Sunday, May 18, 2008

3081 Reasons to Dig Free Improvised Music in Baltimore

3081 @ The Red Room, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dave Ballou: trumpet, cornet
John Dierker: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Michael Formanek: 5-string electric bass
Will Redman: drums

Reason # 3079 - Michael Formanek's irresistible double-bass technique translates well to the electric. He strums, plucks, taps and coaxes an amazing sound with all that amplification. The tight confines of the Red Room added an element of danger as the neck of the instrument swayed within range of Dave Ballou's head.

3081 played two short sets at the Red Room with a focus on deep listening and intensity. This quartet of Baltimore-based musicians with deep jazz roots bring an aggressive, edgy approach to free improvisation that succeeds on the responsiveness between players and a confidence that allows for collaborative, well-formed pieces of variable texture and relatively short durations. These are musicians with serious chops making music without flashy displays of empty showmanship.

Reason #3080 - The percussive brilliance (and whimsy behind the graphic scores of Book) of Will Redman. Dynamic range, extended technique and even an electric toothbrush in the service of spontaneous ideas.

Reason #3081 - These are four of the most consistent voices of Baltimore's growing improvised music scene. Individuals worth seeking out in Micro Kingdom, Quartet Offensive, New Volcanoes, Open Music Ensemble, Science Friction and any number of other projects that have enormous pull for these ears. Knitting these compelling individuals into a single quartet is an enriched human mathematics of sound.

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