Friday, June 6, 2008

Improv Night @ The Stone 6/5/08

I went to the 8pm set. The first set of my wonderful night that would include 3 more quite different shows at 2 more venues. It was a very fun night.

Anyway, I've now figured out what they tend to do for Improv Night is Zorn brings some of his friends and the curator(s) bring some friends and then they split up into different mini-bands and all come out at the end for the grand finale. It's all completely improvised and you never know how it's going to turn out. It's also kind of fun when you get there because most of the artists are downstairs and you just see the setup. I did see Shanir when I got there, so I was already happy. I couldn't remember who the curators were, so I was intrigued about who would be playing the other bass and the piano. Other than that, there were no other instruments out already and no white chairs for musicians set up. Hmm, could this mean lots of horns?

It's hard to get all the names because they only give them at the end and very quickly while people are clapping. I took some time to check out the schedule and see if I could figure out who some of them are, and I can't.

It started with 3 saxes and a trombone: Louis Belogenis on that little curved soprano that looks very pristine and almost looks like a toy, John Zorn,a tenor, and a trombone. It was very frenetic, chaotic, lots of squeaks and squawks. It sounded great, though.

I couldn't get over how Zorn was wearing one of his hoodie things. He had a The Dreamers T-shirt on underneath. Anyone who's been to The Stone knows it can get rather hot in there. That's especially true for the performers. I always figure if they can do it and play for us, I can go and patronize.

Next up was Anthony Coleman and Brad Jones. That was awesome. Coleman had emptied his pockets before beginning and put his keys, cash, and a few other things on top of the piano. Later, we would see him put all that stuff on the strings, looking for more stuff to add weight. He was so great and enjoyable to watch. I had the perfect seat, the one in the front row all the way next to the wall on the inside of the V, in front of the "stage". That meant, I could see some of the piano keys and since the piano was on the other side of the room, I could also see everything that was happening in the reflection in the lid. I love that, especially when it's a pianist who likes to play the strings.

After that, Brad Jones was about to go downstairs, but Zorn and Shanir came up and Zorn told him to stay. 2 big basses and Zorn. That was very cool. Zorn did a lot of sounds that fit in really well with the basses. Bass-like sounds. He then "deviated" from that for a bit and came back to similar sounds later. It was really good.

Next was a female bassoon player, I think her name was Carla, but I'm not sure. She played with Anthony Coleman and I think the tenor sax from the first act that I don't know. Now Coleman had brought up 2 cans of diet coke and some large duct tape. He was throwing the cans on the piano strings and playing it that way, or hitting the keys for the strings the diet coke was on. He also used duct tape on some of the strings. It sounded great and was quite interesting. I remember I did like the bassoon and that I enjoyed the whole piece, since I enjoyed every moment of the show.

Next was Shanir, Louis Belogenis on tenor, and the trombone. That was awesome. Shanir especially shined. He was grooving for a bit, then he'd do other things. It ended with an incredible bass solo with Shanir using the bow. That may have been my favorite part of the night. It was awesome.

The last subset piece was Anthony Coleman, Brad Jones, the bassoon and I'm pretty sure the trombone. I might be getting this a little confused with the other bassoon piece. It was awesome. I was into how cool it was to have the bassoon and trombone playing together. Today, it now hits me, BASSoon. Cool! Caused me to see this in wikipedia: "The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers and occasionally even higher."

Then, the grand finale with everyone was great. Sometimes they would all be playing at once, others it would be subsets for a bit. Belogenis had his soprano for this.

And this was only the start of my night! I will write up the rest later.

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