Shayna Dulberger

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"Shayna Dulberger is an integral part of that generation who has made the commitment to unlocking further mysteries inside the tone world."
William Parker, Ache & Flutter Liner Notes

"One notices Dulberger’s playing immediately - simply put, she’s a monster."
Clifford Allen, New York City Jazz Record

"Her full-throttle quartet, covers... expansive ground, citing influences from Paul Chambers to Ornette Coleman to Ahmad Jamal."
Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper

"Dulberger provides the music’s muscular backbone: she drops assertive accents, judiciously prods her cohorts without getting in anyone’s way, and contributes seething solo work that hints at the playing of one of her mentors, William Parker"
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Recent Press
New York City Jazz Record (Ache & Flutter)
Philadelphia City Paper (Ache & Flutter)
Chicago Reader (Ache & Flutter)
Capitol Bop Interview (Ache & Flutter)

May 2013 Album Review Ache & Flutter
New York City Jazz Record Clifford Allen
With an inordinate amount of history at one’s fingertips, it’s often hard to imagine where a modern musician may ‘start’, but creative figures somehow do so and continue on path through combining spirit, drive and necessary homework. Bassist Shayna Dulberger has studied such masters as William Parker, Peter Kowald and Wilbur Ware; increasingly visible on the free music underground over the past near-decade, Ache & Flutter is her second disc as a leader (though the first was for unaccompanied bass/electronics).
Leading a quartet with guitarist Chris Welcome, tenor saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer and drummer Carlo Costa, the music on Ache & Flutter has been in gestation since the group’s 2011 formation, if not longer. One notices Dulberger’s playing immediately - simply put, she’s a monster. With the propulsiveness of Parker, the painterly rigor and energy of Kowald and the tone of Ware, Dulberger is an extraordinary soloist steeped in tradition and often placed forward in the mix. 4 of the disc’s 11 pieces are, in fact, solo bass performances. Following the a cappella “Whim”, “Heart Like a Rabbit” opens with a slinky guitar-bass duet, soon adding Costa’s microfilamental tap and Kretzmer’s throaty and florid lines. Welcome’s guitar work is all over with respect to the beat and as Kretzmer digs in his heels, the rhythm section becomes subtly scattered.
“Doorways” is maddeningly lickety-split, Kretzmer untying knots into searing snatches of Albert Ayler, Clifford Jordan and Sam Rivers. Welcome is unruly and consistently surprising; his solo section begins lushly, though he quickly splays out into wiry and scumbled shifts, leading into Costa’s airy piles. Following the tugging solo pizzicato of “The Spontaneous Combustion of Shayna Dulberger”, which almost acts as a closer to the record’s first half, “Cookie Cutter” presents martial reach and unsettled footfalls unspooled into Welcome’s jittery twang and gummy volume-pedal action. Dedicated to the late Frank Lowe, “Lowed” is chunky and skirling, saying a lot in a shade over three minutes, while “Crestfallen” adds pitch-bending electronics to the quartet’s jagged crovus.  Ache & Flutter is a fine step in Dulberger’s opus, presenting muscular and sensitive group and solo music aware of its place in the continuum.


April 2013 Album Review Ache & Flutter
Philadelphia City Paper Shaun Brady
Bassist William Parker has been a cornerstone of the New York avant-garde scene for decades, so it speaks volumes that he’s chosen Shayna Dulberger to fill his shoes when he steps away to conduct one of his large-ensemble projects. Since her arrival in 2005, Dulberger has played alongside several generations of forward-thinking artists, including Ras Moshe, Darius Jones and Warren Smith. Her full-throttle quartet, which is about to release its debut, Ache & Flutter, features Israeli saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer, Italian-born drummer Carlo Costa and guitarist Chris Welcome, whose playing ranges from the sparse to the shredding. Dulberger’s music covers similarly expansive ground, citing influences from Paul Chambers to Ornette Coleman to Ahmad Jamal.


April 2013 Album Review Ache & Flutter
Chicago Reader Peter Margasak
I’d never heard of New York bassist Shayna Dulberger before I noticed this gig and got in touch with her, intrigued by the lineup of her band: drummer Carlos Costa, guitarist Chris Welcome, and saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer, all bandleaders themselves. Now that I’ve listened to her superb new album, Ache & Flutter (on her own Empty Room label), she’s definitely got my attention. Dulberger exerts a gentle touch over her collaborators, demonstrating creative savvy and letting them roam at will over direct postbop themes that give them plenty to work with. Kretzmer, an impressive young Israeli expat, has played with astringent ferocity on some of his own records (including last year’s Weight, with his two-bass quartet), but here he’s a bit more restrained. It certainly helps that Costa, an Italian expat, deftly balances free-jazz ranginess with an impressively light touch that’s often missing in such volatile settings—he makes even the most explosive moments feel a bit more lithe. Welcome’s gnarled but clean-toned single-note lines recall the work of Joe Morris, while Dulberger provides the music’s muscular backbone: she drops assertive accents, judiciously prods her cohorts without getting in anyone’s way, and contributes seething solo work that hints at the playing of one of her mentors, William Parker. This is the quartet’s Chicago debut.


