Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Nicole Mitchell and Ben Goldberg gigs

I managed to get out to a couple of gigs this week. Saturday night I was up at Constellation for the 20th anniversary of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble. There was a nice turn out and the two sets were full of good vibes. I particularly enjoyed Mitchell's solo work along with that of pianist Jim Baker (although at times I struggled to hear him clearly during his ensemble work), Tomeka Reid (cello) and JoVia Armstrong (percussion) and the overall energy of the ensemble sound.

Constellation Chicago
Tonight it was off to Experimental Sound Studio for the Option Series. This week they presented "Practitioner" - the duo of Ben Goldberg (clarinets) and Michael Coleman (keys). The two delved into Steve Lacy’s "Book of H" from his solo album Hocus PocusI’ve heard Frank Gratkowski talk about the blendability of the clarinet (due it the overtone structure). It was on display tonight as Goldberg attained a great blend with the rhodes and synth. Nice to see them delving into one of Lacy’s more obscure albums, and fascinating to hear it reimagined in the duo setting. It was a very enjoyable set. I wasn’t familiar with Coleman and I really enjoyed his playing. And yes, I picked up the album. 

Tackling Lacy has become bit of a (minor) trend - The Whammies, Lacy Pool, ROVA. So far I these groups haven’t let me down with their takes on Lacy (I’m sad to say I haven’t listened Ideal Bread yet). 

Experimental Sound Studio

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