Press for the Heavens
Ben Ratliff, the New York Times
The thrilling moments of the set were the trickiest, in a more-or-less jazz sense, when the phrasing swung and stopped short and the horns separated into overlapping questions and answers, as in Mr. Garchik’s “Optimism”; or the loudest, when continuous lines overlapped.
The Checkout, 20 minute audio interview with Josh Jackson, WBGO
Nate Chinen, the New York Times
Nate Chinen, Jazz Times
The Jewish Week
The Jewish Daily Forward
Press for the Jacob Garchik Trio:
All About Jazz, January 9, 2011 (Daniel Lehner)
Trombonist Jacob Garchik's bass-less trio, with drummer Dan Weiss and pianist Jacob Sacks, did not suffer any missing particles. Garchik's writing both allowed for space to breathe and room for the musicians to innovate. Garchik is a dynamic trombonist, providing an arsenal of technique that covered the history of his instrument—showcasing everything from illogically fast post-bop lines to a cool swinging vibrato—and was perfectly positioned to lead his own brand of musical vision.
New York Times, Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 (Ben Ratliff)
“Romance” (Yestereve), an odd and excellent new record by the young jazz trombonist Jacob Garchik, is taut with paradox. This music sounds free-improvised until you make out the tightly woven written parts inside it, which doesn’t take long. The subversion of roles further throws you off: sometimes the piano accompanying the trombone solo is both wilder and quieter than the trombone solo. Sometimes the rhythm is rumbling and repetitious while the melody is soft and lovely. It’s a weirdly proportioned little band, with Mr. Garchik on trombone, Jacob Sacks on piano and Dan Weiss on drums; Judith Berkson comes in twice, singing tense duets with the trombone in slow and beautiful art songs.
New York Times, Friday, April 4th, 2008 (Nate Chinen)
On his rewarding new album, “Romance” (Yestereve), the trombonist Jakob Garchik pursues a flexible and occasionally pointillist dynamic with his band mates, the pianist Jacob Sacks and the drummer Dan Weiss, who also join him here.
All About Jazz, June 3, 2008 (Laurel Gross)
Eminently likeable. While at first everything sounds unpredictable and free-spirited—imagine colors you haven't seen, combinations of sounds you haven't heard—it's soon clear that there is an organizing force behind these original offerings. Some sections are too pretty and melodic, even at times classical sounding, to be random musings.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 4, 2008 (David Rubien)
Beguiling and enigmatic, with a composed chamber feel that belies the sharp improvising. Garchik has not only tamed the trombone, a daunting instrument, but he's also taught it a few tricks.
New York Times, Friday, Nov 4, 2005 (Nate Chinen)
With "Abstracts" (Yestereve), the trombonist Jacob Garchik offers a bouquet of appealingly compact excursions; here, as on the album, his partners in experimentation are the pianist Jacob Sacks and the drummer Dan Weiss.
Point of Departure, January 2006 (Bill Shoemaker)
a floating or loping rhythmic feel...the themes sometimes have spaces that you can park a Hummer in, requiring not only the instincts of when to lay out, but the ideas that will reverberate through the ensuing spaces. All three musicians repeatedly show admirable abilities in these regards. These traits also carry over to the few occasions they work a groove, and the results are refreshingly sleek...These musicians are in motion, and it will be interesting to see where they go next.
All About Jazz, December 23, 2005 (Andrey Henkin)
a wonderfully pithy session...Garchik’s writing is fresh and fluid, slightly seditious but never less than mellifluous
Time Out NY, Nov 3, 2005 (Steve Smith)
Jacob Garchik celebrates the release of Abstracts (Yestereve), an engrossing new trio session with pianist Jacob Sacks and drummer Dan Weiss. The lack of a bass player lends the session an airy intimacy not so far removed from the spacious drift of Jimmy Giuffre's combo with Paul Bley, a sensation amplified by Weiss's lithe drumming.
All About Jazz, December 2005 (Glenn Astarita)
It's a commingling of solid chops and open-ended dialogues, yet the artists also inject sentiment and a good-timey disposition.
Tom Hull, (jazz consumer guide writer for Village Voice)
Jacob Garchik: Abstracts (2004 , Yestereve): Garchik is a trombonist based in New York, plays in a large number of local groups, including a few I've heard of. This is a trio with Jacob Sacks on piano and Dan Weiss on drums. The eight pieces are designated Abstracts, numbers 1-8. Free jazz, sharply played, the instrumental mix interesting.
Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter, April 2006 (Bruce Gallanter)
The music has a thoughtful, spacious quality, in which each note counts...There are pieces that start out one way, say charted and tight-knit, yet they move through sections where the layers of connections are not so apparent, but end up tight towards the final section. I love music that keeps one guessing where it will end up or how exactly it works and this music if a fine example of this.
