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Roscoe Mitchell: London, England, March 9, 2012

John Sharpe By

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Though at times Edwards and Marsh provided the backdrop to Mitchell's center-stage antics, mesmerizing interaction nevertheless took place. At the start of the second period, the American began on wooden flute, emphasizing sustained tones again, backed by Edwards' rippling pizzicato and Marsh's pattering brushes on metal, for what proved a short and sweet introduction. More typical fare transpired thereafter, as Mitchell launched a conversational passage, this time on soprano saxophone, partnered by wavering bowing and a sparse snare tattoo. Silence interspersed with pulses of activity characterized the organic flow. The Chicagoan's choked, muffled cries developed into a wailing siren over a choppy sea. Later again on the straight horn, the leader spluttered pensively, unaccompanied. It seemed that Edwards and Marsh expected Mitchell to draw to a conclusion, but he carried on regardless at minimal volume, murmuring and chuntering, until they realized he wasn't going to stop and rejoined with clatter and skitter, only to erupt in a fiery finale.

Whoops and hollers ensued in an enthusiastic acclaim from the standing-room-only throng, greeting what was a very successful first meeting, and hopefully the first of many appearances at Cafe Oto for the reedman.


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All Photos: John Sharpe

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