Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Dan Kurfirst Brings His Tranquilly Kinetic, Meditative Grooves to a Perfect Outdoor Spot

Said it before, time to say it again: drummers always pull together the best bands because everybody wants to play with the good ones. Dan Kurfirst is the latest to take centerstage with his new album Arkinetics, streaming at Bandcamp. He’s immersed himself in both Middle Eastern and Indian music, so his beats are especially well informed by touch along with unlimited kinds of boom. He’s bringing this project to the ongoing series of city garden shows on Oct 2 at 4 PM in the space at 129 Stanton St. east of Essex: the lineup includes Rodney Chapman on sax, Alexis Marcelo on keys, John Merritt on bass and Roshni Samlal on tabla. The afternoon opens at 1:30 PM with the tersely propulsive duo of Aquiles Navarro on trumpet and Tchesser Holmes on drums, followed at 2:30 by, pianist Albert Marquès’ Freedom First project featuring the poetry of unjustly convicted death row inmate Keith LaMar, and then at 3:30 singer Lisa Sokolov.

On Kurfirst’s new album, Daniel Carter plays trumpet and winds, with Damon Banks on bass, otherwise the group is the same. A handful of the tunes have samples from mystic and author Alan Watts, reflecting Kurfirst’s longstanding meditation practice and interest in spirituality. The opening number, Peace In is set to a catchy, syncopated piano-and-synth backdrop by Fima Chupakhin, with a voiceover ending with Watts’ observation that “The godhead is never an object of its own knowledge.” What’s your take on that?

A gently churning drums-and-tabla piece sets up the delicately qawwali-tinged Meditation Groove, with balmy Rhodes by Marcelo and trumpet from Carter: Silent Way Miles with delicate Indian tinges. This sets the stage for much of the rest of the album.

The lingering, Bob Belden-esque nocturnal ambience continues, Carter beginning on flute and then switching back to muted trumpet in Birth Beats 1, set against Marcelo’s saturnine glimmer.

Banks’ catchy, loopy trebly chromatic riffage anchors Ghost Killers as Kurfirst and Samlal circle around an artfully orchestrated series of crescendos from Marcelo’s Rhodes while Carter raises the anxious ante with his sax. Dreamscape is aptly titled: with the hypnotic tabla, Kurfirst’s elegant brushwork and Carter’s balmy sax, it could be a Bill Withers backing track.

Kurfirst follows the trippy, shamanic drumscape Two Chants with Not Yet, Carter’s modal sax floating uneasily over Banks’ tightly clustering, catchy bass variations and Marcelo’s spare, atmospheric lines. The group bring the album full circle with a benedictory full-band version of the opening number.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zoh Amba Brings Her Thoughtful Intensity to a Brooklyn Gig

Tenor saxophonist Zoh Amba draws comparisons to Albert Ayler, but ultimately she’s her own animal, more influenced by the blues in a JD Allen vein. Isaiah Collier is also a reference point, but where he goes completely feral, Amba is more likely to reach for biting, sometimes acidic Jackie McLean incisions. Amba is leading a quintet with Matt Hollenberg on guitar, Micah Thomas on piano, Thomas Morgan on bass and Marc Edwards on drums at Roulette on Sept 27 at 8 PM. You can get in for $25 in advance.

You can hear a little more than half of her latest album O Life, O Light at Bandcamp – unfortunately, the vinyl of this killer trio session with bassist William Parker and drummer Francisco Mela is sold out. The opening number is Mother’s Hymn: variations on a somber, Birmingham-era Coltrane style theme stripped to its broodingly rustic oldtime gospel roots. Parker bows plaintive responses to Amba’s slow blues riffs as she rises to increasingly imploring intonations. Almost imperceptibly, she takes her blue notes further down toward calm as Mela raises the energy with hypnotic waves of echo effects while Parker fills a familiar role as rock-solid anchor. The interlude where he joins Mela’s vivid splashes against the shoreline is over way too soon The trio bring it full circle in almost fourteen understatedly intense minutes.

The second number, the title track, begins sort of a reverse image with hints of calypso and New Orleans echoes, but it isn’t long before Amba starts with the insistent, trilling motives as Mela builds concentric circles and Parker artfully expands his own modal terrain. Again, Amba brings the ambience back around to a solemn rusticity.

