The Agony of Oct. 27-28

As I keep saying, it’s great to live somewhere like the Bay Area, where the number of good live-music options can just overwhelm you. Even on days that overwhelm a little too much.

There’s a ton going on this weekend. I’ve cut-and-pasted the listings off of, added a couple more, and annotated them below. Lazy but effective. Click the dates for more details about individual shows.

And keep watching bayimproviser and/or its counterpart, the Transbay Calendar (they draw from the same database). Lots more exciting music is coming up in November.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sat 10/27 7:30 PMBerkeley Art Museum [2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley]
The Shotgun Wedding Quintet creates the sound of a larger group that is equal parts big band and boom-bap, paying homage to the art of improvisation. This performance concludes KALX’s fiftieth anniversary concert series.

Sat 10/27 8:00 PMSwedish American Hall [2174 Market Street, San Francisco]
Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo with William Parker & Mark Ferber

(From New York, a rare chance to see saxophonist Malaby — who’s been doing some edgy, fiery work — and bassist Parker.)

Sat 10/27 8:00 PM, Awaken Cafe [1429 Broadway, Oakland]
New Song Movement Special:
Jack O’ the Clock (Damon Waitkus/Emily Packard/Kate McLoughlin/Jason Hoopes/Jordan Glenn, w/Karl Evangelista)
w/Grex (Karl Evangelista/Rei Scampavia Evangelista, w/Jordan Glenn)

Two terrific bands with prog leanings. I’ve raved about them before; see here and here.

Sat 10/27 8:00 PMThe Emerald Tablet [80 Fresno Street, SF]
“Concrete Blonde” will include video projection and a graphic score by Phillip Greenlief, composed for this live performance by shudder, with special guests. The video collage will examine and deconstruct the iconic image of “the blonde” in world cinema. With:Kyle Bruckmann, Lance Grabmiller and Phillip Greenlief, with special guests Aurora Josephson, Tim Perkis, and John Shiurba.
Presented as part of the ongoing exhibition A.D.D., curated by MicroClimate Collective. For more info see:

Taking the challenges of attention deficit disorder seriously, Greenlief will have musicians improvise to both a score and a video that they haven’t seen before. It’ll involve multitasking and reflexes, and in the meantime, the video will turn inside-out the conventional understanding of “the blonde.” Two performances, 8 and 10 p.m.

Sat 10/27 8:00 PMCommunity Music Center [544 Capp Street SF]
The composer collective Irregular Resolutions presents their annual new music concert consisting mostly of world premieres. From a wind quintet, to a bolero inspired number, to sung poetry to a percussion piece inspired by pinball machines, this concert has much variety.

Sat 10/27 7:00 p.m., Piedmont Pianos [1728 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland]
Conlon Nancarrow 100th Birthday Party

Including pianola(s), birthday cake and wine. Put on by Other Minds.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sun 10/28 2:00 PM, deYoung Museum, [Golden Gate Park]
Les Gwan Jupons: Vintage Caribbean Music with Lisa Mezzacappa, John Finkbeiner, Cory Wright, Rob Ewing, John Hanes

Free-jazz folks playing Caribbean music. That sounds fun. And the 2pm time doesn’t conflict with anything else here.

Sun 10/28 7:00 PMYoshi’s Oakland [510 Embarcadero West Oakland]
Roscoe Mitchell Trio featuring Tyshawn Sorey & Hugh Ragin
Prolific jazz and contemporary composer/saxophonist, founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago & Mills College composition chair Roscoe Mitchell leads a groundbreaking new trio.

This could be amazing. Tyshawn Sorey is terrific to see live, and I’d love to also see Hugh Ragin — who’s on a 1981 Roscoe CD I picked up randomly a couple months ago. But it conflicts with, among other things, the other interesting show going on at the other Yoshi’s…

Sun 10/28 8:00 p.m., Yoshi’s [1330 Fillmore, SF]
Asian Improv Arts 25th Anniversary, featuring Jon Jang and Unbound Chinatown, plus Min Xiao Fen and special guest.

My main touchstone here is pianist Jang, who recorded some inspiring jazz suites in the ’90s, some based on Asian themes but really centered in jazz. We’ve got them in the KZSU library, and I’ve only skimmed the surface of that work. Click here for a video excerpt of his Unbound Chinatown project.

Sun 10/28 7:30 PMFreelove Music School [4390 Piedmont Ave. Oakland, California 94611]
(1) Joe Lasqo – piano and electronics ….. (2) Evangelista/Romus/Trammell Trio (guitars/sax/drums) ….. (3) Ross Hammond Trio (Shawn Hale-bass, Dax Compise-drums, Ross Hammond-guitar)

Lasqo’s solo meta-rāgas, Hammond’s jazzy guitar (with rock/world colors), and a guitar/sax/drums trio that could go in almost any direction. Great lineup of music.

Sun 10/28 8:00 PMBerkeley Arts Festival [2133 University Avenue – walking distance from downtown Berkeley BART]
sundays @berkeley arts presents: 8 pm Ava Mendoza‘s Unnatural Ways (Ava Mendoza, guitar; Dominique Leone, keyboards; Nick Tamburro, drums) … 9 pm Fred Frith, guitar; Jason Hoopes, bass; Jordan Glenn, drums

New trios from Mendoza and Frith. Hard to go wrong with this one.