds an exquisite balance between his ambitious compositional vision and his design to showcase his superlative cast of improvisers on his tongue-in-cheek titled five-movement suite... Continuously recasting his buoyant melodic theme in new settings, he builds on the highly interactive rhythm section featuring pianist Adam Shulman, bassist Fred Randolph and drummer Jon Arkin. But his music feels inspired by the felicitously complimentary sounds of alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen and supple bass clarinetist Sheldon Brown, who wend their way around Carey’s sinuously intertwining lines." —Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Best of 2016"
"Extraordinary writing for three horns―some of the best I've ever heard."
—Bill Kirchner, saxophonist/composer, editor, The Oxford Companion to Jazz
"What’s remarkable about Interview Music is how fluid the music remains while navigating a course of dense compositional guideposts. Much of this has to do with the way Carey builds in the improvisational sections in something other than a typical “now is the time we take our solos” construct. It makes it more difficult to tell where and when the improvisational sections start and end, and it’s a big reason why the music has such a spontaneous flow, as if the entire album were performed in a one-take off-the-cuff session. ... Carey’s compositions take his sextet through all kinds of terrain and at all kinds of speeds and in any number of directions. Thankfully, it isn’t weighted down by the changes, but freed, instead, to just sing." —Dave Sumner, Bird is the Word (Best of 2016, #9)
"[The] sextet plays the five-part suite with drive, wit, swing and a palpable unity of purpose. It is complex chamber music with solo space for Carey, long an impressive trumpeter..." —Doug Ramsey, Rifftides
"A fantastic suite that sees some of Carey’s most adventurous writing matched with truly outstanding performances. ... Carey’s writing affords each of his fellow players many moments to exhibit their depth of talent, and in the process, allows the entire project to shine." —The Jazz Page
“Really an incredible piece of music… a superlative work.” —Brad Stone, The Creative Source, Soul and Jazz Radio
"Incredibly rich and complex pieces that breathe life into challenging harmony and creative forms." —Patrick Wolff, Have You Heard (KCSM-FM)
Featured in the June 2016 Top Ten by David R. Adler (of JazzTimes, The Village Voice)
BEN STOLOROW & IAN CAREY: DUOCRACY (2014)
From longtime collaborators pianist Ben Stolorow and trumpeter Ian Carey comes this intimate collection of classics from the beloved ("All the Things You Are," "Cherokee") to the rarely heard ("Little White Lies," "Two for the Road"), delivered with interplay and unpredictability. KABOCHA B027
"The most adventurous and exciting trumpet-pianist pairing since cornetist Ruby Braff and pianist-organist Dick Hyman played together a quarter century ago." — East Bay Express
"★★★... The tone is set by the warmth of opener “Little White Lies,” accelerated as “Cherokee” finds rapid-fire lines erupting from Carey’s trumpet, and settles back as Stolorow takes a stride-inflected spin on Monk’s “Four In One.” It’s a lively trip down a straightahead path, never veering far from the expected route but obviously deriving a refreshing joy from the familiar sights." — Down Beat
"Carey’s melodious trumpet and Stolorow’s sparkling piano combine to present a very musical set of standards and jazz favorites." — George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon
"Carey and Stolorow created a marvelous album here of effortless swing, deciding to keep the duo loose and limber, unencumbered by involved arrangements... they take great music one step further... the music comes out gentle, almost like lullabies." —John Shelton Ivany, JSI Top 21
"Carey has a wonderful sound, strong and rich. Stolorow is a thoughtful accompanist, and full of ideas. These chaps have found a nice musical place with this duo effort, and the results are thoroughly enjoyable." — Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
THE IAN CAREY QUINTET+1: ROADS & CODES (2013)
The acclaimed third album from the Ian Carey Quintet (this time expanded to six members), Roads & Codes features six intricate compositions by Carey, as well as new arrangements of music from Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, and Neil Young, and original comic-book-style cover art by Carey. With Adam Shulman, piano; Jon Arkin, drums; Fred Randolph, bass; Evan Francis, flute and tenor saxophone; and Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone. KABOCHA B025
