J.D. Allen, Joel Harrison, Mats Gustafsson/Thurston Moore, Steve Reid, Joey Calderazzo & Eddie Palmieri
Calderazzo continues to re-invent his material, sometimes returning to tunes that have been contributed to the repertoires of Marsalis and Michael Brecker but now playing them in what he probably considers to be their 'pure' form, undoctored by other bandleaders. Calderazzo is very theatrical in the way he decorates his melodies in their solo excursions, but he also has a very hardened, gushing aggression that escalates when in dialogue with the storm-brewing Watts, editing out any uncertainties in favor of a pointed attack. Then, for his next tune, he'll float delicately on the surface of a sensitive ballad, proving himself to be ideally versatile.
February 6, 2009
Pianist and composer Eddie Palmieri (a sit-down comedian) has revived La Perfecta, the 1960s mini-orchestra that recorded throughout that decade and into the 1970s. This is essentially Nuyorican salsa dance music, and therefore feels constrained by the formal seating environment of the Rose Theater. However, it takes Palmieri about twenty minutes to discard such concerns, and even though the audience aren't shaking from a standing-up position, the whole auditorium aura is soon mentally loosened, sending out waves of groove-relaxation. Soon, the old stiffness is forgotten. The aging process is ignored, as Palmieri leads with gusto, and lead singer Herman Olivera deftly heads up the formation dance moves while delivering his impassioned lines. Trombonist Jimmy Bosch and trumpeter Brian Lynch virtually run towards the front-of-stage microphone to dash off repeated solos that always burn with crackling precision and emotional expressivity. Even though flautist Karen Jospeh doesn't solo in the conventional sense, her continual percussive embellishments add drama to many of the pieces, calling up a strong Cuban influence. The most potent 1960s and '70s vibration is provided by Nelson Gonzalez, whose amplifier sound on the Cuban tres is almost psychedelic, a disembodied bleed that's sometimes hard to locate, until suddenly homing in on his fingers bares the source of this sonic wonderment.