April 2013 Album Review Ache & Flutter
Capitol Bop Interview Luke Stewart
In the realm of creative music, the most important thing is originality. Musicians must have a strong sense of self, and express themselves with deliberation. In this pursuit, the possible approaches are as diverse as the people who choose to compose and perform. Among the crop of young creatives who come from the background of jazz and are defining their own way forward, Shayna Dulberger is becoming one of the most well respected.

The Brooklyn resident is a master of the upright bass. But more importantly, as the music on her forthcoming Ache and Flutter demonstrates, she’s exploring and developing her own musical voice in every aspect of the music she makes. Dulberger frequently collaborates with preeminent members of New York’s free-jazz community, and is a notable protégé of the iconic artist William Parker. From her solo project of basement loops to her Kill Me Trio, and now to her quartet, she is forging ahead with conviction.

Her quartet is made up of some fantastic musicians: Yoni Kretzmer on tenor saxophone, Chris Welcome on guitar and Carlo Costa on drums. I had a brief conversation by telephone with Dulberger ahead of the group’s upcoming performance this Thursday at Twins Jazz.

CapitalBop: What musical concepts are you exploring on your new album, Ache and Flutter?

Shayna Dulberger: I guess the obvious is counterpoint and rhythm, improvisation versus written. I also thought a lot about improvisation because I wanted composed music. I wanted it to be my record. I wanted to have a sound in my compositions. I was definitely influenced by improvisation in the sense that it is very free. But I needed a way to sort of steer the energy, so I wanted to write compositions that would trigger different styles of improvisation.

CB: Can you explain specifically some methods you utilize in exploring sound in your quartet?

SD: In one of the tunes, I definitely use a strong rhythmic sense. Then the improvisation over it is whatever the musicians improvising over that rhythm want to do. So there’s a very “inside” part happening, and a very “outside” part happening, and I wanted the contrast between the two. The melody is constantly jumping in and out of this spatial feel or a more dense feel.

Then in another tune — this one is a lot more uptempo, a little bit more swinging — I play around a lot with intervals on that one. It’s short and sporadic, then it breaks off into counterpoint. I want to create these jumping-board effects that go into a high energy improvisation. You hear that a lot in the pieces.

“The whole point of playing this music or being an artist is to really push yourself into being one with your instrument and being one with your ideas and being able to execute those ideas on the spot.”

CB: Are you composing with the specific members of your quartet in mind?

SD: Some of the tunes on Ache and Flutter are written with them in mind. Some of them are before they came into the picture — some are older. “Cookie Cutter” was written for the Kill Me Trio, which was my first band with Darius Jones and Jason Nazary. We never recorded it, though. “Myopia” was also an older one, which was on the Kill Me Trio album. On Ache and Flutter, it is just a solo version.

CB: What are your influences on this album?

SD: I guess I’m coming from a jazz background. I’m most influenced by that music. I love it, and I’ve studied it for a while. I play the upright bass because I like jazz upright bass. I love Wilbur Ware and Paul Chambers and Malachi Favors, and the list goes on and on. As far as the record goes, I was looking a lot to records that really feature the sound of the bass, like Sonny Rollins’ Live at the Village Vanguard, Paul Chambers’ Whims of Chambers.

CB: Like an homage to your influences.

SD: Yes, that’s where my roots are. I’m into the natural sound. That’s how I play. I know I’m playing more out than Paul Chambers, but that’s who I am.

CB: In the liner notes to Ache and Flutter, William Parker makes the statement that you were “chosen” to play creative music. What is your definition of creative music? What do you think he means by this? How have you manifested that being?

SD: I think that he’s saying that there are some people who aren’t good at improvising, and are not musically creative, I guess. He doesn’t really have to be saying music — it could be anybody. Its just that some people are not natural improvisers, and some people are. As far as creative music, I think it’s a really broad term, and it’s kind of hard for me to call it a genre of music, though I’m guilty of calling my music “creative music.”

I think creative music is just so personal. I think it has to do with the note choices and the sound of the player, and how connected they are with their instrument or voice or poetry or whatever. I think it has to do with the personality of the artist and how real they are. I think musicians that stop being connected, they don’t look like they’re having fun on stage, they don’t have anything to say on their horn. That’s not creative to me. The whole point of playing this music or being an artist is to really push yourself into being one with your instrument and being one with your ideas and being able to execute those ideas on the spot. I guess that’s why I’m drawn to jazz, because I think that’s the heart of jazz.

