jeff denson, romain pilon & brian blade


Denson has "considerable gifts as an improviser, interpreter and sonic trailblazer..."KenMicallef, DownBeat Magazine

“[Romain] Pilon is world class.”– Financial Times

“Brian Blade is one of the finest drummers of his generation.”– Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes

When these virtuoso players meet on the bandstand, the result is sheer magic. Join revered French guitarist Romain Pilon, powerhouse drummer Brian Blade and internationally acclaimed bassist, vocalist, and composer Jeff Denson as they celebrate their Ridgeway Records album Between Two Worlds (release date October 25, 2020). The recording features originals by Denson and Pilon, who met two decades ago as students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. After graduation they pursued their own careers, but reunited occasionally to reclaim their musical camaraderie. When Denson played with Blade on a 2017 tour with Joel Harrison’s Spirit House, they clicked. “We deeply connected right away, from the first notes in the sound check,” says Denson. “It felt like kindred spirits, rhythmically; a whole other language was taking place behind the soloists, and it was totally enthralling.” Denson thought of Pilon as an ideal third partner. "He’s a virtuoso player but very sensitive and very musical, the same words I would use to describe Brian.” Denson extended an invitation to Pilon and Blade, who enthusiastically accepted. The result is one of the most captivating new groups in jazz, a trio of players with unmistakable chops, unquestionable creativity, and probing sensitivity.

jeff denson quartet


Jeff Denson has used the quartet as his main compositional vehicle since 2012 with the release of his debut solo album, Secret World which featured trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist Florian Weber and drummer, Dan Weiss. This album was followed by Concentric Circles (2016) with pianist Dan Zemelman, drummer Alan Hall and the world's premier improvising bassoonist, the Grammy-nominated Paul Hanson. Outside My Window (2018) showcased Jeff "as an emphatic singer of immense vocal talent,” (Alexander Schmidt - Jazz Podium - Germany) with Dayna Stephens on saxophones, Kari Ikonen on piano, Fender Rhodes and Moog and Ronen Itzik on drums and percussion. Live, Jeff’s first live album as a leader, captures the energy and excitement generated of Jeff’s shows, this time featuring, Lyle Link on tenor and soprano saxophones, Dahveed Behroozi on piano and Dillon Vado on drums. Though the members have shifted over the years on the albums to suit Jeff’s esthetic choices, he has maintained a cohesive direction with his compositions which continue to evolve with the artist himself.

Denson’s music pushes through the boundaries of musical genres. By inventively mixing the world of composed and improvised music, Jeff Denson creates a unique language of his own, where intoxicating melodies and rhythms transport the listener away to unknown lands where vivid hues of tone paint the aural canvas of the inner ear.

The music is steeped in the jazz tradition, where the propulsive rhythms are the heartbeat of the music and the musicians are master improvisers of harmonic structures, song forms, and melodic invention. Where the music diverges from the jazz tradition and creates its unique fingerprint is in the handling of the juxtaposition of the composed and improvised material, the roles and uses of the instruments within the compositions, unique instrumentation itself, its musical forms and the unmistakably memorable melodic language of Jeff Denson. The strength of the melodies transcend genre or idiomatic leanings and plant themselves in the ears of the listeners, leaving them singing them long after the music has stopped.

San Francisco String Trio

photo by Grason Littles

photo by Grason Littles

Two-time Grammy winner violinist Mads Tolling, six-time Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll Winner guitarist Mimi Fox, and internationally acclaimed bassist and composer Jeff Denson, have forged their musical talents in a new group, the San Francisco String Trio. This super group made up of three dazzling virtuoso's have come together to create an eclectic and riveting mixture of beautiful and passionate music crossing every genre from tango to funk, and gorgeous ballads to sizzling up-tempo originals. An all acoustic group defying categorization, the San Francisco String Trio provides its audiences with a special musical experience that is both poignant and compelling. Together they have developed The Sgt. Pepper Project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking Beatles album.

Jeff Denson Trio +

Lee Konitz & Jeff Denson

Lee Konitz & Jeff Denson

After more than a decade as a co-leader of the internationally acclaimed trio Minsarah, Jeff Denson is forging into new territory with his new trio explorations.Each season, Jeff will select an outstanding featured guest for some special performances with the Trio. For the 2014/2015 season that guest will be the legendary alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. Jeff has performed with Lee since 2007 and has been a member of Lee Konitz New Quartet, the only permanent group that the eminent saxophonist has ever led. Performance dates are limited, so please contact for availabilities.

"It was always a dream of mine when I was a student back at Berklee College of Music that I would someday be in Lee Konitz’s band, and as luck would have it, that is exactly what happened! Lee heard my trio (Minsarah) performing and really liked what he heard, and that led him to attend three more of our concerts. After hearing us for the fourth time, Lee invited us to meet at his apartment for a session - this led to the formation of the Lee Konitz New Quartet, a band in which Lee wrote is the first actual band he’s ever had! To date, the quartet has released three albums on Enja Records: “Deep Lee” and the “Lee Konitz New Quartet: Live at the Village Vanguard" and "Lee Konitz: Standards Live at the Village Vanguard."          

                                                                                                                          – Jeff Denson


Jeff Denson

Jeff Denson

Solo performance is something that has always intrigued Jeff. As a double bassist, it is most common to function in a supportive role in the majority of musical situations; solo performance is obviously an exception. As a “single-line” instrument, it is a great challenge to perform solo and to create the entire musical world in any given piece, and this is what captured Jeff. A musician spends countless hours alone honing their art, and through that process grows attached to the sounds, textures and emotions that they reach with their instrument. The double bass is an incredibly rich instrument which has a wide tonal palate and extensive range that can span the reaches of the entire stringed instrument family, and yet its inherent subtly can be missed (or masked) by other instruments in an ensemble situation. Having spent five years in San Diego, CA working on his doctorate in contemporary music, Jeff explored the timbral possibilities of his instrument through the performance of solo and chamber music of composers of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as the classical double bass solo literature. The study and performance of that music opened Jeff's ears to a wider spectrum of tonal colors on my instrument and thereby opened the doors of his musical concept. While living in San Diego, Jeff had the great and unusual opportunity to have a regular solo double bass gig once a month for a year and a half and it afforded him an opportunity to explore the creation of his own solo performance language through both improvised and original notated musical performances.