John Geggie / Mark Duggan / Quinsin Nachoff / Ravi Naimpally: May 12, 2007
Naimpally's writing, while less complex than that of Duggan and Nachoff, had its own charm. The groove of "Twilight which opened the showmay have been insistently pursued by the tablaist and Geggie, but its oblique melody fit right in with what was to come. The lyrical simplicity of "Bhija, on the other hand, provided a foundation for one of the most moving tunes of the evening with its folk-like changes. It also found Naimpally, during the open-ended intro, playing the tables in unexpected ways that demonstrated that his own reach goes far beyond the North Indian tradition that is at the core of his work, a stylistic breadth that infuses work with his own group, Tasa.
Geggie contributed two compositionsthe quirky "Watching the Wax Melt and the idiosyncratic stops and starts of "Skip Step. If anything can be said about this season's series, it's that the bassist has made significant leaps in both his writing and playing. Always an intuitive and supportive player, he's become a far more forceful soloist. He's raised his own bar significantly this year, making anticipation for next year's series all the stronger.
While all the shows in this 2006/2007 season have had things to recommend, this final performance was special because of its unique sonics and the way that all the material blended together to give the group a unified voice. One of the downsides of Geggie performances is that once they're over, the chances of them happening again are slim. With Geggie in Ottawa and Duggan, Nachoff and Naimpally in Toronto (a short 250 miles away), this is a group that has the potential of becoming an ongoing project.
Certainly the distinct nature of this group was not lost on the audiences, who wanted an encore but were denied because there simply was no more material. One can only hope that this group will not only continue to perform on occasion, but will also consider recording. The same way that groups like Oregon are as distinctive for their sound as the music they play, so too does this "Creative Fusion from Toronto have the potential to introduce a winning combination of writing, improvisation and sound that deserves to be heard by more than the 175 people in attendance at the Ottawa show.