The Critics Rave About The Ken Ulansey Ensemble


“This band can get the crowd off its feet at any occasion, be it wedding reception, birthday party, Bar Mitzvah, gallery opening or antiques show.”
-Philadelphia Magazine

-Philadelphia Inquirer

“If it’s got a reed, Kenny Ulansey can play it. Before anyone had heard of Kenny G, Kenny U was popping up everywhere on soprano sax — from an eight-year stint with Relâche to guest appearances with traveling folk artists at the Cherry Tree… Expect anything and everything, from very danceable traditional tunes to out experimental stuff.”
-Mary Armstrong, City Paper

“By inclination, uber-talented Ken Ulansey is a jazz musician. But how do you pin down a saxophonist whose musical range encompasses classical, folk, world beat, Klezmer and rock…? This kind of praise has become routine for Ulansey.”
-Frank Quattrone, Montgomery Newspapers

“…a group of accomplished and talented performers… augmented by the spectacular singer.”
-Nancy Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer

“A lot of players look up to Ken Ulansey. And rightly so; he is indeed a “musician’s musician.” Ulansey freelances all about town, as he puts it, ‘dabbling in seven or eight traditions of music.’ His repertoire includes Baroque music, contemporary classical, swing jazz, contemporary jazz, Eastern European folk tunes, Indian ragas and Brazilian samba. If you consider all the awards Ulansey has collected throughout his career, it’s obvious the instrumentalist does more than ‘dabble.’
-Deni Kasrel, Jewish Times

“The compositions are as intriguing, sharply designed, and crazy-quilted as the best work of Mingus and, more recently, Carla Bley and Henry Threadgill. (Pianist Heath) Allen’s tightly constructed pieces mix New Orleans, tango, Klezmer-type Eastern European influences, the ambience of silent-film accompaniment, and a precision in detail that rivals a Swiss watchmaker. With excellent sidemen, he cavorts across a dancer’s landscape, infusing it with the instrumentation and improvisational bursts of jazz. Few musicians could write such music; fewer still could play it with such discipline and unfettered joy.”
-Jules Epstein, Philadelphia Tribune

“On the new CD, red/blue…shift, there are elements of jazz and classical music, music from film noir and Nino Rota, tango, salsa and Klezmer and other less identifiable sources. With an extremely versatile band,…(they) create a series of musical vignettes that are carefully constructed but sound irresistibly spontaneous. The music is constantly in flux, with melodies divided among the instruments or one style morphing into another, literally without missing a beat.”
-Russell Woessner, Philadelphia Weekly

“…a breezy, intimate affair of sambas, blues, ballads and bop, exuding fine musicianship and maximum joie de vivre.”
-Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

*** Ulansey is a resonant player who can negotiate a bewildering array of styles. …overall, this disc is bright…”
-Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer

“….their group blends a variety of styles: Swing, bop, pop, Latin… plus some powerful poly-rhythms…grooves nicely.”
-Deni Kasrel, The Welcomat

“What’s most apparent…is that the group is comfortable playing together. Whether in the swinging Eddie’s-No-Big-Deal, the moody, rather far-out Approaching Storm, …this group performs as a unit. Ensemble is key to all music, and this group sounds like it has it all together.”
-Clark Groome, Chestnut Hill Local