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Monique Avakian reviews 40Twenty

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

A generous reader posted this review in the comments, and we’re elevating it into a post:

40Twenty: The Essence Eternal

Playful, inventive, adventurous and engrossing: such are the choice adjectives needed to describe the compelling musicians of the jazz combo known as 40Twenty. With masterful command of musical technique, empathic communication and expressive intellectual concepts, the group took lucky listeners in house at Brooklyn’s I-Beam on an incredible journey through myriad layers of sound, rhythm and consciousness.

The 8:30 set held on July 30th found Jacob Sacks on piano, Dave Ambrosio on upright bass, and Jacob Garchik on trombone. Nestled in the attractive, clear space of I-Beam, this group created spectacular improvised sound poems that unleashed a mojo of enlightened proportion throughout the room. Though the crisp white lamps and rectangular sound shocks swayed overhead in portent tandem with the group’s rhythmic romps, none of the players felt heavy handed in spirit or approach—quite the opposite, in fact.

Rhythmically, the group stood squarely on the shoulders of Dolphy and Monk, yet remained authentic and consistent in real-time communication with one another, exemplifying the art of Call and Response throughout the evening. Mad dash piano flam-plunks punctuated a playful dance of intrigue as the bass called forth and held court–simultaneously and curiously able to at once weigh anchor and set sail. The satisfying thrust and parry between keys and strings were at unpredictable moments sprinkled with authentic, yet surprising, multi-octave chromatic runs as Sacks impishly grinned at Ambrosio, who was clearly thrilled with the challenge each moment presented and only all too happy to up the ante in return. Trombonist Garchik heroically kept up the pace set by these instigators, taking the conventionally lackadaisical instrument for a serious thrill ride within the trio’s joyful house of mirrors.

Melodically, the most intriguing moments were carved from Ambrosio’s ballad, I-V. Soulful, rich and lush, but no less adventurous, and certainly no less intellectually satisfying, this unconventional piece spiraled directly to heart, pulling all in the room inward into a meditative state that brought a peaceful taste of reverie, (as well as a welcome rest to the frolic had before and after).

Harmonically, the arrangements took the listener to places most understandable to those “in the know.” Those of us less schooled in the intricacies of music theory, however, were not completely lost. This was as refreshing as it was reassuring and accomplished by secure and solid introductions and conclusions, clearly bookending for the audience the overall gist of each complex excursion. This allowed less skilled listeners to grab hold of the main ideas, even if they found the details out of reach. The two familiar tunes played were clearly identifiable, yet presented in a thematically consistent manner. As 40Twenty so adroitly worked the lathe, the standards up-ended with a rather Hegelian slight of hand through inventive voicing. This was very satisfying.

Poetically, there were visions, of course. Kadinsky spun forth predominantly through the sine waves, roving along with merry bands of angular shapes. Circles, squares, and arcs sparked through crisp modern lattices across an understated deep orange of sky. Memories of old-school Batman and Robin hi-jinx popped up from time to time, riding on the coat-tails of cherished and hilarious Marx Brothers’ routines. Rounding out the set with the ballad, Monet’s smeary soft blues and greens washed over the dreamy audience as Chagall’s flying lovers hovered quietly in a far off corner.

Oh, Yes! Three days and several trains later, I remain engaged with the essence eternal, thankful for I-Beam, 40Twenty and the jewel of Music’s crystalline spirit.

–Monique Avakian, 8/1/10

40Twenty at IBeam through August 7th, 2010

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

In the spirit of jazz club engagements from long ago, 40Twenty will be performing 5 nights a week for two weeks starting next Tuesday, July 27th, and running until Saturday, August 7th.

Here are the details:


Jacob Garchik- trombone
Jacob Sacks- piano
Dave Ambrosio- bass
Vinnie Sperrazza- drums

plus special guests…..


Tuesday, July 27th, THROUGH Saturday, July 31st
Tuesday, August 3rd, THROUGH Saturday, August 7th

Sets at 8:30 PM and 10 PM


Ibeam Music
168 7th Street b/t 2nd and 3rd Ave, Brooklyn

How much:

We’ll be recording every set for possible future release, and we’ll be playing a mix of standards, jazz classics, free improvisations, and original compositions.

At Play, a free live album

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Check out Jacob Garchik’s new free downloadable live album!

“At Play” is a free, internet-only album, recorded live in Brooklyn, April 2010. In a 21st century take on the classic live jazz album, my trio, with Jacob Sacks on piano and Dan Weiss on drums, stretches out on elastic original tunes based on “I Got Rhythm” and “All the Things You Are”. Recorded in one night at the Gowanus performance space Ibeam, the entire set is also available to watch on youtube. To download audio or watch video, visit

You can also purchase some of Jacob’s other albums in our store.

