By Martin Schray
After now being in New York for six days, I have to say that the city has never felt this stressful to me. As I’ve mentioned before I'm staying in the Bronx with friends of mine during the festival and last year it was quite comfortable to take a 2 Express Train up north from Brooklyn which lasted 60 minutes. This year there are no express trains running that late, all of them are local and incredibly slow. Additionally, the trains are horribly crowded, often late, and people push themselves to the side to get a seat. Fortunately thanks to Vision, there’s a lot of music to reflect on and distract me from what’s going on around the festival.
|Ava Mendoza, Matt Nelson, Adam Lane and Hamid Drake sound checking|
|Marty Ehrlich’s Trio Exaltation|
As if this wasn’t enough, the next set was a real home match: pianist Matthew Shipp’s duo with William Parker (bass). Shipp, of course, remained Shipp with the violently struck chords and the smooth runs, which always looks as if he wants to pull off the keys. After all these years the understanding of the two is almost blind, although the set is freely improvised there were compelling unisono passages. While Parker's bass often rolled, Shipp on the other hand played with frayed and broken chords, sometimes you got the impression that parts of the notes were bitten off. Both played powerful riffs reminiscent of the blues and they rode them for a long time, only to let them fall apart in the following improvisation. In this process they exploited a wide spectrum of emotions: Anger, sadness, joy and much more.
Finally, all good things came in threes when it came to old-school free jazz: what followed, the Rob Brown Quartet with Steve Swell (trombone), Adam Lightcap (bass) and Chad Taylor (drums). The compositions of this band all followed a similar principle: the heads were presented in unison, then extensive solos of the individual musicians followed in turn. Especially the horns impressed with their tightness and sharpness. This became obvious in the second piece with Brown as well as Swell playing notes that almost burst. Once again, the audience seemed to be very receptive for this kind of music.
|Kris Davis Trio: January Painters|