AMN Reviews: Craig Pedersen Quintet – Approaching the Absence of Doing (2017; Mystery & Wonder)

Trumpeter Craig Pedersen is back with a follow-up release to 2015’s Ghosts EP, this time adding a second drummer to his quartet featured on that recording. Thus, joining Pedersen for this go-around are Linsey Wellman on sax, Joel Kerr on bass, and Eric Thibodeau on drums, with drummer Bennett Bedoukian being the new contributor.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of Approaching the Absence of Doing is Pedersen’s use of space. The opening piece, Intervention, is pulsing and heady with a simple theme accentuated by cymbal work. Likewise, the closer, Approaching, is based on a similar structure. But on much of the rest of the album, the group attempts to fill the space with free-jazz urgency. By the third track, aptly titled Blowing, Pedersen and company are employing extended techniques and a gritty dual horn attack. On F-ery, they go in an even more aggressive direction, with Pedersen providing rapid-fire themes over which Wellman solos. Throughout, Thibodeau and Bedoukian lay down a shifting and unpredictable base in which rhythm is merely one component of many. To the extent that any true rhythm exists, it is usually held up by Kerr – this is clearly apparent on Part 2, in which a prominent bass line provides jumping off points through which the others explore.

Clocking in at only 28 minutes, the album is perhaps best thought of as an extended EP, as it is 10 minutes longer than Ghosts. Influences? I still hear a lot of Ayler, but Pedersen seems to take in the free jazz of the 1960s as a whole and spit out a modernized version thereof with his own unique twists and character. Highly recommended.

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Piano Pioneer Irène Schweizer Flies Again

Source: Village Voice.

Her dozens of recordings — most of them on Zurich’s phenomenal Intakt label, on whose board she resided until last year — make clear just how much she venerates the jazz tradition. In the midst of wide-ranging improvisations, you’ll catch flashes of the past, expertly deployed. Sometimes short flourishes will display the grounded rhythms of pre-war stylings like ragtime, boogie-woogie, or swing, but she’s just as likely to pound out block chords in the manner of McCoy Tyner or the delicate melodic flourishes of a Satie miniature.

Kyoko Kitamura Fall Performances in NY

Source: Kyoko Kitamura.

Thursday, Sept 21 8PM FREE
Misha-Maya-Gat Series (Manchester, CT)
MCC on Main 903 Main Street, Manchester, CT
Stephen Haynes Quartet with Stephen Haynes: cornet; Kyoko Kitamura: voice; Joe Morris: guitar; Ben Stapp: tuba
Happy to be back working with some of my favorite people who are also some of the greatest musicians I know!

Sunday, Sept 24 6PM FREE
Downtown Music Gallery (NYC)
13 Monroe St, NYC
Yet Unnamed Trio with Kyoko Kitamura: voice; Ken Filiano: bass; Dayeon Seok: drums
This will be the very first meeting for the trio. Dayeon is a drummer I have been wanting to work with for some time now, and I’m very happy to be able to bring the three of us together. This performance will be the seed of my future compositions for the trio (don’t count out a possible merging with my other trio Tidepool Fauna). I’ll be conducting and composing in real-time.

Saturday, Oct 7 7PM $15 suggested donation
Mark Lamb Dance Autumnal Salon at Metro Baptist Church
410 W 40th St, NYC
Dancers: Madison Krekel, Mark Lamb (director, conceptor, choreographer), Rachel Nuñez, Sarah Pope, Jennifer Wilenta
Musicians: Kyoko Kitamura, Ben Maney (from Knoxville)
The annual early-Halloween get-together where audience and artists mingle Salon-style for an evening of celebration. There’ll be spectacular dance, music, and a festive display of flowers, finger foods and light drinks (Applejack punch!).

And further ahead… two outings with dancer/choreographer Rachel Bernsen, on November 11 in CT and November 13 in NYC at Judson Church. More info coming soon.

Spektral Quartet Fall Concerts

Source: Spektral Quartet.

IN SEARCH OF FUTURES PAST: SCHOENBERG THE ROMANTIC
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017
3:00PM 5:00PM
FULTON RECITAL HALL
Like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Schoenberg and Brahms are brothers from another mother. We kick off our series luxuriating in the plush harmonies that link these two geniuses.

CAROLINA PERFORMING ARTS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2017
7:30PM 9:00PM
MOESER AUDITORIUM
Augusta Read Thomas – CHI (2017)
Philip Glass – String Quartet No. 2 “Company” (1983)
Samuel Adams – Quartet Movement (2016)
Johannes Brahms – String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 (1873)

DOVETAIL SERIES: SPEKTRAL + MIKEL PATRICK AVERY
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017
7:00PM 9:00PM
STONY ISLAND ARTS BANK
See what happens when musical traditions collide and converge as we swap sets with sonic scientist Mikel Patrick Avery (Black Monks of Mississippi, Rob Mazurek‘s Moon Cycles, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic) and then collude for a joint concoction.

ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING! FEATURING ELIZA BROWN
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2017
8:30PM 9:30PM
CONSTELLATION
We peel back the curtains on our brand-new, multiple-listen, deep-dive series with one of our favorite tracks from the Spektral rep list, penned by a seriously engaging public speaker, composer Eliza Brown.

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM: SUNDAY CLASSICAL CONCERT SERIES
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017
2:00PM 3:00PM
GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM
Eliza Brown – String Quartet No. 1 (2013)
Johannes Brahms – String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 (1873) (excerpts)
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1 in A minor (1909) (excerpts)