Posts tagged ‘free jazz’
Marco Eneidi’s trio, Shattered, performs one set tonight (Sept. 30) at the Hemlock Tavern (San Francisco). Details here.
Free-jazz saxophonist Marco Eneidi turns out to have played in a few places I didn’t expect. Specifically, on a few interesting CDs that came out in recent years.
I thought about this after reviewing the new CD out on the NoBusiness label. (See yesterday.) So, I did a search on Stef’s Free Jazz blog, a go-to site for album reviews in this genre. So while there’s nothing comprehensive or even recent about this list, it’s interesting that I’ve let this much of Eneidi’s music pass me by.
Here’s the tally. Each album title links to the appropriate review on Free Jazz.
1. Peter Kowald & Laurence Petit-Jouvet – Off The Road (RogueArt, 2007)
Fruits from Kowald’s 2000 trip to America. I already own three albums that sprang from the Bay Area leg: Ghetto Calypso (Not Two, 2006), Illuminations (Rastascan, 2003), and Mirrors – Broken but No Dust (Balance Point Acoustics, 2001).
Kowald’s passing was deeply felt by the Bay Area’s creative music community, as he was a friend to many. In fact, Mirrors, a session of bass duets, is the first album released by Damon Smith on his Balance Point Acoustics label. It’s out of print but available on eMusic.
In addition to Kowald’s great bass playing on those CDs, you get occasional bursts of his throat singing. I have to admit I have a limited tolerance for throat singing, but it’s amazing to hear in small doses, and he blends it into the group mix quite well.
RogueArt has gone a step further by putting two DVDs into this package: a road diary and a live performance, including sessions with Chicago and New York greats. It was quite a tour around the U.S. that Kowald made, and it’s nice to see it was so heavily documented.
2. Lisle Ellis – Sucker Punch Requiem (Henceforth, 2008)
Henceforth is a San Diego label that I’ve been keeping tabs on — so, technically, I did know Eneidi is on this one. It’s an homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Henceforth’s site has a detailed explanation of what that means.
Bassist Ellis is another Bay Area expatriate and a longtime collaborator of Eneidi’s. For a couple of years, Eneidi organized memorial concerts for Glenn Spearman, a great Bay Area saxophonist who’d recently passed away, and I remember Ellis doing a solo performance at one of them. In a particularly touching moment, Ellis used a sample of Spearman’s playing to close out one improvisation.
Ellis and Eneidi were on Henceforth’s first CD, by the way, with their working trio Sound on Survival. It’s good stuff.
3. The Nu Band – The Dope And The Ghost (Not Two, 2007)
I remember getting The Nu Band’s first CD at KZSU in 2002. Great stuff, sent to us courtesy of Lou Grassi, the band’s drummer, who was kind enough to supply college radio with quite a bit of east-coast jazz over the years.
What I didn’t expect was that The Nu Band would continue playing over the years. It’s a very pleasant surprise to note that they’ve now got at least five albums out. Sustaining a band in this genre for that long is quite an achievement, especially given the band’s all-star nature: Grassi (drums), Roy Campbell (trumpet), Joe Fonda (bass), and Mark Whitecage (sax) — all busy guys.
They’ve had stuff out on the Porter, NoBusiness, and Clean Feed labels, and, as referenced here, the Not Two label as well. You’ll find more about them, and audio samples, on Grassi’s “New Projects” page.
Anyway, this album was recorded live in Eneidi’s hometown of Vienna, and he sits in for one 20-minute track. Yes!
Marco Eneidi plays in the Bay Area Sept. 29 and 30 … see dates at the bottom of this post.
He also played on Sept. 28, but I wasn’t able to get this posted before then. Bummer.
Vinny Golia, Marco Eneidi, Lisa Mezzacappa, Vijay Anderson — Hell-Bent in the Pacific (NoBusiness, 2012)
Marco Eneidi‘s occasional trips back to the Bay Area are becoming a regular occurrance, so it’s nice that this time, he’s got some product to hawk at his shows, in the form of this terrific CD.
