Sunday, March 22, 2009

Music Now @ The Brecht Forum 3/21/09 Sunday, March 22, 2009 8:45 PM

Even though I slept til 11 I was pretty tired and felt like staying in. I had a busy day and would have been happy watching HBO all night. But, before making the final decision, I just had to check the options, including AAJ. I then changed course and ended up at this nice multi-band show for a mere $10.

I'm pretty happy as I got 3 nice sets of music. I couldn't keep my eyes open toward the end, so I missed the last ensemble, but the rest was all good.

It started with Ras Moshe's Music Now Group with Kyoko Kitamura on vocals, Tom Zlabinger on contrabass, Daniel Levin on cello and Anders Nilsson on guitar. Ras had his tenor and flute. It was very good. I'm pretty sure I've seen this group at The Brecht Forum before. With the Allmans in town, I'm very focused on the slide guitar. Nilsson kept grabbing my attention with his slide and soulful playing. Tom Z was awesome on the bass. I loved how the bass and cello were next to each other. It definitely highlighted the differences.

Next was Guiseppi Logan, who is apparently one of the great old-timers. He's still got something left in him. He played bass clarinet and alto sax while Matt Lavelle played trumpet and bass clarinet and Francois Grillot played bass on some standards like Caravan. Don't let the music books fool you, they were stretching it out at times. It ended with a nice little bass clarinet face-off jam.

I was getting very droopy during that set. Roy Campbell was supposed to be next, but they switched and The Nioka Trio was coming up next instead. All I had to do was see Michael Wimberly setting up his percussion and Nioka get out her beautiful electric cello that looks like an anchor and I knew I'd be able to stay up for this.

I was further intrigued when Michael Wimberly pulled out that thing with the spokes that Billy Martin was playing just the night before. I asked and found out it is an aquasonic and Michael doesn't put water in it. I suspect Billy doesn't use water, either. It looks like this is THE video on how its used.

It was one phenomenal piece and all they had for the evening, in spite of the audience cries for more. The dancing was great. It started out more modern. Then the dancer left for a bit, allowing us to focus on the musicians. She left in jeans and came back in a skirt. Her 2nd part was still modern, with a sprinkling of African here and there.

The piece was fantastic. Someone asked if she is Reggie Workman's daughter. I never got the answer.

That was it for me. I had to miss Roy Campbell, Joel Freedman, Hill Greene, Tom Zlabinger, Tor Yochai Snyder, and Ras Moshe. Oh well.

The ensemble also included Lewis Barnes on trumpet and Leslie Parker on dance/movement. This was phenomenal and well worth staying out past 10pm on a Sat night.

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