Press for Rows and Rows
Jackson, despite a fair allegiance to free play, is an improviser whose historical grasp is abundantly clear. … Occasionally providing diffuse rustle and subtle clacks, Adasiewicz volleys between cascading vaults and the snappy, glassine shifts of a drummer’s telepathy, making Rows and Rows a duo delivering plenty of harmonic and rhythmic rewards.
—Clifford Allen, New York City Jazz Record
Despite its minimal instrumentation used throughout the album, the duo is never found lacking, proposing and elaborating on a wealth of fertile ideas throughout the course of nine relatively short compositions. Jackson & Adasiewicz create a miraculous space in which clever, melodic composition is enriched by bold and tasteful playing.
—John Morrison, JazzRightNow
In the rich musical cartography that powers today's scene in Chicago … Keefe Jackson and Jason Adasiewicz represent two major figures…[Rows and Rows] achieves a perfect balance of intent, mutual stimulation, the musical thought, the dialogue intensity. …Standing out immediately on first listen the energy that sustains the whole work: whether express or underground, able to breathe and give breath to the music. …Timeless.
—Giuseppe Segala, All About Jazz Italia
If Adasiewicz plays the stars in a constellation, Jackson seems to look up and play the imaginary lines connecting them.
—Tom Burris, Free Jazz Blog
Quite simply, Jackson and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz are deeply ensconced in the Chicago jazz scene, individually and collectively. But that doesn't mean they won't push and challenge each other, or the unsuspecting listener. Rather than rolling the tapes and just blowing, they work through seven compositions by Jackson and three by Adasiewicz which rely on freedom with bits of themes to hold it together.
—Mike Shanley, Shanley on Music
It’s evident from the first 10 seconds of Jackson’s “Caballo Ballo” that there’s an instinctual compatibility between them. …“Thunder Cooker” is a classic case of mutual respect and understanding-it’d be perfect for a modern noir film. Rows and Rows feels like a hearty handshake.
—Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes
…they invent stories infused with the sound of rare beauty, even going beyond the confines of the jazz genre and giving us an album of great stature and therefore highly recommended.
—Giuseppe Mavilla, Scrivere di Jazz
This session has it all going on--concept, motifs, beautifully thematic improvisations and an adventurous dynamic.
—Greg Applegate, Gapplegate Music Review
Jackson and Adasiewicz demonstrate the sort of congenial interplay that is rarely – if ever easily – heard among the density of larger configurations. Rows and Rows is a sterling example of their finely-tuned camaraderie and its applicability to the duet tradition.
—Troy Collins, Point of Departure
While some of their playing was laid-back and simple, the show also featured moments of pure shredding, demonstrating each musician’s admirable agility and technical prowess. Despite Jackson and Adasiewicz’s virtuosity, both musicians avoided showy displays, instead listening intently and reacting to each other in the moment.
—Izzy Yellen, DownBeat
Patience, empathy and a deep affinity radiate from every track, like two good friends getting together to shoot the breeze. Most pals don’t speak with such Shakespearean elegance.
—Peter Margasak, Downbeat
Adasiewicz swings his mallets with a rock drummer’s force, producing big rolling waves of sound; Jackson’s precise and varied attack gives focus to the surges. …The empathy goes both ways throughout this superb recording.
—Bill Meyer, The Wire