He’ll be playing the Bay Area throughout this coming weekend (the dates are listed further down).
A free-jazz saxophonist in the Jimmy Lyons mold, Eneidi lived here for nine years before relocating to Vienna in 2004, where he’s run weekly jam sessions under the auspices of The Neu New York/Vienna Institute of Improvised Music. (See also: ‘Couple other posts from 2009 here and here, and a 2010 album review.)
They’re on this CD, as is saxophonist Vinny Golia, from Los Angeles. Golia gets listed first on the CD’s spine — but really, this is one of those equal-collaboration arrangements, an improvised jazz session with equally contributed parts.
All four musicians have played together in various combinations. Eneidi used to jam weekly with Anderson. Anderson and Mezzacappa are in the quartet Go-Go Fightmaster and/or Bait and Switch (same personnel, different purposes). Mezzacappa and Golia play duets on Golia’s recent album, The Ethnic Project (which I keep meaning to review here; it’s a nifty concept).
Getting back to Hell-Bent in the Pacific — it’s an album full of life and energy. Eneidi sounds great going for the energy-jazz thing, with his barking, clipped sax grooving through ecstatic bursts. His alto sax also sounds songlike and toneful during slower passages — the CD was very well recorded at Oakland’s New, Improved Records — making for some luscious passages on tracks like “Everything Imaginable Can Be Dreamed” or the dark forest of “Pendulum.”
I don’t mean to make the CD sound like Eneidi’s show; the bass and drum work, such as a terrific duet opening “Catholic Cornstocking Smut-Hound,” make for some of the best moments on the album. And Vinny Golia puts in some vital contributions, which goes without saying. But it’s great to hear long doses of Eneidi — not just the rapid-fire free-jazz moments, but the more easygoing passages too, where you get a good sense of the blues and jazz history layered into his improvising.
Among the tracks that are less obvious — those that you might miss on a first listen — I was really taken by “Prisoner of a Gaudy and Unlivable Present,” which I think consists of just the Shattered trio. It starts in a calm place, Eneidi in a conversational mode with bass and drums in a low-key banter. As the music starts building, Eneidi ups the flow just slightly, while Anderson moves to a light snare patter, then into tom rolls and more furious cymbals. After about four minutes, Eneidi is rising to a squall on sax — and the trio kicks back down to a quiet place, almost a misty blues. It all ends with a three-minute cooldown, back in that conversational zone.
Marco Eneidi dates:
- Fri. Sept. 28 @ Berkeley Arts Festival — Shattered (trio of Eneidi, Mezzacappa, Anderson) playing two sets starting at 8:00 p.m.
- Sat. Sept 29 @ Omiiroo gallery (400 14th St., Oakland) — Eneidi duet with Marshall Trammell (drums), 6:00 p.m.
- Sun. Sept. 30 @ Hemlock Tavern (San Francisco), 9:00 p.m. It’s a full evening of noisy jazzy rocky elements (complete listing at Bayimproviser):
The “Sonic Poetry” program naturally featured a few poets with one or two musical improvisers, small settings meant to cede center stage to the words. I’d already mentioned Carla Harryman‘s set with Jon Raskin, who played sax and helped recite some of the poems; they were joined by Gino Robair, playing prepared piano among other things. Read the full Catsynth review of the three poetic acts (the others being rAmu Aki of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and Ronald Sauer, part of the North Beach crew) here.
I really wish I could have made it to that show. A few of the @catsynth comments that I found particularly intriguing:
- “I appreciate hearing solo performances. Jack Wright‘s featured a lot of timbres an techniques in a compact space.”
- “Now that was a real jazz set fron Dave Bryant. All the rhythms chords and cadences. and bass.”
- “Vinny Golia as usual has quite a collection of wind instruments.”
