Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love and Roebke

Paal Nilssen-Love and Jason Roebke Combination @ The Hideout, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Set 1: Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love: drums

Set 2: Jason Roebke Combination
Greg Ward: alto saxophone
Brian Labycz: electronics
Jason Roebke: bass
Frank Rosaly: drums

Paal Nilssen-Love has the rare balance and instinct to know what is possible on a drum kit along with the restraint to know how to organically explore that range of percussive timbre and pulse. He began his solo set with a quick blast on the snare drum before moving to a world of dynamic range along skins and cymbals. At one point striking the drum heads with claves while catching the drum head with a finger to change the tension (and resonant pitch) before the sound trailed off. He also explored a range of possibilities with hand held cymbals and gongs against the resonant bodies of the snare and tom. All with remarkable musical instinct. He could have played both sets and easily had enough material to hold these ears.

The Jason Roebke Combination featured a set of charts for the quartet of saxophone, modular electronics, bass and drums. Pieces that grooved hard with a tight rhythm section while the electronics and saxophone entered into a rich dialogue built upon blues and bop. Labycz's vintage electronics are well beyond novelty as his jagged, brash timbres worked both rhythmically and sonically with the group as a whole. With Frank Rosaly working the trap set, this was an evening to feast upon excellent drumming.

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