Kazzrie Jaxen

Kazzrie Jaxen quartet
Kazzrie Jaxen, piano
Charley Krachy, tenor sax
Don Messina, double bass
Bill Chattin, drums
The Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet is a true quaternity, bringing together the elemental qualities of four creative jazz musicians: the buoyant lighter-than-air swing of Bill Chattin’s drums; the earthy melodic pulsations of Don Messina’s bass; the oceanic depth of Charley Krachy’s tenor; and the firey adventurousness of Kazzrie Jaxen’s piano.
Honoring jazz tradition with straight-ahead swing and spontaneous improvisation, this band strives to express the beauty of a melodic line, deriving collective inspiration from the musical philosophies of jazz greats Lennie Tristano and Sal Mosca, as well as Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Bud Powell, Warne Marsh, and many others. The quartet’s music includes standard tunes, jazz lines, originals, and occasional excursions into the abstract. Their unusual harmonic approach stretches the music in unique and complex directions, always in service to feeling and to the pure joy of improvising.
Kazzrie Jaxen (formerly known as Liz Gorrill) was introduced to jazz audiences by Lennie Tristano in a solo concert at Carnegie Recital Hall. (“She’s a striking talent . . . onto something very original” Robert Palmer, New York Times). Since then she has recorded for the Jazz Records and New Artists labels, as well as independently, and has performed in the US and Europe at venues such as Town Hall, DeSingel, Birdland, Sweet Basil, The Philly Fringe Festival, The Outpost in Albuquerque, The Stone, and The Blue Note. Also a teacher and composer, her recent creative projects include a solo piano soundtrack for the award-winning film “Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn”; a duet CD with poet Mark Weber entitled “A Million Shimmering Fish” to be released in 2011; a musical collaboration with The Drummers, a six-person conga drum ensemble; and an ongoing exploration into the synthesis of jazz and chi kung, resulting in the creation of a musical form of chi transmission entitled “Dreaming In Music”.
Charley Krachy (“one of the warmest and most soulful sounds of the tenor saxophone imaginable” Mark Weber, KUNM-FM) has been playing with Kazzrie Jaxen since 1984. They released a CD in 1990 to critical acclaim. (“‘A Jazz Duet’ summons up memories of piano-and-saxophone duets you only THINK you’ve heard — testimony to its power” Frances Davis, The Village Voice.) Charley has recorded for New Artists and Zinnia Records and performs at various venues in New York City with his own groups and with musicians such as Ted Brown, Gary Levy, Virg Dzurinko, Ratzo Harris, Woody Mann, Charles Sibirsky, and Connie Crothers.
Highly respected as a rhythm section, Bill Chattin and Don Messina (“telepathic rapport, virtuosity, music made for the love of it” Ed Hazell, Boston Phoenix) have been playing together since the early 1980’s and have performed at Trumpets with the Larry Bluth Trio, Sal Mosca Quartet, Ted Brown Quartet, Jimmy Halperin Quartet, Jon Easton Trio , and the Carol Liebowitz Quintet. Bill and Don have recorded with most of these groups on Cadence, Blue Jack Jazz, and Zinnia Records.
The quartet will release their first CD on Cadence Records in 2012. This will be the second appearance of the Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at Trumpets. They will improvise on tunes from the American Songbook, compositions by Lennie Tristano and Charlie Parker, as well as original lines.