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May 01, 2000 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-05-01

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 1, 2000 - 17

Euro jazz and more at Kerrytown

John Uhi
Jaily Music Editor
From recent appearances by Old
World improvisation giants Evan
arker and Peter Brontzmann to Uri
ane's upcoming head-scratching
nterprctation of the life and music of
'erman composer Gustav Mahler, the
ence of the European avant-garde
W been especially evident at
(errytown Concert House lately.
On April 13, reed players Evan
5arker and Ned Rothenberg gave a
henomenal duct performance in
yhich they displayed perhaps the
reshest approach to improvisation
ince the progress of jazz's free
hinkers of the 1960's. Rothenberg's
Ito saxophone and bass clarinet work
vas a treat. but Parker is the true inno-
atot. For one piece, the British saxo-
*tist performed a soprano solo in
chich he used circular breathing to
xecute continuous runs of cirling
cales that he would, with tie passing
f each lap, alter slightly so as to cre-
te a pattern that changed subtly in
hrce or font places at once. He played
ithlout pause for probably fifteen
linutes jumping between microtones
nd overtones and real tones so that it
ded as if he was playing the saxo-
i e in some weird register that has

never been played before and every
few moments there would be a loud
gush of air as he exhaled or inhaled
through his nose lending to the notion
that he was conjuring forth this living
breathing entity that steadily devel-
oped through his manipulating slight
changes in the flailing of his fingers
which snapped open and shut too
rapidly for the eye to detect this pup-
peteermanship leaving the audience
only half conscious of any evolution.
His playing was so unique that it could
hardly even be called jazz, and all this
listener could do afterward was sigh
with the resignation that he might not
hear anything quite so impressive ever
again.
The German saxophonist Peter
Bronizmann also experimenied "ith
the shaping of sound into new formIns,
although his method owes a greatcir
debt to past experimenters like Albert
Ayler and Pharoah Sanders.
Brontzmann's medium is the scicech:
forging form and melody from ulti-
phonic-induced howls, giowls and
shrieks. He did so on April 21 sith the
aid of trumpeter Roy Caibell and a
superb rhythm section of bassist
William Parker and drummer Hamid
Drake. Drake pouided his set all night
with the velocity of various heavy
objects falling from a great height,

while Parker's bass solos were built
upon a foundation of shifting repeti-
tions that gradually developed in com-
plexity. And for the evening's send-up
encore, Brontzmann, Cambell and
Parker tamed the snaking processional
beat of Drake's hand drums with an
odd assortment of whistles and reeds.
If Parker and Brontzmann can be
considered sonic experimenters for
carving music out of their individual
technical investigations of the saxo-
phone, Uri Caine's "Mahler Revisited"
project is notable for its attempt to
achieve new ground in sound by incor-
porating every sort of musical style.
On Caine's recording "Urlicht/Primal.
h.ight." Arto Lindsay sings a tune from
Gustav Mahler's "Songs of the Death
of Children" as a crooning Brazlian
samba But he hums the melody rather
than pionouncing the words, and he
does so s aguely out of tune. The piece
is an obvious farce and recalls the bur-
lesque songs on old recordings by the
Muppets (yes, like Kermit). And this
has to do with Mahler? Lots of thinus
do, appatently, as Caine directs an
ensemble tribute to the composer's life
that, in its attempt to evoke his inspira-
tions, can at different monents honest-
ly be called jazz, free jazz, folk, rock
and roll, electronica, klezmer and clas-
sical music. On May 14, Caine, who

Don Syron will play clarinet with Uri Caine on May 14th at Kerrytown Concert
House.
plays piano, will be joined by noted Ralph Alessi and violinist Joyce
musicians from the New York area Hammann, and from the Detroit area
Don Byron on clarinet, Jim Black (a bassist Tim Flood and DJ Recloose on
personal favorite) on drums, trumpeter turntables.

r

IRFAN RS
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