Props to my brother, who has been “noticed.” From the New York Times Artsbeat blog, covering the New Orleans Jazz Fest:
This year’s Monk Institute class has only been working together since the start of the fall term, but already there’s a noticeable chemistry among the students, judging by their Jazzfest performance on Sunday morning. The group didn’t sound quite like a full-fledged band yet – there were still some tentative moments – but it wasn’t hard to detect much promise.
Based on the set I heard, the most advanced musicians in the group are Davy Mooney, a guitarist from here in New Orleans, and Colin Stranahan, a drummer from Denver. Both players worked at a high level of rhythmic assuredness, and their rapport together was palpable. But there were also solid contributions from the pianist Vadim Neselovskyi (from the Ukraine) and the tenor saxophonist Jake Saslow (Long Island).
Mr. Mooney, by the way, has been on my radar for a couple of years now. He placed third in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition – another signature effort of the Monk Institute – back in 2005. And for a while he was based in New York, playing often in Brooklyn. It’s good to see him involved with the institute in this capacity, where he can only develop further.