The Fay Victor Ensemble
Fay Victor – voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson – electric guitar, effects
Ken Filiano – double bass, efffects
The Fay Victor Ensemble(FVE) started as voice-guitar-bass-drum unit in 2005 performing original material written for the group by bandleader/vocalist Fay Victor and bass guitarist/composer Jochem van Dijk. A sly combination of jazz, rock, free improvisation and modern classical music, the Ensemble’s first recording entitled Cartwheels through the Cosmos was an ambitious and adventurous project that overstepped and redefined the boundaries of what jazz singing was when released in 2007. Cadence wrote that the FVE was “Taking jazz singing forward with a unique form of expression” , John Kelman at AllAboutJazz observed that ” Cartwheels through the Cosmos is that rarity amongst contemporary vocal jazz releases: an album that doesn’t rely on a tired repertoire and looks, instead, for innovation in every corner and JazzTimes’ Christopher Loudon called Cartwheels ‘brilliant.”
2009 saw the sophomore release of the FVE, The FreeSong Suite, a suite in 3 rooms, representing the deep past, near past and future and showed off the evolution of the compositions and use of form and improvisation. The album went on to receive incredible critical acclaim including Best-of-Year Kudos from The Jazz Session, NPR, All About Jazz-NY and a 4th place slot in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critic’s Poll for Best Jazz Vocal Record of 2009, the only all original vocal project to do so and caused NPR to say about The FreeSong Suite that “the whole thing is as if Joni Mitchell wrote lyrics for a lost Betty Carter prog-rock album — and it totally works.”
The FVE (now a trio sans drums) released their third album of all original music, Absinthe & Vermouth on November 5, 2013 to critical acclaim including comparisons to Satie, Toulouse-Latrec, Oscar Wilde, Eric Dolphy and a 4 STAR Downbeat review. The FVE has just joined the ranks of the commissioned premiering a piece on the Tri-Centric Music Festival put on by The legendary composer/musician Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation on gentrification entitled Neighborhood Dynamics. A major development for the trio with the addition of esteemed guests Nicole Mitchell on flute and Vincent Chancey on french horn.
The FVE has performed at such venues as Roulette, Firehouse 12, BAM Cafe Live, The Vision Festival XV, Rhythm in the Kitchen Festival, The Stone, Cornelia Street Cafe, The Bop Shop(Rochester, NY), Sanctuary For Independent Media, Sweet Rhythm, Shapeshifter Lab, An Die Musik (Baltimore),The Rotunda (Philadelphia), Jazz Pioneer Valley Shares, The Evolving Music Series,The 21st Century Schizoid Series and the 55BAR – the band’s home and honing ground since 2005. The music of the FVE and the compositional and lyrical writing of Fay Victor and Jochem van Dijk has been praised in The Village Voice, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, JazzTimes, Popmatters.com, JazzWise UK, Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago, The New York Jazz Record, Cadence Magazine, The Wire, Signal to Noise, Popmatters.com,The Jazz Session amongst others.