Kazzrie Jaxen – Piano/Vocals
Charley Krachy – Tenor Sax
Don Messina – Double Bass
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This trio brings together the elemental qualities of creative jazz musicians: the earthy melodic pulsations of a double bass; the oceanic depth of the tenor sax; and the fiery adventurousness of the piano.
Honoring jazz tradition with straight-ahead swing and spontaneous improvisation, this band strives to express the beauty of a melodic line, deriving collective inspiration from the musical philosophies of jazz greats Lennie Tristano and Sal Mosca, as well as Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Bud Powell, Warne Marsh, and many others. The band's music includes standard tunes, jazz lines, originals, and occasional excursions into the abstract. Their unusual harmonic approach stretches the music in unique and complex directions, always in service to feeling and to the pure joy of improvising.
Kazzrie Jaxen (formerly known as Liz Gorrill) was introduced to jazz audiences by Lennie Tristano in a solo concert at Carnegie Recital Hall. (“She's a striking talent . . . onto something very original,” Robert Palmer, New York Times). Since then she has recorded for the Jazz Records and New Artists labels, as well as independently, and has performed in the US and Europe at venues such as Town Hall, DeSingel, Birdland, Sweet Basil, The Philly Fringe Festival, The Outpost in Albuquerque, The Stone, and The Blue Note. Also a teacher and composer, her recent creative projects include a solo piano soundtrack for the award-winning film “Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn”; a duet CD with poet Mark Weber entitled “A Million Shimmering Fish” (New Artists Records); a musical collaboration with The Drummers, a six-person conga drum ensemble; a duo with vocalist Dori Levine; a trio with saxophonist Lorenzo Sanguedolce and bassist Michael Bisio; and an ongoing exploration into the synthesis of Jazz Improvisation and Qigong.
Charley Krachy (“one of the warmest and most soulful sounds of the tenor saxophone imaginable,” Mark Weber, KUNM-FM) has been playing with Kazzrie Jaxen since 1984. They released a CD in 1990 to critical acclaim. (“ ‘A Jazz Duet’ summons up memories of piano-and-saxophone duets you only THINK you've heard -- testimony to its power,” Frances Davis, The Village Voice.) Charley has recorded for New Artists and Zinnia Records and performs at various venues in New York City with his own groups and with musicians such as Ted Brown, Gary Levy, Virg Dzurinko, Ratzo Harris, Woody Mann, Charles Sibirsky, and Connie Crothers.
Don Messina, double-bassist, has been part of the highly respected rhythm section with drummer Bill Chattin (“telepathic rapport, virtuosity, music made for the love of it,” Ed Hazell, Boston Phoenix). Don has performed and/or recorded with Sal Mosca Trio/Quartet, Ted Brown Quartet, Jimmy Halperin Trio, Jon Easton Trio, Bluth Messina Chattin Trio, Peter Prisco, Chris Aiello, Rich Moore, Ron Naldi, Will Jhun, and many more.
(Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy's Club, July 1st, 2015, Lennie Tristano Hall of Fame Ceremony)
Various guests have performed with this group: Bill Chattin (drums) worked regularly with this group from the beginning through May of 2016 (see his bio), poets Mark Weber and Mark Gabrielle, guitarists Peter Prisco and Andy Fite, and alto saxophonists Gary Levy and Chris Aiello. This group, as a trio or a quartet improvises on tunes from the American Songbook, compositions by Lennie Tristano, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Lester Young, original lines and songs, as well as free group and solo improvisations. This group encourages and enjoys "questions and answers" after their performances.