Sunday, February 21, 2010

Masada Marathon @ Abrons Art Center 2/17/10

Typical Zorn: stellar music, well-executed, amazing lineup, in a wonderful space.

Each set change took about 5 minutes. Each ensemble played for about 1/2 hour. The music was all of the highest quality.

Banquet of Spirits was first. Even though I saw them recently, I don't think I could ever get sick of them. Their 1/2 hour set was quite different from what I saw a couple of weeks ago. Cyro started off on the jaw harp. Tim played the string that might be a kora as a duo with Shanir on oud this time. That was quite different from last time. It was also nice to see them on a big stage.

Next was an amazing Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoissier duo. I've seen them play together at The Stone, but I forgot all of it. I forgot that their pieces have elements of some very well-known pieces. It gives some familiarity to what they do, which connects them to their audience. I'm also in awe of how talented they are. They are definitely each at the top of their field.

Next came an amazing ensemble of Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Jamie Saft on piano, Matt Wilson on drums, and Greg Cohen on bass. I especially loved the clarinet and bass, but it was all incredible.

I didn't think I knew Ben Goldberg before, but it turns out he in Tin Hat Trio. So, I must have seen him before. Thank goodness for this blog. My internet search took me to a different of Ben Goldberg's quartet's Go Home, which I attended and loved. Here's another article I found in my search.

The next ensemble was Mycale, which consists of 4 female vocalists. This was really great, they were great vocal instrumentalists. Zorn said they just put out the most recent Book of Angels cd. Here's a blip I found on them from their facebook page: "This group of diverse vocalists (Basya, Ayelet, Sofia and Malika) was put together by John Zorn, to create, perform & record arrangements to tunes from his "Book of Angels" (Masada book II)."

I think the Masada Sextet with Uri Caine, Dave Douglass, John Zorn, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista might be my very favorite Zorn project. Maybe. I love that he plays in it and I love love love the drums and percussion! Greg Cohen blows me away on bass. It's all just too unbelievably great!

Yet another evening to feel blessed to be in NYC!

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