Quartet at Blue Six 12-11-2008

Last night played at Blue Six in the Mission. Small space at 24th street and Treat. Played with Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa, and Kjell Nordeson. We’d gotten together a few months ago at Lisa’s place – the different instincts from the players in this group allows for some interesting playing – also, everyone is willing to really go for it so strong music happens.
We played two sets this night, I brought both alto and bass clarinet, Darren played mainly trumpet and some flugelhorn. Both sets were varied – I think in the first we stayed towards higher energy while in the second we took our time to develop ideas. Playing with a talented trumpeter is always great as a reed player, the combination of the sounds enhanced by the range that Darren plays with – we were trading lines that stretched throughout several octaves while I was on bass clarinet – with him matching the range of that instrument easily. Kjell is such a strong player in terms of instant composition – he builds parts that develop over time – the quartet interacted with smaller motifs that he would introduce throughout both sets, and the overall energy that he brings to the kit acted as a guide for much of the music.
In terms of improvised music, what I really like about this group is that while we all have many skills at our disposal, the result is strong music that is not dominated by special techniques. Instead, those techniques are used as parts to create music that is complex on many levels, while being about both the interaction of the individual players and the music created as a group.
Thanks to Joe for having the show at his place –