Great show last night at Club Midway. It was supposed to be:
Han Bennink with Dave Douglas, Matt Penman and Donnie McCaslin
But, surprise, surprise, it also included John Zorn 1st set and Louis Bonilla both sets! I didn’t even miss Zorn when he left after the 1st, but thoroughly enjoyed him while he was there.
It was really like being at a jazz jam, where they kind of touched on many different genres of jazz. It was one of those “I am so lucky to be here” kind of nights.
1st set was somewhat crowded. Most people wanted to sit. There were some chairs, and some people sitting on the floor up front. If you stood in the back, you probably couldn’t see a thing. I was able to walk up and get a standing, er, dancing spot in front of the stage on the right. I was very happy. I could see everything, had a little room to move, and it was incredible.
1st set started and ended with all 6 playing together. The middle was a lot of different subsets, sometimes in one improvised song, sometimes a whole improvised song. It got free at times, but for the most part there was a lot of structure and cohesiveness to the music. There was one jam with Zorn, Douglas, Bennink, and Penman. I never saw Zorn play like that, it was more like a very lively NOLA jam than the “out there” stuff I usually see him play. He was doing a lot of out there at first, during earlier “songs”, it just started settling into something I was enjoying even more.
The bass player, Matt Penman was the only one I never saw before. He’s great. He held down a great groove at times. Of course, I was the only one dancing at any time, but there were a few head bops from time to time. I’m sure it wasn’t considered danceable to almost anyone else.
Bennink played almost all the time, which was great. He is quite impressive and really was why most people came out.
2nd set was awesome, and a lot less people.
I wish I had more time to write as there’s a lot more to say. I did wonder if this was what the old NYC loft shows of the 70s were like. It was very special to have so much incredible talent all playing what they feel in each moment.