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Leeway

VISION FESTIVAL 19 - June 11-15, 2014 NYC

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I'm attending the Vision Festival this week in Brooklyn, NY, and thought it might be useful to provide a morning-after update for each night of the Festival (except Sunday, which I will not be able to attend). Anyone else who is attending the Festival, feel free to jump in and provide your observations and comments.

I came up a day early in order to catch sets at I-Beam in Brooklyn of two emerging saxophonists who are generating a lot of excitement.

The first set was from Keir Neuringer, on alto sax, recorder (the kind you got as a kid but never learned to play) and a bit of wood flute, with Shayne Dulberger on bass, Simone Weisenfels on piano, and Julius Masri on drums, an excellent band. At the risk of falling into hyperbole (OK, I may have already), Neuringer is one of the most extraordinary sax players I have seen in years. He seems to have absolute technical command over his instrument, with bushels of technique. Technique I know doesn't make a saxophonist, or indeed, music, but here Neuringer is able to create a very compelling sonic landscape. In addition, Neuringer's stage presence is somewhat unusual, as he pretty much stays in one spot, but strikes an inventory of Ian Andeson-Jethro Tull like postures, perhaps partly personal habit, partly an effort to squeeze out every bit of sound from the sax. There is only one person I would want to see Keir "matched-up" with (against?) Neuringer and that would be Evan Parker. He's that good. (I remember a duo performance of Evan Parker and Ned Rothenberg that blew the roof off Pyramid Atlantic some years ago. This would probably be even better).

Second set was Danish-Norwegian (born in Denmark, living in Norway) alto sax player, Mette Rasmussen, with pianist Craig Taborn. Mette played with assurance and deployed an extensive saxophonic vocabulary, but seemed just as interested in composing a narrative as in demonstrating technique. In what might be a trend, Mette also used a fair amount of movement and body language while playing. (Gustafsson does too, now that I think of it). Taborn, by the way, gave yet another "all-in" performance on piano; he's really quite exciting when given the range. I'm seriously looking forward to seeing Mette again. I think she will be in Philadelphia today and New Haven tomorrow (?).

Two really fine and exciting sets. Hope the rest of the week goes this well.

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They were that good! Sorry, the upload got hung up and I ended up with 3 threads. I've asked the mods to delete 2 of them.

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Thanks for the comments. I guess I need to check that saxophonist out!

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I think Steve mentioned seeing a set featuring recorder a few months back. I'd be interested to hear what someone can do on that instrument in an Creative context.

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I plan to get down for the Saturday lineup. Really looking forward to it.

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My friend is an ex bandmate and good friend of Keir's! He's very very interesting musically, thought provoking may not be the right word, more like change your perception of what music and the avant garde can be. I watched a bit video on YT a while back of a solo saxophone recital Keir did, it was very unique.

Edited by CJ Shearn

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Thanks for the heads-up on both, hadn't heard of either of them.

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Vision Festival 19-Day 1

I am now effectively in Vision Festival mode: busy days, late nights, and bleary mornings. Bear with me.

Last night was Opening Night at Vision Festival 19. The Festival Honoree was Charles Gayle. The opening set was supposed to be Charles Gayle on bass and piano, Daniel Carter on reeds, Michael T.A. Thompson on drums, and Patricia Nicholson and “guest” (in fact, her daughter, Miriam Parker) performing a dance. Thompson took his seat at the drums, and Nicholson introduced Gayle. Enter stage left…..”Streets”…..the hobo-clown persona that Gayle adopts from time to time, replete with make-up, big red clown nose and long blue vinyl clown shoes, tattered clothing and a battered derby. Gayle is not just in the clothing, he is fully invested in the meek, slightly bewildered persona.

