Bar code: 8427328423595
Born and raised in Minnesota, Jesse Stacken began playing piano at the age of ten. He quickly developed a passion for jazz improvisation and began playing professionally at the age of 16. Jesse moved to New York City in 2002, where he now lives and performs with artists such as Michael Blake, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Van Huffel, Liam Sillery, Sherisse Rogers, and Erica Von Kleist. Jesse has appeared at noted New York City venues including Carnegie Hall, the Jazz Gallery, the Jazz Standard, the Stone, 55bar, the Cornelia St. Café, the Center for Improvisational Music, and Barbes. He leads the Jesse Stacken Trio, which has been together since early 2005 and released That That on Fresh Sound records (FSNT-308) in 2008. The album features bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Jeff Davis, and has received critical acclaim [...]
Jesse has toured North and South America, Europe, and Japan, and is featured on recordings such as The Peter Van Huffel Quintet Silvester Battlefield (Fresh Sound New Talent, FSNT-290) [...] Jesse has also recently performed with acclaimed jazz artists Rufus Reid, and Chris Potter.
"Folks tend to think that there is not much new that can be done with the piano/bass/drums jazz formula. Those who know better, know that this isn't necessarily so since new piano trios discs pop up each month and there are still some surprises in store. This is the second offering from Jesse Stacken's piano trio, after a fine duo disc with Kirk Knuffke and a quartet with Peter Van Huffel. "Solstice" begins with just a few skeletal notes on the piano slowly repeating a short phrase, building quietly as it develops. As the piece evolves, the bass & drums come in and add to the repeating groove, the overall effect is subtly mesmerizing and a bit like the Necks but developing much quicker. Jesse likes to come up with one memorable line at a time, repeat it and then slowly twist it into a different idea. The bass and drums always enhance the phrase by adding sparsely to the pulse as it ascends. On "Aquatic House" it is the bass and drums that fill in the structure while the piano plays the sparse curves and corners. "The Whip" has one of great, slightly funky, effervescent melodies that will make you smile as soon as you hear it. The subdued vibe here helps to make this an exquisite, melancholy offering which feels just right when one is at their wits end and need to relax. There is something magical and/or dreamlike about this music, an elegant vibe that I find touching. This is one of the most charming piano trio discs I've heard in a long while. Bill Evans fans should dig this gem."
Bruce Lee Gallanter -Downtown Music Gallery
"Tras participar en Like The Rusted Key de Peter van Huffel, el pianista Jesse Stacken vuelve a aparecer en el catálogo de Fresh Sound New Talent con Magnolia, el segundo disco de su trío con Eivind Opsvik y Jeff Davis.
El desarrollo de las composiciones, todas ellas obra de Stacken, juegan con las sonoridades, más que con los sonidos; con los ambientes y las resonancias, más que con las melodías... salvo en el cuarto tema, "The Whip", que quizás a modo de intermedio, juguetón y ajeno al ambiente del resto disco, sirve para aliviar tensiones y poner los pies en el jazz. Quizás el único fallo sea la titularidad del disco. Cierto que Stacken compone todos los temas. Cierto que Stacken es el líder del trío. Pero no es menos cierto que desde el principio hasta el final, los tres músicos funcionan como una unidad, en el silencio, en la música y en la complicidad."
Pachi Tapiz (www.tomajazz.com)
"Pianist Jesse Stackens second album as the leader of a piano trio starts off very slowly. Its pretty risky to start a CD with more than three minutes of exceedingly quiet solo piano worrying over a few notes because usually you want to grab the listener at the start. Instead Stacken demands your close attention to the structure hes building on a five-note figure. Stick with it long enough and youll be rewarded with a rollicking trio careening towards the end. Bassist Eivind Opsvik, who performs frequently with Tony Malaby and David Binney, and drummer Jeff Davis, whos recorded with Malaby and pianist Kris Davis, bring a springy dynamism to the music.
The title track follows, a tricky fragmented head with appropriately jagged solo work. Stacken is a highly dramatic player, and his ability to play two widely disparate lines with his hands occasionally provides the illusion of a quartet at work. Aquatic house is another quiet one, with arco bass and delicate brushes on cymbals and snare following along with Stackens out of tempo ruminations. At nearly 8 minutes, though, its too long to support such meager material. The happy melody of the whip is more in the trios sweet spot.
A pounding drum intro by Davis sets us up for Stackens brisk statement of the head, somewhere in the Vince Guaraldi neighborhood. The straight-forwardly swinging number is a real pleasure, with an exceedingly tasty solo by Stacken and sensitive accompaniment by Opsvik and Davis. The bassists solo toys briefly with the melody before Stacken takes it out in style. Another poetic excursion, crow leaf frog, drifts along for a spell, until a melody asserts itself around the 4-minute mark, much like the opening track. Then the music abruptly halts, and out of the silence comes a rather aimless passage of atmospheric tinkling as the track limps to a close.
The start of Time Canvas, the discs longest piece, is deliberate and subdued, a serious-sounding dialog for piano and bass. Eventually, the drummer joins in with quiet colorations. Again, theres not much to support the length. Face is similarly minimal, but this time out it feels more adventurous, as the trio moves into some more aggressive and discordant zones. Theres no resolution, and the music comes to a halt."
Stuart Kremsky (January-March 2011)