- “The Thin Air Orchestra is looking Thick as the cover the whole stage. … It’s a big funky and slightly weird orchestra. With scat singing.”
- “I think the Thin Air Orchestra just had their Miles Davis moment.”
- “A big chaotic chord concludes this set, tonight’s concert, and the entire Outsound Music Summit for 2012.”
“Ascension” has become a signature piece for the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, or at least a favored experiment-in-progress. They’ve performed the album-length Coltrane epic at least seven times, usually under the auspices of “OrkestROVA,” where the quartet gets augmented with other great musicians. They’ve recorded it twice, once in acoustic form (on Black Saint, 1998) and later — with Nels Cline and others on hand — in a searing reading called “Electric Ascension” (on Atavistic, 2005).
They’d like to document the next performance of “Electric Ascension” on video, and there’s a Kickstarter fund underway to help with the substantial costs.
The performance, at September’s Guelph Jazz Festival (an hour west of Toronto), will feature a stellar crew of current and former Bay Area musicians, most (if not all) of whom have played a ROVA “Ascension” before. Special guests augmenting the band will include cornetist Rob Mazurek and drummer Hamid Drake. The “electric” part will be provided by Nels Cline (guitar), Fred Frith (bass), and Ikue Mori and Chris Brown (electronics).
That performance will happen regardless. The Kickstarter money would fund a highly professional filming of the concert, capturing this epic work in its entirety, with a visual scope to go along with the audio documents of the past. As ROVA’s Kickstarter pitch puts it, “a five-camera, high quality video of Electric Ascension, performed in its entirety, will be an unprecedented musical document.”
There’s more: The concert footage would punctuate Cleaning the Mirror, a documentary about the evolution of “Electric Ascension.” The film, four years in the making, follows the musicians as they develop “Electric Ascension” and explore their relationships with Coltrane’s music and this epic piece.
The original Ascension is probably familiar to anybody who’s curious enough to find this blog. The idea is deceptively simple: a majestic theme, played by the band, followed by a succession of solos, with composed or pre-arranged material appearing between solos.
It’s not just a 50-minute blowout. In past ROVA shows, a band leader used hand cues to indicate which pre-written segment would emerge next, and to trigger a soloing section or a large-group attack. (Coltrane apparently used hand cues as well, according to the liner notes to the Black Saint album.) The music is big, aggressive and mighty, but it adheres to a plan. The concert audience gets a taste of that plan, and now a video audience would be able to as well.
(There’s also the fact that the band playing “Ascension” has to be big. As I’d remarked before, the song takes on a different vibe when played by a smaller group.)
I don’t think it’s out of character with Coltrane’s late period to consider “Ascension” to be a live quest for a truth. It’s a spirit rally, a “seance,” as one review put it. That’s what makes the piece worth revisiting, and it’s what makes the process worth documenting.
Plenty of worthy concerts, CDs, and tours are seeking funds on Kickstarter. This film is a little different — more ambitious, more historic. Let’s help make it happen.
Seeing Cecil Taylor was great fun on my New York trip in May, but I was also glad to finally meet Jeff Arnal.
He’s a formerly Brooklyn-based drummer who relocated to Philadelphia sometime in the last couple of weeks to start a new job. I’d gotten acquainted with him through KZSU, which has been on the correspondance list for his Generate Records label. He’s put out some good stuff, and I’ve been glad to play it.
Arnal also played in an improvising quartet called Transit, which has two albums on Clean Feed. Good stuff.
So, I finally got to see him in person and chat for a bit. We talked a little about college radio, and about his pending move to Philadelphia (he’s working with a Pew Center program there). It was good. There are a few people whose names and music became familiar, in a good way, during my KZSU jazz-director tenure, and it’s nice to have finally met a couple of them, even if only briefly.
The occasion was a show at IBeam in Brooklyn. Arnal and longtime piano partner Gordon Beeferman played in a trio improv setting with Evan Rapport on sax, and trumpeter Nate Wooley took up the second set with his quintet, playing new tunes.
