The Marvin Stamm/Mike Holober Quartet:  Dennis Mackrel, Mike McGuirk, Mike Holober, Marvin Stamm

The Marvin Stamm/Mike Holober Quartet: Dennis Mackrel, Mike McGuirk, Mike Holober, Marvin Stamm

The club’s intimate scale, and the genuine warmth of the audience and staff, made it a perfect setting for the group’s musical concept.”

LIVE @ MAUREEN'S JAZZ CELLAR

Marvin Stamm/Mike Holober Quartet

Mike and Marvin began playing together after meeting through their work with the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Regular Sunday afternoon duo sessions nurtured a close friendship, and a unique musical connection. When joined by bassist Mike McGuirk and drummer Dennis Mackrel, the scope of their intimate conversation expanded, resulting in a deeply satisfying interactive dialogue. As the group evolved into a regular “working” quartet, Maureen’s Jazz Cellar in Nyack NY became their favorite place to play. The club’s intimate scale, and the genuine warmth of the audience and staff, made it a perfect setting for the group’s musical concept. When the club’s owner David Budway suggested a live recording, it seemed like a natural fit. And this is the result: four established artists, each a virtuoso unto himself, caught “in the moment,” playing the music they love. The intimate interplay of the group is its signature characteristic, revealing how closely they are listening, and how much they are attuned to one another. The tracks, which include two originals and several familiar jazz standards, evolve with remarkable synchronicity. This is a set of pure "blowing," and extraordinary group empathy. It is blatantly honest, devoid of ego or attitude, and exemplifies what jazz is meant to be: traditional in its roots, yet modern, beautiful and swinging. On this session, you can hear why when jazz artists “work,” it’s called “playing.”
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REVIEWS

"Its beauty lies in its simplicity: four well-established artists playing the music they love in an intimate jazz club for an appreciative audience. They engage in the type of dynamic, in-the-moment interplay that’s only possible among musicians who perform together regularly and listen to each other closely, letting each tune evolve organically as they anticipate each other’s moves and react to any and all sounds of surprise."  
Ed Enright, Downbeat Magazine, September 2020 

"What makes this album special is the building intensity of Marvin and Mike playing off of each other. They aren't content to play the material straight ahead. Instead, we're treated to a gentle dismembering and reassembly of songs you know and originals you don't know . . . . There's a simmering quality on all the selections, a hushed approach that makes the music relaxed and muscular . . . . You actually can hear all of the musicians deep in thought." 
 Marc Myers, JazzWax, July 13, 2020 

"Their work reminded me of Art Blakey’s line about jazz washing away the dust of everyday life. There is no dust left on these guys or their listeners . . . . On Live @ Maureen’s Jazz Cellar, these four gentlemen devote themselves to sophisticated play, free from the need to impress and focused on an elevated level of communication with one another and with the attentive and justifiably appreciative audience." 
Mel Minter, Musically Speaking, July 19, 2020 

"One of the many things sorely missed in the 2020's COVID situation is that cornerstone of jazz—the live-in-a-club performance. Live at Maureen's Cellar provides a vivid recollection of what pre-plague joy we had. This fine recording presents that intimate club vibe, offering engaging extended solos, ensemble (and audience) interaction, and the emotional range that jazz delivers uniquely in person . . . . We may not know when we will be able to hear live in-person jazz again; however, Live @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar is a marvelous "night out on the town" alternative that is very well worth taking in." 
 Nicholas F. Mondello, All About Jazz, August 3, 2020 

“Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober, Mike McGuirk and Dennis Mackrel; when musicians of that caliber gather onstage to record a live supper club session, even the diners snap to attention and harken closely lest any phrase or nuance eludes the ears . . . . Stamm, who plays only flugelhorn, is in his usual trim and articulate form, while Holober, McGuirk and Mackrel provide stalwart support and solo with enthusiasm and awareness . . . . If you happened to be in Nyack, NY, on that December evening and were looking to sample some high-quality music, Maureen's Jazz Cellar was the place to be. Now, thanks to this luminous and well-recorded album, you can at least be there in spirit.”  
Jack Bowers, All About Jazz, August 21, 2020 

 “When similar minds, like Stamm and Holober, collaborate over a sustained period and the chemistry is right, a musical empathy develops and a complimentary creative approach to music becomes almost second nature . . . . If you, like me, miss that “live” experience then get Live @ Maureen’s Jazz Cellar and play it till your heart's delight, it’s the next best thing to being there.” 
Ralph A. Miriello, “Notes on Jazz,” September 24, 2020