John Geggie / Ben Monder / Dylan van der Schyff: March 24, 2007
Van der Schyff is heard so often in free situations that it was a surprise to hear him playing solid groove at times during the two sets. The biggest surprise of the evening was, however, when the trio played an altered and extended version of the Jimmy Webb tune "Wichita Lineman, originally made famous by Glen Campbell. While the melody was never far from the forefront, Monder twisted it on its side, retaining its core while pushing it to the outer limits. Van der Schyff alternated between firm backbeat and more responsive attacks while Geggie anchored the tune without losing the ability to interact with those around him.
While there was plenty of form to work with, there was also equal opportunity for the group to stretch and go where the music led them. There were periods of totally free improvisation, most notably following "Canon, but the trio was never less than completely purposeful.
The only non-surprise of the evening was the enthusiastic response of the audience, who refused to let the group go without an encore. While Geggie's series is always well-attended, this was a show that will be hard to top. Artists like Monder and van der Schyff (and, of course, Geggie, but he's on home turf here) are active players, but ones who deserve greater recognition. For the sold-out audience at the Fourth Stage on March 24, 2007, they're two names that will not soon be forgotten.