CB: Do you think creative music has to have an improvisational element?

SD: No, I don’t. I think music is creative, in general. I think when a musician is not creative, they aren’t a very good musician. It doesn’t matter how written the part is. They’re gonna have to put some kind of human quality into it.

CB: How has it been navigating the creative music community of Brooklyn, New York?

SD: In certain respects it’s hard, but I think it’s pretty hard for everyone in New York. But it’s also been very gratifying. I’ve gotten some positive feedback, and we get invited to play. It’s not that hard to get gigs. Getting good gigs is one thing, though. It’s cool. I embrace the struggle because it keeps me working hard, and that’s really important to me. [In Brooklyn] there are lots of places to play and there are so many musicians. I could go out and see four different bands tonight in four different clubs….

Even though it’s really hard making a living being a musician here, I don’t think it’s like this anywhere else. There’s so much going on. There are so many bands and so many musicians and so many spaces that open up. A lot of spaces have closed, but there is always a new space coming about. There’s always new things, always new stuff to look at, and there’s always touring bands. People from Europe come here, from California, from D.C., everywhere. It is the melting pot. So I find that really inspiring.



"...does not comply with the trendy model of women in Jazz."
Jazz and Tzaz (VA)

"Acoustic bassist, Shayna Dulberger, is another important new musician to watch, she takes a number amazing solos...that show her to be a new force to be reckoned with."
Downtown Music Gallery (BLG)

"...ever-inventive Shayna Dulberger on bass—she’s a strong soloist and superb accompanist..." (GH)

"Bassist Shayna Dulberger has become an important presence on the local free-jazz scene. "
Time Out New York

"Led by bassist Shayna Dulberger, the Kill Me Trio is one of the stronger avant-jazz groups we’ve heard in some time."
Time Out New York

All About Jazz (Vision Festival Ras Moshe Performance)
All About Jazz (Vision Festival Bill Cole Performance) (The Push Pull Quartet)

All About Jazz (The E.R.A.)
Free Jazz Stef Blogspot (Singular with Daniel Carter) (Chris Welcome "Quartet")

Downtown Music Gallery (The E.R.A.)

All About Jazz (Chris Welcome "Quartet")
Signal to Noise (Ras Moshe Quartet)
Time Out New York (TheKillMeTrio)
Downtown Music Gallery (TheKillMeTrio)
All About Jazz (Ras Moshe Quartet)
Downtown Music Gallery (Ras Moshe Quartet)
KFJC 89.7 FM (Ras Moshe Quartet)
Jazz and Tzaz Greek Magazine (TheKillMeTrio)
CD Baby (TheKillMeTrio)
All About Jazz (Wound Unwound and Within)
Cadence (Wound Unwound and Within)

WNUR 89.3 FM (Wound Unwound and Within)

July 2009 All About Jazz
"The Ras Ensemble"
Vision Festival Day 4
Under the leadership of reedman Ras Moshe, the next band comprised regular partner Matt Lavelle on trumpet and flugelhorn (pictured right), Dave Ross on guitar, Charles Downs (formerly known as Rashid Bakr) on drums, and another welcome appearance for Shayna Dulberger on bass (background, right). Moshe (pronounced Mo- shay) was born in New York into a family of saxophonists, and has been paying his dues around town since 1986, generally operating in the free jazz idiom, and that's how it played out tonight over three pieces of dense fiery avant- garde jazz, with short heads acting as compositional signposts, during a 45-minute set.

An incremental pattering start left everyone going full pelt, at which point Moshe initiated a repeated tenor saxophone/trumpet unison, before subverting convention by indicating that Dulberger should take the first solo. Following the bassist's accomplished outing, Moshe stretched out on his burnished tenor, shadowed by abstract comping from Ross' guitar. Sadly Moshe sounded under-miked and it was only when his long flowing legato lines developed squalling overtones that he really cut through the dense ensemble. Downs kept a constant barrage on his hi-hat throughout, contrasting with more abstract pulsing round the rest of his kit, as part of the group's wall of sound aesthetic.

