David Aaron's Short Memory at Jimmy's 43
New York, NY
May 11, 2006
David Aaron's Short Memory struck again at Jimmy's for the early show in Dee Pop's Free Jazz program that has attracted quite a bit of attention.
Aaron's recent release, Cynical Rat Bastard, had been well received, and the interest here was what the band was up to since then.
Happily, the set was mostly made up of new music, with but two tunes from the album. If anything, Aaron's latest compositions are even freer but somehow have a more integrated and organic feel. The group was very, very tight and rather than play solos, each band member emerged from the mix to make a statement, with constant commentary from the others.
Aaron seemed to play less, possibly from some mechanical problems with his horn, but instead listened carefully to how this new conception was working out. No matter how good the players, the usual head-solo-solo-solo-recap format can get boring or predictable and Aaron is not the only band leader to sense the need of presenting a different formulation, while giving the musicians, who after all want to improvise and not just read, a chance to do so.
The experiment worked quite well. Rob Ritchie, who is an unorthodox guitarist anyway, went further afield, adding slide and an electric bow to the mix. Matt Wigton, a very melodic bassist, seemed locked in battle with Greg Ritchie's drums since they weren't "just the rhythm section" and their give and take echoed that of the whole band.
True to spirit of jazz, Aaron continues to work at being unpredictably unpredictable while writing music and arrangements that hold together yet do not stifle his terrific band.
Personnel: David Aaron: tenor saxophone; Rob Ritchie: guitar; Matt Wigton: bass; Greg Ritchie: drums.