May 16, 2018Press for "The Great Enthusiams" (BJUR, 2017)
Check out some of the great press for “THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS"
****4 Stars (4/5) “Violinist Sam Bardfeld makes his case for ‘weird, joyous, art’ on this wildly eclectic outing with pianist Kris Davis and drummer Michael Sarin. An adventurous spirit whose career path has landed him spots in The Jazz Passengers, Anthony Braxton’s Trillium Orchestra, Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra, Joel Harrison’s String Choir and Bruce Springsteen’s Sessions Band, Bardfeld combines a touch of Stuff Smith’s playfulness with a Charles Ives aesthetic on his first album a leader in 12 years." Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine, October, 2017 http://www.downbeat.com/digitaledition/2017/DB1712/single_page_view/73.html
“You shouldn’t miss The Great Enthusiasms (BJU Records), a brilliantly odd and altogether lovely new album by violinist Sam Bardfeld. It’s the first recording under his name since 2005; he has spent the intervening years working with assorted American originals: The Jazz Passengers, Bruce Springsteen, Anthony Braxton." Nate Chinen (formerly NYTimes), WBGO, Take Five, Oct, 2017
"Most people know Bardfeld from his work with Springsteen but his best material is his own…This is the great violin album that Monk never made…One of the top ten jazz albums of the year so far, no question." LucidCulture, Oct, 2017.
“The Great Enthusiasms is a slice of New Jazz that feels casual and accomplished at once. That kind of artistry comes from artists who have worked long and hard at making it look easy. In Bardfeld, who can seemingly play (and reconcile) any set of styles, and in Kris Davis and Michael Sarin, who are jazz players risen far above genre, you've found a trio of real artistry." – Will Layman, Pop Matters, Nov 2017. 8/10 stars. (https://www.popmatters.com/sam-bardfeld-the-great-enthusiasms-2506735190.html)
“Weird, creative, wonderful jazz that is steeped in folk and blues and the tradition of the avant-garde. Strong!" Will Layman, Pop Matters, https://twitter.com/WillLayman/status/931170506090450944
“Violinist Sam Bardfeld contemplates growing up within New York's diverse musical landscape in the 70s and early 80s, and forges something decidedly contemporary" Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, Nov 2017 https://twitter.com/pmarg/status/929115182684614657
“Bardfeld has…embodied the polystylistic sprawl of New York with his easy versatility. The group's heady interpretation of Springsteen's classic collaboration with Patti Smith, ‘Because the Night,’ uses the tune as raw material—Bardfeld and company fuck with the tempo, reharmonize the progressions, and manipulate the melody, but the indelible chorus remains recognizable even though it's played in a wonderfully jumbled frenzy." Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, Nov 2017.
#19/50: Best of 2017 “It’s truly amazing how violinist Sam Bardfeld is able to thread the needle of the point where avant-garde, modern jazz and chamber music come together. The trio...roll out this concoction of tones and influences in a way that is remarkably embraceable." Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm, Dec. 2017
“Violinist Sam Bardfeld has had an under-sung, yet storied career…Reveling in stylistic freedom, Bardfeld’s protean violin technique incorporates straight-ahead swing and free expressionism in equal measure…Though grounded in vernacular, Bardfeld’s eccentric writing takes cues from the American maverick tradition, ala Ives, Monk, etc." Troy Collins, Point of Departure, Dec 2017
"’The Great Enthusiasms’ (BJU Records) is a delightful surprise…Kris Davis and Michael Sarin are perfect partners for the"dancing on the edge" approach of this music. The music of Sam Bardfeld dazzles, delights, and definitely deserves to be heard." Richard Kamins, Steptempest, Nov, 2017
“Bardfeld is very much effective in the way he builds music, experimenting in accordance with his unique vision and taking advantage of the enthusiastic passion he feels for this particular genre. Rather than clashing, the trio advances collectively, finding an exquisite purity and climactic astonishment in their procedures." Felipe Freitas, JazzTrail, Oct, 2017
Five Stars ***** (5/5) , Jurg Solothurnmann, Jazz N’More (Switzerland), Nov-Dec, 2017
“Now with his third solo album, The Great Enthusiasms , he delivers a sublimated reflection on American music -with all its glorious eccentricities and contradictions- in which an integrating balance between expressivity and abstraction coexists, the unprejudiced confluence of traditional jazz and advanced jazz music (covering a range that goes from Stuff Smith and Eric Dolphy to Mary Halvorson)…The Great Enthusiasms, offers an aesthetic argument that exudes talent, grace, originality and, of course, enthusiasm, but in an overlapping way it also seems to question and ask about the role that art should occupy in the difficult moments that we have to live." Sergio Piccirilli, El Intruso (Spain), Jan, 2018