"I have known Jeff Denson for several years now, and had the great pleasure to perform and record with him throughout Europe, the USA and Canada as a member of my quartet. Jeff is an exceptional musician who is a creative force on the double bass and has an original approach and voice on the instrument. He brings a fantastic sense of composition to his improvisations that allow him to transcend the role of the bass and make many unexpected choices. From his hard driving quarter note swing, to cello-like bowed melodies and interactive counterpoint, he is always surprising and inspiring! Jeff is also an outstanding composer who has written music for jazz and classical ensembles. He is always thinking outside the box and bringing his musicality and lyricism to all of his work."
— Lee Konitz
"Denson is breaking new musical ground, proving that he should be counted as one of the leading bassists of contemporary jazz."
— Teddy Doering, Jazz Podium, August 2016
“Bassist Jeff Denson has collaborated with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz for nearly a decade, cajoling the reedist into some of his best playing of the current century . . . . On a spontaneous ditty called ‘Duet’ [on the new CD], Denson and Konitz open up with a delightful bebop slalom, intertwining lines with preternatural grace and rhythmic sophisticated, but toward the end they engage in a chorus of wordless vocals, improvising with the same kind of harmonic acuity they demonstrate with their primary instruments.”
— Peter Margasak, Downbeat, August 2015
"Lee Konitz was at Unterfahrt on Tuesday with Jeff Denson's trio. 88 years young, he played - as he has done all his life - what he wanted, occasionally singing/humming along. Overall though, the impression he left was of astonishing freshness. On his set list were mainly tunes by Lennie Tristano, the defining influence of Konitz' youth, several relatively unknown pieces which either the saxophonist or bandleader Denson had adapted, or in cases gone back to original arrangements. An astonishing concert, nostalgic in a modern sense, and nevertheless right up to date.”
— Ralf Dombrowski, London Jazz News, October 2015
"Never satisfied to merely accept the role of a session player and with a forward thinking vision to expand his horizons as a leader, Jeff Denson is quickly moving up the improvisational food chain as one of the preeminent bassists in world."
— Brent Black, criticaljazz.com
"...master of the jazz bass.."
— Lee Hilldebrand, SF Chronicle
"...Denson's masterly bow work. Denson's singing bass...tour de force..."
— Andrew Gilbert, California Report NPR Radio
"Double bassist Jeff Denson capitalizes on his considerable gifts as an improviser, interpreter and sonic trailblazer..."
— Ken Micaleff , Downbeat Magazine
[I'll Fly Away and Two] - "... most emblematic of Jeff Denson's formidable abilities and idiomatic flexibility."
— Ron Wynn - Jazztimes Magazine
— Robert Bush, NBC San Diego June 10, 2014
[I'll Fly Away] "makes meaningful contributions to the tradition of piano-bass duets possibly initiated by Duke Ellington and Jimmy Blanton in 1940."
— Benjamin Franklin V, Music Charts Magazine July 3, 2014
[I'll Fly Away and Two] - "Bassist Jeff Denson has a pair of duet discs that are as diverse as you can desire."
— George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly July, 3 2014
[I'll Fly Away] - "One of the finest bass and piano discs to surface in a long time, I'll Fly Away, is worth seeking out."
— Robert Bush, All About Jazz April 18, 2014
“Accomplished bassist-composer Jeff Denson delivers 10 original gems on this precious quartet offering. …artfully crafted.. ..intelligence and passionate, unbridled improvisation.” “The leader’s (Jeff Denson’s) superb bowing.. showcasing Denson’s haunting vocals”
— Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes, USA September 16, 2012
“Jeff Denson takes modern jazz to a new level. His many flashes of compositional genius bring much that is fresh, new and unexpected. This makes his music instantly recognizable and shows how deeply Jeff Denson is immersed into the art of composition.”
— Stefen Pieper, Jazzthetik, Germany July/August 2012
“A secret masterpiece!”
— Reinhard Koechl, Jazzthing, Germany 6/2012
“The bass takes its place to give a nice roundness to original compositions with rich and subtle melodies, played eagerly and without heaviness. A success.”
— T. Giard , Culture Jazz, France
“The leader is a bass ace but he knows how to give everyone some. Give it a wash of some Euro not so free jazz and you’ve got a dandy little set that’s familiar but brings enough new stuff to take you new places. Check it out.”
