Friday, July 04, 2014

James Falzone at The Hideout

On Wednesday evening I was at The Hideout  for  Umbrella Music's "Immediate Sound Series" who were presenting clarinetist James Falzone.

The first set featured the solo work entitled "Sighs Too Deep For Words." Falzone combined clarinet, bells, shruti box and singing bowls for the 45 minute piece that ebbed and flowed between meditative and powerfully intense (with plenty in between). His clarinet tone is full of variety - whispers, growls, microtonal shadings,  very powerful high register and great use of dynamics.
During one section the shruti box functioned as a drone. Aside from that it was used sparingly - mostly a single chord to start or end a phrase/section (the chord remained the same throughout the set). At first I was a little disappointed he was playing through the P.A but it helped bring out the percussive key/finger sounds and it added positively to the overall sound. The live sound was good for the entire night (although they pushed my volume limits at times) and both sets were recorded.

For the second set Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone) and Frank Rosaly (drums) joined Falzone (on Bb and Eb Clarinet) for the Trio's debut performance.  If I was to sum things up quickly I would say the vibes laid down a pad of sound over which the clarinet played melodies (lyrical, but not as you would expect) as the drums moved between time and texture playing. But that is selling things short. It was a very coherent set. There was a nice sense of form from the trio playing what I assume were two free improvisations. Things were paced well and the trio used a variety of density, textures and dynamics. If they decide to release the recording I will be keen to revisit it.

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