She switches to flute for Mountains in the Predawn Light, pulling back on the attack atop the rhythm section’s slinky chassis. With Mela’s judiciously colorful accents around the kit and every piece of hardware within reach, this is a GREAT drum-and-bass record. There’s also a brief bonus track, Satya reprising the initial theme where Amba cuts loose right off the bat. Finding the perfect balance between melody and squall is always daunting, but these three celebrate that here with purpose and cool triumph.

September 23, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

East First Street Is Positively the Place to Be For Jazz This Sunday

The series of free jazz concerts in Lower East Side parks this fall is an especially good one, and continues into the second week of October. One of the best of the bunch is this Sunday, Sept 25, starting at 1:30 PM with alto saxophonist Aakash Mittal – who’s also scheduled to take a rare turn on clarinet – joined by vocalist Jasmine Wilson and drummer Lesley Mok. Mittal is a beast, a ferociously dynamic improviser who’s immersed himself in both Indian and Middle Eastern music and is not to be missed. At 2:30 bassist William Parker takes a rare turn on sintir, percussion and double reeds alongside Hamid Drake on percussion, which promises to be a good, North African-inspired segue. Alexis Marcelo closes out the night on keys with Adam Lane on bass and Michael Wimberly on drums in the garden at 33 East 1st St.

As you might guess, the artist on the bill who’s most recently appeared on album is Parker: his discography is longer than some books. This could be wrong, but it looks like the latest addition to that body of work is Welcome Adventure Vol. 2, sixty percent of which is streaming at Bandcamp.

The generally august and terse bassist gets off to an unusual racewalking start in the opening number, Sunverified, in tandem with Matthew Shipp’s scampering, sunsplashed piano over drummer Gerald Cleaver’s tumbles and bright cymbals. Daniel Carter’s sax slowly expands from a balmy, anchoring role to biting modalities: lots of outside-the-box playing here.

Track two is Blinking Dawn, Carter blasting through the blinds by himself and having fun with harmonics before Cleaver comes knocking at the door. Shipp punches in hard as Carter’s clarinet floats sepulchrally in Mask Production – a reference to CDC pre-plandemic stockpiling, maybe? Parker’s fluttering and then tiptoeing approach signals Shipp’s equally phantasmagorical stroll. These guys have worked together since forever and this is one of the best things they’ve ever put on cassette (still available at the Bandcamp page!).

The first of the tracks you can only hear on that cassette, at least for now, is Wordwide, which the quartet begin as a lingering nocturnal tableau with Carter on sax, but Shipp is restless and that spreads to Cleaver. The contrast between Carter’s floating sax and Shipp’s elegantly sharp-teethed gearwheels is one of the album’s high points.

The closing number is Da Rest Is Story (good titles here, dudes), Cleaver’s slinky and increasingly animated groove underpinning Carter’s defiant microtonalities as Shipp mines his signature icy, starry modalities. The saxophonist’s mournful circles over the piano’s eerily insistent chime are another of this record’s many attractions – all of which would probably sell more cassettes if everyone could hear them.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cécile McLorin Salvant Brings Phantasmagoria and Depth to the Blue Note on the 20th

Cécile McLorin Salvant is the most original and unpredictably entertaining jazz vocalist in the world right now. Much as watching a webcast is no substitute for being there, her livestream from the Detroit Jazz Festival about a week ago was off the hook. She’s bringing her richly conceptual, shapeshifting show to a week at the Blue Note starting on Sept 20 and continuing through 25th, with sets at 8 and 10:30 PM. You can get in for $30.

Her latest album Ghost Song – streaming at Bandcamp – reflects her vast, panoramic, insatiably eclectic view of what she can transform into jazz, as well as the unselfconscious depth, existential poignancy but also the phantasmagorical thrills she brings to her music.

She opens the record with a reverb-washed duo take of Kate Bush’s teenage art-rock anthem Wuthering Heights with bassist Paul Sikivie, one part Scottish folk, one part Hildegard von Bingen.