Dulberger was the star of this particular show—another monster bassist in the making if not yet the finished article. She had a big sound, clear articulation and very fast fingerwork, all put to imaginative use. And she proved a good listener, witnessed by her arco work spicing up a Lavelle solo of alternating high whistles and broken runs, with flurries of sawing and bouncing her bow to weave enhancing colors through the dense rhythmic carpet. A brief duet between Moshe and Lavelle closed proceedings drawing a healthy reaction from the home town crowd.
by John Sharpe


July 2009 All About Jazz
"Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble" Vision Festival Day 2

Though no stranger to the Vision Festival, Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble was nonetheless a very pleasant surprise. One of the joys of festivals is coming across unfamiliar acts. Without preconceptions you can enjoy the performance for what it is—not what you thought it should be. As the name suggests, Cole specializes in instruments not confined to the tempered sonorities of western music, reveling in the microtonal world of Asian double reeds, and also this evening the didgeridoo, which was where he started his set with a deep buzzing drone. Cole, a composer, author and educator who was professor of music at Dartmouth College until his retirement, has a resume to die for including performance with Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers, Julius Hemphill and James Blood Ulmer.

Accompanying Cole's drone (shown on right) was a subtle unison of voice, from his daughter Althea Sully Cole, Joseph Daley's burnished tuba, and bass from upcoming talent Shayna Dulberger, which evolved into a pleasing groove. Titled "A Man of Outstanding Qualities Pre-eminent Among His Comrades," this first very rhythmic piece was especially written for the evening and dedicated to Marshall Allen. Justifying Cole's introduction as a master blaster, drummer and percussionist Warren Smith showed delightful timbral control and organization, as well as maintaining an effortless forward motion, aided by Atticus Cole's conga punctuations. After a double reed solo mimicking the inflections of the human voice, came a tandem spot for Daley and Dulberger, exposing the constantly probing activity beneath the serene surface of the music. At the unison theme restatement, Cole interjected vocal yelps, before the piece gradually wound down.

Neat arrangements and fine group interaction characterized the three pieces of their 50-minute set. Partway through the sprightly "Poverty Is The Father of Fear," Sully Cole and Daley, this time on euphonium, delivered a stunningly powerful incantation of the title, over Dulberger's riffing and Smith's freer pulse. This led to a Daley solo over the shifting rhythmic carpet, flexing his knees at the height of the intensity while the rest of the band riffed behind his euphonious wails. Dulberger made the most of her role. Boasting a big sound, and assuredly handling the grooves, she was even better when give opportunity to extemporize, very fast but sure-fingered with no loss of articulation and possessing a great rhythmic attack. A great set from a very focused band.
by John Sharpe


April 2009
The Push Pull Quartet "At The Stroke Of Twelve"
Son of scientists, brother of Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller, Push-Pull’s leader, saxophonist/composer Ben Miller sure has some interesting influences to tap into. And his tunes reflect an idiosyncratic conception of form and time, breaking down into non sequitur sections that show little concern with what precedes or follow. Curious, too, how Jersey City-based Miller, usually a proto-punk guitarist, has morphed into an alto and C-tenor (sic) saxist who leaves much of the improvising to what is actually guitarist Chris Welcome’s group, with ever-inventive Shayna Dulberger on bass—she’s a strong soloist and superb accompanist—and loose-limbed, listening John McLellan on drums. The tunes have an offbeat ‘60s vibe, at times reminiscent of Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman, but with long slow tempo sections wherein Welcome, Dulberger and McLellan converse in a ruminative way, only to find themselves interrupted by yet another intriguing Miller line. Solid music making.(Tiger Asylum)
by Glen Hall


January 10, 2009 All About Jazz
"The E.R.A. is a New York-based septet who perform original material and toy with tempo, duos and trios, improvisation and composition and abstraction contrasted with literal interpretation. The makeup of the band is unusual (two drummers, bass, two saxophones, trombone and guitar/cello) and for a group with this much percussion their sound on Introducing is curiously chamber-like, with smaller offshoots making a greater impression than the collective does as a whole. Chris Welcome's plucked cello is particularly distinctive and while four of the seven members write, it's him and up-and-coming bassist Shayna Dulberger who steal the spotlight from the more assertive voices. By Jeff Stockton


Free Jazz-Stef Blogspot
Chris Welcome, on guitar, Shayna Dulberger on bass and John McLellan on drums have played and recorded before, in quartet and trio settings. For this release, they added avant-garde jazz veteran Daniel Carter on alto and tenor saxophones, Bb clarinet, flute, and trumpet, for a very calm, subdued and almost chamber jazz adventure of free improvisation. The whole focus of the band is on creating soft and gentle musical texture, very down-tempo, very sensitive and almost hesitatingly. The overall effect is one of absolute openness and space, with fragile and intimate sounds, that seem to meet each other uninentionally, surprised at this and moving along, friendly and hand-in-hand. Even the presence of the electric guitar and the drums do not create any volume or substance, they also limit themselves to providing accents, colorings, shadings, yet it moves forward coherently, flowing in the same direction. Daniel Carter changes instrument on every track, adding variety in approach to the tunes. He is far away from the music of Test or of Other Dimensions In Music in terms of overall timbre and effect, yet the deeply emotional and creative approach is also present in this utterly restrained and expressive sober music. Nice! © stef