Gayle proceeded to pick up the bass and play 3 or 4 numbers in duo with Thompson. I’m glad Thompson was there. He’s such a punchy, energetic, driving drummer, and he gave Gayle’s bass playing more life than it otherwise would have had. Gayle eventually took up the bow and began playing arco, which I found more interesting that his plucking, especially when he began vigorously sawing the strings with singular intensity. It looked like “Streets” was intent on sawing the bass in half. I usually prefer frenzy to flat, so I was OK with that, but it wasn’t in the top 10 moments in bass playing.

Gayle moved to the piano, a step up from the bass, and one or two of his duos with Thompson had a nice variety and intensity. Gayle finally let Carter and the dancers come up on stage. Carter remains elusive for me and his profile seems to have diminished over the last 10 years. He usually brings a store load of instruments with him, and last night was no exception. He went through trumpet, tenor sax, soprano sax and alto sax in the space of less than 20 minutes. In these dance performances it’s really hard to say much about the group performance so I will simply move on.

Next was the Charles Gayle Quartet, with Gayle on tenor sax, Dave Burrell at piano, William Parker on bass, and Michael Wimberly on drums. Gayle was still in his “Streets” persona, and would be all night. Gayle can be awesome on tenor, but last night he was only very good. Not from lack of trying, or maybe trying too hard. During the award “ceremony” later, Gayle indicated he had been “tight,” and that may have been it. The group worked hard for that “ecstatic moment,” but alas, they did not get there.

An intermezzo of sorts was offered by author Quincy Troupe, who was supposed to read from the work of Amiri Baraka and his own. I saw Baraka several times over the years, and his public performances were compelling. Troupe read one work from Baraka, and quite a few of his own; he seemed to have cleaned out his desk. But that one work from Baraka was enough to sink Troupe’s oeuvre, because once you handle gold (or at least silver), you can tell tin. It didn’t help that Troupe’s delivery was loud, fast and overly-dramatic.

IIRC, most Vision Festivals have a big group ensemble at some point (or several points). Last night it was Charles Gayle & the Vision Artist Orchestra. In the orchestra were: Gayle (p, conduction), Kidd Jordan (ts), Hamiett Bluiett (bari), Ingrid Laubrock (ts), Ted Daniel (tp, flug), Steve Swell (tb), Jason Kao Hwang (vn, va), Mazz Swift (vn), Nioka Workman (cell—I believe this is Reggie Workman’s daughter), Shayne Dulberger (b), and Andrew Cyrille (d).

This is a fantastic group, really, but I’ve seen equally talent-laden ensembles stagger around like a drunken elephant. This time it really worked. But it started in the most peculiar fashion. For reasons unknown, it was decided to have each musicians come up individually, and do a 15-30 second solo. Pure Vegas baby! It’s easy to get away with a quartet or quintet but with ten musicians it just got silly. Kidd Jordan saw that right away; he came up and sang a little limerick, rather than act like a trained seal. But once the start was overcome, the group played smartly and with brio. The action within the ensemble shifted from reeds to brass to strings, from solos to duos to small sections, etc. , so it wasn’t just the often-encountered mass blast (although there were some good full ensemble moments too). Kidd Jordan can create excitement in the space of 5or 6 notes; he really jumped up the excitement level. And since I’m a Laubrock fanboy, her contributions were smart and hip. But this was a talent-laden group, and Gayle gets much credit for his conduction. The Ensemble ended the night on a high note.

One last thought about “Street.” I’ve read that Gayle uses that persona to get outside himself when he plays. But I wonder. It didn’t seem to work for him last night. I thought he was much better playing with Milford Graves last year, when he looked like an accountant on casual Friday. The sad, meek “Streets” persona seemed to contain Gayle, not release him. What I’ve not seen discussed is the effect on the audience. It seemed to get in the way between the audience and Gayle. It’s a weird thing when you see a clown-hobo cradling a bass or hunched over a piano. It’s like a theater piece rather than a concert. You get used to it, but it seems less than necessary.

(Mods, thank you! for straightening out the threads!)

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Thanks for the review, Leeway - nicely detailed and gives a good feel for the evening in an even-handed way. I look forwad to other reports from the front row (or as close as you get) so i can follow the festival from a distance.