The music gets pretty wild as the band come in with Salvant’s medley of a surreal, shapeshifting, banjo-fueled take of the Harold Arlen swing tune Optimistic Voices juxtaposed with a slow, balmy soul version of Gregory Porter’s No Love Dying. Alexa Tarantino’s wafting flute recedes for Sullivan Fortner’s hovering, distantly gospel-tinged piano over Keita Ogawa’s percussion

Salvant reaches for the rafters with a shivery, rustic blues intensity to kick off her title track, rising from shivery Marvin Sewell blues guitar to creepily cheery Lynchian 50s pop: imagine Carol Lipnik singing something from the Hairspray soundtrack. The girls of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus take over with an aptly otherworldly pavane on the way out.

Another Salvant original, Obligation, begins with a sarcastic, lickety-split Broadway-esque scamper and quickly becomes an understatedly harrowing portrait of what amounts to rape. Fortner gives it an aptly sinister outro. Gordon Sumner’s Until makes a good segue, Tarantino’s flute rising with an eerie tropicality over Fortner’s stabbing syncopation and Ogawa’s elegantly brushy rhythm.

Salvant plays piano, joined by Aaron Diehl on distantly whirling pipe organ in I Lost My Mind, a tersely carnivalesque, loopy mid 70s Peter Gabriel-style art-rock tableau. Diehl switches to his usual piano on Moon Song, a slowly unwinding Salvant ballad spiced with biting Satie-esque chromatics over drummer Kyle Poole’s whispery brushes.

Back at the piano, Salvant follows an increasingly sinister, ragtime-inflected, loopy stroll in the instrumental Trail Mix. The band return for a suspenseful, cynically protean romp through the Brecht/Weill cabaret tune The World Is Mean: what a theme for post-March 2020 hell!

Daniel Swenberg adds lute and theorbo to Dead Poplar, Salvant’s pastoral setting of the text of a metaphorically loaded, embittered letter from Alfred Stieglitz to Georgia O’Keefe. Salvant goes back to wise, knowing, summery 70s soul in Thunderclouds and closes the record with a soaring a-cappella version of the folk song Unquiet Grave, letting the grisly lyrics speak for themselves. It would be an understatement to count this as one of the dozen or so best jazz albums of the past twelve months.

September 15, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pensive, Memorable Album and a Lower East Side Show From Bassist Luke Stewart

One of the best of the ongoing series of outdoor free jazz shows on the Lower East Side starts at 1:30 PM on Sept 18 in the community garden at 710 E 5th St. in Alphabet City. Trumpeter Chris Williams kicks off the afternoon in a trio with Luke Stewart on bass and Cinque Kemp on drums, then at 2:30 there’s an intriguing flute trio with Daro Behroozi, Éléonore Weill and Martin Shamoonpour. Headliner Sarah Manning, one of the edgiest and most potent alto saxophonists of the past decade, plays at 4 with Jair-Rohm Wells on bass and William Hooker on drums.

Stewart’s Silt Trio with Brian Settles on tenor sax and Chad Taylor on drums recorded their album The Bottom earlier this year, although it hasn’t made it to the web yet. Directly or indirectly, the music is often on the brooding and mournful side, steeped in slowly unfolding, ambered blues phrasing, frequently in contrast to a hypnotically kinetic rhythmic drive. The hooks are straightforward and hit you one after the other: dark as some of this music is, this is one catchy record.

Taylor lays down a plinky loop on his mbira as Stewart builds a muted, shivery backdrop in the opening number, Reminisce. Settles enters with his resonant, lingering blues phrases: this diamond is shining like crazy. It’s a great opener.

Taylor’s funky syncopation contrasts with Settles’ resonant modalities over the bandleader’s loopy bass in track two, Roots. It’s akin to a more hypnotic take on what JD Allen was doing with his trio about ten years ago.

The album’s big epic is Angles, beginning with squirrelly flickers from Stewart and regal anticipation from Taylor. Settles builds muted airiness punctuated by detours into extended technique, then indulges in an unexpectedly goofy duel with Stewart. Echo effects over a distant rustle, a little trap-rattling and a solo sax serenade follow in turn.

The trio pick up the pace with the steady, strutting title track, Settles gently choosing his spots with his minor-key riffage. Rapidfire sax volleys over an elegantly tumbling background permeate the next track, Circles. The trio close with Dream House, an unexpectedly straight-up if minimalist swing tune.

