press clips

Edward Ratliff and Five Agents in Seoul

Edward Ratliff and Five Agents: Marlene Rice, Alex Harding, Edward Ratliff, Dave Phillips, and Yousif Sharonick

photo by Anja Hitzenberger
Edward Ratliff in NYC

Edward Ratliff 

photo by Anja Hitzenberger
Edward Ratliff with Sean Conly

Edward Ratliff with Sean Conly

photo by Anja Hitzenberger
Edward Ratliff's Rhapsodalia

Rhapsodalia back in the day: John Hébert, Sam Bardfeld, Edward Ratliff, Michaël Attias, and Kevin Norton

photo by Anja Hitzenberger

“[Ratliff is] best known for making richly cinematic music that captures New York City’s momentum and diversity. Elegant and assured, it blends elements of jazz, tango, klezmer and Hong Kong soundtracks into a unique amalgam.”
—Martin Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

“Just got the Edward Ratliff CD, and had to tweet about it right away: Listening to accordionist/trumpeter Edward Ratliff’s jazz/world melange “Those Moments Before”. How to edit it down to 140 characters? Can’t”
—Tom Bingham, WCVF-FM

“...[Barcelona in 48 Hours] is an intriguing tone poem that repays repeated listening…. Ratliff’s method of theme and reiterations (rather than variations) recalls Gato Barbieri’s soundtrack for Last Tango in Paris.”
—John Walters, The Guardian

“...composer-brassmeister-accordionist Ratliff has fashioned a little quintet that sustains its tenderness and agility while still blowing like Vesuvius. Factor in the gypsy strain that arrives via the Far East and you’ve got singularity, too.”
—Jim Macnie, Village Voice

“...colorful, stylistically eclectic and humor-filled… this is tightly arranged stuff… give the group credit for playing the charts with a verve and spontaneous feel that enlivens them even further.”
—Harvey Pekar, Jazz Times

“This ensemble achieves a wonderfully large sound for a quintet, in the manner of the grand old Mingus groups where the whole was always greater than the sum of the parts…. Ratliff, meanwhile, who is the driving force behind Rhapsodalia, and Attias are outstanding soloists — as is Bardfeld. A great disc.”
—Robert Spencer, Cadence

“...spirited ensemble work and eloquent soloing…. Ratliff is superb, smoldering and energising, but both Michael Attias on alto and Sam Bardfeld’s violin are just as vital, injecting a further wildness to the music…. altogether an unexpected pleasure….”
—Paul Donnelly,

“...a wonderfully spunky and imperturbable trumpet player.”
—The New York Times

“...fetching, globe-trotting, and insatiably romantic, [Barcelona in 48 Hours] entrances within seconds, begs you to get involved, and ages with grace…. The mixture of styles and instruments is unconventional to say the least, and Ratliff’s compositions have a persistently magnetic quality.”
—Nils Jacobson,

“Ratliff is a well-accomplished musician no matter what instrument he’s handling…and always brilliantly. As a composer he is able to fashion an exceedingly great number of singular sounds…. His deft handling of line, balance and color is exceptional. It’s obvious all of the band members truly understand the musical conception of each piece and really commit themselves to its fullest performance.”
—Dr. Thomas Erdmann,

“Ratliff and his New York City-based band Rhapsodalia go straight to one’s heart and imagination while injecting strong doses of whimsy and artful musicianship… [he] is a fine musician who possesses a clever and crafty compositional pen… Strongly recommended.”
—Glenn Astarita, Publisher’s Pick

“Big, bright, and expansive… those looking for creative, theatrical, world-stretching jazz need look no further than Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel.”
—Andrew Bartlett, “Emerging Artists” Jazz Pick

“...those that have albums of Raymond Scott and soundtrack music from pre-1965 cartoons and Marx Brothers movies will find Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel a wonderful addition to their Life’s Soundtrack…. [Ratliff] is all over the map, the same map that Carla Bley, Phillip Johnston, John Lurie, Steven Bernstein and the Kamikaze Ground Crew use. Bits of tango, polka, old big band jazz, Latin rhythms, Charles Ives, turn-of-the-century salon music, rock & roll, R&B, Stravinsky are all used in a daffy yet genially coherent tapestry.”
—Mark Keresman,

“I am most impressed with this quirky CD…. Although this is only a quintet, they sound much larger… It would not sound out of place on Zorn’s filmworks series….”
—Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel is surprisingly sturdy and swinging, with just enough in the way of smarts to balance out the deadpan humor.”
—Jeff Morris, 52nd Street Review

“Think Fiddler on the Roof meets The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and you may get a tiny grasp of what this music is all about.”
—Benji Knudsen, The Vermont Review

“Edward Ratliff’s music, with its music box fragility… evoke[s] a solemn but pleasant eeriness.”
—Burt Supree, Village Voice
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