TIEMANN-BELZER Tiemann-Belzer is an unusual jazz ensemble. By boiling down a more traditional instrumentation to only the melodic and rhythmic placeholders, the group creates a distinctive sound. Equally important to what is played is all that is left unplayed. The result is a disciplined and creative approach to performance. Featuring new compositions by Matt Belzer, this album is a completely collaborative effort only possible with musicians who have developed that heightened awareness of each other for which jazz musicians strive. Scott Tiemann Scott Tiemann is a freelance musician in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to his musical partnership with Matt Belzer, he plays in a number of other creative ensembles. Well known to the rock music scene of Baltimore, AVEC gives Scott a chance to explore the more progressive and odd meter side of the musical spectrum. In contrast though, he is just as much at home behind a set of timpani at St. Patrick's church (Washington D.C.) pounding out a joyful V-I. With recent recordings from Greg Thompkins and George Spika also featuring Scott's sensitive and tasteful drumming, he is definitely a new voice waiting to be heard. Matt Belzer Matt Belzer is the Director of Homewood Jazz Ensembles at Johns Hopkins University and is the Chair of the Jazz Department at the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Institute where he teaches saxophone, clarinet, jazz theory and jazz arranging. In addition to Tiemann-Belzer, he is a member of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble and the Baltimore Jazz Orchestra. Recently, as a member of the Arioso Wind Quintet, he was the Artist-In-Residence for the Baltimore Composers' Forum. Matt has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Germany and Japan. His music has been honored by both Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Composers' Alliance and is published on Advance Music and the UNC Jazz Press. About Crypto: 1. We're All Gonna Die Now The warm embrace of anxiety. The harmony is mostly based on 'When the Saints Go Marching In.' 2. Criss Cross Monk's music is always inspiring for improvisors. We felt particularly connected to this tune. 3. Crypto A catchy tune, then freedom. Horrible, horrible freedom. 4. Narayama The music of Japan is especially important to Matt Belzer. Having visited friends and family in Japan many times and studying shakuhachi, this is a very personal expression. This track was only one take. 5. Evidence One of our favorite tunes. 6. Dead Monkey As in 'swings like a ....'. The tired swing rhythm 'Ding Ding-a Ding Ding-a Ding Ding-a Ding' gets displaced a beat every four bars. It's a blues in Bb, so feel free to play along. PRESS REVIEWS Review by Bret McCabe (from Baltimore CityPaper) Avec drummer Scott Tiemann teams up with local saxophonist Matt Belzer for six engaging duos of percolating jazz on this CD EP. Don't expect Interstellar Space cosmic; Crypto is a more intimate, close-listening affair, airy and spry rather than overwhelming. Not that this duo can't explode: The title track starts off with Tiemann marking snappy time to Belzer's darting alto phrases, the pair spreading out it's sound, but about halfway through Tiemann hammers out a pounding transition that leads Belzer into honking and squealing valve sprints. That track is a Belzer original, and it's just the tip of his compositional touch. A peppery percussion spine holds 'We're All Gonna Die Now' afloat as Belzer darts in and out (and up and down the register) of Tiemann's steady-pulse ricochets. Belzer's swaying lines float through 'Dead Monkey' as Tiemann skips through an elusive and spry meter. Throw in two playful versions of Thelonious Monk's notoriously horn-resistant works-'Criss Cross' and 'Evidence,' in arrangements that owe no small measure to another reeds-playing Monk fan, the late Steve Lacy-and a tastefully mellow interpretation of a Japanese folk tune, and Crypto becomes a delightful snapshot of a duo that should prove quite inspired live. Review by Nicholas Sheffo (Fulvue Drive-In) Matt Belzer is a multi-instrument player who happens to be good at all he specializes in. On his 5th and 6th albums, he comes up with more proof of why. On rypto (2004), he is joined by Scott Tiemann on drums and cymbals. With some Belzer originals and Thelonious Monk classics, the tracks are: 1) We're All Gonna Die Now 2) Criss Cross 3) Crypto 4) Narayama 5) Evidence 6) Dead Monkey It is more of the kind of avant-garde Jazz that we do not get to hear enough, reminding us of how ahead of his time Monk still is and the kind of talent it takes to continue his tradition and legacy. Tiemann and Belzer can proudly join it and se it as their own with as good as these performances are.