Arnal and Beeferman have played together for more than a decade, I think, and it shows. Their set with Rapport consisted of a few long improvisations, with Arnal and Beeferman showing great intuition for pushing the flow of the music, more than once picking a stopping point or transition point simultaneously. Beeferman’s piano playing was a joy to watch, with his spidery fingers applying an invisibly light touch to produce runs and chords. Rapport put up some good, aggressive sax, often favoring long wails and squeals.
As for Arnal, his drumming is wonderful when it’s aggressive and loud, but what really caught my ear in this particular session were the quieter moments, the airy breaks showing off moments of delicacy and a sensitivity to the way sounds can communicate.
The Nate Wooley Quintet followed, furthering the bebop tradition with adventurous composing and some terrific soloing. Matt Moran on vibraphone was an unmissable voice in the band, but the whole ensemble was great, from solos to group passages. The new songs seemed to be inspired mostly from Wooley’s time in California, and they were all pleasant jazz tunes with some off-kilter touches in the writing. This stuff wouldn’t be out of place in a jazz club, although the music’s departures from tradition and free-soloing tendencies might distract some audiences. After my trip, I went and bought their first album , (Put Your) Hands Together, on eMusic and I’ll be in line to get the second, I’m sure.
The photo below is a random shot of the neighborhood around iBeam, right around sunset. I think it captures the quiet of the area.
During the 2000s, KZSU received a few CDs by Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers and/or his Griot Galaxy band. Bey dated back to the ’60s, but he was still putting out music in the 2000s, and I was happy to showcase it on KZSU.
He played free jazz with that earthly touch of the old days, rooted in the jazz tradition but in ways that didn’t sound “retro.” I liked the stuff but didn’t know any of the background.
That changed sometime last year when someone on Twitter — I think it was Jazz Session host Jason Crane (@JasonDCrane) pointed to this fascinating article about Bey, from 2003: “Musician Interrupted.” (The photo, by Barbara Barefield, is taken from that article.)
It tells the story of Bey’s Griot Galaxy in their glory days, before Bey’s motorcycle crash in the ’80s cut their time short. Bey survived, but the band didn’t. (The CD we got consisted of recordings of old concerts, IIRC).
Now there’s word Faruq Z. Bey has died at the age of 70. The Metro Times, which ran that other article, did a nice obituary on June 6.
Those Bey CDs had come to us courtesy of Mike Khoury’s terrific little label, Entropy Stereo, operating out of Detroit. Now would be a good time to check in with them and discover a little of the music that Faruq Z. Bey left behind.
It does feel good knowing that in some tiny, tiny way, I helped his music reach a few more ears. Even if not every listener remembered or even heard the name, the music was present; it was part of their lives for some small time. That’s the magic that radio can weave.
So, I got to see Cecil Taylor again.
It took a bit of doing, schedule-wise, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to see a rare Cecil concert last month during one of my infrequent trips to New York. Missing it would have bothered me for years, even though I’d seen him once already — at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
That concert predates this blog. The gist was: Big, big church, but the resonating of the notes didn’t play into the sound as much as you’d think. Cecil was so busy that he’d overrun the reverberations quickly.
The Harlem Stage Gatehouse is a smaller venue, a little more intimate (and I left town before his show at Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room, an even smaller venue). It was packed, although there were enough no-shows for at least two people on the waiting list to get in. (Those two were my parents, who were coincidentally in New York and figured they’d try something different.)
Plenty of musicians were there. I sat next to Vijay Iyer, in the rearmost of three folding-chair rows arranged behind Cecil. I can’t believe those seats didn’t fill immediately. Elsewhere in the crowd, Craig Taborn was around; Butch Morris had a reserved seat. Nate Chinen of The New York Times had a reserved seat as well; he didn’t show up until the last minute and disappeared right after the final note. (Given the detail in his writeup, he must have been backstage with the organizers either before or after the show, fleshing out the finer points of the show.)
