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WIRE (Philip Clark) December 07: "Putting viola player Mat Maneri with veteran drummer Paul Motian was a stroke of genius. They share an obsession for pernickety, ornate gesturing and their concept of time transforms pulse into endlessly malleable modules. The foresight to bring the two men together came from New York - based pianist Jacob Sacks and bass player Eivind Opsvik, and the resulting album is a joint release by two labels - an enterprising way for labels to cover costs in the future perhaps? The disc opens with "Ha!", a good-natured composition from which Maneri's microtonal viola locates unexpectedly weighty insides. "Simple Song" has the flow of a nursery rhyme and Maneri, again, flips the tune on to its dark side; a joyful solo from Opsvik restores its intrinsic optimism. Sacks is an impressive pianist - he relishes tossing glassy clusters against the flow, but the harmonic pattern he reciterates on "Evening Kites" reveals his homely and genteel side. An enjoyable record, an important one even"

The New York Times (Nate Chinen):
"The evening’s cover charge will also apply to a later set by Mr. Sacks and Mr. Opsvik, who recently released a likably cagey album, “Two Miles a Day” (Loyal Label/Yeah Yeah), with Mat Maneri on viola and violin and Paul Motian on drums. On the album these players explore hazy terrain, with a casual approach to resolution. The mood should be no less mysterious than on record, and the interplay just as strong."

FreeJazz (Blog):
"Light, deep, open-minded and rich music by four excellent and inspired musicians.."

Jazz (Mark E. Gallo):
"Throughout, the players interact seamlessly. Given that the whole of the project was undertaken and accomplished in a mere six hours, this is the more impressive... This comes highly recommended from these quarters.

"All About Jazz 1 (Mark Turner):
"The quartet exchanges acoustic ideas that are rife with expectancy, taking things into freer territories covering many shapes and contours, all of which are interesting examples of modern composition."

All About Jazz 2 (Troy Collins):
"Masterful tunesmiths with a penchant for plangent melodies, their writing enriches the session with a harmonically assured palette. The tunes ripple with emotional resonance, conveyed with both empathetic finesse and vivacious zeal."

Bird is the Worm
"The result is a cryptically intriguing album, one whose music embodies the dream-into-reality inspiration of the recording... A lovely album"

Sound of
"Skiftningarna på ”Two Miles a Day” mellan det melodiösa och finstilta, till det mer öppna och fria är strålande...Och resultatet är en jazzskiva som håller hela vägen i mål."

SIde 2 (Norway)
"Vi får være med på en strålende musikalsk opplevelse der musikken varierer fra det svært så melodiøse og vakre, men alltid luftige, til det ganske så frie. Her er egoene lagt bort til fordel for å skape noe kollektivt, men de musikalske personlighetene er likevel veldig til stede"



Jacob Sacks/Eivind Opsvik/Mat Maneri/Paul Motian

Two Miles A Day

During a rehearsal one day in early 2005, Pianist Jacob Sacks and bassist Eivind Opsvik had a conversation where they posed the question to one another, “out of all the remaining living masters, who would you want to play with if you got the chance?”
The unanimous answer was ‘Paul Motian!’
After resolving to make this a reality, Sacks and Opsvik decided upon the idea of doing a recording.

In thinking about how to make this recording a special event and a bit different from Paul’s amazing recorded history, they decided to invite string virtuoso Mat Maneri to participate. Two days were reserved at Avatar Studios with engineer Aya Takemura, the ensemble completed these eleven pieces in less than six hours. The following day the album was mixed.

The recording features the compositions of both Sacks and Opsvik, and also includes a spontaneous creation from the entire quartet. The music explores a wide range of moods and feelings and runs the gamut from swinging tunes to free abstraction to folk type tunes, all the while maintaining a playful, creative spirit.

“Two Miles A Day” is a joint release of Loyal Label and Yeah Yeah Records.


01. Ha!
02. As We Know It
03. Playing With Blocks
04. Two Miles a Day
05. Evening Kites
06. Bridge and Tunnel
07. Funny Shoes
08. Ballad Opening
09. Simple Song
10. Twelve Days
11. Savile Row

Jacob Sacks - piano
Eivind Opsvik - bass
Mat Maneri - viola and violin
Paul Motian - drums