Michael Jefry Stevens

Cayolle/Stevens Group

Over the past twenty years the Cayolle/Stevens Group has been performing their unique blend of New Orleans/Cajun inspired music, combined with post-bop aggressive New York City 21st Century Jazz. Brian “Breeze” Cayolle’s great great Uncle, Sidney Bechet, is a huge influence on the group’s music. Stevens’ modern approach to Jazz is the perfect complement to the group’s individual and eclectic sound.

From Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie, from Lester Young to John Coltrane, from Earl Hines to Bill Evans, the group traverses multiple styles seamlessly. The Cayolle/Stevens Group developed in Memphis through an ironic meeting between New Orleans musician, Brian “Breeze” Cayolle, and New York City musician, Michael Jefry Stevens.

In 2003 Michael Jefry Stevens left Brooklyn and married his wife, Tina Barr, in Memphis. Tina Barr was a poet and professor of English at Rhodes College. In the summer of 2005, after his New Orleans home was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Breeze re-located to Memphis. Breeze and Michael met at a local gig at the famous Peabody Hotel.

The Cayolle/Stevens Group bridges two of the most vital musical centers in the world: New Orleans and New York City. You can listen to their debut CD on the following bandcamp link: https://michaeljefrystevens.bandcamp.com/track/sweet-lorraineSaxophonist/Clarinet Master/Singer Brian “Breeze” Cayolle is soul

The members...

CD Release

Review of the Eastern Boundary Quartet CD

ALL ABOUT JAZZ – NEW YORK MARCH 2009 ISSUE

 

Eponymous Eastern Boundary Quartet (Biem Artisjus) by Karen Hogg

 

On the eponymous debut of the Eastern Boundary Quartet, the music literally crosses international boundaries as Stevens, along with bassist Joe Fonda, collaborates with Hungarian musicians Balazs Bagyi (drums) and Mihaly Borbely (sax). 

 

This live recording is a musical quilt combining the spirit of jazz with the distinctive nature of Hungarian music. The disc begins with Song for My Mother, a Fonda composition, that starts off plaintively, building to an insistent crescendo and ending with masterful drum work. 

 

The End Game, a Latin-flavored Stevens piece, features a melodic, virtuosic solo from Fonda and on Tuzugras/Fire Jumping, the quartet exhibits an uncanny energy and drive. Rounding out the disc is an improvisational piece and Mongo Santamariaís Afro Blue. With two American and two Hungarian musicians, the Eastern Boundary Quartet is a musical melting pot of the best kind.

Mountain Song

Style: jazz waltz

Grade: 3

I wrote this song while I was living in Brooklyn, NY and spending quite a bit of time in Woodstock, NY.  This is the closest thing to a “country music” song I have ever written.  This composition was recorded by myself and bassist Eliot Wadopian on our "Mountain Song" duo CD.  This piece is extremely playable at most levels!!!

Mountain Song

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Alisiah

Style: Swing

Grade: 1

Alisiah is one of my earliest compositions. The tonality revolves around C major, F major and Eminor. It is a very simple medium tempo swing tune. Nothing fancy.  This piece was recorded on my "Duets" CD with vibraphonist Jason DeCristofaro.

Alisiah

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

For My Brother

Style: Ballad

Grade: 2

The harmonies move quite slowly in this ballad.  The most challenging aspect of the piece are the 2/4 bars.  This ballad was recorded on Jon Hemmersam's "Remembering" CD release which also featured Dave Liebman and Rakalam Bob Moses.

For My Brother

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Lei’s Song

Style: Waltz

Grade: 2

This is one of my favorite compositions.  Written in 3/4 time, but with phrases grouped in three’s, four’s and other odd groupings this is a very unique piece.  Also, it is made up entirely of minor 7 chords.  The Fonda/Stevens Group recorded this tune on our CD "The Healing".

Lei’s Song

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

The Beauty That We Are

Style: Ballad

Grade: 1

This ballad is quite easy to play.  The changes move very slowly giving the student plenty of time to navigate the harmonic landscape.

The Beauty That We Are

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

The Moffett Family

Style: Blues

Grade: 2

This piece was composed in the early 1980's and dedicated to Charnett Moffett and his family band. I played with the band for one year. The tune is a simple form containing only dominant chords. The feel is very bluesy.

The Moffett Family

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Red’s Blues

Style: Blues, swing

Grade: 2

This is a very simple “swing” composition with a bluesy feel but not in a Blues form. The changes are very simple. The head is a question-and-answer with the melody and the rhythm section.  A good piece to introduce the blues scale to students. Released on my "Red's Blues" CD.

Red’s Blues

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Song for Rio

Style: Latin

Grade: 3

I wrote this bossa nova after visiting Rio in 1999.  The form is quite long and the bridge is very chromatic.  The piece is highly melodic and quite fun to play.  The "Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson Trio" recorded this tune on our "Six" CD release.

Song for Rio

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Memorial

Style: Latin

Grade: 4

This piece features a Latin feel written out in the piano part.  The changes are pretty standard and move slowly enough for the student to navigate quite easily. The bridge of the tune is a fun release from all the harmonic movement in the beginning section of the composition.  The "Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson Trio" recorded this composition on our "Panorama" CD which featured Valery Ponomarev on trumpet.

Memorial

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

The Innocence of Spring

Style: Swing

Grade: 4

This medium swing tune consists of an extended melody and long form.  The harmonies are very chromatic and include some hybrid chordal structures as well.  The piece is challenging but worth the effort.  I recorded this on my "The Innocence of Spring" CD with saxophonist Don Aliquo.

The Innocence of Spring

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Kulturshock

Style: Swing

Grade: 5

This is a very adventurous composition. The harmonies are very difficult and the rhythms are quite unusual. A great challenge for the advanced player.  I wrote this piece shortly after moving from Brooklyn, NY to Memphis, TN.  That was quite a culture shock!!!

Kulturshock

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

Four Wheeler

Style: Swing

Grade: 2

This composition is an open swing feel featuring a chromatic chord sequence and several polychords.  The changes move quickly making the piece difficult for the soloist to navigate. The melody is not difficult but overall the piece is challenging.  This is dedicated to the great trumpeter Kenny Wheeler.

Four Wheeler

Original price was: $4.95.Current price is: $2.49.

The Beauty That We Are

Style: ballad
Grade: 2

This ballad is quite easy to play.  The changes move very slowly giving the student plenty of time to navigate the harmonic landscape.

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