Upcoming Sound It Out! Performances

Source: NY’s Sound It Out!

Thursday December 5, 7:30pm — Francisco Mela’s MTP Trio w/ special guest Cooper-Moore

Double-bill: Wendy Eisenberg, solo guitar + Devin Gray’s GPS Trio w/ Devin Gray, drums; Chris Pitsiokos, alto saxophone; Luke Stewart, double-bass

Ever-evolving drummer-composer Devin Gray — who played the second show in the Sound It Out series back in 2012 and has come back many times since as a leader and sideman —returns to the Greenwich House stage to celebrate the release of the first album with his trio featuring saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos and bassist Luke Stewart. About Devin’s art, Jazzwise magazine has said: “A musician-drummer rather than a drummer-drummer, Gray is interested in making music that is deeply evocative… shaped by a fizzing, often restless push-pull energy.”

Reflecting on his new trio, Devin says: “When I think about Chris and Luke as players and improvisers, I’m drawn to the energy of life that they bring to each of their deeply personal sounds. The trio recording we’ve made — due out via my Rataplan label at the end of November — is something that I’ve been working toward for years, in terms of the dynamic between the three of us. To me, it sounds very much like music of today, like the modern life we all live, that odd mix of the comfortable and the uncomfortable, if you know what I mean. These guys are totally real — and that’s the sort of energy that I, as a drummer and composer, always strive to channel. I’m excited to share our music — not only with the new record but what we do live, which always feels special to me.”

Thursday December 19, 8:00pm — Michael Formanek’s Very Practical Trio

Michael Formanek’s Very Practical Trio w/ Michael Formanek, double-bass; Tim Berne, alto saxophone; Mary Halvorson, guitar

Bassist-composer Michael Formanek’s Very Practical Trio — featuring saxophonist Tim Berne and guitarist Mary Halvorson — returns to the Sound It Out series for the final show of 2019, celebrating the Intakt release of Even Better, the trio’s first album together. Michael, a longtime Sound It Out favorite, scored three consecutive five-star reviews in DownBeat for his previous albums on ECM, and The New York Times has described his music as “graceful in its subversions, even sumptuous.” Jazzwise has praised Tim’s art as being “suffused with genuine humanity and more than a little wisdom,” while the Wall Street Journal called Mary “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz — or otherwise.” The music of Even Better conveys Michael’s special sense of instrumental song. “It may not be what comes to mind for some people when you say the word ‘song,’ but it’s a personal idea of song for me,” he explains. “I conceived the compositions as cohesive, song-like structures, with a lyrical quality — not just head/solo/head in the usual jazz way. The pieces aren’t overly arranged, but the improvisations do spin out of the material of the songs and then go back into it. I think this record really brings out the tuneful nature in everyone’s playing.” DownBeat gave Even Better a glowing review, declaring the album “gorgeous.”
Tickets: $20 ($15 students/seniors)