Free Play


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The New York Free Quartet (NYFQ) features four musicians at the height of their creative powers. Michael Moss (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, Bb and bass clarinets, non-western instruments including bamboo and other assorted flutes, Thai khean and shofar), Steve Cohn (piano, shakuhachi, poet, trombone, ektara, Hichirichi, shofar, African Talking Drum, Wuhan Chinese Gong, Japanese Bowl, Fir Wood Blocks, Indian Cow Bell - large/small and other exotic wind instruments, Vietnamese and other percussion), Larry Roland (bass, poet), and Chuck Fertal (drums) founded the New York Free Quartet.

Reviewer Gregory Applegate Edwards says about NYFQ: “But most of all this is about totality, total sound generation. You can hear them speak with the sure vocabulary and eloquence of masters long apprenticed, chained to the lodestone of woodshedding, gigging, communicating in the classroom, on the stage, in the streets. It all leads up to this moment in July when the New Free Quartet gives out with definitive individuality-in-togetherness. Check Michael Moss on bass clarinet or any instrument in his reed arsenal, flowing out with the very together freedom that takes years to reach. Steve Cohen as the pianist who by touch and thought brings significance into sound like very few pianists alive can do. Larry Roland on bass, never wasting a note, making it all mean something. Chuck Fertal on drums, a master of tone, everything hit in just the right place, with second-splitting soul science.”

Reed player Michael Moss has been actively involved in the music scene for many years, leading his own musical groups including Mike Moss/4 Rivers, Free Energy. Moss has played with an eclectic group of musicians including Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Dave Burrell, Paul Bley, Annette Peacock, William Parker, Jackson Krall, Burton Greene and Badal Roy. He has also worked with a number of established modern dancers including Judith Moss and Rosalind Newman. In the ‘70s Moss curated and performed in three Loft in the Sky Music Festivals in Lexington New York for Art Awareness, three Loft Jazz Celebrations in NYC, and for seven years (2007-13) the Westbeth Music Festival in NYC. Most recently he has been appearing with guitarist Billy Stein, with avant garde Charles Downs’ group Centipede, and with the collaborative group the New York Free Quartet. Recent recordings on his independent record label 4th Stream Records include INTERVALS (2013) with Billy Stein, and the JUST released CD Free Play with the NYFQ.

With over 25 recordings in his name, Steve Cohn has played with Eddie Henderson, Sonny Simmons, and Reggie Workman among many others. He has performed his own works at New York City's Miller Theatre, the Newport JVC Festival, the Great American Music Hall, and at World Shakuhachi Festivals. "Cohn's intricate counterpoint and drama-infused harmonies are equally effective on muscular jazz-hued sprints and pointillistic passages. His cogent use of ethnic instruments goes well beyond stock poses of texture and transcendentalism. There are few American pianists who have Cohn's talents (Bill Shoemaker, Downbeat Magazine).”

Larry Roland, poet, bassist, composer, educator, and music producer has been on the creative performance scene for close to four decades. His music and poetry has graced National and International Concert Halls, radio, television, the Internet, parks, street corners, outdoor theaters and private living rooms. Larry’s credits include work with Charles Gayle, award winning dancer/choreographer Adrienne Hawkins, the Raphe' Malik band, Jamyll Jones, Donel Fox, a noted award winning pianist and contemporary classical composer, and Waldron Ricks, a talented trumpeter/composer. He appears on his Boston Composer Group label in addition to several other labels.

Born in New York City, Chuck Fertal studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Credits include stints in which he played with Sonny Stitt (1972), Dorothy Donegan (1975), Sir Charles Thompson (1976), Cecil Payne, and the Hoofers--an international jazz tap dance team. Chuck worked with Mal Waldron 1979 through 1987, guitarist Roland Prince, Marvin Horn, the Steve Cohn trio with Reggie Workman on bass, Jeremy Steig, Harold Danko, Ron McClure, Ratzo Harris, Malachi Thompson, Calvin Hill, Lyle Atkinson, Arnie Lawrence, Byard Lancaster, Bob Neloms, Cameron Brown, Bill Saxton, Sonny Fortune, Jack Wilkins, Santi Debriano, Junior Cook, Bob Cranshaw, George Cables, Adam Mackiewicz, Cecil McBee, and Richard Wyans.

The New York Free Quartet appears on 4th Stream Records,
Copyright 2015 ERG Publishing.


released July 19, 2015

Bassist Larry Roland introduces his poetry born out of Urban Folk Music to the public in a free jazz setting that polishes every facet of phoneme.
Cover art by Steve Cohn
Recorded live at ShapeShifter Lab July 29, 2014
Mix by John Shea and Michael Moss
Mastering by Jeff Jones, Jedimaster



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Michael Moss New York, New York

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Track Name: Alleys
Poetry by Larry Roland