Shelton Allbee Walter Hemlock 7-6-2007

I’ve been in and out of town the lat few weekends, it’s the summertime wedding time of year I suppose. Weasel got a date for our trio with Liz Allbee a little while back, an opening set for the drummer William Hooker. At the end of May we did a recording session at Mills, and in the time since I’ve been able to listen to those and modify the compositions, changing the parts and adding others, taking into account the way we improvise together to guide the larger structures. I think this group is taking some shape. Our set at the Hemlock had a good sense of direction, and I feel that we were able to get away from the written parts while using them as real reference points. The first piece began with seven two-note chords played by Liz & I, with Weasel playing open. This leads to Weasel alone, with Liz & I reentering a bit later with all short phrases, limited with the dea of no sustain. Eventually I add electronics ad Liz drops out, so there is a duo between me & Weasel before Liz returns on trumpet for the final chord system. The transitions worked well, and I felt that by allowing the electronics to come in over time they truly worked with the arrangement and added something new halfway through the piece. There were some very good moments including a solo by Liz on trumpet.
William Hooker’s Bliss Trio was rounded out by Oluyemi Thomas on soprano saxophone and bass clarinet and Damon Smith on bass. They played very well, I hadn’t heard William before and wish I had – his playing was right on, especially a moment late in the set when he layed into it on the snare. Olyuyemi sounded great on both instruments, a passionate player for sure. Damon fit right in and had some moments where his bass cut through in the best way – slicing through the intense wall of noise created by William and Oluyemi. A good night at the Hemlock, they should have more free jazz shows.