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I think Steve mentioned seeing a set featuring recorder a few months back. I'd be interested to hear what someone can do on that instrument in an Creative context.

I think Keir uses it as a sort of "palate-cleanser," to create little spaces in the performance, and provide different textures. But he uses them seriously.

My friend is an ex bandmate and good friend of Keir's! He's very very interesting musically, thought provoking may not be the right word, more like change your perception of what music and the avant garde can be. I watched a bit video on YT a while back of a solo saxophone recital Keir did, it was very unique.

What I like about Keir is his "driven-ness," he's got his own vision, and I think he's uncompromising in going for that.

Thanks for the review, Leeway - nicely detailed and gives a good feel for the evening in an even-handed way. I look forwad to other reports from the front row (or as close as you get) so i can follow the festival from a distance.

Thanks, mjazzg, the first two rows are for the "VIP section" :smirk: so closest I can get is Row 3 and then if I'm lucky :lol: .

Vision Festival- Day 2- June 12, 2014

In the interests of brevity, I’ll skip the non-musical events of last night, and start in with the Wimberly Harlem Ensemble, “Signs and Rituals,” which the program guide describes as incorporating “songs, melodies, and dance from Africa and the Americas…as a muse to launch into spontaneous improvisation.” And that is what they did, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the remarkable visual display the ensemble created. The four musicians and two dancers wore face paint and native dress, a la the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and transformed the ambience of the auditorium for the duration of their set. I was rather reminded of Roy Campbell’s full dress performance of the “Akhenaten Suite” some years before. The ensemble consisted of Wimberly on drums, Larry Roland (bass), Nioka Workman (electric cello), Sabir Mateen on reeds (apparently replacing Antoine Roney), and Dyane Harvey-Salaam and Souleymane Bodolo, dancers. The music and dance was at a high level. I was especially impressed with the driving rhythms created by Roland and Workman, and it’s hard to beat Sabir (fresh from his current home in Italy) for high-energy improv.

Next was the Mary Halorson (electric guitar)+ Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar) duo. According to Halvorson, this was the first public appearance of this duo. I first started seeing Alcorn several years ago, as she is a Baltimore area resident, and would often appear on sets that I would attend. I will put my cards on the table: I’m just not a fan of the pedal steel guitar. I’ve tried but it doesn’t work for me. I was hoping that this duo set would change my mind. Unfortunately it did not. It seemed to take Alcorn quite some time to get into gear with Halvorson. Halvorson is just such a fluid and nimble improviser that it can be daunting to play with, or against, her. The long, loping notes of the pedal steel seemed to always be several paces behind the guitar. In theory, this could serve as an effective contrast to the guitar, but I didn’t hear it that way. When I hear the pedal steel guitar, it feels as if I’m always hearing “Lonesome Cowboy,” although Alcorn did sometimes wring Sun Ra synth type sounds that made my ears perk up. There was a short second piece, and I think Alcorn got into the duo more effectively, although not enough to make a convert out of me. A lot of people whose opinions I respect are huge Alcorn fans, so YMMV.

It seems every year there is an East Meets West group at Vision Festival, and this year it was Ned Rothenberg’s Cardinal Points, consisting of Rothenberg (as, cl, bcl, shakuhachi), Gamin (piri, taepyeongso, and saenghwang), Samita Sinha (vocals), Satoshi Takeishi (d, perc). The piri is a small, thin Korean double reed instrument seemingly hardly bigger than a kids straw, from which Piri drew out a wide range of sonorities, some reaching almost into the soprano sax range. I’ve never seen a Korean taepyeongso, but it looks a little like a bugle. The most unusual instrument was the saenghwang, or mouth organ, and indeed, it looked and sounded like a miniature, portable, pipe organ. I appreciated the fact that Gamin was more than willing to push beyond tradition melodies and structures and improvise authoritatively with Rothenberg. Sinha’s vocals found the space between Irene Aebi and Philip Glass’s operatic singing (it worked for me). Takeishi provided astute support, and when the performance threatened to become too static, drove it along with some strong percussion. Rothenberg has long experience in this type of music, and his playing was, as one would expect, impeccable. In this type of hybrid performance, this group was as good as it gets. It might not capture my heart and soul, but it earned my respect and admiration.