Check out the Red Hook Jazz Festival, June 13 & 20th, 2010

Monday, May 31st, 2010

This looks like it should be great:

Red Hook Jazz Festival
in the Urban Meadow located at President & Van Brunt Streets in BKLYN.
Sundays, June 13 & 20th.
$5.00 suggested donation for Adults.
Kids are FREE.

Sunday, June 13th 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Dave Sewelson’s BQE w/ Bobby Radcliff, David Hofstra & Richard Dworkin

Welf Dorr w/ Tom Zlabinger, Dalius Naujo & On Davis

Nick Gianni’s Evolution w/ Rick Botari, On Davis & Dalius

SPOKE w/ Andy Hunter, Justin Wood, Danny Fischer & Dan Loomis

Sunday, June 20th 1:00pm – 5:00pm
James Carney w/ Tony Malaby, Chris Lightcap, Dan Weiss

Chris Lightcap w/ Tony Malaby, Chris Cheek, Craig Taborn & Gerald Cleaver

Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors
w/ Jonathan Goldberger, Mike Gamble, John Ellis, Alan Ferber & Ches Smith

Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day Nate Wooley, Matt Bauder,
Chris Dingman, & Eivind Opsvik

A Festival of Yeah Yeah Recording Artists & Friends

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Yeah Yeah Records and Friends Festival

featuringMatt Blostein/Vinnie Sperrazza Quartet, Elena Camerin/Landon Knoblock Duo,
Yoon Sun Choi, Jacob Garchik Quintet, Orlando Hernandez, Thomas Morgan, Miles Okazaki, Eivind Opsvik Project, Jacob Sacks, Angelica Sanchez, Akiko Sasaki,
Miranda Sielaff
and Dan Weiss Trio



I-Beam Music
(168 7th Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Fridays’ March 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, 2010
8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Admission:  $10

Yeah Yeah Records is proud to present the second annual Yeah Yeah Records and Friends Festival at I-Beam Music in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The festival takes place on Fridays during the month of March, and features some of the best new leaders of avant garde and improvised music, as well as improvised tap dance and contemporary classical music, such as the Dan Weiss Trio, pianist Angelica Sanchez, vocalist, Yoon Sun Choi, pianist Jacob Sacks, tap dancer Orlando Hernandez, classical pianist Akiko Sasaki and violist Miranda Sielaff. 8:00 p.m. performances feature soloists, followed by 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. group performances.

Scheduled Performances:

March 5th, 2010

8:00 p.m. soloist:  Miles Okazaki (guitar)
9:00 p.m. Yoon Sun Choi (voice) and Jacob Sacks (piano) Duo
10:00 p.m. Jacob Garchik Quintet

March 12th, 2010

8:00 p.m.  Angelica Sanchez (piano)
9:00 p.m.  Orlando Hernandez (tap dancer) and Jacob Sacks
10:00 p.m.  Eivind Opsvik project

March 19th, 2010

8:00 p.m. Thomas Morgan (bass)
9:00 p.m. Dan Weiss Trio
10:00 p.m. Matt Blostein/Vinnie Sperrazza Quartet

March 26th, 2010

8:00 p.m. Akiko Sasaki (piano) and Miranda Sielaff (viola)
9:00 p.m. Elena Camerin (voice) and Landon Knoblock (piano)
10:00 p.m. Jacob Sacks Quintet


Miles Okazaki is a guitarist from the Pacific Northwest.  He is a self-taught musician, and has released two albums of compositions, callled Mirror and Generations. Currently he is involved in a number of projects, with artists such as Dan Weiss and Steve Coleman.   On March 5th he will play compositions and improvisations for solo guitar.

Long time duo and co-founders of Yeah Yeah Records, Yoon Sun Choi and Jacob Sacks continue to explore repertoire of many genres, experimenting and improvising on classical compositions as well as originals and folksongs.  Their release, “Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo” was chosen as one of 2008’s top five best vocal and best tribute recordings by All About Jazz-New York.

Ruggedly ecclectic

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

The New York Times describes Yeah Yeah Records as “an independent record label with a ruggedly eclectic roster.”

Yeah Yeah Records and Friends Festival

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Yeah Yeah Records is curating a month of Fridays at the wonderful IBeam. Hope to see you there!

April 3rd, 2009
8:00pm soloists: Akiko Sasaki (piano) and Miranda Sielaff (viola)
9:00pm Yoon Sun Choi and Jacob Sacks Duo
10:00pm Matt Renzi Trio

April 10th, 2009
8:00pm Dan Weiss (drums)
9:00pm Jacob Sacks Quintet
10:00pm Ok/Ok

April 17th, 2009
8:00pm Khabu Doug Young
9:00pm Stacken/Knuffke Duo
10:00pm Bishop/Cleaver/Flood Trio

April 24th, 2009
8:00pm Josh Sinton
9:00pm Vinnie Sperrazza/Matt Blostein Quintet
10:00pm Jacob Sacks and Eivind Opsvik’s Two Miles A Day with Mat Maneri

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