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Ten Freedom Summers: Wadada Leo Smith and Me

Anticipatory Moments
The First Interview
The Second Interview
Los Angeles
The Rehearsals
The Performances
Epilog
The Players
The Program for October 28, 29, and 30, 2011




Anticipatory Moments

Six months before the October, 2011, premiere of Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers, I spoke to Wadada on the phone. He told me that he had recently been awarded the largest grant ever by Chamber Music America, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to a Jazz musician for the composition of music. He would direct the grant towards the funding the completion of Ten Freedom Summers. At that time, our discussions did not center on the creation of his masterful work at all, rather on life’s interesting situations and his ensuing concerts and recordings.  But at one point, I said, “Gee, I wish I could hear the music in Los Angeles…” to which Wadada replied, “Just go… Just go;” his voice was emphatic, instructive and endearing at the same time.

Los Angeles had been home for eight years of my…

Carole Kim's BURROW

"BURROW"
CAROLE KIM site-specific performance-based installation THERESA WONG voice, cello PHIL CURTIS electronics SHEL WAGNER RASCH dance LYN HORTON drawings

You are invited to the conclusion of a month-long residency at Lehrer Architects in Silverlake.   These performances will be both indoors and outdoors so please come dressed in layers.
DECEMBER 3+4 @ 7:30 PM
LEHRER ARCHITECTS 2140 Hyperion Avenue Los Angeles, CA  90027-4708
Google map $10 suggested voluntary donation
ARTIST BIOS

Carole Kim is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on live video performance and performance-based video installation. She explores video for its most tactile, expressive and responsive potential as a live medium. She seeks an integration of media where moving image, sound, dance and space are on equal planes engaging in a dynamic reciprocating and mutually supportive dialogue. Kim's installations are hybrid spaces in which the illusory and actual (i.e. mediated and live) merge together in an …

Top Ten, 2011

1. Joe McPhee and Michael Zerang, Creole Gardens: A New Orleans Suite, NoBusiness;
2. Matthew Shipp and Matthew Shipp Trio, Art of the Improviser, Thirsty Ear;
3. Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, Heart's Reflections, Cuneiform;
4. William Parker, Crumbling In The Shadows Is Fraulein Miller's Stale Cake, Centering;
5. Daniel Levin Quartet, Organic Modernism, Clean Feed;
6. Mary Halvorsen and Jessica Pavone, Departure of Reason, Thirsty Ear;
7. Darius Jones Trio, Big Gurl, AUM Fidelity;
8.The Rempis Percussion Quartet, Montreal Parade, 482 Music;
9.Spanish Donkey, XYX, Northern Spy;
10.Klang, Other Doors, Allos Documents.

A Way Out: No, I'm Already In

In some ways, I am just so stuck. Stuck inside my box, which is a fairly large box, if one considers its contents: both metaphorically and ideologically.

Those who discuss the distinction between "inside" and "outside" the box are attempting to convey the difference between status quo and revolutionary, or between mediocrity, conformism, largely acceptable and edgy, non-conformist, individualistic, and rarely understood without explanation. Ambition is not primarily a factor in either although it somehow subliminally drives the activity of both.

But the association of ambition with the latter out-on-a-limb-ness (yet another metaphor for the innovative) deprives it of its honesty and beauty. Rather motivation and incentive and necessity trigger the formation of that which is next but never realized until it presents itself through the creative process.

The creative process is an overused phrase. What it means. What it means is an undefinable, ineluctable, formless …

Broken Partials, Matthew Shipp and Joe Morris, Not Two Records, 2011

In the beginning was an African ritual in which the ring shout and the innate rhythm elicited by the stomping of feet represented a cue for a communal gathering of spirits. Throughout history, the purity of the ring shout has changed to evoke and provoke more than was ever intended. A music evolved most often associated with the blues. The blues became “jazz” and “jazz” has so many offshoots that they sometimes have no name except “sound.”  
Broken Partials is a duet between longtime collaborators, pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist Joe Morris.  The recording’s salient focus is how the sound develops from “Broken Partials, One” to “Broken Partials, Eight.” The redundancy of the title describes both the improvised steps that constitute the whole and the infinitely brief hiatuses between and within those steps.
Concision of motion on their instruments clarifies the process that the musicians go through to tell their story, the outcome of which is unknown until the resilient pizzicato on th…

Awakening, Nicole Mitchell, Delmark, 2011

Touted as the country’s best ‘jazz’ flutist, Nicole Mitchell has really got it going on. In Awakening, she collaborates with her group to give a sprightly, endlessly energetic and sensitive take on her own compositions. She works with Chicago musicians: guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Avreeayl Ra.

Mitchell believes in melody, harking back to traditional forms, but she also wants improvisation to infuse her music with freshness. That fact reveals her playfulness and interest in molding mood.

Her fellow players hook right up to her lines. Parker not only strums, but also launches himself into solos that are not foreign appendages to the whole unit’s exploration. He never explodes on his electric guitar; he moves around mellifluously between pizzicatos and chords, a soft, thorough and utter complement to Mitchell’s metallic struts, leaps, flutters, and voice-like 'brrrrrrs' and sirenic 'oooohs.'

Bankhead is a model bassist, holding onto and maxi…