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.
From Improvised Communications:
On Thursday, October 15th at 7:30 p.m., AUM Fidelity will present a label showcase at New York’s Abrons Arts Center featuring notable performances by three of its artists on one bill. The event will celebrate the release of alto saxophonist Darius Jones‘ debut recording as a bandleader, eminent saxophonist David S. Ware’s triumphant return to performing after a highly publicized kidney transplant in May, and the first performance of bassist William Parker’s acclaimed Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra in more than four years.
The Boston Globe reviews the supergroup By Any Means Necessary.
The trio of alto saxophonist Charles Gayle, bassist William Parker, and drummer Rashied Ali play with a potency and urgency that can make your hairs stand on end. They also just happened to have made one of the greatest albums in free jazz, a 1993 date called “Touchin’ on Trane,’’ a collection of tunes inspired by, rather than composed by, John Coltrane. (For contractual reasons, the album was released under the artists’ individual names rather than by By Any Means.) In 2008, more than 20 years after it formed, By Any Means finally released a proper album, a superb two-CD set called “Live at Crescendo’’ that was recorded at a club in Sweden.
Out today on Aum Fidelity:
Joe Morris: bass
Petr Cancura: tenor and alto saxophone
Luther Gray: drums
Wildlife is the debut recording of a new group concept from Jazz Master nonpareil Joe Morris. Within this trio anything is possible. Joe Morris is here featured on bass. Petr Cancura, a remarkably gifted young musician (featured here on tenor and alto sax, and as recording engineer!), is a Czech Republic native who now resides in Brooklyn (by way of Ottawa, then Boston). Petr’s name was new to us at AUM Fidelity when Joe first spoke of his great musical gifts, which are on gorgeous display here. Drummer Luther Gray developed from kicking it in punk rock bands in Washington DC in the late 80s to being a jazz drummer of great finesse and technique in the modern day. He has been working with Joe Morris since 2002.
- Exclaim! Reviews Farmers By Nature (improvisedcommunications.wordpress.com)
- WNUR Jazz Show’s Best of 2008 (improvisedcommunications.wordpress.com)
- William Parker CDs Reviewed At PopMatters.com (improvisedcommunications.wordpress.com)
- AAJ: Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife (AUM Fidelity) (improvisedcommunications.wordpress.com)
- The Fully Celebrated Live In Brooklyn & Boston (improvisedcommunications.wordpress.com)