Billy Stein
Billy Stein


”Guitarist Billy Stein has been hidden in plain sight for almost 30 years, playing in New York with an impressively wide spectrum of players. ...The rhythmic empathy within the trio is strong, as is their ability to anticipate and dovetail each other’s next move. They get so deep in the pocket that they end up somewhere else.” Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure


“A self-proclaimed organic coalescence of the straightahead and avant garde worlds, Stein straddles freeform improvisation and structured composition with remarkable consistency.” Troy Collins, All About Jazz


Hybrids” Top Ten CDs 2006 Nate Dorward, Coda Magazine


Hybrids” Honorable Mention - Jazz Consumer Guide Tom Hull, Village Voice


“...(Hybrids) has a compelling nature that makes you yearn for another go around.  Difficult to put your finger on, this harmolodic venture's subtlety equals a lasting potency.” Jay Collins, Cadence Magazine


“..One of most fascinating jazz guitar discs to appear in quite a long while.” Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


" Stein has a dark, confiding sound, but he's not exactly introspective.  He can be assertive, even explosive at times, and his velvety dissonances can give way to brilliant knife-edge notes that sparkle and flash."  Ed Hazell


"Although he has been active on the new jazz scene for over 30 years, “Hybrids” is the debut CD by guitarist Billy Stein, who recorded this album with Reuben Radding on bass and Rashid Bakr on drums, both members of a circle that sees them playing with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Butch Morris and William Parker, among the others. One is instantly stricken by the utterly unprocessed, dark, fat neck-pickup sound of a guitar that’s played with humbleness and intelligence throughout. Stein is not afraid of submitting essential trial-and-error suggestions, exploring both chordal and linear dissonance amidst a challenging interplay from the rhythm section, only seldom returning home to a “theme” or a harmonic sequence that really sounds like no one else. This game of divergences brings a unique colour to the music, also enhanced by a knowledgeable use of the volume pedal, employed by Stein with parsimonious sensitiveness, and by the resonance of open strings even in the most complex positions, generating spurious harmonics that nicely contrast Radding’s low frequencies. All the tracks show the musicians’ will to put virtuosity aside to find instead a meeting point where technical adroitness is never questioned, but what really shines is the instinctive development of a sound which is cultured (Stein graduated from Hunter College and also has classical guitar experience) and, at the very same moment, raw enough to be accepted as pure intuitional language. "                               Massino Ricci, Touching Extremes

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