John Tchicai Reunites with the Either/Orchestra


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Legendary Afro-Danish composer/saxophonist John Tchicai and Boston's always-evolving ten-piece Either/Orchestra will be collaborating on concerts in Boston and NYC

February 1, Boston: the Institute of Contemporary Art's ICA Theater is at 955 Boylston Street.

Advance tickets are available through Twisted Village at 12 Eliot Street in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02138, or (617) 354-6898. Show is at 8 pm. Tickets are $16, $12 for students and seniors.

February 2, New York: Tonic is at 107 Norfolk St. Shows are at 8 and 10 pm. Tickets are $12. For more information: 212-358-7501 or www.tonic107.com

John Tchicai was an important presence in the New York avant-garde of the 1960s, recording on alto saxophone with both John Coltrane and John Lennon, along with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Archie Shepp and others. In the decades since, his compositions have grown to include a highly personal combination of European and African influences, and he has switched to tenor and soprano sax and bass clarinet. http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~jomnamo/

Under the leadership of Russ Gershon, the Either/Orchestra has been creating its own individual blend of jazz, African, Latin and pop music in Massachusetts since 1985, through over 1000 performances and eight CDs, including the recent “Afro-Cubism," which was in the top ten of college jazz radio for much of the fall of 2002. http://accuraterecords.com/ http://either-orchestra.org

Tchicai first encountered the E/O in Davis California in the early 1990s. In April 1992 the E/O was passing through on one of its grueling road trips and a local promoter presented the group on a bill with Tchicai and his band. Tchicai sat in with the E/O on a composition by the late Mal Waldron ("Hard Talk"), and the sparks flew. In early 1993, under the aegis of the newly formed Boston Creative Music Alliance, Tchicai spent a week in Boston rehearsing and performing with the E/O, including a concert at the ICA.

Of that concert Bob Blumenthal wrote in the Boston Globe, “An SRO crowd [was] offered a large and diverse program - 10 of Tchicai's original compositions...There were moments that echoed Tchicai's pioneering New York Art Quartet of the mid-'60's...individual players found frequent opportunities to shine...[Tchicai's] turns on soprano sax, tenor sax and bass clarinet revealed the floating deliberation and melancholy passion that have always marked his unique concept. Everyone was a winner at this concert, including the BCMA and 160 listeners, who got their ten-best list for 1993 started early."

Ten years later, thanks again to the BCMA - celebrating its tenth anniversary with the Boston concert - and a composition grant from the Danish Statens Kuntsfund, Tchicai and the Either/Orchestra are back together again.

The E/O is Tom Halter, Colin Fisher - trumpets; Joel Yennior - trombone; guest: Rick Stone - alto sax, flute; Russ Gershon - leader, tenor/soprano sax; Henry Cook - baritone sax, flute; Gregory Burk - piano, keyboards; Rick McLaughlin - bass; Harvey Wirht - drums; Vicente Lebron - congas, percussion.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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