"Great concert even on the morning of Saturday at Kulturni Dom of Nova Gorica, across the border, with the Trio Generations which housed Oliver Lake........the trio played with a perfection and an unrivaled creativity revolves on bass Joe Fonda, very solid and unpredictable nell'apporto rhythmic and magic solos, with the support of Emil Gross sharp drums and, above all, with the delicious and ever-changing work of the grand piano Michael Jefry Stevens, perhaps the musician who most impressed us among the many who have gone on the stage of the festival." (Blacks Pollastri), www.allaboutjazz.com/jazz-and-wine-of-peace-2015
"Stevens is a sensitive pianist who ekes out droplets of sparkling gems or volumes of rushing waves having a lyrical foundation and a complex consistency; he constructs vivid imagery by getting into the core of each piece and expounding intuitively with his reconstructions."
~ Cadence Jazz Magazine, September, 2005. By Frank Rubolino
"In over 30 minutes, Michael Jefry Stevens sends us through five stages of complexity. Minds of such intelligence gravitate to expanse, and this qualifies. The suite is three-dimensional. One crawls inside it. This music is as uncommon as what lies beneath the naked image."
~ Jazz Improv Magazine (2005). By Gregory J. Robb
"Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens blends a pliable rhythmic and melodic sense with a mercurial technique that serves him well."
~ Jazz Times Magazine, August 2005. By Chris Kelsey
"The Title track is an atmospheric ballad, buoyed by Stevens’ lush harmonic choices and sonorous exploitation of the entire keyboard’s compass."
~ Signal to Noise Magazine, Summer 2005. By Christian Carey
"Stevens is in top form, particularly on the aforementioned "As I was Saying", where his crystalline chord structures shimmer in conjunction with a ruminating pulse."
~ Signal to Noise Magazine. By Jay Collins
"Stevens’s playing remains ever-versatile, alternating between comp-ing changes and fistfuls of chromatic clusters."
~ Christian Carey, Splendid Reviews
"Michael Jefry Stevens let’s his piano stamp the harmonic line that gradually powers in intensity, an urgent essaying of the melodic landscape..."
~ Jerry D’Souza, All About Jazz
"Stevens’ major virtue is his ability to write fresh, attractive melodies, but he’s also a provocative composer."
~ Harvey Pekar, Jazz Times Magazine
"Throughout the record, the pianist demonstrates a command of his instrument, not only in a technical sense, but also for the warmth and feeling he coaxes from this stringed, wooden box. His classical notions are explored in particular depth on the floating waves of "Cloud Drift" and the captivating "Whispering Wind", the latter of which bursts with a rich splendor that drives right to the core of Stevens’ sense of emotion."
~ Jay Collins, One Final Note
"Michael Jefry Stevens is influenced on one side by Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk but, on the other, by Mahler, Bartok, Debussy and Ravel. The free jazz environment allows Stevens the luxury of painting his music with a palette containing blues, rock, classical, jazz and funk. The resulting improvisations cannot be pigeonholed."
~ Richard Bourcier, Jazz Review
"Michael Jefry Stevens is a fluid player who finds his comfort level not only on the cool side but also through free jazz and instant improvisation. His touch is both delicate and hard hitting, stopping short of bombast when he ventures into the latter. His phrasing has an elegance, and while he does take a line at a tangent he does not let this alter his focus. Stevens suspends time and harmony; his lines arch and curve and fall in a splash of color. He unleashes bolts of thunder with his left hand and clasps melody in scintillating runs."
~ Jerry D’Souza, All About Jazz
It’s a measure of true artistic accomplishment when music so demanding can touch an emotional thread, proving that even a street full of concrete and glass can turn green and lush. Poetry in motion, indeed. ~ All About Jazz by Troy Collins (August 2008)
Poetry In Motion, by the collective group Conference Call, deserves to be considered as one of the year's best for the simple reason that its balance of thought and emotion, structure and freedom, clarity and abandon, is exquisitely and transparently laid out. Regardless of who composed any particular tune, providing a distinctive voice, the group acts as an organic unit, with the total sound becoming more than the sum of its parts. By Budd Kopman
When four musician-composers with this level of technique and creativity get together, it's sure to bring quality playing, but the most interesting moments on Poetry In Motion occur when the quartet forgets what they know and just do.
~ Clifford Allen for Bagatellen, published September 7, 2008
Over a full decade, Conference Call has become one of the premier progressive and modern creative jazz outfits in the world, with only a few in their path.
Michael G. Nastos for All Music Guide
One of the finest improvising units working today, Conference Call is a complete band, capable of touching all the jazz bases, be they individual or group improvisation, or the performance of composed music. The quintet's sixth release, What About...? is a two-disc session from the band's 10th anniversary tour, and was recorded live at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland. by Mark Corroto - All About Jazz
Live free jazz recordings are often exclusively for hardened free jazz fans, but even a timid free jazz listener will find plenty to like on “What About….?.” If not, reaching a little deeper and taking another listen should do it. It’s difficult to envision a better exhibition of ability, creativity and group cohesiveness in the free jazz idiom.
Mike Reynolds-MuzikReviews.com Sr. Staff October 18, 2010 ©MuzikReviews.com
What About The ...? contains all the elements that made the previous great Poetry in Motion: Material composition dense, cohesive and highly elastic, strong running, great care despite frequent explosions of sound or timbre exasperation, the harmonious development of executions in spite of the great freedom of interpretation, magically conveyed to millimeter perfect joints and fittings. Rating: 4 stars ~ All About Jazz Italia translation