Sunday, March 30, 2008

Branching Out

Jamie Branch/Marc Riordan Duo + Petter O Hanna @ The Red Room, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Petter O Hanna:
Petter Vagan: lapsteel and electronics
Hanna Gjermundrod: voice

Jamie Branch: trumpet
Marc Riordan: drums

Jamie Branch has serious chops. With a warm up routine that includes running through the angular, challenging intervals of Thelonious Monk tunes and ears finely tuned to each nuance Branch deftly explored an expansive territory of free improvisation thick with creative substance and inventive reverie. Marc Riordan balanced out this duo sound with a percussive approach to the drum set that settled into a dynamic range of skins muted by various percussive toys. The dialogue between these players was beautifully focused as pieces dribbled out in well measured portions. These are two talents to keep an ear on.

The duo of Petter O Hanna played the opening set with a long-form improvisation highlighting the restrained, responsive interaction between this pair from Norway. Hanna Gjermundrod's ability to respond and often match the texture of Petter Vagan's electronics was nearly as impressive as Vagan's ability to bend his twisted electric signals in response to Ghermundrod's voice. The meeting point between these two sound sources opened up delicate and engaging sonic vistas.

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