Outside Music, Inside Voices – a new book by Garrison Fewell

“Outside Music, Inside Voices: Dialogues on Improvisation, Spirituality and Creative Music” is a book of 25 dialogues with the world’s leading composer-improvisers of creative music, with the goal of acquiring a broader, more diverse understanding of the value and positive contribution that improvisation makes to the advancement of culture and society.

The general theme is an illumination of the spirit of improvisation and the motivations of artists who have dedicated their lives to creative music. To know the music on the “outside” (an obvious play of words regarding outside music) and to hear the “inside” voices of these artists will be encouraging to fans of creative music, and hopefully for young aspiring musicians and artists to explore development of the inner self as a means of personal artistic expression.

Outside Music, Inside Voices was supported by of a Berklee College of Music Faculty Fellowship Grant and edited by jazz writer Ed Hazell and former director of Harvard University Museum Publications Evelyn Rosenthal. The book includes 30 brilliant black & white photos of each artist by Luciano Rossetti, 330 pages, Foreword by author Ed Hazell, extensive footnote references in the author’s introduction, and individual biographies of each artist and the author.

A list of the 25 dialogues includes John Tchicai, Dave Burrell, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Grimes, Joelle Leandre, William Parker, Oliver Lake, Milford Graves, Marilyn Crispell, Henry Threadgill, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell Jr., Han Bennink, Joe McPhee, Matthew Shipp, Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford, Pheeroan AkLaaf, Baikida Carroll, Ahmed Abdullah, Rosi Hertlein, Irene Schweizer, Liberty Ellman, Steve Dalachinsky, Sabir Mateen.

Endorsement for Outside Music, Inside Voices by pianist Herbie Hancock: “Garrison Fewell has written a brilliant discussion of creativity and spirituality, delving into the deep relationship between these two subjects that spark the explorations of many of the pioneers of avant garde jazz music. I’m intrigued by the broad scope of the dialogues that are illuminated by his insight resulting from his own powerful experience in the practice of Nichiren Buddhism. There is much detail here that is compelling and encourages much more than a single reading of this book. There are many surprises to explore that are not only insightful, but ultimately, uplifting, encouraging and empowering.”

For more info and updates, visit the Outside Music, Inside Voices Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/outsidemusicinsidevoices

Buy the Book here ($25 + $5 shipping within the USA) For European orders, email me for more info:

For European orders, click on the Buy Now button below: $25 + $20 shipping to Europe (reflects actual costs for US postage. We make no profit on shipping or handling!)

For Canadian orders, click on the BUY Now button below: $25 + 12.20 to Canada
(reflects actual costs for US postage. We make no profit on shipping or handling!)

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Seven Guitars (Sept Guitares)

It’s an honor to be included in Sept Guitares (Seven Guitars), a beautifully hand-crafted book by writer Guillaume Belhomme featuring interviews and recording reviews of seven guitarists: Derek Bailey, Lee Ranaldo, Keith Rowe, Raymond Boni, Oren Ambarchi, Garrison Fewell and Otomo Yoshihide.

Limited edition copies available at: lesondugrisli.com


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Dave Burrell – Garrison Fewell: Outside Music, Inside Voices

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Luther Gray – Garrison Fewell Duo @ Outpost 186 / Thursday Nov.14th 8pm

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(Free) Jazz Alchemist review of Tribal Ghost


John Tchicai – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Charlie Kohlhase – alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
Garrison Fewell – guitar and percussion
Cecil McBee – bass
Billy Hart – drums

No Business LP 2013

John Tchicai remains one of the unsung heroes of free-jazz, having performed during his New York residence in the 60’s (1963-1966) with such greats like Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Milford Graves, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd and last but not least John Coltrane (the milestone “Ascension” album) he returned to his native Denmark, and for the next decades he would divide his time between teaching and performing. He died last year, having suffered brain hemorrhage

The “Tribal Ghost” presents four pieces recorded on february 9th and 10th of 2007 in the legendary space of Birdland, with Tchicai leading a quintet formed by himself, Charlie Kohlhase at the frontline, Garrison Fewell on guitar (also the composer of three tunes) and the stellar rhythm section with Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums.

The music on the disc (vinyl only release) shows musical wisdom and sincerity. The music has natural flow, nothing seems forced, the music draws on the tradition of free jazz with some ethnic, blues infusions. “Tribal Ghost” begins with mystic tune dark and bluesy, mysterious, slighlty exotic touch or percussion. The “Queen of Ra” is a meditative peace, with a chant-like melodic theme, percussion gongs, drone bass notes, underlining the shamanic explorations for the soulful saxophone by Charlie Kahlhase and freely joyfull Tchicai. “Dark Matter” has the leader on the bass clarinet, with the double-reed frontline and the bass digging a slow and graceful groove and jazzy guitar filling the soundspace with spare bluesy sounds. The album is ends with Thicai’s tune “Llanto Del Indio” a mourning chant, intimate, peacefull, filled with sadness and yet the sense of consolation. The piece gathers tempo and momentum but the tribal elements of the music, throughout the LP, never fall into the abyss of the exuberance, the music always mantaining its intimate, meditative feeling.