As they say, last and best of all was the Peter Brotzmann + Hamid Drake + William Parker group. I happened to fall into conversation with Parker, then later with Brotzmann, earlier in the evening, and they were both in great good spirits. The tour had gone very well, with full houses all along the trail, and they were looking fresh and relaxed, so good things seemed likely. The set opened not with the expected Brotzmann yawp but with a dirge sung by Drake, accompanied by trap drum, for Roy Campbell and Amiri Baraka, which Parker and Brotzmann later joined. I won’t go into the blow-by-blow of the set, but it was similar to my write-up of the Baltimore show, with Brotzmann moving from clarinet to alto to tenor. What really grabbed me this time was an extended improvisation by Brotzmann on the metal clarinet, which built from the elegiac (echoing the opening statements) to the feirce---magnificent. Just a wonderful performance all around, ending fittingly on the stroke of midnight.

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Great reviews Leeway , every time I see a Vision program I get a bit envious, some of these days I will have to make the trip, only negative it's in the same time than our own Suoni per il popolo which I like to support.

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Great reviews Leeway , every time I see a Vision program I get a bit envious, some of these days I will have to make the trip, only negative it's in the same time than our own Suoni per il popolo which I like to support.

I've always wanted to go to Suoni! IIRC one year they had Globe Unity, which I would have loved to have seen. I've just not been able to get it together to do it. But I still hope to some day.

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Thanks Leeway. I only will have caught the Gayle and Brotzmann nights this year, so am curious to read your reports about the rest of it.

The Die Like A Dog Trio was great last night, but I could have taken or left the rest of it. Missed Dalachinsky's reading. Thoroughly enjoyed the Gayle night though you're right, the idea of unaccompanied solos from the tentet was a bit hackneyed. When the band was going at it they were surprisingly "on." Bluiett was not there, however, although he was on the bill. I think Dave Burrell hampered the quartet performance; he's a good player though mostly on his own. It did not seem like he and Charles got in sync. But when he dropped out, things took off a bit.

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Great reviews Leeway , every time I see a Vision program I get a bit envious, some of these days I will have to make the trip, only negative it's in the same time than our own Suoni per il popolo which I like to support.

I've always wanted to go to Suoni! IIRC one year they had Globe Unity, which I would have loved to have seen. I've just not been able to get it together to do it. But I still hope to some day.

I attended the Globe Unity gig, great souvenirs

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Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughtful comments. They are really helping me keep my enthusiasm up about the plan to drive down tomorrow by myself.

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Another nice review, thanks. I wish i'd seen the East/West set, sounds fascinating and anything that has vocals that "found the space between Irene Aebi and Philip Glass’s operatic singing" has got to be worth a listen

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I made it down for Saturday's lineup.

First performance was by Satoko Fujii's Trio + 1. I also heard two sets by this ensemble the night before in the intimate setting of Firehouse 12 in New Haven. So I heard a lot of this group over two days. In addition to Fujii on piano, the group featured Todd Nicholson on bass, drummer Yoshi Shutto and Natsuki Tamura on trumpet. I am not sure how I feel about the drummer and I wish that Tamura spent more time playing trumpet as opposed to some of toys and other small instruments. Combined with some of the random things Shutto employed at times the performance felt a bit gimmicky. However, when she actually was not cedeing the spotlight to her cohorts Fujii was spectacular as always and Nicholson impressed on bass.

After a brief interlude from a poet, Matthew Shipp's trio with Michal Bisio and Whit Dickey played a 47 minutes set of pure focused intensity. Mesmerizing, I have heard this trio live several times and they seem to have performed a near identical set every time I see them, but it does not matter. They are that good - even if Dickey at times seems to be barely playing.

