All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Vision Festival 2009: Day 6

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Planet Dream / Fred Anderson Trio / Michelle Rosewoman and Quintessence / Whit Dickey/Eri Yamamoto/Daniel Carter / Peter Brotzmann's Full Blast Trio

14th Annual Vision Festival
Abrons Arts Center
New York City
June 14, 2009

Chapter Index

  1. Planet Dream
  2. Fred Anderson Trio
  3. Michelle Rosewoman and Quintessence
  4. Whit Dickey/Eri Yamamoto/Daniel Carter
  5. Peter Brotzmann's Full Blast Trio

Planet Dream

Starting off the penultimate evening of the 14th Vision Festival on a high note was the triumvirate of trombonist Steve Swell (pictured on left), alto saxophonist Rob Brown and cellist Daniel Levin, combining under the moniker of Planet Dream. Though their new release Planet Dream (Clean Feed, 2009) is under Swell's name, live they appeared a complete collective playing spontaneous improvisations. If the instrumentation provoked thoughts of chamber jazz, then it didn't take long for the execution to suggest otherwise in the three pieces of their 40-minute set.

Although there was a relaxed conversational feel to the opening piece, with the twin horns exchanging repartee over Levin's droning strings, once Levin lay out they worked themselves to a peak of garrulousness. Only on his bowed return did they become more contemplative and tentative at, eventually stopping to leave the cellist alone, bow undulating across the strings. Throughout the set Levin demonstrated a breath-taking command of his axe, moving from fluent almost classically inflected arco to ugly scrapes and scratches, even at one point rapidly tapping the end of his bow on the bridge of his cello evoking a pneumatic drill.

Eventually Swell rejoined, first emptying moisture out as he blew and incorporating these breath sounds into his flow. Swell married rumbustuous expression with fine attention to detail such that every note was invested with a particular weight or shading. Indeed the same was no less true of his confreres, evidenced by Levin's delicate arco work matching Swell's muted whisper in a wide-ranging duet. Later a lovely passage ensued where wavering falsetto cries, squeaks and whistles became so intermingled that it was impossible to pin down the source, making a fitting ending to the opening number.

Though the second piece started off slow and spacey it didn't stay that way and featured a Brown tour de force of upper register squeals with overblown whistles and a guttural edge in a knockout solo. One thing was readily apparent in this year's Festival—if Brown was in it then it was good. Not that Swell or Levin were in any way slouches. Supporting and leading roles blurred or switched at the slightest prompt in the three way dialogue of their excellent set.

Fred Anderson Trio


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton At Yoshi's Live Reviews
Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Kraak Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Kraak Festival 2018
by Martin Longley
Published: March 24, 2018
Read 2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit Live Reviews
2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall 2018 Live Reviews
Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews
Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Cologne Open 2018 Live Reviews
Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Mike Zito at the Iridium" Live Reviews Mike Zito at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House" Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest" Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano" Live Reviews Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole" Live Reviews Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 4, 2017