Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vision Fest + New Languages Festival 6/14/08

It was a little better temp and stuffiness wise last night. They had signs on the door to the theatre about keeping the door closed so they can keep the room cool. Well, cool was kind of a joke, but it was better. There were less people, but every seat was taken and some were standing, so it was still pretty full. They had a door open right by my dancing spot, so sometimes there was a nice cool breeze right by me.

I got there in the middle of the 1st set. Now, I know it had funk in the title, and lots of dancers, but I still didn't believe them that it would be FUNK. I thought it would be that type of jazz that they call funk sometimes even though it's not that funky by today's standards. I was so happy it was much more bopping than I expected. Actually, it was quite awesome. Having such great avant garde musicians doing avant funk is a recipe for awesome. I know I was getting down in my spot in the back by the door.

When I walked in, Lewis Barnes was kind of rapping and there were 4 dancers on the dance floor, which was a space on the floor in front of the stage. It was 2 guys and 2 girls and it was awesome. It felt kind of like watching people on the dance floor early in the night at a club or something. Although, they were definitely professional dancers. They were each improvising, sometimes doing their own thing, sometimes synching up with each other. Sabir Mateen would sing at times as well. It was awesome and went on for a while.

Then they slowed it down a bit and Patricia Nicholson Parker came out on her own for a bit. She also would get on the stage for a bit and do some voice. After a while, the other dancers would come on from time to time. That was a little slower, but not slow.

I don't think I saw any capoeira exactly, but that guy was up there. Maybe I didn't notice it because it's supposed to be a conversation between 2 dancer/fighters.

7:30pm Celestial Moon Beams Funk
Lewis Barnes (tp) / Sabir Mateen (reeds) / Rob Brown (as) / Jason Kao Hwang (vi) Todd Nicholson (b) / Gerald Cleaver (dr)
Dance: Patricia Nicholson / Miriam Parker / Jason Jordan / Julia Wilkins
Capoeira: Solomon Nadaf & JonMichael Leccia

I was so glad to finally get to see Matthew Shipp. He's been on my list for years, it just never worked out. Well, I will have to make more of a point from now on. That was phenomenal. I was feeling every moment, and they had me dancing the entire time. The bass solo and the drum solo were awesome.

8:30pm Matthew Shipp Trio
Matthew Shipp (p) / Whit Dickey (dr) / Joe Morris (b)

Then I went over to New Languages Festival for 20-30 minutes and really enjoyed that set. It was one of the guys who was running the festival, and it was good improvised avant garde. I remember thinking I was kind of missing that particular type of style, if you can call it something particular. at Vision Fest. It's hard to describe, but it was great and was in the right time slot for when I got to it.

Oh, and I loved the very intense different drummer. Those drums really had me going. I think that was what made it so different.

Aaron Ali Shaikh
with Michael Formanek and Randy Peterson
Saturday, June 14th 9pm
Aaron Ali Shaikh • Saxophone
Michael Formanek • Bass
Randy Peterson • Drums

I had to tear myself away because I wanted to see the Henry Grimes set at Vision Fest. Wow! That was phenomenal! I don't remember seeing Henry play the violin before, but I must have. He was amazing. The sax was really, really awesome. It was cool to see a bagpipe. It sounded great with the violin. I was surprised he wasn't blowing into anything as I thought that was part of a bagpipe. I just look it up in wikipedia, and I see it was probably a bellows driven bagpipe. Later I met some friends of his who said he almost had it confiscated when he came through customs. That would have been a shame.

9:30pm Paul Dunmall / Henry Grimes / Andrew Cyrille
Paul Dunmall (ts, bagpipes) / Henry Grimes (b, vi) / Andrew Cyrille (d)

Then, rather than running back over to New Languages, I decided to rest and hang out for a bit. I missed this, even though I want to see Adrew Drury. I think I may have seen him once and I like him, but I'm not sure. I know he sometimes plays with Jessica Lurie.

Saturday, June 14th 9pm
Bruce Eisenbeil • Guitar
Tom Blancarte • Bass
Andrew Drury • Drums

I did stay for the next set that was really good. That was completely different and definitely something I'd see at The Stone. I had never heard of them, but it seemed most people knew them. It was very improvised and they occasionally used voice as well. It was interesting that Joelle always used the bow with the bass.

10:30pm George Lewis / Joelle Leandre
George Lewis (tb, electronics) & Joelle Leandre (b)

Then I had to run over to The Living Theatre for the last act. I was so glad they were on already, I was worried it would be too early. Anything with Chris Speed or Jim Black is sure to be awesome. The 2 together is an extra special treat. I hadn't seen the bass player before, but he was awesome. It was an acoustic guitar-looking bass hooked up to an amp. That was truly great.

Chris Speed
with Skuli Sverrison and Jim Black
Saturday, June 14th 11pm
Chris Speed • Reeds
Skuli Sverrison • Bass
Jim Black • Drums

It might have been better to just stay there, but I really wanted to see what this Italian band was like, so I left after about 30 min. They were pretty good. It didn't go on much longer, and the show I saw at New Languages was far more special. Still, it was good and I'm glad I got the chance to see them.

11:30pm Marraffa/Braida/Borghini/Sper
Fabrizio Spera (dr) / Edoardo Marraffa (reeds) /
Alberto Braida (p) / Antonio Borghini (b)

It ended a little before 1am, and I couldn't think of any more music I wanted to see, so I went home. I do wish they did the afterparry on Sat or that Hypnotic Brass Ensemble was playing at Blue Note Sat instead of Fri, but what can you do. I heard the afterparty on Fri was cancelled, but I do remember seeing Jason Kao Hwang over at the Living Theatre late, so I don't know for a fact that a late late show didn't happen.

New Languages was an awesome festival. I wish they had it tonight, too. I loved how I didn't know who many of the musicians are. I just got a whole new set of people to add to the list that are doing really new stuff.

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