Improvising 8th St Performance Space 12-7-2006

One thing I’ve done alot out here in the bay is play improvised music. And when I say improvised music, I mean it in the “improvised music” way. Free of charts, free of overly defined & sometimes limited concepts, open to possibilities. Out here there are a good number of improvisors with good possibilities for instrumentation. It’s a good thing. One “steady” group I’m in is with Damon Smith (bass), Liz Albee(trumpet), Aurora Josephson (voice) and Weasel Walter (drums). This night I played in two quartets: one with Damon, Charity Chan (piano) who moved out here from Montreal, and her friend Scott Thomson (trombone). Scott is visiting form Montreal – is a great trombone player – able to do many things with the instrument, can play quiet… I played alto and it was well paced throughout – from all sonic textures to more lyrical parts. It felt good & went by fast.
I then used both alto & computer in quartet with Noah Phillips (guitar), Cory Wright (baritone & clarinet), Jordan Glenn (drums). Cory moved up from LA recently – a good player on reeds – friends with Noah from there. Our set also went by quickly – I did live sampling of Jordan & myself along with trying out this new system of triggering short samples based on amplitude response – I’ve developed this as a way to get away from static comupterland – or rather, add to my options. I’m getting interested in just using a large array of sounds, similar in the way that some percussionists just go to work with all their gadgets and bells – one very good one played the same night – Gino Robair. Great sense of timing, and I’m glad he covered the “massage” device he used in the set with a piece of cloth – kept you guessing.
Noah sounded great on guitar – I won’t see him for quite awhile as he’s going overseas for abit now that he’s finished with Mills. We recorded with Charity and Andy Strain (trombone) last weekend (I’ve been taking advantage of the studio at Mills to fill up my harddrive with some of this improvised music).