Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban
Barbès
Brooklyn, NY
August 5, 2017

To hear the music of violist Mat Maneri and pianist Lucian Ban is to hear your own heartbeat: both require intimacy without distraction. In Brooklyn's Barbès, such mechanisms of the body become audible. The venue is a home for them, and its thickly curtained performance space allows the duo's balance of form and freedom to nourish itself.

Maneri and Ban have toured extensively as Transylvanian Concert since their ECM album of the same name was released in 2013. On that album, the purity of Maneri's microtonal crooning found ideal context in Ban's poetic compositions, and on this temperate Saturday night they pulled the implications of that collaboration in freshly kinetic directions.

The set consisted mostly of Ban originals, which by their force of evocation spun a wealth of moving images in which to immerse. Indeed, Ban is not a proverbial painter at the keyboard but rather a filmmaker, directing his melodic actors but also letting them improvise their own flesh around skeletal scripts. His "Mojave" elicited a soulful, baying quality from Maneri, and tilled plenty of soil for the violist's thickly rooted double stops. Ban plied especial brilliance in "Transylvanian Dance" and "Monastery," both based on Romanian folk motifs. These forested tunes, in which thematic confluences shined like shafts of moonlight, brought fierce joy into the foreground. The boisterous ride of "Okay Now" was likewise engaging, as it flirted with Bach and sported some monstrous pizzicato. Yet it was the darkest night of "Untold" that held deepest attraction. It might as well have been called "Unfold," for it seemed to open new layers of meaning as Ban waxed mountainously throughout. Maneri's own "Passing" focused the lens further. Like an epitaph anagrammed into a new language, every note became laden with bluesy meaning.

Two guest appearances rounded out the concert. For Ban's "Not That Kind of Blues," the duo was joined by intrepid violinist Skye Steele. Shades of Gershwin clashed with backwater muddiness from the strings while Ban brought the fire. (The spirit of Willie Dixon was lurking in there somewhere.) And for a moving performance of Paul Motian's "Fantasm," violinist Gabe Terracciano proved himself a kindred spirit to Maneri's notecraft. He was the dream within a dream, enlivened by incomparable inertia.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jazztopad Festival 2017 Live Reviews Jazztopad Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery Live Reviews Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: December 10, 2017
Read The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace Live Reviews The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre Live Reviews Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: December 8, 2017
Read BAN BAM: Music Talking Live Reviews BAN BAM: Music Talking
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Newport Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival" Live Reviews Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Bob Niederitter Trio At The Bop Stop" Live Reviews Bob Niederitter Trio At The Bop Stop
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Brilliant Corners 2017" Live Reviews Brilliant Corners 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "James Mahone at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews James Mahone at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: November 26, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!