July 2008
This is wonderfully spacey music. Filled with eerie moans, hushed thumpings and soft whisperings, guitarist Chris Welcome¹s compositions get reverential readings by his co-conspirators Shayna Dulberger on bass, John McLellan on drums, and Jonathan Moritz on tenor and soprano saxes. Pieces have no titles to give the listener something to hold onto. Instead the numbered tracks convey the ineffability of time, pitch and space with a sparseness that is made all the more compelling by the musicians¹ mature self-restraint. Quartet isn¹t a free improv blowfest. Instead, it is a thoughtful, evocative and deeply intelligent musical conversation made by people who clearly are interested in what each other have to say. As much as the sounds convey a noirish vibe, the most outstanding thing about Welcome¹s music is how hard the musicians listen to one another. This recording is well worth tracking down. By Glen Hall


2008 Downtown Music Gallery
Downtown Music Gallery Review: Featuring Jonathan Moritz & Marcus Cummins on saxes, Ryan Snow on trombone, Chris Welcome on guitar & cello, Shayna Dulberger on acoustic bass and Juan Pablo Carletti & John McLellan on drums. I only recognize a couple of the names here like the young bassist Shayna Dulberger from her work with Ras Moshe and William Parker and John McLellan fom his work with Joe McPhee. I do recognize a few of the faces from being at the store as well. Considering that this ensemble consists of seven members with two saxes, two drums and trombone, guitar and bass, they do sound quite focused without everyone playing at the same time. Actually four of the members have contributed songs, so that this is not just a free-form fight. The first piece "Into Pieces" sounds as if it was conducted and is chamber-like. The layers of parts consist of different subgroups coming together with different harmonies glowing simultaneously. Each piece employs a different strategy of structure, although the pieces often unfold organically. "Septagon" sounds as if it is flows in slow motion. The under-recognized but great new bassist, Shayna Dulberger, sounds especially strong throughout this disc. Her piece, "Year of the Pig" swings, swirls and goes in and outside all in the space of six minutes. The thing I dig most about this disc is that everyone who contributed a piece, did something quite different. "Salome" features dreamy sax harmonies, elegant guitar and nice brushwork. A good deal of thought and preparation went into organizing this disc, hence there are a number of quiet and odd surprises in store. The E.R.A. is a most talented collective of individuals that shouldn't be ignored, since their time has certainly come. - BLG


May 2008 Chris Welcome "Quartet"
Review by Terrell Kent Holmes.
The eleven tracks here seem to be painted as much as played and the music is sometimes about effects as much as notes. The sequential numbering of these spare compositions, all penned by guitarist/ leader Chris Welcome, recalls the method of numbering paintings in a series, thus underscoring the artistic parallel. The songs revolve mostly around the sax work of Jonathan Moritz, whose brooding ruminations on soprano and tenor unfold slowly while Welcome, bassist Shayna Dulberger and drummer John McLellan fill the spaces on the canvas behind him with spirited, laconic riffs. For his part, Moritz sometimes breathes into his mouthpiece for effect before playing and his clever use of harmonics, the upper register and atonality serve as the album's thematic foundation. There are a few moments, however, when the band falls into more conventional playing. "#4" has a free jazz bent that recalls Ornette Coleman; Welcome plays rapid-fire riffs like a man unshackled, his single note lines sounding sharp enough to break the strings. On "#3" Moritz' skyscraping soprano mimics a flute and Dulberger's arco on "#8+15+6" moans somewhere between an Indian raga and a Tibetan monk chant. These moments of inventive mimicry widen the scope of the performances and raise the album above the level of plainness. The atmosphere ranges from somber to lively to almost forbidding. The songs are carefully crafted and played by a group of distinct and talented musicians who manage to convey their unique and cohesive message amidst the mysterious, stark landscapes.


