That was an excellent extra special jazz show. I really love that space. I sat in the 2nd row center. These shows are curated by a guy at the Jazz Museum in Harlem and are jointly done by both museums. The Jazz Museum guy told us the sound gets even better the farther back you sit. I never tried that, but I do like to sit up front so I can see everything and feel closer to the action, if I'm sitting, that is.
The music was excellent and the musicians were excellent. I'm always impressed by Paul Motion. He seems to have a unique style and approach that you don't see anyone else doing. I started wondering how he does it, I think I read somewhere he never practices. Is he improvising while everyone else is reading? Does it sound different every time? I think it probably does, when I read this quote:
“A lot of people,” Motian complains, “ask why I do something, as if there was a lot of forethought behind it. No, man, this shit is an accident. Kenny Clarke didn’t plan on being ‘the father of bebop drums.’ It just happened because the tempo was so fast that all he could do was play accents on the bass drum!”
They also got me very interested in doing the mini tour. Anat chose a painting of Milarepa, who was audoivoyant. The picture shows him with a hand up to his ear. He wrote a lot of songs and there's a story of how he killed 35 people and became a saint. The Rubin Museum guy tried to hook us in with that, but only about 4 of us decided to stick around to see the work and hear the story. I like the little mini-tour, it's quick and I don't know if I'd be that interested in a long tour of the works.
Anyway, they always ask the artists to either compose a piece or improvise with the chosen artwork in mind. Anat sat down to compose for the Milarepa painting and ended up with 3 pieces. They played them all together at the end. They were great and all different.
The set was probably about 75-90 minutes and outstanding.