Dan Krimm and Gary Monheit recorded their most recent album in January 2015. Released March 6, 2016, the title is 'New Shoots' and it includes eight new tunes. Many of Gary's tunes were written shortly following the Fortune Smiles CD in 2010 (and performed at Yoshi's in 2011), and Dan's contributions are new creations from as recent as July 2014.
They expanded to trio for this recording with special guest Scott Amendola on drums, recorded at Fantasy Studios. They were thrilled to work with Scott and engineer Adam Muñoz on this project, and Joe Tarantino did a wonderful job on the mastering.
Excerpts from the liner notes by Bill Milkowski:
['New Shoots'] rekindles [Monheit and Krimm's] longstanding indelible chemistry, but with a new twist. ... Krimm is now dealing with more frequent key modulations while continuing to place great emphasis on melody on his originals ... [Monheit] contributes four stellar compositions [for] the highly interactive trio ...
A consummate accompanist with a forceful left hand and a deft touch in the right hand, Monheit also shows a sense of harmonic and rhythmic adventurousness in his improvisations, as he demonstrates in his cascading solo on "Meadowlark," his daring extrapolation on the mesmerizing modal number "Misspoke" and his singing solo on "Awakening." His dazzling keyboard work on the propulsive 6/8 number "Rambling Green" is a pianist tour de force while his "Blues for Terri" (named for his wife) is old school in the best sense of the word, with just a twist of Monk coming into his earthy, Junior Mance-Ray Bryant-informed statements.
Krimm affects an exceedingly warm, woody tone on his Pedulla electric bass guitar along with an uncommonly lyrical penchant on his instrument, sounding like a cross between electric bass pioneer Steve Swallow and upright bass master Buster Williams. That deep-toned quality underscores all of the tracks on this appealing trio session, while his extraordinary facility and melodic ingenuity as an improviser provides a flurry of low-end highlights along the way.
Amendola's contribution cannot be overstated here. [He] has an uncanny ability to play just the right thing for any occasion. And his choices, whether it's his sublime brushwork on the delicate "Contemplation," his rolling undercurrent and extended drum solo on "Rambling Green," his buoyantly swinging, interactive pulse on "New Shoots" or his slick fills on the swaggering "Blues for Terri," always elevate the proceedings.
That this partnership ... has not only sustained from their [college days] but actually grown incrementally, arriving at this new level for the aptly-titled 'New Shoots,' is a triumph in these days of dwindling opportunities for jazz musicians. ... [Now] they continue the next chapter of their potent partnership, [picking] it up from where they left off [and taking] it to an exciting new level.
Bill Milkowski is a contributor to Down Beat and Jazziz magazines. He is also the author of "JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius" (Backbeat Books).
Rudy Carerra, in A Miscellany of Tasteful... blog-zine, writes:
It's a great thing to reference old masters, but it's even more profound when artists are able to add their imprint and stand out in a sea of new releases. Keyboardist Gary Monheit and bass guitarist Dan Krimm (who wields a mean fretless on this release) are joined by drummer Scott Amendola, who adds just enough of a touch to keep the compositions locked into a lovely framework without crushing its rather delicate, elegant beauty. If you enjoy the works of Jaco Pastorious or Bill Evans, but want the challenge of hearing something that won't be what you're expecting, give this release a shot.
Mike Oppenheim, in AllAboutJazz, writes:
Amendola's drumming [on "Misspoke"] is frenetic in the best way, never predictable, but holds the entire ensemble together. ... ["Rambling Green"] has the drive and energy akin to a samba. The longest track on the album, it also features an Amendola drum solo and some of Krimm and Monheit's finest soloing on New Shoots. ... ["Blues for Terri"] features one of Monheit's best solos on the album, unique because of its blues context. New Shoots is a good example of the jazz available outside the Great American Songbook and jazz classics. The production quality is good, the compositions are unique and interesting, and the band is in fine form throughout.
Fiona Ord-Shrimpton, in AllAboutJazz, writes about "Meadowlark":
Glides along effortlessly.
Steve Holtje, in Culture Catch, writes:
(Best of 2016, #12) Krimm's melodic bass lines recall Scott La Faro and Steve Swallow, especially on his own tunes ... Monheit's piano playing sounds like a cross between McCoy Tyner's chording and Lyle Mays's right-hand lyricism, so this is a very tuneful and immediately appealing album of straight-ahead jazz that I like a little more each time I play it.
Dan produced a final concert with his Subtle Truth band called 'Last Chance Jazz' in 1993, recording and videotaping the whole thing. In 2013 he had the seven original tunes remastered for a new audio album, with MP3s available from Amazon. Three of the original tunes were never recorded before or since this concert, so this is their first public release. See videos for this album on YouTube, including two bonus tracks not included on the album.
Mike Oppenheim, in Guitar International, writes: "Krimm's bass solo [on 'Walden'] is as melodic as it is virtuosic ... [his] compositional talents and fretless bass chops make him an exceptional and unique leader."
AllAboutJazz writes, about 'Spirit Dance': "Dizzying allure of a Metheny epic with some Sheppardesque saxness. Acutely mesmerizing."
Dan recorded and released his second album 'Subtle Truth' with four original tunes in 1991, remastered/rereleased in 2011, MP3s available from Amazon.
This recording highlighted Dan's exploration of chord playing and extended soloing, after switching from the Fender Jazz bass to a Pedulla Pentabuzz with an extra high string and long fingerboard. The instrumentation of this quartet includes guitar and sax but no piano.
Michael Davis, Option: "... this is real jazz. ... At one point, Nazziola and Krimm solo simultaneously without getting in each other's way, demonstrating once again that in jazz the music's success depends as much on how well the musicians listen to each other as how well they play."
Steve Holtje, New York Revew of Records: "... Krimm extends the vocabulary of fusion bass on his five-string fretless (... sounding uncannily like an upright bass). ... This tasty offering should inspire big-label interest."
Dan recorded his debut album 'Sentience' with seven original tunes in 1985, released in 1986 and remastered/rereleased in 2011, MP3s available from Amazon. This album is also included in the Pandora collection.
Gary Monheit was a core member of the band, both live and on this recording. Featured guest artists include Vic Juris (guitar) and Marty Fogel (saxes), with Grant Jarrett on drums. The recording was supported in part by a Jazz Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984.
Bill Milkowski, album liner notes: "[Krimm's] work with Gary Monheit on 'Sentience' highlights the close musical rapport the two have had since their Princeton days. ... This is a talented composer in full flight. ... his accomplished playing on [these compositions] is enough to make even Jaco sit up and take notice. ... This is a gifted bassist who bears watching."
Robert Iannapollo, Cadence: "... [Krimm's] melodic solo on Herbie Hancock's 'Dolphin Dance' shows a sensitive, intelligent player. There are some nice harmonics that conclude this track and they are picked up on the opening moments of the following track, 'Partly Cloudy...'. It's subtleties like that that make this album worth a listen."
Fred Seitz, Pocono Record: " 'Sentience' is an accomplished and sensual pastiche of eight refreshingly original tunes, seven of them penned by Krimm. ... [its] compositional excellence rivals the Metheny group debut ... ['Dolphin Dance' showcases] Krimm's best bass work, and the abilities of Monheit and Jarrett to supply the most sensuous kinds of feathery touches. ... every bit like (and every bit as good as) the late Bill Evans' sideman Scott LaFaro ... crystalline bass work when he is back in his Jaco mode ..."