September 14, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Motive Force Behind One of This Past Year’s Best Jazz Albums Plays His Home Turf

One of the great things about the ongoing free jazz series happening on the Lower East Side into the first week of October is that it’s an excuse to give a listen to some of the parade of artists passing through. One particularly good lineup is this Sept 17 in the community garden at 129 Stanton St just east of Essex, starting at 1:30 PM with Steve Swell on trombone, Kirk Knuffke on cornet and TA Thompson on drums. At 2:30 trumpeter Jaimie Branch brings her enveloping sound, followed at 3:30 by bassist Larry Roland’s Urban Project with keyboardist Kiyoko Layne, trumpeter Waldron Ricks and Thompson back on drums. Drummer Whit Dickey and alto saxophonist Rob Brown wind up the afternoon at 4:30.

Dickey also figures prominently in one of the most lustrously gorgeous jazz albums of the past year, Village Mothership – streaming at Spotify – with bassist William Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp. It’s a shout-out to the three’s East Village home turf via a methodical, often rather dark series of longscale pieces topping out at about the eleven minute mark.

The bandleader throws off playful cymbal flickers as Parker spaciously holds the center and Shipp quickly grows to his usual Loch Ness glimmer as the first tune, A Thing and Nothing takes shape, rising resolutely and steadily, then falling away to the stygian depths Shipp mines so well. A wry but disquieting descent ensues into a Twilight Zone of the piano. You could call much of the rest of this ten-minute joint Webernian swing.

Whirling in the Void is less a spin than a stern, emphatic, occasionally crushing modal exploration, Dickey and Shipp chopping the weeds in an abandoned East Village tenement foundation of the mind. When Shipp starts spiraling, Dickey’s judicious half-tumbles are there to catch anything that might fall.

Nothingness is not a John Cage piece but a defragged version of the previous number, clusters juxtaposed with gentle scrambles and hints of a famous Steely Dan theme, Parker dexterously maintaining various central pulses and finally percolating to the surface.

Dickey opens the album’s title track with a spare, nuanced, suspenseful solo before Shipp’s modalities drive it further into the obsidian; this time bass and drums switch roles, more or less sparingly, midway through. The album’s biggest thrill ride is Down Void Way, Parker’s frantic bowing above Shipp’s murky turbulence and variations on the album’s most memorably unsettled theme.

The closing number, Nothing and a Thing, is the most loosely tethered piece here, infused with a solemn bluesiness but also sardonic humor. It’s a clinic in the kind of enigmatic moodiness these three can conjure.

September 12, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Jazz Luminaries on the Loose on the Lower East Side Today

Trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and drummer Tcheser Holmes are the core of protest jazz improvisers Irreversible Entanglements, who are opening a great afternoon of free jazz at 1:30 PM today, Sept 11 in the community garden at 33 E 1st St. just east of Second Ave. The show continues at 2:30 with violinist  Jason Kao Hwang‘s trio, then at 3:30 there’s vocalist Ellen Christi with bassist William Parker on other strings (sintir, most likely) and Jackson Krall on water phone and drums! East Village stalwart and baritone sax maven Dave Sewelson and his trio with Parker and drummer Bobby Kapp wind it up starting at 4:30.

Navarro and Holmes’ album Heritage of the Invisible II – streaming at Bandcamp – is yet another of the seemingly endless vault of recordings that were on track for a 2020 release but derailed by the plandemic. It’s a kitchen-sink record, peppered with spoken word, electronics, keyboard overdubs and a few cameos. In general, Navarro is the good cop with his terse, incisive themes while Holmes chews the scenery.

The opening and closing numbers are ambient, loopy things that could be termed helicoptering rainscapes. Navarro fires off darkly jubilant riffs into the reverb over Holmes’ driving cymbals in the second track, Plaintains. He hits a loose-limbed clave beneath Navarro’s incisive, flamenco-flavored lines in Pueblo, which is over way too soon. Next, he runs frenetic circles around Navarro’s resonance and Brigitte Zozula’s contrastingly silky vocals.