Summer 2007 Signal to Noise #46
Jay Collins "Transcendence Review"
Brooklyn-based reedist Ras Moshe has made a name for himself over the past several years as an active member of Brooklyn's Free Jazz Society with his own Music Now Society (sic). Here, Moshe offers his strongest outing yet, proving himself a player of depth and focus, favoring round edges and a flowing legato style. For Transcendence, Moshe has assembled a quartet consisting of guitarist Dave Ross, bassist Shayna Dulberger and drummer Rashid Bakr for nine compositions, six of which were penned by Moshe. They carry the influence of his interest in positivity and spirituality, mixing in straightforwardness and fiery intensity, with most of the music using theme-solo-restatement to incite improvisation. It is this diversity that sets Moshe apart, by eschewing the concept of nine slices of vapid modality or bashing, rudderless improv, rather, the group is comfortable in diverse settings. The opener, "Transcendence" is an example of the group's midtempo swing, with a melodic string that sticks in one's head, though Bakr sounds somewhat clunky in this setting. Along similar constructs, the fluid thoughts of "All Flow" reflect Moshe's introspective and melodic devices, with a strong solo from Dulberger. Moshe's highmarks, especially in terms of solos, emerges during the crescendos of the waltz-based "Sun Room," as well as the spiritual realms of "Far Sight" and the hushed, AEC-like flute/percussionistic "Flute Peace For Charles Llloyd." Workouts like the searching "If You See Something, Say Something," Dulberger's sprightly "Turtles All The Way Down" and the obvious ode to the Coltrane/Ali duets from the sixties, "Interstellar Brooklyn," all represents Bakr's best playing of the record, with his rolling style that fits the forward momentum generated. The real find here is Ross. With s moody timbre and a wicked sense of percussive prickliness, the guitarist's harmonics glisten on "Far Sight," soar on the elliptical dots of "All Flow" and undulate on his potent "Carol Not Christmas."


9/17/07 Time Out New York
Led by bassist Shayna Dulberger, the Kill Me Trio is one of the stronger avant-jazz groups we’ve heard in some time. Dulberger, saxist Darius Jones and drummer Jason Nazary really let their music breathe—it’s tension-filled but always agile and never anxious, reminding us of classic units such as Henry Threadgill’s Air.


7/7/07 Downtown Music Gallery
Bruce Lee Gallanter TheKillMeTrio review
When this low-key, but friendly young woman showed to play acoustic bass with Ras Moshe over the past year, I was amazed at how confident and creative her playing was/is at such a young age. Shayna's playing on the most recent disc from Ras, "Transcendence", is immensely probing and now here goes with her first disc as a leader and main composer. The oddly named TheKillMe Trio features another auspicious player named Darius Jones, who has worked with Mike Pride & William Hooker. What I dig about this disc is the way trio is so centered and well recorded with Shayna's propulsive contrabass leading the way. Four of these pieces are group improvisations and they are all intense, free and fully formed. "Improvisation II" captures the spirit of sixties free jazz with some scary bowed bass, squealing sax and swirling drums telegraphing the free structure. The other six pieces composed by Shayna are often free sounding, yet always have some inner logic or subliminal structure. On "Killher", the bass provides a central theme that begins freely and goes through different sections with great funky groove in one part as Darius shreds on his alto sax throughout the changing scenery. "Post Explosion" is a stark, suspenseful piece with the bass creating the immense drama as the sax and drums simmer and sizzle. "Myopia" is similarly structured with the bass repeating a few hypnotic notes over and over while the sax sails and squeals over the top. This is certainly a strong trio offering from a fine new trio that we should be hearing a lot about in the near future. - BLG (Downtown Music Gallery)


6/4/07 All About Jazz
Robert Iannapollo Transcendence Review
Saxophonist Ras Moshe has been gradually making a name for himself as one of the best of the fiery saxophonists of the New York underground. He's released a series of limited edition live recordings on the Utech label that have impressed those who have heard them (unfortunately a small number of people). Now comes Transcendence on the Kordova Milkbar label, not much more high profile than Utech but I suspect they may be a little more readily available.
Transcendence is a quartet date with Moshe's working group featuring Dave Ross (guitar), Shayna Dulberger (bass) and Rashid Bakr (drums). On this disc, Moshe proves himself to be a saxophonist very much in the tradition. Those who scoff at that idea are those who have yet to come to grips with the idea that the tradition now includes John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp. While Moshe clearly derives inspiration from these players, his sound is unique: dry, a bit tart, with a strong booming presence in the lower registers.
The surprise of this disc is Ross who obviously listened to Sonny Sharrock and whose fast strumming, when dueling with Moshe during the disc's several collective interludes, recalls that past innovator. He also has a ringing tone that frequently fleshes out the quartet sound in a unique, almost orchestral manner. Dulberger is a powerful force in the lower end. Her presence, frequently a low growling rumble, bristles with energy and gives the music its forward momentum. Bakr's multi- directional drumming is as effective as when he stoked the fires of the Cecil Taylor Unit 25 years ago.
The program consists of nine diverse compositions: two by Ross, one by Dulberger and the rest by Moshe. The leader's title track alternates between a medium tempo swing and a slow balladic section. "If You See Something, Say Something" is a free jazz blowout, short, to the point and clearly articulated. Ross' "Sun Room" starts as a pleasant, relaxed waltz that builds wonderfully to an intense peak in what is perhaps the best group performance on the disc, Moshe really digging in on this track. With Transcendence Moshe's quartet stakes its claim to being one of the more exciting groups on the scene.


