Gerry Hemingway Quartet
Ellerry Eskelin (ts), Gerry Hemingway (d), Mark Dresser (b), Ray Anderson (tb),
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Hemingway joined the Braxton quartet in 1983 and occupied the drummer’s chair for 11 years, recording with the band on various labels and making numerous club, concert, and festival appearances internationally. However, Hemingway’s membership in the Braxton quartet has not been the only high-water mark in his career. While still drumming with Braxton during the early ’90s, Hemingway began coming to prominence as a bandleader in his own right heading a “transatlantic quintet”, including American Mark Dresser, also from the Braxton quartet, on bass, and three other Amsterdam based musicians: cellist Ernst Reijseger, trombonist Wolter Wierbos, and saxophonist/clarinetist Michael Moore. This great quintet recorded several records for labels like Hat Hut or Random Acoustics, some of them heralded as contemporary Jazz masterpieces.
At the 1997 New York Jazz Festival, Hemingway premiered a new quartet with a shifting line-up drawing from a core group of musicians based in the United States; Ray Anderson on trombone, Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, and Mark Dresser on bass. Hemingway took this new band on the road for numerous appearances across the United States during 1998 and 1999.
Johnny’s Corner Song was the first album by this American-based quartet, recorded live and featuring Robin Eubanks on the trombone. After a 4 ½ star rating at the All Music Guide, the Jazz world was waiting for a studio recording from this amazing line-up.
Devils Paradise is the long awaited Gerry Hemingway´s Quartet studio CD, and one of Hemingway´s few studio recordings of any of his working groups. He plays drums and percussion and composed all of the quartet´s original compositions, except for Mark Helia’s “Gentle Ben”. The approach is concise and very focused, concentrating more on the thematic development. A classic for the 21st century.