One Final Note, December 19, 2005 (David Dupont)
A moody, dark-hued session. On the opening track Garchik intones a minor, mournful melody that’s perfectly suited to the sonority of his horn...His cohorts are well in tune with this approach.
Online Trombone Journal, Nov 25, 2005 (Jeff Albert)
The interaction between Garchik, pianist Jacob Sacks, and drummer Dan Weiss seems comfortable and natural. The musical trust is audible. Garchik's trombone skills are superb, but this CD did not leave me thinking about what a great trombone player he is, because I was too distracted by the great music to take much notice of the trombone playing. This CD is a must have for the listener that likes to explore, and it will be repeatedly rewarding to the open-minded listener.
Press for Jacob Garchik: New York Times, Sunday, August 2, 2010 (Ben Ratliff)
Mr. Garchik played fast and exact phrases, finding strange routes through familiar chord changes and leaving a lot of empty space; he was temperate, building intensity without shouting.
The tunes were compressed, by jazz measurements: six or seven minutes each, with composed, no-nonsense themes at the beginning and end, surrounding stretches of harmonically loose interplay. At certain pressure points along the way, everyone in the band glanced around for cues, and suddenly the whole group squirmed toward a new direction — a different rhythm, a different tonal center, sudden ensemble passages or dropouts.
The New York Times, February 25, 2008 (Vivien Schweitzer)
Reviewing the Kronos Quartet
In Jacob Garchik’s evocative arrangement of “Lullaby,” a traditional Iranian work, inspired by the Iranian group Jahlé, David Harrington, Kronos’s first violinist, played a retuned fiddle.
Downbeat, December 2006 (John Corbett)
New York Times, Friday, March 16, 2007 (Nate Chinen)
Mr. Garchik, a trombonist who often traffics in free improvisation, employs a compositional framework in this ensemble, featuring the vocalist Judith Berkson, the clarinetist Oscar Noriega, the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the drummer Johnny McLellan.
In Tune Magazine's "Top 30 Under 30" list of young Jazz Musicians
Nic Jones, All About Jazz, April 29, 2006
Trombonist Jacob Garchik in particular is a soloist to listen out for—listen to “Bittern And Pintail,” where he combines some of the rambunctious qualities of Ray Anderson with the feel of Radu Malfatti.
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, April 21, 2006
"Killer jazz improviser"
Ira Gitler, Jazz Improv Magazine, September 2005
Jacob Garchik’s wry trombone was Knepper-like (Jimmy, that is) with a taste (at least to these ears) of Willie Dennis.
David Dupont, One Final Note, October 2004
Garchik's part requires him to range from the bottom to the top of his horn—always seeming perfectly at ease.Testimonials
Josh Roseman, Online Trombone Journal Forum, October 2005
Jacob's CD has been in regular rotation here over the past few months- it's very strong, refreshing music, and I doubt I'll get tired of it anytime soon. We haven't met, but I appreciate his work and I've wanted to contribute a review of "abstracts" since I first heard it.
Garchik's an inspired thinker on the trombone with a mature and intriguing approach. He's managed to build a substantial musical context with his cooperative, trombone-led bassless trio.
This group is full of interesting contradictions. They play with a great sense of initiative and range- and yet the music gives a real sense of completion and consistency from start to finish. Jacob himself is able to play melodically within this broad, chromatic setting. But his lines tend to draw a listener out, rather than sinking in. His approach is organic and fresh enough to defy definition and renew focus and attention after repeated listens. He's not prone to repeating himself.
Jacob's got a rare talent among trombonists- he's very secure in complex rhythmic and harmonic environments and is able to play very compellingly without overshadowing at any dynamic. He's got a great sense of his own sonic footprint that way; he creates opportunities for the musicians around him.
It's refreshing to hear someone who can facilitate and pull this off so well, especially on the trombone.
An isolated clip doesn't do his work justice- you'll hear the originality, the execution and the integrity in his playing - but his conceptual stamina only really becomes apparent in the context of the whole album.
I hear shades of many of my favorite players in Jacob's playing. His intervallic approach and flexibility reminds me of George Lewis at times, his tone and articulation reminds me of Jimmy Knepper's in others. His sense of orientation makes me think of Julian Priester, although that's kind of going out on a limb.
But what I like best about this music is that it's an original, personal setting - the spirit of the ensemble is very pure here. The trio conveys a sense of transparency and selflessness that is rare. These guys are in tune with each other.
Even as a trio, they're able to create a very full and complete environment for the music. There's no bass player, none is needed- and with Jacob's trombone sound, the range of his lines and his sense of placement, I get the impression that a second horn player would be overkill.
I'm partial to trio playing, I know how challenging it can be to flesh out a program in that kind of setting. It's impressive to me that Garchik's chosen this context for a first recording.
I look forward to checking Jacob out closely, I'm very curious to see how his music develops over time. I'd encourage anyone interested in new contexts for the instrument- improvisors, composers, classical players- to check his disc out.