Trombonist Christian Pincock, curator of the new series at The Center for Grooviness, and his partner, Deian McBryde, are dedicated to helping people get in the groove—one way or the other. Their Central Avenue space hosts both the self-explanatory Nob Hill Yoga Center and The Center for Grooviness, which is dedicated to presenting unconventional music and arts. Both enterprises invite you to come in, kick off your shoes, lie down (not compulsory) and give yourself up to the moment at hand.
Pincock has made himself indispensable to the Albuquerque music scene since his arrival a couple of years ago. He plays for a wide range of groups, from the trad jazz Route 66 Revelers to The Transducers, an über-electronic improvisational group. He also teaches at UNM, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop and privately. He now produces what is planned to be a year-round, once-a-month series of performances.
“I got an e-mail from [avant-garde bassist] Klaus Janek. I had met him in Berlin. We had played together a few times,” says Pincock. “And then, just out of the blue, he e-mails me: ‘Hey, we’re on tour. We’re coming through New Mexico. Can you hook us up with a place?’ ”
Pincock hunted around but couldn’t find anything suitable, until he realized—hello!—he already had the perfect place. “I thought, Well, let’s set up a concert. Let’s do it,” he says. Then, before he could stop himself, he thought, “Well, let’s put on a series. OK, I can handle one concert a month.”
“Christian has a particular aesthetic and a particular sense of what it’s like on that edge of sound,” says McBryde. “So I think that being able to trust Christian’s instincts curatorially, people will find—Wow, that’s really amazing.”
Both Pincock and McBryde note that the series takes place within the context of the yoga center. For both musicians and audience, that means that “we are about the spirit of invitation,” says McBryde. It also means that they do not depend on the concerts to pay their bills, which allows them to be selective and adventurous in their programming.
For Pincock, the series exists “to get these other sounds out there. To get people to hear them, because I know there’s a big audience in Albuquerque that really wants stuff like this—to be pushed, to be challenged a little bit.”
“My hope is that The Center for Grooviness can be the kind of experience where people trust Christian and me,” says McBryde. “They trust the space. They like the space. And once a month, they come and they hear something new, they have their limits get stretched a little bit. They try something else.”
ige*timer, a European duo with double bassist Klaus Janek and multi-instrumentalist Simon Berz, collaborates on otherworldly improvisations built on an interplay between acoustic, electroacoustic and electronic sound creation and manipulation. Tubanator 5000, a local duo with Mark Weaver (tuba) and Bee (laptop), describes its sound as “field recordings under a postapocalyptic ocean,” and lists its influences as “elephants, whales, trains, radio static, crowded rooms, bad dreams.”
Santa Fe guitarist / oud player Mustafa Stefan Dill and drummer/percussionist Jefferson Voorhees jam away on music that merges Eastern influences with funk. It’s catchy, challenging, spacey and spiritual all at the same time.
Disguised by day as the marketing coordinator for the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, Jones really gets it on with multidisciplinary theatrical creations that combine movement, analog and electronic instruments, puppetry, poetry, and whatever else she needs. The Mariner Variations also includes sea shanties.
The duo KaiBorg comprises David Borgo (saxophones/laptop) and Jeff Kaiser (quarter-tone trumpet / laptop). They create, without the use of prerecorded material, adventurous, organic improvisations that build on jazz and African traditions but celebrate the expanded sonic possibilities of live electronics. Imagine recordings of the deep jungle processed by the ghost of John Coltrane.