There’s a subtle, but still substantial, challenge involved in improvising a duet in which both instruments are the same. The potential for redundancy and a monochromatic sound is an ever-present specter hovering nearby, which can only be avoided with discretion, technical mastery, and a sensitive touch. Fortunately—and by no means unexpectedly—all three qualities are abundant on this set of double bass duets featuring William Parker and the late Stefano Scodanibbio.
The five untitled pieces—which seem to have been separated from a continuous performance recorded in June 2008 in Udine, Italy—show the mostly parallel motion of two powerful and articulate voices, each complete in its own sphere but whose instances of convergence create moments of collaborative brilliance. The image that comes to mind is of two speakers of mutually comprehensible dialects of the same language, each of which is distinguished by differences of pronunciation and prosody. Some of these differences can be ascribed to differences in background. Scodanibbio was part of the modern classical tradition and played works by major avant-garde and modernist composers, some of which were written for him. Parker was and remains a vital figure in creative music, having played with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves and others in New York and elsewhere. But common to both is a language consisting in an expansive palette of timbres, which Parker and Scodanibbio have developed and structured in their own ways. Parker plays with an exuberance and coiled energy that find expression in denser textures and the explicit rhythms of several vamps and grooves he sets out—not least on the second piece, which moves in an eddy of sophisticated cross-rhythms. Scodanibbio generally favors a more dispersed, episodic sound based on harmonics, multiphonics and bow articulation, but he too spells out rhythms, often by bouncing the bow on the strings or by tapping complex patterns on the body of the bass. Both bassists are masters of sonic nuance and tonal shading; it’s a true pleasure to hear them as they converge and diverge in an elaborate timbral counterpoint.
Mat Maneri has an upcoming show at Brooklyn’s Barbes:
MAT MANERI & Friends. Mat Maneri is a violin and viola player, specifically derivatives such as the five-string viola, the electric six-string violin, and the baritone violin. He is the son of the saxophonist Joe Maneri. He has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Joe Maneri, Tim Berne, Mark Dresser, William Parker. He has released a number of albums of his trio and quartet on ECM. He will be joined by some of his friends.
8:00pm – MAT MANERI & RANDY PETERSON –
10:00pm – MAT MANERI QUARTET with with Randy Peterson – drums; Garth Stevenson – Bass and Craig Taborn – keyboard.
From Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop:
Friday, September 11, 8pm
MARY HALVORSON QUINTET
with Mary Halvorson, el. guitar; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Jon Irabagon, alto saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; and Tomas Fujiwara, drums
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street
$12 General Admission
A veteran of esteemed composer Anthony Braxton’s ensembles and “probably the most original jazz guitarist to emerge this decade” (Chicago Reader), guitarist Mary Halvorson returns with her new quintet. For this special performance she is joined by bassist Trevor Dunn (John Zorn’s Electric Masada, Fantomas), saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition and member of MOPDTK, and rising stars Tomas Fujiwara and Jonathan Finlayson (Steve Lehman, Steve Coleman). In addition to her acclaimed trio and quintet, she co-leads a chamber music duo with violist Jessica Pavone and the avant-rock band, People, with drummer Kevin Shea, as well as performs in groups led by Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jason Moran and John Tchicai. Not to be missed.
Thursday, September 24, 8pm
with Cooper-Moore, diddly-bo/banjo; Assif Tsahar, reeds; and Chad Taylor, drums
Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, 1616 Walnut Street, Suite 100
$12 General Admission
Cooper-Moore has been a major catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. His first fully-committed jazz group was formed in 1970 – the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards – which opened up for Sonny Rollins at the Village Vanguard in 1973. Following a trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and destroyed his piano – with sledgehammer and fire – in his backyard. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his ensemble, In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s gifts were again regularly featured in a jazz context. For this rare appearance, he performs with Digital Primitives featuring Israeli reedsman Assif Tsahar, known for his work with Rashied Ali, Peter Kowald and Hamid Drake, and drummer Chad Taylor, a member of the Chicago Underground Duo, Iron and Wine, and a major contributor to Chicago’s post-rock scene where he has recorded with Tortoise, Isotope 217, Stereolab and Sam Prekop.