Stasis and Change


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On Saturday, April 9, Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound will perform with Steve Coleman at Montgomery County Community College. Funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project, this collaboration with Coleman is the second part of Zankel’s project, “The Wizards of the Saxophone Meet the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: Creating a 21st Century Jazz Vocabulary.”

For the first installment of the series, Philadelphian Zankel’s large ensemble teamed up last May with Rudresh Mahanthappa to perform a new work composed by the New York-based saxophonist. For this final installment, Zankel’s Warriors and members of Steve Coleman’s Five Elements will perform a composition by Coleman titled “Stasis and Change.”

“I had never worked with Steve before,” says Zankel, “but I have been closely listening to him since the early-1980s, when I first heard his beautiful sound and unique approach to developing lines. His compositional ideas very much intrigued me and seemed to present a new direction for jazz music. His approach to rhythmic organization and his ideas about tonality are tremendously evolved, passing the ultimate test of being wonderful to the ears and heart. I think he’s the most important musical thinker of his generation.”

This collaborative venture aims to expand contemporary jazz composition, improvisation and performance, and to foster a demanding creative dialogue between these two leading composers and their ensembles.

“The Warriors have been seriously challenged by Steve’s polyrhythms and concepts,” exclaims Zankel. “The learning process has been very exciting and has allowed the ensemble to grow. Performing music composed by Rudresh and now Steve— two of the most important and innovative musicians in the world—we have expanded our collective capacities to interpret and swing in completely unexpected and thrilling ways.”

For more information about the concert and to purchase tickets, please follow this link to the MCCC’s website. Also, a public discussion with Zankel and Coleman led by WRTI’s J. Michael Harrison will be airing twice prior to the concert. To listen, tune in to WRTI at 10pm on April 1 or April 8.

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This story appears courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.
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