The show started with an audio collection of musicians explaining Cecil’s influence on them, on jazz, on music. It was a very nice tribute. (And Iyer was in it.)
Then, as he did at Grace Cathedral, Cecil opened by reciting poetry from backstage into a microphone. His words, like his music, tumble from seemingly everywhere, threading together nonsensically. There may be a theme, a path, but it’s incomprehensible to me. And yet, like his music, his poetry can’t be replicated by just doing things randomly. Grabbing fistfuls of scientific and astronomical terms and stringing them together like popcorn will not produce the sound, rhythms, and music of a Cecil Taylor poem.
Being 83, Cecil looks and sounds old. His voice is gruff and short-breathed, and his gait is hobbled, just the usual effect of being 83. So, he approached the piano slowly and took his time shuffling through his scores. I couldn’t see clearly enough, but it wasn’t sheet music — it looked like vertical columns of symbols, like Asian writing or sloppy note designations. I could be wrong, but that’s the shape I kind of made out from my seat.
There were four or five pieces, I think, each ending with a long pause as Cecil thumbed through the scores again to pick the next target. No one applauded between pieces — we should have, but pieces ended abruptly, and it was hard to tell if Cecil was done or simply transitioning between movements.
After two pieces, in fact, he seemed to feel the awkward weight of the air. So, he stood up and read a second poem, recited with punch and even some humor. This was the one Chinen cites that included the line “effluvium and effluvium” followed by six or seven more “effluviums” — and we laughed, as I’m quite sure Cecil had hoped we would. That finally broke the ice. Cecil went back to work in the keyboard with a renewed vigor.
He took two encores, the second almost at the insistence of the festival organizers (this was his festival, after all!) Both encores were short — Cecil does know how to work with an audience’s patience — and the second was in a head/solo/head format! Yes, Cecil overtly played something twice! The head was a sneaky chromatic left-hand line with right-hand splashes, very melodic and a litle bit sassy, with a touch of (oh no) tonal resolution. It was still “out there” but not like anything he’d played so far in the concert. He ended it tonally too (i.e., it sounded like a quiet, graceful ending). A real treat.
Cecil got rousing ovations for his work that night, and why not. Aside from being masterful in the first place — my parents aren’t free-jazz fans, but they found his piano abilities stunning — this was a chance to openly thank a man who created entire new generations of music. You could argue that with these solo concerts, Cecil is coasting — but if he is, 1) he’s earned it and 2) there are still plenty of us around who didn’t see him dozens of times over the decades. There’s an audience.
As for the bulk of the music itself, the specifics are mostly worn away in memory. It was Cecil. Lots of tumbling runs; flickering chords that felt like they were creating new harmonies never before discovered, but only for a second before being erased by the next event; the occasional forearm slap to the keyboard. He still tells the tales in a way that only Cecil Taylor can.
- Nate Chinen’s NYT writeup
- Burning Ambulance #5 — includes Phil Freeman’s analysis of Cecil Taylor’s 1980s albums.
The San Francisco Offside Festival wound up in fine fashion the night of May 26, playing to a packed crowd.
Which was nice. A lot of work went into this first-time festival, so it’s good to see that the local audience responded. The crowd was enthusiastic, and organizers Laura Maguire and Alex Pinto were encouraged enough to pledge to do it again in 2013.
The Supplicants closed things out — a sax/bass/drums trio playing improvised jazz in a post-Coltrane spirit. It’s true that a few people started leaving by then, maybe in response to the less “tuneful” sounds as well as the fact that it was approaching midnight. I was still impressed with the number who stayed — the house still felt full, but with more elbow room — and they showed lots of excitement for each of the four pieces the group played.
