Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dana Hall's Black Fire

At this years Straight Ahead Jazz Camp (see my post here) Dana Hall presented an excellent lecture on the music of Andrew Hill. It was during that lecture that he mentioned this gig:

Dana Hall's Black Fire: The Andrew Hill Project 
This concert was part of the Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz Concert Series at Millennium Park.
A smaller version of the group made its debut at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival last  year. Last night the expanded group consisted of:
Dana Hall (d) Orrin Evans (p)  Geof Bradfield (ts) Justin Thomas (vibes) Clark Sommers (b) Nick Mazzarella (as) Russ Johnson (trpt) Jose Davila (trb)

A nice sized ensemble - big enough to allow plenty of variety in the arrangements and small enough to draw on the flexibility of a small group.

The group played one long set (1.5 hrs I think) that contained plenty of variation - uptempo, latin, ballads, collective improvisation, rubato sections, featured soloists.

- Not Sa No Sa (The Day The World Stood Still)
- Dusk (Dusk)
- Artemis - an original by Hall commissioned for the event.
- Dedication (Point of Departure)
- Noontide (Passing Ships)
- Catfish (Invitation) - possibly..... I may have mis-heard him announce it
- Ode To Von (Smokestack)
- Spectrum (Point of Departure)
- Symmetry (Andrew!!!)

Hall has assembled a fine group, with a nice mix of musical personalities to play the challenges of Hill's  material. Hopefully they have more opportunities to get the music out there.

My listenings have been pretty much limited to Point of Departure, Black Fire, Time Lines, Dusk and Joe Henderson's Our Thing. It's been a while since I have listened Hill, perhaps it's time to revisit them?

Great to see a big crowd too - plenty in the seats and on the lawn. Let's hope it encourages people to get out to more live music.

They don't look that pleased but the music hadn't started yet

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