Friday, May 28, 2010

Pinsky/Iyer/Allison/Wilson @ Jazz Standard 5/25/10

This was excellent and different. I don't see much poetry/jazz fusion. It's a special art. This ensemble went together so well. The voice and words were seamlessly integrated into the music. The music was phenomenal. All somewhat avant-garde ish. Not super "out there", but more of an intellectual bent than mainstream straight ahead jazz. I needed to get home, but I was tempted to stay for the 2nd set for a half cover of $12.50. What I got was great. Although, I would love to hear the ode to the saxophone again.

The listing:

Robert Pinsky – spoken word
Vijay Iyer – piano
Ben Allison – bass
Matt Wilson – drums

Past poetry-with-jazz evenings at Jazz Standard have attracted avid fans of both art forms as well as some perceptive and positive reviews. Tonight we celebrate the return of Robert Pinsky – former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, acclaimed translator of the writings of Czesław Miłosz and Dante Alighieri, and the author of nineteen books – in performance with the all-star trio of Vijay Iyer, Ben Allison, and Matt Wilson. Listening to Pinsky perform “Ginza Samba” during a previous appearance on our stage, Alexander Gelfand of The Tablet heard the poet “neatly place both Stan Getz (“this great-grandchild of the Jewish Manager of a Pushkin estate”) and Charlie Parker (“a great Hawk or Bird, with many followers”) in the same imaginary family tree, distant cousins related through European immigration, the African slave trade, and a 19th-century Russian poet. Seeing Pinsky do this live, I felt as if I were watching a man recite a poem and act it out at the same time. The whole tableau was as striking an illustration of the ‘hybrid nature of America’ as the tune that inspired it.”

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