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Live Reviews

Line Space Line Festival of Improvised Music 2004: Making It Up As They Go Along

By Published: June 2, 2004
Karen Elaine Bakunin, viola; Hendrik Greidanus, double bass; Rich West, drum set; Cory Wright, reeds.

LA violist Bakunin brought her energy, charisma, and luminous talent to give LSL Fest’s last night a truly grand finale. Her effusive inspiration proved contagious. The matchup with Greidanus, West, and Wright opened the evening with a fireworks display

Bakunin tapped her bow on strings she plucked with her left hand to start. West rung muted a triangle, and Wright joined on baritone. Bakunin peeled off maximum melodic runs, while West visited an array of little instruments. After a fiery display of Bakunin’s that ended sweetly melodic, an intensifying interplay between West and Greidanus boiled over. Bowing, plucking, playing muted, Greidanus worked up to a gallop. West from bare hands, brushes, sticks, to mallets and wound up riding with Greidanus.

Warmed up and friendly, the quartet went for gold. Bakunin spun long ribbons of melody effortlessly. After exhibiting athletic stamina during several brutal runs over the past evenings, clearly Greidanus saved the hard stuff for this piece. Wright joined the fun with a bubbling clarinet line. Some of his flashy phrases echoed through tapestries Bakunin wove. Greidanus dogged Bakunin’s marathon pace, finally losing the others in intense duet. Wright and Bakunin mix it up next, clarinet careening. As the performance wound down, West reactivated the triangle and and struck resonant wood blocks. Luckily, they recorded this one.

Eric Barber, tenor and soprano saxophones; Chris Forsyth, electric guitar; David Rothbaum, Bb & contralto clarinets; Rachel Thompson, violin.

Pops from Rothbaum christened this quartet, answered by Thompson plucking high. Barber hit some solid soprano, Playing muted guitar, Forsyth roamed into a flowing line that found companionship with Barber. Producing a sound like a didgereedoo, Rothbaum blew low rumble on contralto clarinet. Thompson complimented his sound with her low scrapes on violin. Forsyth continued his roll, and Barber switched to tenor to finish his.

For their second improvisation, Forsyth excited his strings with a tuning fork. Removing and reinserting his cable created crunch/pop electro sound. Rothbaum blew multiphonics. Barber blew high tenor, then coalesced his multiphonics with Rothbaum. With Forsyth rubbing the back of his guitar neck for noise, Barber honked. As Forsyth scraped the string ends from his machine heads, Barber fluttered, creating hypnotic effects.

Dave Kendall, electronics; Noah Phillips, electric guitar; Jonathan Zorn, double bass.

Zorn played harsh low notes as Kendall produced a deep hum from his synthesizer. Phillips played prepared guitar and buzzed with Kendall. He dragged the strings with a kitchen whisk. While Kendall played shiny space sounds, he danced on his effects boxes.

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