Zach Brock, jazz violinist and composer, is forging a unique musical identity with “audacious ingenuity and masterful command of his instrument,” says Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times. Distinguished jazz critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune writes that Zach Brock is a violinist “whose every phrase argues for the instrument’s value in 21st century jazz.” Neil Tesser echoes, “Zach Brock is the pre- eminent improvising violinist of his generation.”
2013 is proving a landmark year for Brock as he tours as co-leader with renowned pianist/composer Phil Markowitz, appears in festivals with the Stanley Clarke Band, and premiers new classical works by Laurie Altman and Preston Stahly. In August Brock was named “2013 Rising Star Violinist” by Downbeat Magazine.
Zach’s debut recording for the Dutch label Criss Cross Jazz, Almost Never Was, was listed as one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Jazz Recordings of 2012 and features Brock with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland in a set of new originals, standards, and contemporary classics. While Criss Cross’ considerable catalog of renown jazz players stretches back to 1978, Almost Never Was is the first to be led by a violinist. In December 2012 the quartet played to a capacity audience for the album’s release at NYC’s Jazz Standard and were also featured in a live broadcast for WNYC’s Soundcheck with John Schaefer.
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Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Violinists always have been marginalized in jazz, notwithstanding the silken
beauty of Stephane
Grappelli's work and the historic contributions of Joe Venuti, Eddie South, Ray
Nance and others. For
this reason, and others, we should give thanks for the deepening contributions of
Brock, whose every
phrase argues for the instrument's value in 21st century jazz. Though Brock
commands plenty of
technique and a vibrantly attractive sound, it's the substance of his musical ideas
that commands the
most attention. You can hear as much on every track of Almost Never Was, from
pizzicato passages of his Common Ground to the atmospheric effects of Joe
Narcissus, from the soulful utterances of You've Changed (you'd swear he was
playing a viola) to
the gorgeous melody line of the title track, a Brock original
Willing to teach