The Squid's Ear Magazine

Miano, Tonino / Brian Groder: FluiDensity (Latham / Impressus Records)

The duo of pianist Tonino Miano and trumpeter Brian Groder, both NY based, in a sophisticated jazz duo that borrows from melodic, avant and compositional jazz forms in a strong and compelling dialog.

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product information:

UPC: 787104580149

Label: Latham / Impressus Records
Catalog ID: IR005
Squidco Product Code: 18914

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock foldover, 3 panels
None indicated.


Tonino Miano-piano

Brian Groder-trumpet

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Brian Groder and Tonino Miano's FluiDensity is the work of a duo so conversant and solid that one could imagine that they were working off rather dense charts rather than engaged in the give and take of pure improvisation. Groder's melodies are quite engaging and Miano's imaginative accompaniment never fails to be supportive.

Groder is New York based trumpeter and flugal horn player and has garnered enthusiastic reviews on this blog before. His partner on the recording, pianist Miano, also from New York, and is an educator and musician. Together they have made an album the straddles the line between classical and avant-garde jazz with accessible spiraling melodies and evolving improvised ideas. Miano has a strong rhythmic drive to his playing, even when he's playing quietly, that provides a nice buoyancy.

'Optika', the opening song, starts with Groder's unaccompanied trumpet playing an intriguingly convoluted melody. When Miano joins, his counter melodies match in pace and phrasing, giving the tune a rhythmic boost. The wide ranging 'Depth of Field' begins with oblique passages on the piano and insistent melodies from the trumpet to moments that have a folksy openness that bring Aaron Copland to mind. The album as a whole breaths, expanding and contracting, leaving space for listener to ingest, digest and reflect and then do it all over again.

FluiDensity is a rather it is an imaginative and sophisticated album of dense, fluid, melodic and intriguing improvisation."-Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

Artist Biographies

"Brian Groder draws on the entire jazz tradition, as well as world music influences, to create compositions critics have called "Music not only for today, but also for tomorrow," and AllAboutJazz hailed as "Music of ceaselessly fascinating possibilities."

A New York native, Groder comes by his musical abilities honestly. Both his parents were working musicians during the Swing Era. His parents were musicians and from a young age Groder played trumpet and flügelhorn. Early in his professional career he played in hotel and casino bands in Atlantic City backing visiting pop stars. For about a decade he taught in Philadelphia before moving back to New York City in the early 90s. Groder established a reputation among avant garde jazz and improvised music players, including Abstract Truth recording Curiosity on Acoustical Concepts in 1991.

The Brian Groder Ensemble's first CD, Ancestral Tongues, received special commendation from critic Andy Bartlett for the beauty of the ballads and the compelling solo work from all." Subsequent recordings, Perihelion and Incantations, drew critical praise in Europe and Japan, becoming staples on The National Radio Show in the Netherlands. Groder's preference for working with other composer/performers gives his brand of modern progressive jazz unique improvisatory richness and depth: in 2007 Brian released Torque, a CD featuring the legendary composer/performer Sam Rivers and his trio, which received a "Four Star" rating from Downbeat Magazine. 2009 saw the release of Groder & Greene, a collaboration between Brian and avante-jazz pioneer Burton Greene, called "one of the year's best" by All About Jazz. In 2013, Brian and pianist Tonino Miano released FluiDENSITY, a new-classical and jazz imprvisational hybrid, and headlined at the prestigious Timucua White House as part of the 13in13 Project. 2014 saw the recording Reflexology, a disc of Groder compositions performed by his latest trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen.

Although noted for his innovative work in free jazz, Groder is also a composer of distinction. His bands include the Brian Groder Ensemble and Double Perceptions. The last-named of these has included Rez Abbasi (guitar), Dominic Duval (bass) and Newman Taylor Baker (drums). Other musicians with whom he has worked are trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, saxophonists J.C. Feil, Michael Mee, J.D. Parran and Blaise Siwula, pianists JoAnne Brackeen (with whom he has also studied), Burton Greene, Katsuyuki Itakura, Francesca Tanksley and Ron Thomas, guitarists Kevin Kuhn and Dennis Sandole, bass players Vince Fay, Andy McKee and Craig Thomas, and drummers Jackson Krall, John McLellan and Tony Vigilante. Groder has also enjoyed a highly commendable association with veteran free jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers and the latter's trio partners, bass player Doug Mathews and drummer Anthony Cole. Strikingly inventive, Groder plays with flair and suppleness. He has described what he plays as modern progressive music and it is constantly thought provoking and rewarding. He also operates his own label, Latham Records. In addition to his work with jazz musicians, Groder has collaborated with choreographer Cherylyn Lavergnino for whom he composed 'Music For Dance', a work that was premiered in New York City in 2006.

His work includes original film soundtracks and multi-media presentations, and he has received a number of awards for his composition, including two fellowships to the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, where he had the opportunity to work with Cecil Taylor and Ms. Brakeen, a Composer's Assistance Award from the American Music Center for his Suite for Dance, and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant for his Cartologia Suite."

-Brian Groder Website (

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Track Listing:

1. 01. Optika (5:00)

2. 02. Depth Of Field (8:28)

3. 03. Brushmarks (3:06)

4. 04. Inclination (4:53)

5. 05. Opposite Geometry (4:30)

6. 06. Phase Shift (8:09)

7. 07. Pinion (4:11)

8. 08. Wiser Counter Clock (4:53)

09. Pas de Deux (5:29)

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Duo Recordings
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