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 Tuesday, 01 December 2015
Collaborations: Jason Price Releases Debut Recording, December 9th PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Friday, 03 December 2010

Jason PriseİAndrea Canter

Twin Cities drummer, educator and clinician Jason Price has managed a busy career since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire jazz program in 2002. Leader of his own trio as well as Fusion Thing and the Skyway Jazz Orchestra, Price teaches in Lakeville Schools, directs the St. Paul campus of the rock music summer camp, DayJams, and teaches at the Shell Lake Arts Center summer jazz program where he also leads their annual Drumset Workshop; he also operates Jason Price Music Services, providing live music for private and corporate events. It’s not surprising then that he is just now releasing his first recording as leader, Collaborations, which features several different ensembles of mostly area-based musicians. The new release will be celebrated on December 9th at the Artists Quarter.

The Musicians

Price’s collaborators on his debut recording include a quartet with fellow Shell Lake faculty Tom Luer (sax), Chris White (piano) and Nick Schneider (bass); a trio with White and Scheider;  a quartet with White, Aric Brian (piano) and Matt Peterson (bass); a quartet with Greg Keel (sax), Dan Musselman (piano), Jeffrey Bailey (bass); and trio with Musselman and Bailey. “It is an honor for me to be able to work along-side/perform and record with musicians like Nick and Greg who were once my teachers and are now great colleagues,” notes Price.

Jason Price was a member of the UW-EC’s Downbeat award-winning, Grammy-nominated Jazz Ensemble I; he has performed with Jon Faddis, Byron Stripling, Harold Mabern, Greg Keel, Debbie Duncan, Robert Robinson, Dave Singley, Dean Sorenson, Kelly Rossum, Michael Nelson, Irv Williams, Laura Caviani, Peter Schimke, Mary Louise Knutson, Ed Calle and Slide Hampton, among others, and performs with Synergy, The R Factor, and area theater productions.  

Chris WhiteİAndrea Canter
Tom Luer (sax) is a native of Chippewa Falls and a graduate of the UW-Eau Claire program, where he was a classmate of Jason Price; he has also taught at Shell Lake Art Center. Based in Los Angeles, Luer performs with Gordon Goodwin, and tours with such international stars as Queen Latifah and Engelbert Humperdink.  Lauer contributed two compositions to Collaborations.

Greg Keel (sax) taught Price at UWEC and got the young drummer his first gig with the band, Lake Street Foundation.  Keel teaches at MacPhail Center for Music as well as heading the jazz program at Shell Lake Art Center, and plays in the all-sax quartet, JazzAx. 

Aric Brian (trumpet) is based in Tampa, FL, and attended high school and college with Price in Eau Claire, where they played together at the Acoustic Café and other venues.

Chris White (piano) is based in Chicago, and teaches with Jason at Shell Lake Art Center. He contributed one track to Collaborations.   

Dan Musselman (piano) plays regularly with the Jason Price Trio. A graduate of McNally Smith College, Musselman leads his own quartet and appears often at the Dakota and Artists Quarter.


Jeffrey BaileyİAndrea Canter
Jeffrey Bailey (bass) also plays with the Jason Price Trio as well as many other area ensembles, including gigging with Chris Lomheim, Irv Williams, Laura Caviani and more.

Matt Peterson (bass) is a frequent cohort of guitarist Zacc Harris as well as first-call bassist for many area musicians. 

Nick Schneider (bass) is one of the legends of Chicago jazz, and one of Price’s instructors when he attended The Shell Lake Jazz Camp as a high school student.  He has performed with everyone from the famous drummer Buddy Rich to The Tonight Show Band. 


His debut recording shows off the versatility of Jason Price, drummer and bandleader, with fourteen tracks covering original compositions from Luer and White, such classics as “Footprints,” “U.M.M.G.,” “Speak No Evil,” “Parisian Thoroghfare” and “Triste,” and three original percussion solos from Price himself.


The three solo tracks provide ample evidence of Price’s wide range. Opening with “The Wrath of T,” Price summons the Gods with nonstop cymbal play and thundering toms, like a summer storm that just won’t quit, finally fading out. Midway along the set, “Interlude” provides a brief burst of shimmering energy, more a surge than an “interlude.” The closing track, “Containment,” suggests controlled power—it’s always there, just a brushstroke and sneering snare away from chaos, like a predator ready to pounce.

Luer’s two compositions are performed by the quartet with Price, White and Scheider. “The Last” soars, Luer’s soprano suggesting a Coltranish prayerfulness amidst a driving swing while Chris White echoes the composer’s propulsion. The same ensemble comes back on Bloomington,” Luer leading the way on tenor through a hard bop swinger that benefits from Price’s splashy percussion and a “take no prisoners” solo from White. The pianist’s “King Neptune’s Fortune” –without saxophone—is a much a showcase for Price as for the composer, a majestic Jarrettish melody tinged with blues and folk colors, buoyed by Schneider’s understated lines. Again with just the trio, Jeff Watts’ “The Impaler” features White’s spikey contours, heavy pulsations from Schneider and the ever-percussive presence of Price. 

The ensemble with Musselman and Bailey swings more deeply, perhaps, Bailey assertive and dark on an elegant reading of Strayhorn’s “U.M.M.G.” both in support and solo, Musselman adding his signature abstractions over and under sharp accents from Price.  The drummer opens a jagged rendition of Jobim’s “Triste” with 90 seconds of samba-esque rumbles, while Bailey again brings a dark urgency to Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil” and to the opening of Eddie Harris’s “Freedom Jazz Dance,” both adding zest from saxman Greg Keel, with Musselman’s Tyneresque chops thoroughly engaging on the latter.

The quartet with White, Peterson and Brian fills out the recording, first with Price’s frenetic pounding and Brian’s muted trumpet dominating “Footprints;” Bud Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare” is a delightful romp highlighting Brian’s open, songful brasslines, Peterson’s skipping bass, Price’s driving energy, and White’s playful tumbles, which would have pleased Powell. Brian takes the quartet through a bright reading of Clifford Brown’s “Sandu,” Price shining in shifty retorts. 

Jason Price has assembled a high energy, wide-reaching collection for his aptly titled Collaborations. Anyone who thinks of drummers as sidemen, not leaders, should listen long and hard to this recording, as Price proves 14 times over that he’s equally adept at collating diverse talents and generating percussive fire.

 The CD release party for Jason Price’s Collaborations takes place on December 9th, 9 pm at the Artists Quarter (408 St. Peter Street; in downtown St. Paul. On hand, expect Price, Dan Musselman, Matt Peterson and Greg Keel on the band stand. Visit Jason Price at           



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