Breaking the Sound Barrier
The Roost’s Creative Music Series blows the doors off convention
Last year, when composer / tuba player / series curator Mark Weaver inaugurated The Roost, he wasn’t certain an audience existed in Albuquerque for the “emergent creative music” the series fosters.
“I learned that there really is an audience for this kind of thing,” he says. “There was really a positive reaction to the whole idea, as well as the individual shows.”
The series challenges listeners to open their ears to musical approaches that lie outside the mainstream, that break through the barriers of the everyday to explore new ways of communicating musically.
This year’s series focuses in large part on performers from New Mexico and California, with music ranging from acoustic to electronic to acousto-electronic. It all happens at the UNM ARTS Lab, which offers an intimate space that features cutting-edge sound technology. Just look for the wooden stairs outside—a decidedly low-tech entrance to some advanced musical exploration.
Sama’ Duo: Mustafa Stefan Dill and Jefferson Voorhees—Though this duo performs only rarely, Santa Fe guitarist Dill and drummer/ percussionist Voorhees have been featured in a number of edgy combos hereabouts. With Sama’ Duo, the Middle East meets funk.
Stand Up and Blow (the music of John Carter and Bobby Bradford)—This new group—featuring saxophonist Shawn Woodyard, cornetist Dan Clucas, bassist Joseph Salack and drummer Milton Villarrubia III—celebrates two legendary new jazz / free jazz figures of the West Coast. They’ll be using scores provided by Bradford.
Phillip Greenlief solo + Phillip Greenlief / Bill Clark duo—Greenlief—founder of Evander Music, a gravitational center for new music on the West Coast—uses the full expressive range of his saxophone to venture from jazz’ mainstream to its outer reaches. Trumpeter Bill Clark, an Albuquerque resident, will no doubt present a riveting master class on improvisation that is as lyrical as it is unfettered.
Call and Response: Dottie Grossman and Michael Vlatkovich + Christian Pincock solo trombone/ electronics/sampling—Grossman’s off-center poetry and Vlatkovich’s free improvisations on trombone reveal new facets of meaning, the way the moving sun spotlights different features on the face of the Sandias. Don’t be scared by Pincock’s trombone and its cast of supporting, expanding, looping and refracting electronics—it’s all in the service of beauty.
Vinny Golia’s Friday Nite Band—Multiwoodwind player/composer/teacher Vinny Golia, whom Weaver thumbnails as the “John Zorn of the West Coast,” is really a river of music disguised as a human being. Several of his students organized this group—featuring Gavin Templeton (alto sax), Daniel Rosenboom (trumpet), Alex Noice (electric guitar, effects), Jon Armstrong (bass), Andrew Lessman (drums)—so that his music could be performed on a more regular and broader basis.
Missincinatti: Jeremy Drake, Jessica Catron, Corey Marc Fogel + Alan Lechusza solo electro-acoustic—Guitarist Jeremy Drake, cellist Jessica Catron and drummer Corey Marc Fogel have exhumed sea shanties and other tunes of old and updated them with delightful anachronisms. The engaging compositions and expert playing of saxophonist Alan Lechusza marry elements that in ordinary hands would cancel each other out, like dreaminess/concreteness or childlike simplicity / profundity.
Cowhause: Janet Feder and Colin Bricker + Kosmorganic Express: Jimi Hamm and Kino Kopelov—Feder’s prepared guitar and Bricker’s electronics generate a musical landscape as eerily familiar as it is completely new. Tightly tuned in to one another’s playing, saxophonist/trumpeter Hamm and saxophonist Kopelov usually explore free musical sounds on the streets of Nob Hill, at art openings and in other venues.
Tracy McMullen / Rob Wallace Duo + The Autotelics: Phil Mantione and Al Faaet—Composer/saxophonist/ teacher McMullen—who can organize noise into beguiling patterns or completely reimagine a Thelonious Monk tune—and drummer/percussionist Wallace combine free improvisation, poetry and slices of various jazz traditions. Santa Fe guitarist / laptop player Mantione and drummer Faaet, emergent music mavens both, create texturally rich improvisations.
Scrappers—Guitarist Joe Baiza, cornetist/trumpeter Dan Clucas, bassist Mike Ibarra and drummer Brian Christopherson bring a relentless punk aggressiveness to jazz. a