joined trumpeter Nate Wooley, cellist Daniel Levin and drummer Jeff Davis (April 2nd), the agenda was to have no agenda. The band played four free improvisations in roughly 45 minutes, beginning with scattered staccato horn motifs, busy pizzicato cello and a forceful yet contained attack on brushes. Wooley shifted the mood with loud, sustained multiphonic tones, setting up a visceral trio passage with cello and drums, choosing from an array of mutes at his feet throughout the set. The acoustics were raw, but sonic subtleties won out, especially with the third piece, pointedly slow and melodic in response to a question posed by a dinner guest with a young child: "Do you guys know any lullabies?" Sometimes even a small audience can exert a strong creative pull. Whipping up something they called "Lullaby for Jack," the quartet eased into legato horn harmonies with lyrical arco cello and coloristic cymbals. Davis, with mallets, provided just a hint of a beat as the piece crescendoed, then came to a slurry, woozy finisha calm before the brief but hard-hitting finale.
Le Grand Dakar
April 2, 2009
Infrequent Seams, the progressive jazz series at Brooklyn's Le Grand Dakar restaurant, isn't all that infrequentevery other Thursday it provides a much-needed forum for varied small groups to explore while listeners down forkfuls of chicken yassa, thieboudienne and other delectable West African cuisine. (Dakar is home to a Tuesday night jazz series as well.) When alto saxophonist and co-curator Pete Robbins
Walter Thompson and Anthony Braxton
April 16, 2009
Complex structures for improvisationWalter Thompson
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