4/9/07 Downtown Music Gallery
Bruce Lee Gallanter Transcendence Review
This the 7th disc as a leader from our good friend and local jazz historian, Ras Moshe, featuring Ras on tenor sax and flute, Dave Ross on guitar, Shayna Dulberger on contrabass and Rashid Bakr on drums. I am not familiar with the guitarist, Dave Ross, on this disc, but Ms. Dulberger has been playing with Ras for the last year and seems to be involved in a few other projects. Rashid Bakr is certainly one of downtown's best drummers, having played with Other Dimensions in Music and for Cecil Taylor. Recorded & mixed exactly 3 months ago today (January 4th of this year), with pieces by Ras, two by Dave and one by Shayna. The title piece opens this disc and has a fine jazz melody that is easy to remember, quite a bit straighter than most discs by Mr. Moshe. Dave Ross takes a most impressive, free guitar solo that is overflowing with ideas. Ras has matured through the years and has made a most impressive free/jazz quartet effort that sounds powerful and inspired throughout. "Sun Room" has a warm and sunny melody with Dave playing some strong, hypnotic chords that build as Ras takes a powerful tenor solo. "Flute Piece for Charles Lloyd" begins with everyone playing bells, cymbals and small percussion as Ras plays some somber flute. "All Flow" features a most haunting melody with a fine bass solo from Shayna, a superb tenor solo from Ras and superb swirling drums from Rashid. Considering that I hadn't heard of guitarist Dave Ross before this disc, I must admit that he is one the best avant/jazz guitarists I've heard in a while. Both he and Ras work so well together, swirling their lines of notes around one another in an amazing well-connected tapestry. Acoustic bassist, Shayna Dulberger, is another important new musician to watch, she takes a number of amazing solos on this disc that show her to be a new force to be reckoned with. What more can I say about the great Rashid Bakr, except that he is sadly under-recorded and plays wonderfully throughout this entire great disc. An excellent offering, from beginning to the righteous end.


3/30/07 KFJC 89.7 FM
Max Level Transcendence Review
Ras Moshe (reeds, flute) and company represent the Brooklyn style of jazz ("lots of sun and peace!" he says) on this fine 2007 studio effort. He has his own style on tenor sax, tending to play with a relatively smooth, non-raspy tone, but he can definitely take it outside when the situation calls for it. Veteran drummer Rashid Bakr has played with many of jazz's big names,and this group benefits greatly from his first-rate touch and timing. Bassist Shayna Dulberger is new to me, and, as young as she is, she handles her tasks admirably. Sometimes, though, I wish she was a bit higher in the mix; when all four members are playing together, it can be hard to hear her. Guitarist Dave Ross provides a wide variety of jazz and not-exactly-jazz sounds that are right at home in this outfit; he does a nice job with mellow jazz chords and gently chiming harmonics, and he also unleashes rippling Sharrock-like bursts that really light a fire under the band. Standout tracks are:#1 is a sweet and swinging tune featuring Moshe's tenor, with some wild guitar/bass/drums soloing in the middle. #5 is a Charles Lloyd-like flute/percussion peace piece. #8 is a blazing tenor sax/drums duet that threatens to tear the damned roof off.


3/9/07 Jazz & Tzaz Greek Magazine
Vangelis Aragiannis "TheKillMeTrio" Review
Shayna Dulberger: "TheKillMeTrio" (Self Produced) The 23-year-old New Yorker Shayna Dulberger does not comply with the trendy model of women in jazz. She does not play the piano, nor does she sing. Her music is not suitable for dancing, or for lounging and chilling out. Her instrument is the double bass; she plays free jazz, has collaborated with Daniel Carter and Jackson Krall, and among her main influences are Peter Kowald, William Parker and Peter Brotzmann. For her debut CD she selected a small group with Darius Jones on alto sax and Jason Nazary on drums, that is a pianoless trio, appropriate for free improvising. "The KillMe Trio", raw and raucous, just like its name, goes to the limit without being chaotic. From the 30 seconds of "Zeek" to the 9 minutes of "Myopia" - all tracks were first takes recorded live at the studio in the same order as they were put on the CD - the bass lines flow like a river from Dulberger's fingers, Darius Jones' blowing is massive, powerful and full of wild beauty and Nazary's rhythm is thunderous. At the closing track, the low toned and melodic "I Wish I Was", the bassist in loose and calm mood, sounds like wishing she had not to release all this energy from her. Both of her sides are equally interesting.
Shayna Dulberger on "The KillMe Trio": Jason (Nazary)  and Darius (Jones) have the energy and soul of my favorite musicians and the creativity and desire for different harmonies and different time feels.  I found this very challenging. So naming the band "Kill Me" was like saying "come on, challenge me. I believe that in order to grow you need to challenge yourself.  I have challenged myself by forming this trio with these advanced and gifted musicians and also by composing and arranging for the group. I learned that from musicians like Bach, Coltrane, and Miles. They all wrote compositions that helped them get to the next level. When we perform all of the compositions we perform the songs in this order like a suite.  This helps to control energy. Since it is mainly a free jazz band I needed to figure out a way to have some control in very short parts but to still maintain that crazy energy from improvised music and free jazz.