The rest of the record includes a jaunty piano blues interlude by Nick Sanders; hailstorms of press rolls contrasting with playful, loopy trumpet minimalism; and a couple of frenetic improvisations with Navarro on piano.

September 11, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trumpeter Summer Camargo Serenades the Crowd at Bryant Park

Last night at Bryant Park, Summer Camargo validated her status as a genuine rising star in the jazz world. The twenty-year-old trumpeter has a full, crystalline sound, but also peppers that with moments of striking extended technique, something that may still be a work in progress.. She also needs a website. Representing her hometown of Hollywood, Florida, she’s the granddaughter of a Baptist minister who did double duty as a country singer. She’s an engaging, unselfconsciously charismatic presence onstage and a prolific, translucent tunesmith, as evidenced by her performance leading a sextet which included Mark Castro on piano, Jeff Milller on trombone and Chris Lewis on alto sax. flute and clarinet.

They opened with a sturdy, traditionalist swing take of her original JP Shuffle, written for her dad, “A very happy positive person.” They followed with a jazz waltz version of the Charlie Brown pumpkin waltz theme, Lewis taking a turn on flute, the bandleader taking a long, expressive, resonant solo on flugelhorn. Castro’s spaciously rippling piano solo gave way to the bassist, who took it down to a whisper as the piano flickered.

The group returned to originals with Top Down, Shades On, a summery, punchy, latin-tinged midtempo tune with bright horn harmonies, a precise trombone solo and some wryly conversational, increasingly jubilant, ultimately irresistible triangulation between the horns. They wound it out with a punchy, precise, incisively bluesy piano solo and a deviously flurrying one from the drums.

Camargo introduced Grateful For the Good Times as a reflection on “A very emotionally trying time for me, lost some friends, lost some dear people, lost a pet.” The rhythm section built from a brief, misty piano solo, Camargo taking a lingering, saturnine verse, choosing her spots, Castro parsing Debussyesque raindrops with his solo.

Next was a pulsing, low-key, swinging take of Basie’s Splanky, Camargo descending with her mute in and a bluesy cheer. Lewis led a subdued bit of call-and-response from his bandmates before escalating back into the blues.

They followed with a deliciously balmy, swaying, gently accented jazz reinvention of the BeeGees’ Too Much Heaven with thoughtful, reflective trumpet and sax solos, then had conversational, dixieland fun with an instrumental version of an old cheeseball Broadway song.

Camargo explained that she wrote 80 Tears of Joy in memory of her grandmother. Castro gave it an animated gospel-tinged solo piano intro, Camargo rising to anguished in her soulful solo over a determined, bluesy midtempo swing. A fond exchange between sax and trumpet brought the song full circle. They closed with a briskly strutting minor-key blues with biting, rhythmic solos from trumpet, sax and piano.

There’s more jazz coming up at Bryant Park: purist pianist Yuka Aikawa will be playing a solo lunchtime show there on Sept 12 through 16 at half past noon

September 10, 2022 Posted by | concert, jazz, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Jazz Icon Daniel Carter Releases a Surreal Virginia Woolf-Inspired Album

Daniel Carter‘s latest addition to his epic discography is The Uproar in Bursts of Sound and Silence. It’s yet another one of those albums whose production was wrapped up in 2019, but which are just now seeing the light of day. It’s a highlight among Carter’s hundreds of releases because it features him mostly on vocals. The New York free jazz multi-wind legend has gone on record as saying that he wants to be a rapper by the time he hits ninety. This album – which is mostly up at Bandcamp – validates that objective.

Two numbers feature Carter doing spoken word excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s iconic, haunting novel The Waves. Carter delivers his own lyrics on another, and there are also two extended instrumentals where he plays flute, clarinet, soprano and alto sax.

The brief first track, Hands, at the Bonfire is all foreshadowing: you have to listen closely to catch the creepy ending as the loopy backdrop from Evan Strauss’ synth and Sheridan Riley’s staggered drums fades out. The second number, Gemini Rising is the the real jazz odyssey here. A guitarist who goes by “5-Track” plays icy chorus-box flares and washes as Strauss’ bass moves slowly and judiciously, matched by Riley’s cymbals while Carter’s overdubs float calmly amid the slowly diverging web recorded in Seattle in 2018. It’s sort of the missing link between Metal Box-era Public Image Ltd., Bill Laswell and Dave Fiuczynski’s eerily starry microtonal work.