David Boyce on sax was the center of attention, of course, coloring each piece with flurries of notes in a studious sheets-of-sound mode before getting into long, keening cries, passionate wails out to the jazz gods. His stage presence is bookish and reserved, but he opened up the audience early on with a crack about the lowness of the room’s ceiling — I didn’t quite catch it, but it got a laugh and probably helped humanize the set for the unconverted among us.
David Ewell on bass defined the starting mood much of the time, usually settling into a riff to set up a jamming space. Hamir Atwal on drums was apparently a sit-in but did fine work; he, too, set up the moods for Boyce’s saxophone odysseys and seemed like a great fit for the flow of the music.
The pieces didn’t feel that long, maybe seven or eight minutes. The free-form music might have taxed a few folks’ patience, but overall, I think the band really connected with the audience.
The Klaxon Mutant Jazz All-Stars preceded The Supplicants and were quite a hit. This was a pickup band organized by drummer Eric Garland, who’s been playing Wednesday nights at Amnesia with a variety of musicians. They played one another’s compositions, showing off some clever writing and of course some crack musicianship. They had a casual, warm stage presence and brought a real sense of fun to their music.
The tunes weren’t ordinary jazz fare. They started off with one of Garland’s that I think added up to 4/4 time but had the sax and trumpet playing a beat or two off from the rhythm section, creating two pieces intertwining in a non-intuitive way. It was a nice effect and also catchy. Subsequent songs would play similar tricks with rhythm, keeping us on our toes.
Trumpeter Henry Hung had one composition called “Jamie Moyer” — the only song title I remember, because I got the joke. Moyer is a 49-year-old major league pitcher (that’s forty-nine) who’s known for a slow fastball that, for whatever reason, can be unhittable. The song, towards the end, appropriately playing with that, alternating on a rhythm played fast and then slow, with each slow part slower than the last. It got some laughs, even from the non-baseball fans. (Shortly after the show, the Colorado Rockies began the process of cutting Moyer, but his fastball is immortalized in a passage of the book Moneyball.)
I missed Secret Sidewalk, which had opened the evening and apparently put on an amazing show.
BayTaper was apparently there, so some recordings might be available online eventually. Meantime, you can catch a full Festival post-mortem at Untapped SF, complete with pictures. (I’d forgotten my camera.)
Big thanks to Laura and Alex for getting this whole thing put together. Here’s hoping it’s the first SF Offside of many.
Ross Hammond — Adored (Prescott Recordings, 2012)
Adored shows off an exciting combination of ideas, with psychedelic rock jamming executed by one heck of a free-jazz backing band from L.A.: Vinny Golia (sax), Alex Cline (drums), and Steuart Liebig (bass).
It’s also got a nice link to the In the Flow Festival, which I’d mentioned previously. Guitarist Ross Hammond, organizer of the festival, lives in Sacramento and is responsible for Nebraska Mondays, the weekly creative-music series at Luna’s Cafe. Those activities gather musicians from the whole pan-California jazz/improv world.
On Adored, Hammond is working with some of the all-stars of the Southern California scene, producing some exciting results. Everyone here has done his share of mixing rock and jazz ideas, particularly Liebig, whose band The Mentones mixes barroom rock with prog/jazz virtuosity. (You’ll find them on the pfMentum record label.)
“Sesquipedalian” is a cosmically unfolding jam, with the guitar and sax spiraling outwards from the get-go. An improv cool-down middle stays just as active, with Golia bleating away and Liebig adding some ninja-quick electric bass riffs. Golia and Hammond similarly jam on “Maribel’s Code,” a calmer outing but not at all sedate. Over a steady foundation of drums and bass, the sax and guitar each take a turn at scribbly, intense soloing.
Maybe I’m taking the psych comparison too far, but there’s a bit of Santana in the guitar sound — the sublime, bluesy “She’s My Little Girl” being a prime example. The best moments, though, are when the band takes the idea of a psych jam and uses their talents and knowledge to stretch it further. Most of “Hands Up” is a choppy and grumbly group improvisation, with lots of different directions knitted together — and then, out of the blue, there’ll be a bashing rhythm from Cline for a moment of rocking-out bliss.
