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...

229

Vision Festival: Days 5-6, June 9-10, 2011

Vision Festival: Days 5-6, June 9-10, 2011
John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count

Day 1 | Days 2-3 | Day 4 | Days 5-6 | Day 7
Kidd Jordan Quintet, Matthew Shipp/Evan Parker, Paradoxical Frog, Planetary Unknown
Vision Festival

Abrons Arts Center

New York City

June 9-10, 2011


Kidd Jordan Quintet

New Orleans saxophonist Edward Kidd Jordan, who was the honoree at the 2008 Vision Festival, delivered one of the standout sets on the fifth day, with a redoubtable all-star quintet. Though they didn't have a track record as a band, the assembled luminaries boasted more than enough familiarity with the fast and loose territory to generate tension and excitement. Always a good omen, William Parker filled the bass chair, making his fourth showing of the 2011 Festival. Baritone saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett returned for his second, while new this time out were two musicians who have never quite garnered due acclaim: venerable pianist Dave Burrell and mighty drummer William Hooker.


Dave Burrell

After a start where the flames leapt in sporadic bursts from Jordan's tenor saxophone, fanned by Burrell's piano up-drafts, their extemporized trajectory mirrored a sine wave in its regular peaks of intensity. Jordan's impassioned yelping falsetto shaped proceedings, whether adding fluent contrapuntal exhortation to the rumbling rhythm section or forging an earthy riff. Without his usual radio pickup, he occasionally lost power when he strayed too far from the mic stand, but nonetheless the most incendiary moments stemmed from the feverish intersection of Bluiett's baritone aerobatics with the leader's squalling hollers. Burrell had on his fire music hat, restlessly battering the keyboard, flipping from palms to the backs of his hands during his glissandos. At one point the horns quieted, to leave the pianist to captivate with jabbing chording peppering spidery excursions to devise a wonderfully spiky solo.

When it came, the ending imparted the feel of a spiritual lullaby. Jordan stilled a rambunctious ensemble leading to a rubato rapture, where he interjected vocal shouts amid his mournful John Coltrane-inspired wail, as Parker, bow in hand, echoed and amplified the saxophonist's heartfelt soliloquy.


Matthew Shipp/Evan Parker

Pianist Matthew Shipp demonstrated, again, his strong attachment to the untrammeled communicative opportunities of the piano and saxophone duet. Sessions with reedmen Darius Jones, on Cosmic Lieder (Aum Fidelity, 2011), and Sabir Mateen, on SaMa (Not Two, 2010), have been amongst the most recent, but tonight he invited English saxophone iconoclast Evan Parker into the spotlight, revisiting the format of their acclaimed Abbey Road Duos (Treader, 2007).

Together they negotiated a searching 50-minute conversation broken only by untimely applause as Parker switched from tenor to soprano saxophone midway through. While in theory a meeting of equals, the Englishman sounded somewhat restrained early on, often following Shipp's lead in terms of the dynamic contours. Not that he slavishly matched the pianist: one of the pleasures of their interaction was that, apart from one fleeting passage where Parker reflected the American's line, their connection was oblique rather than literal. As Parker chuntered forcefully in the tenor's mid-range, Shipp ranged far and wide, with glinting flurries snatched from the extremes of the keyboard.


From left: Matthew Shipp, Evan Parker

Once underway on soprano, Parker exhibited his peerless facility at circular breathing to unleash one of the astonishing outbursts which have become his trademark on the straight horn, layering chirps, whistles and nasal burrs, to give the impression of three separate voices. Shipp reentered, deploying icy shards, drawing a quick response from the saxophonist and initiating a lovely sequence of overlapping crystalline patterns. As Parker eased into another hyper-fast spray of notes, the pianist kneaded thunderous crashes from the bass register. It seems that the American always performs at the top of his game in his Vision Festival appearances and tonight was no exception as he reconstituted his favored tropes into a dazzling parade of pianistic imagination. Given Shipp's fondness for recasting standards, it was a surprise that the only reference to the piano pantheon emanated from Parker, prompted by a felicitous sounding interval to quote Thelonious Monk's "Shuffle Boil." However, Shipp was not to be deflected from his singular course and the moment passed as the pair continued in their mercurial invention to complete another excellent outing.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater Live Reviews
Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 25, 2018
Read The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium Live Reviews
The Jane Getter Premonition at Iridium
by Roger Weisman
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre Live Reviews
Liberty Ellman Trio at Crescent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre" Live Reviews Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland" Live Reviews Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard" Live Reviews Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium" Live Reviews Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop" Live Reviews Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 8, 2017