Tarbaby (Orrin Evans, Eric Revis and Nasheet Waits) is another group I have some prior experience with. Just two weeks ago I heard the trio (with Luques Curtis subbing for Revis) with Oliver Lake at the Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound Series. I consider myself a devoted fan of the ensemble and all its members individually. With that said, although their set was solid, it did seem like something was missing. After some thought on the two and a half hour drive home alone I decided it was that they seemed a bit out of place at the Vision Festival - especially considering the two other piano trio like ensembles on the schedule. I appreciate that Tarbaby is trying to extend the boundaries of more conservative straight ahead music a bit - but in the context of the Vision Festival the trip sounded more like a group playing "at" out, as opposed to being an authentic out group. I did not feel that way when I heard them a couple of weeks ago playing Dolphy's, but I think Oliver Lake gave the group some street cred that it would not otherwise have on its own. I think most of my feeling relates to Evans. Again, I have been a big fan of Orrin Evans since I first heard him live with Bobby Watson a few years ago, but he is more convincing in the more intentionally straight contexts. Without Lake to take most of the attention, when he is the lead dog at times he sounded more like he was just tinkling the keys. Again, I have thoroughly enjoyed all the recordings I have heard by the group - and I did enjoy this particular performance. It's just that compared to Shipp's trio which preceded it, their performance was somewhat of a let down.

The final performance of the night was by Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections with David Boykin, Craig Taborn and Chad Taylor. Since I had heard the other three groups live on multiple occassions before, and there are not as many opportunities to hear this particular ensemble, this was the performance that was the primary motivator for me to drive into Brooklyn. And they did not disappoint! Mitchell is a fabulous flutist, most of the time an interesting composer and admittedly one of my favorite musicians on the scene. From the first song this group was on fire - in particular Taborn who was the most animated than I have heard him live before. I have long enjoyed Boykin's playing on recordings and it was a joy to hear him live for once and Taylor impressed throughout. They performed titles from the groups just release RogueArt recording dedicated to Fred Anderson. Nice variety and great playing.

Glad I was able to make what is becoming my annual trip for at least one day of the Vision Festival.

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I made it down for Saturday's lineup.

First performance was by Satoko Fujii's Trio + 1. I also heard two sets by this ensemble the night before in the intimate setting of Firehouse 12 in New Haven. So I heard a lot of this group over two days. In addition to Fujii on piano, the group featured Todd Nicholson on bass, drummer Yoshi Shutto and Natsuki Tamura on trumpet. I am not sure how I feel about the drummer and I wish that Tamura spent more time playing trumpet as opposed to some of toys and other small instruments. Combined with some of the random things Shutto employed at times the performance felt a bit gimmicky. However, when she actually was not cedeing the spotlight to her cohorts Fujii was spectacular as always and Nicholson impressed on bass.

After a brief interlude from a poet, Matthew Shipp's trio with Michal Bisio and Whit Dickey played a 47 minutes set of pure focused intensity. Mesmerizing, I have heard this trio live several times and they seem to have performed a near identical set every time I see them, but it does not matter. They are that good - even if Dickey at times seems to be barely playing.

Tarbaby (Orrin Evans, Eric Revis and Nasheet Waits) is another group I have some prior experience with. Just two weeks ago I heard the trio (with Luques Curtis subbing for Revis) with Oliver Lake at the Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound Series. I consider myself a devoted fan of the ensemble and all its members individually. With that said, although their set was solid, it did seem like something was missing. After some thought on the two and a half hour drive home alone I decided it was that they seemed a bit out of place at the Vision Festival - especially considering the two other piano trio like ensembles on the schedule. I appreciate that Tarbaby is trying to extend the boundaries of more conservative straight ahead music a bit - but in the context of the Vision Festival the trip sounded more like a group playing "at" out, as opposed to being an authentic out group. I did not feel that way when I heard them a couple of weeks ago playing Dolphy's, but I think Oliver Lake gave the group some street cred that it would not otherwise have on its own. I think most of my feeling relates to Evans. Again, I have been a big fan of Orrin Evans since I first heard him live with Bobby Watson a few years ago, but he is more convincing in the more intentionally straight contexts. Without Lake to take most of the attention, when he is the lead dog at times he sounded more like he was just tinkling the keys. Again, I have thoroughly enjoyed all the recordings I have heard by the group - and I did enjoy this particular performance. It's just that compared to Shipp's trio which preceded it, their performance was somewhat of a let down.