The playing is passionate yet controlled, elegant, immaginative, there’s plenty of feeling, intimacy, tension. The two frontmen practically finish each other lines (the Tchicai’s fiery solo, against the baritone, bass and guitar stating the riff is one of the most intense moments of the cd). The rhythm sections is subtle, precise and gives energy, as long-burning fuel. Fewell’s guitar cements the band, jazzy, bluesy, fabulous feeling, never overplayed, modest and yet crucial to the group’s sound.

“Have a good life and thanks for spending some time with us” – Tchicai says goodbye as the concert ends. It should be us to thank him for sharing his music with us. A beautifull music.



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Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Oct. 25-28, 2013

Garrison Fewell Quartet at the Triskel Art Center – Christ Church

Garrison Fewell – guitar
Matt Marvuglio – flute
Mia Olson – flute
Alex davis – bass
Stephen Keogh – drums

PS: The concert was magical, really beautiful. We played my composition Venus which has a free intro with space chords ala Sun Ra/Pharoah sanders, melody w no bar lines over an open, rolling time like Don Cherry’s Complete Communion, solos in 6/4 time like a Coltrane spiritual jazz groove w/ voicings in 4ths, and a coda arranged by John Tchicai in 5/4 time that comes in after the bass solo and grooves till the pubs close!

Ireland was really great, everyone was super friendly and the food was fantastic. The Isaacs hotel was superb with a nice restaurant for the musicians and a waterfall in the courtyard. And I don’t mean water falling from the sky which it did every day in Cork! There was also sunshine every day too!

The workshops were great too. I did one on Improvisation and explained my composition X-Ray Vision based on a numerical junction from the frequency vibration of an x-ray. mel asked if I had every tried using Pi and I said no, but I’ve used the Fibonacci series: the Golden Ratio so Matt and I did a free improv off the Fibonacci series. We used that in the concert Sunday evening.

Matt, Alex, Garrison, Stephen

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Garrison Fewell / Pandelis Karayorgis / Luther Gray

Wednesday Sept. 25th 8-9:00 pm I’m playing with a great creative improvising music trio at the Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge st, Inman Sq., Cambridge. I’m on guitar and just about anything else I can find, Pandelis Karayorgis on piano and Luther Gray on drums. You gotta come out for this one!

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A quote from Jim Hall

Garrison is an amazingly complete musician, what a great role model for guitarists everywhere.” – Jim Hall

A quote by guitarist Jim Hall, one of my musical mentors, sent to my editor on the occasion of publishing my 2005 book, Jazz Improvisation for Guitar –         A Melodic Approach.

Thank you Jim!

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Tango Fuego Quartet w/ Garrison Fewell Aug. 4th

Jazz in Maggiore Festival
August 4th, 2013

Tango Fuego Quartet with Garrison Fewell at the Sala Mostre di Piazzale Luraschi in Porto Ceresio, Italy at 9:00pm

Tango Fuego Quartet con Garrison Fewell domenica 4 ore 21 nella Sala Mostre di Piazzale Luraschi a Porto Ceresio.

Il 4 agosto Jazz in Maggiore fa tappa sul Ceresio, con il grande ritorno di uno degli artisti piu’ significativi del panorama jazz americano, Garrison Fewell. Raffinato chitarrista, insegnante presso il prestigioso Berklee College of Music dal 1977, Fewell è presente da decenni sui palchi dei più importanti festival europei e statunitensi. Ha lavorato con i migliori jazzisti, prediligendo l’avanguardia. In questo concerto nella Sala Mostre di Porto Ceresio(lungo lago), il fascino del tango argentino, dalla tradizione a Piazzolla, interpretato da un quartetto di spessore, è a servizio dell’intelligenza improvvisativa di Fewell, non nuovo all’esplorazione di repertori provenienti da altre culture musicali.

La serata rientra nella rassegna “Interpretando Suoni e Luoghi” promossa dalla Comunità Montana del Piambello.



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Clusone Jazz Quartet – July 25th: AWESOME!!

A truly awesome concert with Tino Tracanna, Max Milesi, Enrico Merlin and me. We played a cool version of Jimmy Giuffre’s Train and the River with Enrico on acoustic Delta slide guitar and me w/ metal box and drop D tuning! Great duos: 2 guitars played an acoustic improvised duet (I played Paolo Zanni’s guitar) the 2 saxes stepped out to the audience. We played free improvisation, blues, spiritual, swing, abstract and more. Tino’s “Slash” was great as was Max’s “Surf on Neptune.” We played a cosmic version of my “Venus” and “Spectronomous” was minimalist. Each group member brought something unique and the blend was spectacular. Like a super group – only better! ; > )


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