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The Microscopic Septet Rises to Top 5 in Downbeat Poll

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The Microscopic Septet is anything but microscopic in the 2011 Downbeat Critics Poll, finishing #5 in the “Jazz Group" category. The poll appears in the August issue of Downbeat Magazine.

The Downbeat Critics Poll, in its 59th year, is widely regarded as the most prestigious jazz poll in the world, with a panel of several dozen of the most respected international music journalists participating.

The band's sudden impact in the poll comes on the strength of its current CD, “Friday the 13th: The Micros Play Monk" (Cuneiform Records.) The CD, released in the fall of 2010, has received numerous rave reviews and has made several “best of" lists for 2010, including the Village Voice Critics Poll. The CD has received radio airplay all across the United States and Canada. No strangers to radio, The Microscopic Septet can be heard regularly on National Public Radio performing the band's original theme song for “Fresh Air With Terry Gross."

“Friday the 13th" features the compositions of Thelonious Monk in highly inventive arrangements by soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston and pianist Joel Forrester. Johnston and Forrester are the composers/arrangers of the band's original material from the many previous Microscopic Septet CDs.

In its “Editor's Picks" review of the CD, Downbeat marveled, “Just about the time you ask yourself, 'What else can be done with a Monk tune?' The Microscopic Septet comes in to blow you away." Jazz Times Magazine summed up the CD as “splendid fun" and The Wall Street Journal calls the band “a wildly idiosyncratic, devastatingly accomplished ensemble."

The Microscopic Septet also features Don Davis (alto saxophone), Mike Hashim (tenor saxophone), Dave Sewelson (baritone saxophone), David Hofstra (bass) and Richard Dworkin (drums.)

Upcoming concerts by the band include August 28 at An Die Musik Live in Baltimore, MD and September 6 at the Gershwin Hotel in New York City.

The Microscopic Septet's concerts are organized with the assistance of Cuneiform Records and Scott Foster Management.

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