“Water Always Finds Its Way, Like the Soul” ends the album with a glorious comedown, full of lovely major-key tonalities (Wayne Peet helps out on piano) but just as much fever as some of the prior tracks.
It’s good stuff. Have a listen over at Bandcamp.
A set of shows celebrating Bay Area jazz has been put together by Laura Maguire, local music fan extraordinaire.
She’s calling it the SF Offside Festival, and the bill consists entirely of local talent, except for saxophonist Dave Rempis, who appears in a cooperative, experimental trio. It’s happening May 24-26.
Here’s the full-on press release:
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What: *San Francisco Offside Festival*
When: 8pm, Thursday May 24, Friday May 25, & Saturday May 26
Where: El Valenciano (Thursday), 50 Mason Social House (Friday), plus
special location TBA (Saturday)
Tickets: Starting at $10/night or $25 for festival pass
Advance purchase: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/244401
Born of a passion to celebrate the unique creativity and diversity of the local jazz scene, SF Offside has gathered together some of the Bay Area’s most exciting musical talent for an event unlike any other. The three-night festival showcases notable local musicians and composers, like Marcus Shelby, David Boyce, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa, Larry Ochs, Erik Jekabson, Aram Shelton, Eric Garland, and many more.
*Night One: “Excursions” – El Valenciano, 1153 Valencia Street*
The festival kicks off with three different ensembles with one thing in common—mastery of traditional techniques coupled with fearless commitment to exploring innovative territories. Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa opens the evening with her improvisational “garage jazz” quartet, Bait & Switch. Following is an experimental trio featuring saxophonists Dave Rempis from Chicago (the festival’s only non-local musician!) and Larry Ochs of ROVA with the ubiquitous Darren Johnston on trumpet. These Are Our Hours, a brand new quintet featuring core members of the Oakland Active Orchestra, close the evening with explorations grounded in jazz and free improvisation.
*Night Two: “Onward” – 50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason Street*
The second night of the festival takes a decidedly contemporary look at straight-ahead jazz and presents three Bay Area composers and their respective trios—bassist Marcus Shelby, trumpeter Erik Jekabson, and guitarist Alex Pinto. Celebrated as a leading light of the Bay Area’s jazz scene, Shelby will perform with a fresh trio that features the talented young pianist Joe Warner and the versatile Tiffany Martin on vocals. Jekabson, respected both as a bandleader and as a sideman, brings his post-bop improvisational sensibilities to the mix, while Pinto, a young guitarist trained in Hindustani classical music (who also happens to be the festival’s co-director), has a distinctive modern sound all of his own.
*Night Three: “Junction” – Location TBA (See website May 21st)*
The festival closes with an evening of genre-expanding music that intersects jazz in distinctive ways. Secret Sidewalk, an innovate quintet bridging electronic/tape music and jazz, spotlights Marcus Stephens on sax and electronics. Blending rock and jazz strategies, the recently formed Klaxon Mutant Jazz All Stars is an illustrious quintet featuring music by all five members—Eric Garland, Henry Hung, Kasey Knudsen, George Ban-Weiss, and Colin Hogan. Bay Area staple and masters of improvisation, The Supplicants, with guest drummer Hamir Atwal, end the festival with a musical journey that takes many unexpected directions.
*SF Offside Festival*
A co-production of local jazz guitarist Alex Pinto and local music curator Laura Maguire, SF Offside was created to fill a perceived gap in the regional jazz festival circuit. With an exclusive focus on homegrown talent, the mission of SF Offside is to draw attention to the incredible creativity to be found right here in our own backyard, and to build larger audiences for specifically local jazz offerings. The hope is that San Francisco ultimately gets the recognition it deserves as home to a rich, diverse, and exceptionally talented jazz community.
*‘Like’ Us on Facebook*** …. www.facebook.com/SFOFest