Andy Parsons & Gene Lewin
01 Idea Man (09:18)
02 Bitter Cup (06:46)
03 We're All In This Alone (07:22)
04 Puritans And Libertines (02:35)
05 Blue (07:46)
06 Snide Clone (07:34)
07 Jealousy Zealously Fell Asleep (07:18)
08 Fundementia (10:08)
09 Same Time, Same Place (06:04)
"Fundementia's self titled first commercial recording was originally released at the end of 1998. Featuring the band's original incarnation: Andy Parsons, Gene Lewin, Mike Holober, Ben Monder, and Scott Colley (Steps Ahead), the music was recorded at The Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut, onto 2-inch analog tape. It was engineered by Phil Magnotti, who has recorded too many Grammy-winning jazz titles too mention.
I'm usually not tempted by etymology, but the title 'Fundementia' certainly invites it. It suggests 'fun,' 'dementia,' and 'fundementals,' all of which are evident on this fine co-led effort by reedist Parsons and drummer Lewin. Fittingly, they open the disc in duet, playing crisply and knowlegeably together. Parsons studied under the fine Jerry Bergonzi, and Lewin plays with a crackling intelligence reminiscent of Peter Erskine. The opening 'Idea Man' is a joy. The drum/sax duet slides into the ensemble arrangement, providing backdrop for the rubato lines of Parsons and the wonderful Ben Monder, who plays better on this disc than I've ever heard him. The guitarist is given plenty of wide open space to stretch after the ensemble themes are stated, and he paints some ominous colors before cranking up into a furious blowout. And Parsons' own solo is every bit as good, with a satisfying brawniness that coaxes the ensemble back and ends with another duet. Each selection is adept at negotiating the boundaries between composition and improvisation, and the players bring it off with aplomb. 'We're All in This Alone' has a snaky, gaslit kind of feel, sort of like a bunch of post-bop detectives on a beat. Monder and Parsons play spikysolos with wide intervallic leaps. Other highlights are the lovely soprano work on 'Jealousy Zealously Fell Asleep,' the superb drumming on the miniature tone poem 'Puritans and Libertines,' and the demented, skirling themes of 'Snide Clone.' And the entire set benefits from the lovely harmonic work of Parsons and Monder together. Holober solos quite well on the title track in particular. Fundementia is a robust and satisfying set."
— Jason Bivins, Cadence Magazine