All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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 Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at Central Park SummerStage Live Reviews
Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at...
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong Live Reviews
Le French May’s Live Jazz Series in Hong Kong
by Rob Garratt
Published: June 11, 2018
Read Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art Live Reviews
Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar Live Reviews
Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018
Read Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music 2017" Live Reviews October Revolution in Jazz & Contemporary Music 2017
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Kurrent Duo at The Bop Stop" Live Reviews Kurrent Duo at The Bop Stop
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017" Live Reviews Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Radio Underground at The Last Stop Sports Bar" Live Reviews Radio Underground at The Last Stop Sports Bar
by Doug Collette
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Gilmore Keyboard Festival" Live Reviews Gilmore Keyboard Festival
by John Ephland
Published: June 3, 2018