The final performance of the night was by Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections with David Boykin, Craig Taborn and Chad Taylor. Since I had heard the other three groups live on multiple occassions before, and there are not as many opportunities to hear this particular ensemble, this was the performance that was the primary motivator for me to drive into Brooklyn. And they did not disappoint! Mitchell is a fabulous flutist, most of the time an interesting composer and admittedly one of my favorite musicians on the scene. From the first song this group was on fire - in particular Taborn who was the most animated than I have heard him live before. I have long enjoyed Boykin's playing on recordings and it was a joy to hear him live for once and Taylor impressed throughout. They performed titles from the groups just release RogueArt recording dedicated to Fred Anderson. Nice variety and great playing.

Glad I was able to make what is becoming my annual trip for at least one day of the Vision Festival.

Thanks for the comments.

That final quartet would have been my motivation as well to go that night. As you can see I chose Sunday night.

Yes - when Taborn is animated and really into it, it is quite something to experience. Now I'm regretting not picking up at least one of their two rogue art CD's.

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Thanks, Ron - I agree with your statements about Orrin Evans. He's a good player but free music doesn't come naturally. I also feel that way about Eric Revis though many would disagree with my opinion there. I'm told that Branford Marsalis suggested he start listening to Peter Kowald, and the rest as they say is history... which is one of those apocryphal stories that just boggles my mind.

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Thanks relyles for the review. It means that combined with Leeway's earlier commentary i've followed the festival from afar with much interest and no little envy.

I share your enthusiasm for Nicole Mitchell and would love to see that band or any other she graces. She's one musician that's not made it over here yet and I can't wait for her to do so

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I was unable to post my Friday and Saturday updates due to a couple of really late nights and hectic following days. I drove down on Sunday, so I did not see the Sunday performances. Instead, I had breakfast with my daughter in Brooklyn (where she lives) and barbecue with the rest of my family in Northern Virginia later in the day (Fathers Day you know), sandwiched around the always baleful New Jersey Turnpike and I-95. Needless to say a very long day. Thanks for keeping the thread going. I am posting my Friday comments now, hope to post Saturday's later today.

Vision Festival – Day 3- Friday – June 13, 2014:

Whit Dickey Quartet – “Particle Flow” – Dickey (d), Mat Maneri (vn), Rob Brown (as), Michael Bisio (b), Whit Dickey (d). I’ll confess another peccadillo of mine: I’m a Rob Brown fan. Like some migratory species from Lapland, this is a creature not very often seen. Brown was the first sax player I heard on the free jazz side that made sense to me, that opened up the language of free jazz, so that I could explore it further. So I enjoyed his performance in this group. I liked the sound of the group with Maneri on violin and Bisio on bass, and it looked like the two of them wanted to engage in some cross-cutting improv, but it never really took flight. Dickey provided his usual threshing machine drumming, heavy on stick work. In the end, this was the Dickey-Brown alliance, although I think this group has a big potential if it stays together.

“Women With an Axe to Grind”- Connie Crothers (p) (Kris Davis was listed in the program, did not appear, no explanation given), Shayna Dulberger (b), Mazz Swift (vn, voice), Patricia Nicholson (dance). Lots of heavy, staccato, rhythmic music intended to support the dance performance. Since this really seemed more of a dance recital, I won’t say much more about it, except I wonder what it would have been like if Kris Davis had the piano bench.

