I usually like to go to Montreal jazzfest around this time, but I have a wedding to go to today, so I decided to skip it entirely. I only stayed here once for 4th of July in the past several years. I'm glad there were more music options than the last time 2 years ago. I saw the fireworks that year from my friend's roof, which was nice, but I get kind of bored with fireworks. It was nice to take it easy and it was nice that it seemed more people stayed in town this year. The music last night was really awesome and I saved a ton of money not going to Montreal.
I was very intrigued to find out what a bazantar is. I got the seat up front and was able to really look at it before the show. It was a big bass that was enhanced with more strings on the side and lots of those things you turn to tighten and loosen strings. Here's some specifics.
JD Parran's set up looked pretty interesting as well. It was a little different contrabass clarinet than I saw Lucien Dubuis playing last month at Drom. I think Parran said it was a contrabass clarinet in E-Flat. He also had a lot of interesting African flutes and mbiras and some percussion shaky things.
I was really intrigued by the bazantar at first. He could just play it like a bass for a bit and sometimes there was a drone. It took me a bit to figure out what that Indian sound reminded me of. I realized the bazantar was somewhat like a combination bass and sitar.
I also love any kind of bass clarinet and the whole thing was awesome. That hour went very very quickly because it was so good. I've got to try to get to The Stone as much as I can the next 2 weeks. There's a different curator for the 2nd half of the month, who's schedule looks pretty good. I'm just very interested in exploring this area a little more. So far, it looks like music based in some math principles and very into frequencies and music that intentionally affects humans in deep ways.
Mark Deutsch and JD Parran Duo
Mark Deutsch (bazantar, banjo) JD Parran (contrabass clarinet, bamboo flutes, mbiras)
Performing and composing together for almost a decade, this duo delivers unabashed and beautiful continuity of time and timbre.
I then needed to go home and have a cup of tea before Club d'Elf at Crash Mansion. The fireworks started while I was going home and they seemed pretty close. I could see some of them, and I heard a sax and a lot of people in Tompkins Square Park. I do have to admit I get bored with fireworks after a while. I wanted my cup of tea more. It was perfect.
There were only about 30 people or so at Crash Mansion. I got the last few songs of Paradigm. They were good, but way way too loud. It was also very cold in there. I stood as far away as I could to still see. My ears hurt a little from how loud it was. I think if it wasn't so loud, I would have been more into it and it would have had me dancing. But, I could only move my head a little. I was moving more in my chair at the avant-garde stuff at The Stone earlier. The guitar player was very good. The one thing about the loudness was that you couldn't hear the talkers. I only noticed them when the band stopped to introduce.
I was glad when Club d'Elf came on it was a reasonable volume. Out of the 30 or so people, there were about 10 talkers. It seemed like most of them friends of the band or from the previous band. It seems that's the way it is often. They could get kind of loud with the talking at times. Everyone was sitting around the perimeter at the tables except for me. I moved closer to the band and was able to drown out the talking as much as I could. They had me so into it and grooving that I could forget the talking a lot.
They are always excellent. Even though they tend to play a lot of the same material, it's always fresh and different every time I see them. This was a different combination that I've seen. They are on a mini-tour and it seemed like maybe it was the Boston guys playing this time. I'm just remembering now that they alluded to the possibility of Calvin Weston sitting in. He wasn't there, but they didn't need anything extra.
It's too bad more people don't know about this. They should get much more of a turnout. It's also too bad that in NYC people always want to sit. It's not a sit down kind of band. I'm told when they play at Lizard Lounge in Boston everybody's dancing. I know I can dance to everything, but this really is get-down music that a lot of people would dance to. I think the only reason they don't in NYC is because when there's seats, New Yorkers sit. Even when there aren't enough seats, they tend to sit on the floor. It's weird.
Anyway, it was definitely worthwhile to stay in town for last night.
w/ Paradigm (myspace.com/paradigmgroove). d'Elf: Mat Maneri (elec viola), Paul Schultheis (keyboards), Mike Rivard (bass & sintir) & Dean Johnston (drums)