"★★★★1/2... Carey knows it can get creative packaging to get great music noticed these days. Roads & Codes showcases both the trumpeter’s sideline as an illustrator and his primary gig as the leader of a highly skilled band of improvisers. Carey takes advantage of their chops by writing to their strengths..." —Down Beat (Featured in "Best of 2013" issue)
"Ian Carey isn't letting the CD slip into obsolescence without a fight... he supplied the slyly self-mocking illustrations that give the package a look as smart and arresting as the music it contains... an array of evocative material." — The San Francisco Chronicle
"Carey writes lines that flow on astringent harmonies. His trumpet and flugelhorn keep the listener’s attention not through volume, velocity and extended sorties into the stratosphere, but with story telling and a burnished tone." —Doug Ramsey, Rifftides
"A very underrated player, and a talent to watch." —Ted Gioia, author, The Jazz Standards
THE IAN CAREY QUINTET: CONTEXTUALIZIN' (2010)
The second album from the Ian Carey Quintet, featuring eight original compositions by Carey, including the straightahead burner "Tom/Tom" (dedicated to trumpeters Tom Harrell and Tom Peron), the mysterious and moody "Questions," the lush ballad "No You," plus a surprisingly original treatment of the standard "Just Friends." With Adam Shulman, piano and Fender Rhodes; Jon Arkin, drums; Fred Randolph, bass; and Evan Francis, flute and alto saxophone. KABOCHA B021
"I dig Ian Carey. He’s a trumpeter with a clean, clear sound who understands that there are listeners at the other end of recordings. ... his reverence for velvet simplicity and heart-touching tones is evident. When the music on this album hits your ear, you want to hear more... I can’t stop playing this CD.” —Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com
"... Good tone, lyricism and contiguous ideas that lead somewhere. Carey and his young sidemen are in tune with one another, in every sense.” —Doug Ramsey, Rifftides
"Carey rocks on trumpet and flugelhorn, displaying a crisp technique and warm musicality."
— KZSU FM, Stanford University
"Carey interprets his own compositions with straightforward melodic lyricism—deceptively straightforward, in fact... an opportunity to showcase 'discursively' not only Carey’s distinctive style, but also his varied compositional talent.” —Bill Donaldson, Cadence Magazine
THE IAN CAREY QUINTET: SINK/SWIM (2006)
The debut album from the Ian Carey Quintet, which has been active in the Bay Area since 2002, Sink/Swim features the talents of trumpeter and composer Ian Carey, pianist Adam Shulman, saxophonist Evan Francis, bassist Fred Randolph, and drummer Jon Arkin.
For this session, the quintet explores originals by Carey, including "Thirteen" (a swinging, rhythmically surprising minor blues), "No Comment" (a dark mood piece in a latin groove) and "The Last Cigarette" (a study in counterpoint and group interplay). The group also takes original stabs at compositions both familiar (Wayne Shorter's "ESP"), and less well known (such as Joe Gilman's burner "Treasure Chest," and "The Spinning Song," written by under-appreciated genius Herbie Nichols). KABOCHA B013
"Carey's themes are catchy and original, and all the improvisations are fresh and inventive, highlighted by Francis's sparkling saxophone and Carey's own warm, flowing trumpet work." —Lewis Porter, author of Jazz: From Its Origins to the Present and John Coltrane: His Life and Music
"Interesting and original tunes from this inventive and sensitive jazz artist. Carey weaves his way through the changes with a velvety sound while his arrangements hold your attention." — Trumpetmusic.com
AS A SIDEMAN
Bryan Bowman: Like Minds (2015)
Like Minds is the debut recording by jazz drummer and composer Bryan Bowman. The set is comprised of unique and modern original music that is at once a logical extension of jazz’s tradition and a look into its future. Bryan Bowman is joined on this date by Ian Carey on trumpet, Bob Kenmotsu on saxophone, Matt Clark on piano and Doug Miller on bass.
The Circus Bella All-Star Band (2011)
Accordionist Rob Reich (Tin Hat, Gaucho, Nice Guy Trio) leads a top notch 11-piece band through his bold original music for Circus Bella. The music captures the danger, bravado, wit, and virtuosity of a traveling circus show. It sweeps the listener through a dazzling array of styles, and explores the line between deadly serious and hilarious.
Electric Squeezebox Orchestra: Cheap Rent (2015)
San Francisco-based trumpeter Erik Jekabson has led an all-star cast of Bay Area musicians every Sunday over the last year at Doc's Lab in SF's vibrant North Beach neighborhood. Building a formidable book of creative arrangements and originals, a dynamic group aesthetic, and a loyal fan-base ready for anything, the ESO takes chances and explores options while never veering from their pursuit of groove, beauty and subtlety.