1/10/07 Free-Jazz for the 21st Century
Lane Stephens TheKillMeTrio Review
Anachronistic yet visionary. TheKillMeTrio dip from the deepest of free-jazz wells and come up with buckets of overflowing goodness; echoing such masters as Coleman, Ayler and Lowe. Don't get me wrong, The KillMeTrio are just as creative as they are steeped in tradition. In this recipe they mix in their own special blend of well- honed neo-jazz, as well as a bit of punk attitude. And while TheKillMeTrio are talented, they don't let that get in their way too much.


8/10/06 All About Jazz New York
Ty Cumbie Wound Unwound and Within Review
Talented musicians seem to arrive in New York by the busload every day. In fact, the music schools, local and otherwise, are churning them out yearly and depositing them unceremoniously onto the mean streets of this city, where they compete for scanty gigs and elusive attention. Two recent arrivals, bassist Shayna Dulberger and guitarist/cellist Chris Welcome, have quickly carved out spots on the underground scene by playing lots of low-paying gigs and pouring their hearts into every one.
They teamed up with the unique, underappreciated drummer John McLellan and recorded the results on Wound Unwound and Within, a set of thoughtful, fussy improvised pieces in the Derek Bailey tradition. These five interesting tracks are good listening, though they lack somewhat in variety.
Dulberger and Welcome, both relatively young musicians, play with maturity and poise. Dulberger’s playing is intensely energetic, reminiscent of the terrific Adam Lane’s style. Welcome plays a hollow body jazz guitar with no effects. His style is more brain than emotion, with occasional flurries that recall Dom Minasi. McLellan, known for an unparalleled use of space, plays busier than usual here, which is to say less busy than just about any drummer alive.


6/16/06 Cadence Magazine
Troy Collins Wound Unwound and Within Review
A brief studio session featuring three young improvisers from Brooklyn’s creative music scene, WOUND UNWOUND AND WITHIN (Chris Welcome, no#) consists of a short five part suite (Parts one through five. 25:01. November 16, 2006, no location listed) featuring guitarist CHRIS WELCOME, upright bassist SHAYNA DULBERGER, and drummer JOHN McLELLAN. Although Dulberger and Welcome’s discography is still limited, McLellan has appeared on Mat Maneri’s recent electric Milesian melt-down, Pentagon (Thirsty Ear), and also in a duet with iconic multiinstrumentalist Joe McPhee on the excellent Grand Marquis (Boxholder). Though the line-up technically mirrors the classic Jazz guitar trio, there are no typical conventions embraced. Subtle call and response, shifting roles of accompanist versus soloist, and nuanced dynamic shifts in timbre and tone dominate. Welcome and Dulberger alternate lead and rhythm duties while McLellan acts as colorist as often as rhythmic foundation. Welcome uses a clean, classic guitar tone, plucking out hushed chords one minute, jagged, blistering lines the next. Dulberger plays her upright bass with a sinewy, resonant quality, plucking out energetic walking patterns as well as possessing a terse, acerbic bowing style. McLellan varies his attack from delicate cymbal washes to machine gun snare volleys, modulating the intensity level of the trio. More understated than overt, the subtle variations lend a cohesive contour to the shifting dynamics of the five part suite, with the long third section the most reticent. Wound Unwound And Within is a study in subtle shadings, not extremes. The modulations in timbre, rhythm, and attack all sound derived from close-knit call and response. As such, they demonstrate themselves to be excellent listeners with no hesitation in regard to their respective accompaniment or lead statements. The most egregious problem with the disc is its limited run time. In the context of this short suite however, these three prove themselves blessed with great potential.


2006 Jazz Music Director. 89.3 WNUR
Justin Glick Wound Unwound and Within Review
A self-released album by three virtual unknowns, “Wound Unwound and Within” is an impressive piece of free improvisation. The disc is divided into 5 parts (conveniently labeled Part 1-5) and each sounds as if it were given a thematic base from which the musicians improvise. It’s impossible to tell as there are no liner notes, but each part sounds distinct and directionalized. The spotlight never focuses on any one musician and this equality among players is emphasized by the mixing which puts each instrument on level ground as far as volume is concerned. Overall, this is a very solid, if not exhilarating, album of contemporary free improv.