Monday, June 9, 2008

4 Duos @ Zebulon 6/8/08

That was really good. I thought it was a great concept, have a few drummers in one show and have them each bring a +1 to play with for about 20 minutes. It was exciting to see who they would show up with.

The first set was Ches Smith and Okkyung Lee. That was great improvised avant-garde. I’ve seen both of them in many settings now and I know that anything they participate in will be good.

Next up was 2 drummers I never saw before, Kevin Shea + Fritz Welch. That was good noisy avant-garde experimental improvisation. It was kind of chaotic and fun.

After that was Mark Guiliana + Tim Lefebvre, and that was some kind of long song. There had to be plenty of room to improvise in that. That had me really dancing for most of it. I think it went across a lot of the spectrum of funk to rock. It was very grooving at times and I was losing myself a little dancing in the crowded place, so I had to be careful. It did get a little quiet at times, I mean quiet on the funk-rock continuum line, which isn't THAT quiet. It ended with something harder and louder and rockish. It was great and well placed in the lineup. I’m not sure if I ever saw Guiliana before, but I’m going to look out for him.

All of the drummers so far also had some kind of congs or various metal things to band on, like bowls, etc.

Next and last was Ryan Sawyer and a singer that a lot of people knew, but I never heard of. I think he said his name is Tande, but I’m not really sure. The singer had a little table set up on stage, with his on mic and some kind of electronic box, so he was also doing “electronics”. At the very start, there were lots of people talking and Sawyer had started with the brushes on the drums, and the electronics was making an interesting sound. Sawyer gets up and continues using the brushes on the drums as he walks around them and then comes out to the audience and shakes the brushes several times around at them in a way that seemed very much part of the show. He goes back onstage and then shakes the brushes a few times into the mic and then sits down. That was a very clever way to get everyone interested and to shut everyone up. I mean, genius.

It was wonderful. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, Ryan Sawyer is one of the great drummers. The singer was really a vocalist/electronics and they were definitely doing a duo performance. It was great.

There was originally also supposed to be Dan Weiss + 1. It was soon clear that they were done, and later I looked it up to see he’s got some gigs in Nova Scotia and that explains that.

Again, I think it was a great concept and I really hope they do it again sometime.

I should also mention that most people were great listeners and there for the music. It’s just the only “problem” with the venue is it is also a neighborhood bar. I don’t mind because they are so laid back about everything that it’s probably essential they don’t institute any type of “policies”, like a “quiet policy”. It’s nice that you really can stand anywhere and the server may have to push by you, but they never give you a hard time. I try to be aware of when I’m close to being in their way and stay out of it as much as I can. Still, it’s hard in such a little place.

ZebulonJune, 8 2008 at DUO EXCHANGES,A Drummer + One...5 differents Duo...zebulon, williamsburg, 11211Cost : freeWITH... Ches Smith+1 Ryan Sawyer+1 Dan Weiss+1 Mark Guiliana+1 Kevin Shea+1

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