Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Albert Ayler Birthday Celebration 7/13/08

This was a great 3 band gig at The Brecht Forum last Sun for $10.

I got there around 7:45 and was able to get the last 1/2 hour of the Ras Moshe ensemble. I have seen them before, but they are great. It's improvised, so it's always different. I love the 2 double bass players, Todd Nicholson and Tom Zlabinger. Dave Ross was great on guitar. He was strumming the strings with his hand in quite different positions from the usual. It looked like much harder, more conducive to carpel tunnel, and it sounded great. It fit in well with the improvising. He and Ras were also in the last band, which was a tribute ensemble. Larry Roland came up to the mic at some point and read one of his poems, that I thought was great. I was also blown away by how much his voice sounds like Albert Ayler. I really felt Ayler's presence simply because of that.

The first 2 sets didn't sound like Ayler's music per se, but as we were told at the start of Matt Lavelle/Eri Yamamoto/Clif Jackson, he's in there. They were all heavily influenced by Ayler among all the other avant-garde greats. That was my first time seeing Eri even though I've been trying for years. I don't know if she still has that early trio gig every Thurs, Fri, and Sat at Arthur's Tavern, but it was kind of ridiculous I never got there. She's great. I thought she added a lot and wasn't showy at all. Clif Jackson is another good upright player. This music seemed a little more mellow, but very enjoyable.

The Albert Ayler Tribute Band was phenomenal. Ras Moshe, Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter, and Joe Rigby each had their own alto, tenor and flute. In addition, Ras had this cool instrument you blow through that looked a little like a kazoo. The sound reminded me of William Parker's Chinese reeds but a little different. Sabir had a piccolo, Carter had his trumpet, and Rigby had a soprano. That was 16 wind instruments between the 4 of them. Larry Roland was back on one of those skinny stand-up basses. He also read a poem at one point. There was also another poet that read a couple during the performance, I think his name is Rashid Bakr (Charles Downs), I'm not sure what that means. We also had Dave Ross back playing the interesting guitar.

That set started with a poem by Rashid and the 4 had their flutes. Mateen quickly switched to the piccolo. Carter would start picking up his trumpet and some of them would pick up a sax and maybe go back to the flute for a bit. Then things started taking off after the poem. Once they got going on the saxophones they each picked up their own Ayler vibe and it got quite interesting. Cacophonous is the word that comes to mind. At times each of them were playing different Ayler pieces from different periods. It was kind of loud but really fun. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. We did get another of Roland's poems toward the end and that was nice.

There were lots of options on Sun and I'm glad I chose that!

played in celebration of master Albert Aylers birthday
at 7pm the Ras Moshe ensemble
at 8pm ill be bringing a new set of tunes to play
with Eri Yamamoto (piano) and Clif Jackson (bass).
at 9pm,..Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter, Joe Rigby and Ras Moshe
give it up to master ALBERT.
"if they dont like it now,.they will..."
the brecht forum is at 451 west st.
take any train to w14th and head west.

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