REVIEWS OF FLASH FORWARD
The appropriately named Flash Forward (Motema – 156) finds the MICHAEL CARVIN EXPERIENCE taking eight tunes on trips to new places. Drummer Carvin, tenor saxophonist Keith Loftus, pianist Jansen Cino and bassist Yayoi Ikawa are a well knit unit who listen to each other in a way that gives them the kind of cohesion that comes from working together over a period of time. The first five tracks concentrate on jazz tunes, “So What,” “Sayonara Blues,” “In Walked Bud,” “Same Shame” and “Night in Tunisia.” The framework for each is arranged by Carvin, but he allows ample space for his bandmates and him to bring their individualism to the fore. They also address three pop standards to conclude the program, “You Go to My Head,” lovingly caressed by Loftus and Cinco, “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” taken on an intense post-bop ride and “Autumn Leaves,” given a nicely hip, low key swing feel. Throughout Carvin is the guiding master at his drum kit, never intrusive, but always a driving force. This is definitely not background music, rather music to be taken seriously, pleasingly so. (Motema.com)
- Jersey Jazz
Michael Carvin, a veteran of the 1970s jazz scene who is currently 69, is an adventurous drummer whose roots are in hard bop. The same can be said for his current quartet, a unit featuring three young talents in tenor-saxophonist Keith Loftis, pianist Yayoi Ikawa and bassist Jansen Cinco.
Flash Forward features the quartet playing eight standards which range from well-known songs (such as one of the better versions of “So What,” an explosive rendition of “A Night In Tunisia” and a sly arrangement of “Autumn Leaves”) to such obscurities as Horace Silver’s “Sayonara Blues” and Bobby Hutcherson’s “Same Shame.” The latter is a showcase for the adventurous playing of pianist Ikawa. While she, Cinco and Carvin (who takes a few extended improvisations) all have their places to shine, tenor-saxophonist Keith Loftis often takes solo honors. On the more high-powered performances such as “In Walked Bud,” his passionate playing is worthy of Billy Harper and Carlos Garnett. During the more soulful numbers, he is closer to Stanley Turrentine while displaying his own musical personality.
Flash Forward is highly recommended to fans of modern hard bop. It is one of Michael Carvin’s most rewarding sets as a leader and it is available from www.motema.com
- Scott Yanow / Los Angeles Jazz Scene Magazine
4-star Downbeat review
New York Times
-Raul Da Gama
"Michael Carvin is a jazz giant with a world-class band and world-class presentation. The Michael Carvin Experience will become one of the biggest jazz acts in the world."
"The veteran drummer is one of those rare artists who generates a specific energy...you can feel a perpetual wave of power coming from his instrument."
"You are one of the only drummers since Klook [Kenny Clarke] that I feel can play anything that I can think of."
-John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie to Michael Carvin at the Domicil Jazz Club in Munich, Germany, 1989
"Mr. Carvin is one of Jazz's finest drummers, someone who can compress his sound down to a whistle or spread it out like a building collapsing."
-New York Times
"Michael Carvin is no ordinary drummer. He is a human rhythm machine."
"Carvin is one of those rarities, a true band player ... who lends the just-perfect dramatic emphasis. Midway through one drum solo Carvin simply and neatly created a new kind of sound-space tension that few modern drummers...sustain."
"Michael Carvin is ... intent on maintaining the artistry that has made this tradition of percussion so original. He is truly one of my favorite drummers."
A jazz-percussion avatar to those who have studied with him..."
"Michael Carvin is a true jazz stalwart, who has taught many of the major jazz drummers who have emerged in the last 15 years."
-Branford Marsalis, producer of Marsalis Music Honors Michael Carvin
"Michael Carvin is a force! He changed my whole philosophy behind the kit."
"We brought him [to Anguilla] to teach young drummers how to play and read music. Not only did he do that, he also changed the country."
-Davon Carty, Founder & CEO, AMPP (Anguilla Music Production and Publishing Co.)