Strauss – credited as composer on all the tunes here and drawing on his own transcriptions of birdsong – plays bass plus bass clarinets and tenor sax over a skittish, increasingly quavery forward drive on Examination Exanimation, behind Carter’s fragmentary, metaphorically loaded imagery. The final cut is Aquarian Mars, a jaggedly swaying, creepy ba-bump tune spiced with soaring slide guitar.

Carter’s next gig is at 1:30 PM tomorrow, Sept 5 at that afternoon free jazz extravaganza at the community garden at 129 Stanton St near Essex with soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and flutist Laura Cocks. Drummer TA Thompson’s Sonic Matters with bassist Ken Filiano and brilliant jazz bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck follows on the bill; the similar and potentially haunting Andrew Lamb Trio close out the afternoon starting at 4.

September 4, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, poetry, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Dusky Jewel and a Lower East Side Park Gig From Bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck

Bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck has pushed the envelope with what can be done on one of the world’s most soulful, expressive instruments for more than two decades. She loves extended technique, writes terse and translucent melodies and has no fear of darkness. Her latest, self-titled album – streaming at youtube – dates from the dark days of the 2021 lockdown, a series of rapturous and often plaintive duets with like-minded performers. Schoenbeck’s next show is a prime opportunity to watch her work a similarly intimate magic on Sept 5 at around 2:30 PM in the community garden at 129 Stanton St near Essex, where she’s playing as part of a trio with drummer TA Thompson and bassist Ken Filiano. Soprano sax wizard Sam Newsome opens the afternoon at 1:30 with flutist Laura Cocks and multi-wind icon Daniel Carter; reedman Andrew Lamb and his trio close out the afternoon starting at 4. Take the F or J/M to Delancey St.

The album’s opening track is O’Saris, Schoenbeck building distorted duotones and then a fond nocturne over drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s distant, mystical rumbles and what could be a gong, She provides a solid foundation, playing good cop to Nicole Mitchell’s rather coy responses until the flutist lures her into an increasingly dynamic conversation in the ten-minute Sand Dune Trilogy. Although there are moments of wry humor in places, the duo focus on creating a steely, modal poignancy as they move along.

Schoenbeck’s cover of Lullaby, by Low, with Nels Cline on guitar, is a dystopic dirge: the instant where his acidic spirals launch Schoenbeck’s introductory phrasing will take your breath away. Rising from from minimalist arpeggios, the du0 give you danger before any promise of a new dawn fades to a mechanical chill. It’s impossible to think of a more poignant or spot-on musical reflection of the past thirty months than this.

Then Schoenbeck pairs with Roscoe Mitchell for Chordata, a spacious moment of comic revelry. If you make videos, this makes a great soundtrack for the goofiest meme you can find.

She picks up the pace with pianist Matt Mitchell in Augur Strokes, exchanging enigmatic clusters equally informed by Messiaen and the baroque, punctuated by judicious use of space (a major theme in Schoenbeck’s work). Exploring brooding portents and puckish poltergeist motives, the duo rise to turbulence and then bring everything full circle.

She pairs with Mark Dresser for the aptly titled Absence, a warily expanding, distantly blues-tinged tableau, shadowed by the bassist’s sparse, broodingly bowed washes and flickers. Anaphoria, with Wayne Horvitz, never breaks free from a moody, Armenian-tinged undercurrent despite the pianist’s leaps and bounds.

Cellist Peggy Lee’s muted slashes contrast with Schoenbeck’s haunted explorations, then the two coalesce with their keening, resonant harmonics in Suspend a Bridge. Pianist/songwriter Robin Holcomb sings the allusively portentous final cut, Sugar as Schoenbeck floats elegically overhead:

What’s for certain no one can tell
It’s a low day
Sniper raven in the air
Stealing silver from my hair
Carve initials on the stairs
Then fly away
Your shadow feels the same as you
I wear it as you want me to
Now there’s so much more to do
Until it’s over .

Count this as one of the half-dozen most darkly gorgeous albums of the past year.

September 3, 2022 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment