reviews

Nate Chinen New York Times (July 23, 2009)

Meicht is a tenor saxophonist with a robust tone and a venturesome streak, though he isn't averse to swinging.


John Sharpe All About Jazz (July 17, 2009)

Building on a solid start, the [Vision] Festival just got stronger and stronger through the seven days with outstanding sets becoming commonplace by the end. Of the 34 shows on the main stage, the cherries on the cake were Roy Campbell and Joe McPhee's Ayler Project, Seth Meicht's Big Sound Ensemble, Matthew Shipp's solo set, the Rob Brown Trio, Planet Dream, the Fred Anderson Trio, Dickey/Yamamoto/ Carter, and Trio X, but it must be said that it was a very good cake.

For the complete review, click here.


Derek Taylor bagatellen.com (September 2006)

Tenor saxophone contenders come and go as the reed continues its reign as the most recognizable jazz instrument. Producer Bob Rusch has proven particularly adept over the years at picking out new talent from the legions of practitioners. Rusch isn't an easy sell. His notes for CIMP and CJR releases regularly recount the strings of failed attempts by artists prior to the actual inking of contracts. It's a gauntlet that yields surprisingly few errors in judgment. Seth Meicht is his latest "find" and once again, the score sheet registers a winner.

For the complete review, click here.


Andrey Henkin All About Jazz (December 2005)

The Sepia Trio's mix of disparate energy music traditions, most audibly The Fringe, is impressive. Seth Meicht (sax), Brendan Dougherty (drums, electronics), and a new bassist, the much older Akira Ando, recorded Cleft in Dougherty's adopted home of Germany, both live and in the studio.

Just when the opening ten-minute "Losgelassen" leads a listener to expect an album of aggressive sax-dominated free blowing, "Pre-moan", at just over one minute, confounds with an industrial sonic wash. The following "Moan", back up to eight minutes, is more in the mold of the opener, but with very interesting modulating long tones in its initial salvo. "Untitled" is the sister piece to "Pre-moan", another electronic exploration led by Dougherty.

The final two cuts of Cleft, also the album's live recordings, are "Poultney" and "Encoure". The first piece is substantial, close to eighteen minutes of the kind of brash force and vigor that bands from the aforementioned Fringe to newer groups like The Thing search for relentlessly. This segues, with a brief aside of audience appreciation, into the most melodic tune of the album. Nothing fancy, just a catchy vamp that allows the Sepia Trio to unload in under two minutes.


Shaun Brady Philadelphia City Paper (17-23 November 2005)

Seth Meicht wasn't even born when Albert Ayler drowned in New York's East River, but he screams into his horn as if exorcising Ayler's spirit. The Philadelphia tenor saxophonist reunites with expat drummer Brendan Dougherty (sure, local jazz guys leave all the time for NYC, but Berlin?!?) for a batch of old-school free jazz. Old school in the sense of full-throttle blowing, with Meicht howling at the very moon that hangs in Coltrane's Interstellar Space. The disc begins with a memorable AACM sound that acts as a rubber band to launch the trio head-first into hurtling improvisation. Bassist Akira Ando dances around the melody while Dougherty batters his kit. The final 17-minute track allows all three to stretch a bit, with Meicht's melodic twists walking the tightrope of Ando's bowed bass. The only modern touches are a pair of brief electronic interludes, allowing listeners a rare chance to breathe.


Frank Rubolino Cadence Magazine (February 2002)

As the morning bugle calls the troops to order and the drums sound the cadence, The Meicht Group opens its trio session [Loud Like Hemlocks] of sparkling interaction on Loud Like Hemlocks. From that point of departure, they venture into all forms of creative expression, using quiet subtleties or explicit blasts of sound language to form an intricate basis of communication. Aaron Meicht typically takes a stark approach on trumpet. He jabs and punches, as would a prizefighter, extending and retreating into moody realms to establish the serious essence of the recording. Seth Meicht rolls out a linear wave on his tenor or alto, building the intensity and volume with each succeeding crest. Dougherty astutely comprehends this dialogue and responds with flavors that enhance and further the communicative effort. The trio unites in a flurry of activity as Aaron Meicht takes his stutter sound to an accelerated level to match that of Seth Meicht. The result is a bracing form of improvisation with ebb and flow characteristics that seep into deep crevices of the psyche. The program consists of eight movements that feature the individual or collective talents of these players. Any of the three is likely to start the action, encouraging the others to answer the call with a complimentary brand of free speech. Dougherty builds layers of quiet strokes into a complex array of percussive sound, opening the door for the Meichts to develop their improvisations around this stimulus. While one of them takes the forefront with assertive pronouncements, the other embellishes this output to complete the creative picture. The music has an equal amount of subdued and aroused moments, allowing the session to promote a variety of temperaments. It is an alluring excursion that successfully winds down alternating innovative trails with comparable results.


Daniel Piotrowski Signal to Noise (Summer 2002)

The trio [The Meicht Group] interact on a highly sophisticated level, with the Meicht brothers smoothly alternating and complementing each other superbly. While the improvisations become at times abrasive, The Meicht Group always retains some purpose and structure. [Loud Like Hemlocks]


Brian Howard Philadelphia City Paper (11-18 October 2001)

[Listen to the] controlled chaos of The Meicht Group's third release, an out-there conflagration of improvised cacophony and premeditated orneriness. [They are a] wonderfully inventive jazz/experimental trio. The Meicht brothers (trumpeter Aaron and reedist Seth) and percussionist Brendan Dougherty lay down eight challenging tracks  that explore the dynamics of their two horns, one drum kit, no bass configuration. This is a band of contradictions--free jazz with forethought--whose Loud Like Hemlocks blends long periods of quiet, contemplative texturing with bursts of frenetic abandon.

Seth Meicht
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