Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Exotic Hypnotic 2008: Michael Formanek Ensemble

Michael Formanek Ensemble @ University of Baltimore Student Center Performing Arts Theater, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Part of the Exotic Hypnotic series - in conjunction with Artscape.

Michael Formanek: bass
John Dierker: reeds
Dave Ballou: trumpet
Marc Redman: drums
Marc Miller: guitar

Billed as "post-jazz improvised music," Michael Formanek merged the always excellent Microkingdom and 3081 groups for an expanded ensemble free improvisation tinged interpretation of a one page score.  The unifying conceptual underpinnings leaving plenty of interpretive space for fluid duos and trios to form between these creative players.  I have yet to encounter a Michael Formanek experience - live or recorded - that disappoints.  Often, his efforts are at the opposite extreme.  This performance was no exception.  Fluid, fluctuating and mature improvisation in the service of a larger sonic canvas that comes off as more than the mere sum of these impressive performers.  It's a brave post-jazz world unfolding before these ears and they are left thirsty for more.

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