I went to the 2nd set. We were told at the door no John Zorn, but that isn't a show-stopper for me. I do like it when he's there, but its usually awesome regardless. It is too bad he sprained his ankle and is stuck at home because he lives on the 5th floor.
The setup was quite interesting, and I was very intrigued. No drumkit, but the piano was out there was a pie plate on it. That got me interested and curious. I got there early so I could get a good seat. I then heard the door guy telling people Chris Speed and Ned Rothenberg are there and I got very excited. Then I see Eyal Maoz come in and get more excited. I will be sitting next to him, so I got out my earplugs for easy access. Then I see Annie Gosfield come up and I'm REALLY psyched. It does look like there was a drumkit for the 1st set because the rug is up there, but with nothing on it.
This night was a big winner. It was nice to have less artists than usual.
The 1st piece was a guitar duo. Eyal Maoz and Yoshie Fruchter, sitting right by me. Yoshie was next to and a little in front of me and Eyal was angled next to him, kind of like the 2 of them and the girl next to me are sitting in a circle. I think I've seen Yoshi before, but I'm not quite sure. He was great. There were moments where I thought his guitar sounded more like a cello. I'm not quite sure how he was doing it. He had an interesting tool that looked like 3 long screws attached together at one end to a round thing. He would sometimes play the strings with it, making some interesting and wonderful sounds. Eyal was doing something similar with his fingers playing the strings. This was a great piece and a great way to start it off.
It was nice to follow the guitar duo with a sax duo. Chris Speed on tenor and Ned Rothenberg on alto. I probably don't have to tell you how stellar that was.
Keeping with the theme, we then get a keyboard duo, if you consider the beautiful grand piano a keyboard. Dan Kelly and Annie Gosfield. Kelly does some interesting playing of the piano strings using pie tins. It was a very nice vibrating sound when he left a pie tin on the strings and played the keys - it was similar to a drone. It was nice to have all the great electric sounds coming from Annie. They sounded great together.
Next up was a trio. Annie stayed up and was joined by Chris Speed and Yoshie on guitar. There's always one I can't remember that well, and this is the one this show. I must have enjoyed it.
Then I was happy to see Ned Rothenberg come out with his bass clarinet. He was joined by Eyal Maoz and Dan Kelly. That was great. Ned's awesome on all of his instruments, but my absolute favorite is when he plays bass clarinet.
After that it was time for the grand finale with everyone. Ned stayed with the bass clarinet. It was very nice to have just 6 artists. It was well done. Once they finished the piece, they gave us another short piece.
It was awesome!
6/20 Saturday (MB)
8 and 10 pm
JOHN ZORN IMPROV NIGHT—A Stone Benefit
John Zorn (sax) Ned Rothenberg (sax) Dan Kelly (piano) Annie Gosfield (keyboards) Eyal Maoz (guitar) Yoshie Fruchter (guitar) Dougie Bowne (drums) and many special guests