Middletown, Conn. is the place for some good music next weekend.
On Saturday September 27, Joe Fonda presents the 6th Annual Composers & Improvisers Festival in Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Opening the show at 7 p.m. will be the duo of dancer-singer Ilse Pfeifer and percussionist George Schuller. They will be followed at 8 p.m. by the fascinating collaboration of baritone saxophonist Claire Daly with innovative beatboxer-rapper Napoleon Maddox. At 9 p.m., bassist Mark Helias will play a solo set. Helias, one of the finest musicians in creative music, has worked with Wesleyan Professor Anthony Braxton, in the cooperative trio BassDrumBone, and is the leader of his own trio Open Loose.
The final set of the evening, scheduled to start at 10 p.m., belongs to Conference Call. Fonda, Schuller and Stevens are joined by saxophonist-clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann. The quartet has worked together since 1998 and it shows in their intuitive interplay, the comfort they have working with each other and the way the music breathes. yes, it has its wilder moments but in an organic way.