— Chris Spector in Midwest Record, USA
“An interesting album, which boldly departs from the patterns of U.S. All of Denson’s compositions are cleverly multi-threaded with his own style and character . Denson is an efficient and versatile bassist, successfully combining task as a leader and an improvising soloist.” “In his first leader album, we see the author’s footprints - those experiences with jazz masters, all of a merger modern post bop (with subtle free inclusions) and jazz associated with Europe.”
— Bogdan Chmura, Jazz Forum, Poland 9/2012
“Finding such a complete album is extremely rare; one that is able to maintain a combination between sumpteous melodies and intricate compositions, infused by rhythm. Each musician, Jeff Denson, Ralph Alessi, Florian, Weber and Dan Weiss, unfolds a finely-honed sound supported by skillful instrumentation.
It is impossible to choose only one musician to discuss in this sublime acoustic quartet, yet I must point out that the presence of its leader, Jeff Denson, maintains an etherial cadence through out the entire album. Denson’s display of his vocal ability and scat singing on tracks #2 (Autumn Song) and #6 (Longing) makes this entire album distinctive.
His music convinced me that no matter what, Jeff’s music will continue to be markedly Jeff Denson, delicate and in the same moment extremely robust. ”
— Kayo Fushiya - Jazz Tokyo, Japan May 27, 2012
“The bassist Jeff Denson is known to most jazzfans as co-leader of the trio Minsarah, belonging to the greatest piano trios in the last twelve years … here Jeff Denson is the leader, and so his excellent bass-playing is in the foreground. This quartet plays at the highest level, inspired and with exciting interplay … all compositions are by Denson and you can hear him singing on two tracks, too. Topnotch quality… An hour full of pure listening pleasure!”
— Teddy Doerium, Jazz Podium, Germany 6/2012
“It’s time for bassist/composers/arrangers. .. The ability to go beyond the tradition without fail in its fundamental tenets, strong attraction and involvement with academic music.. “Elegant” “beautifully played, performed, arranged..”
— AVincenzo Roggero, All About jazz, Italy May 3, 2012
“Jeff Denson presents himself, well-educated and open to cultural diversity……” “Artistic instrumentation and rich musical imagination, a little romantic in nature, and impressionistic references..”
— Andrzej Kalinowski, Jazzarium, Poland
"Jeff Denson is a truly gifted musician and an accomplished improviser. Jeff possesses a unique set of abilities as a performer. He can improvise fluidly with originality in an open situation as well as negotiate the most complex harmonic and rhythmic musical systems in improvisation. It is a joy to play with him because his ear allows him to find freedom in the most challenging and demanding circumstances. He has studied music with intensity but he is always intuitive, creative without being didactic or controlling.
Jeff is an ambitious composer with great potential. I the past two years he has completed the first act of an opera, Webs and he has worked on a suite of solo bass pieces loosely based on Bach’s cello suites. Both projects demonstrate Jeff Denson’s potential as a composer of viscerally compelling as well as complex music. The opera incorporates improvisation in an effective way that succeeds in driving the narrative. The bass suites are technically extremely demanding and yet always succeed as music of rhythmic subtlety and harmonic adventure. The bass pieces will provide a new compelling literature for solo bass that will be performed by many bass players in the future."
— Anthony Davis
"Jeff is a bassist who digs deeply into the philosophical principles that define what jazz is and can be. In addition to being a very thorough student of the history of his instrument, he is an accomplished composer, teacher, and arranger."
— Marcus Roberts (Jazz Pianist)
"Their music is fresh, spontaneous and challenging. I hold them and their music in a very high regard."
— John Taylor - ECM recording artist on Minsarah
"Florian Weber...His partners, bassist Jeff Denson and drummer Ziv Ravitz, he met in the USA. Since their introduction they have formed a trio where they play so well together it would seem that they trust each other blindly."
"...if you heard the 9 tracks from their CD, which is like a journey through the land of creativity, you would witness breath-taking technique, perfect timing, and great melodic richness."
– Hans-Jurgen von Osterhausen, Jazz Podium, Germany (Minsarah - December, 2003)
"...Minsarah communicated with concentration and ease while maintaining powerful intensity. The trio has energy; nobody would doubt this!" ...
"As with 'Scar Tissue', written by Denson, an ingenious catwalk of mature playfulness fed from an unconsumed view of life of the three musicians who really have something to say."
"They understand each other as do the listeners. It can be said that they made a real statement, which could be described as the miracle of Cologne. We can state: that was music; the most beautiful compliment for a concert. ... Thank you Minsarah! Only this Friday night in the hall was the world at its best."
— Ingo Petz, Review of Minsarah's performance at
The Cologne Jazz Night 2003 Jazz Festival.