Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thrash and Burn with the Spirit

Go-Go Fightmasters/Qwok/The Spirit Moves Us @ Kingman's Ivy Room, Albany, CA
Monday, August 10, 2009

Go-Go Fightmasters
Vijay Anderson: drums
Aaron Bennett: tenor saxophone, flute
John Finkbeiner: guitar
Aram Shelton: alto saxophone
Lisa Mezzacappa: bass

Devin Hoff: electric bass
Ava Mendoza: guitar
Weasel Walter: drums

The Spirit Moves Us
Jim Ryan: saxophones, flute, kalimba
Bob Marsh: cello, electronics
Spirit: drums, percussion

The Kingman's Ivy Room has become the reliable, Monday night spot for live avant improvisation from the fertile Oakland and San Francisco improvised music communities. The old fashioned bar and cocktail lounge providing the setting for a no-cover, low-risk venue for musicians to work out ideas at various stages of polish. The rough edges of this particular evening were clearly intentionally so as three excellent sets explored a wide embrace of jazz thrashing against a coarse mix of thrash, speed metal and punk.

Go-Go Fightmasters is a smokin' hot band. Aaron Bennett and Aram Shelton moving comfortably between swinging lines and unholy torrents of blast from their horns as the group grooved hard to Bennett's charts.

Qwok is a new power trio of three outstanding musicians focused on insanity. The loud, hard rockin' take on Ornette Coleman's "Focus on Sanity" was particularly tasty.

The Spirit Moves Us ushered in the late hours with free improvisation driven by the creative propellant of Spirit on drums. The shifting timbres folding along an intuition shared between the three performers. One o'clock in the morning has never rolled around so quickly.

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