Jemeel Moondoc Quintet – “See You on the Other Side- Moondoc (as), Steve Swell (tb), Nathan Breedlove (tp), Hilliard Green (b), Newman Taylor Baker (d). Moondoc dedicated his set to Roy Campbell Jr. Moondoc played one of his own songs inspired by Campbell, “Campbell Soup,” then Roy’s “Charmaine,” and an expansive and really inspired performance of Campbell’s “Thanks to the Creator,” which Moondoc began with a long alto solo, a lesson from the Master. The band presented a superb front line in Swell, Breedlove and Moondoc, often trading solos that served to further the interests of the music rather than individual priorities, and each intimately attuned to the compositions and their musical partners. I could go on in this vein, but will simply say this is what one hopes to find when attending a festival like this. The memory shall linger long.

James “Blood” Ulmer: “Music Revelation Ensemble Revisited” – Ulmer (electric guitar), Calvin “The Truth” Jones (b), and Cornell Rochester (d). I’ve heard Ulmer’s records but have never seen him perform before. His style seems to be a combination of Ornette-ian harmolodics and some blues licks, with maybe a touch of rock power chording thrown in. The “truth” about Calvin Jones is that he was a rock solid bassist whose seemingly sole mission in this set was to support, absolutely, whatever Ulmer did, with a laser-like focus. Rochester’s drumming, on the other hand, was of the crash and burn variety; he could make Hamid Drake look like Paul Motian. This was exciting at times, boring at others, and one-dimensional. A more complex and multi-dimensional background would have better served Ulmer by creating a wider palette. I dug Ulmer’s soundscape, and am glad to have seen him, but there seemed about 30 really solid minutes in this 60 minute set.

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A few comments on one of the sets for starters:

My wonderful wife Barbara decides she wants to on the right side 4 rows back so she can be directly in front of the drummers. Two drum kits are set up - the one in front ends up being Tyshawn Sorey's personal kit - I want to sit on the left where I sat for the first set with the Steinway grand piano directly in front of me with the wonderful Angelica Sanchez playing them and a bit of the insides when appropriate.

I want to see Dave Burrell up close and personal - hands and fingers included. I did not, at this point, know what else I would be missing from the piano perspective - as this would be, somewhat surprisingly a night of music that rose or fell depending in large part, what was played on that Steinway.

Skip to after the Sorey-Victor duo set........for now......

Everything being started and finished on time, the quartet comes in stage right @ 7:00. Edward "Kidd" Jordan looking a bit more than a year older than last year - and maybe a bit thinner. Burrell smiling goes past me WAY off to the left as I cede to my dear wife's wishes - wishing I hadn't given in before the last set as I had NO idea Tyshawn Sorey.... Well I get to that later if I have any words for - my my my Lordy Lordy and whatever.....

Well it's not so far I can't see him - in fact seats are all great and I like the sound and comfort at Roulette - and last night even more so for whatever reason.

So bass and drums, added piano and all I can see is the tenor man trying to clear his throat, I think - as he is coughing while the playing trio is really playing. He finds an entrance point and it's pretty strong, gets stronger, lots of Kidd blowing and he stops, sits down, and I hope he's ok. Not normal for a 79 year old with a cough to blow like that. Maybe unprecedented. I seen Fred Anderson @ 80 but was always a way different kinda force than Kidd Jordan.

Band smoking hot - we hear tenor from the chair softly, space, more, softly - stands up - cranking, smoking, white hot alternating Jordanesque altissimo lightning with pure tenor riffing - and it builds.

Roof coming down - band at a peak - then like Dexter - he walks up tenor horizontal - people be screaming - one more peak. Standing ovation

10 minute encore starts with a perfect drum solo but one last group improvisation amazing ending on a even higher note.

47 minutes of so with band on fire.

Fwiw Burrell never got in the way here - always there of not - and helped the great tenorman to find his peaks

Palm of Soul, baby

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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