1

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 The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Moers Festival 2017" Live Reviews Moers Festival 2017
by Phillip Woolever
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2016
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "John Hart at The Turning Point Cafe" Live Reviews John Hart at The Turning Point Cafe
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery" Live Reviews Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Bibi Ferreira at Symphony Space" Live Reviews Bibi Ferreira at Symphony Space
by Ernest Barteldes
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016
by John Ephland
Published: November 14, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.