Concert Reviews

Review: Aquiles Navarro-Tcheser Holmes Duo at In Gardens Series, Sep 8, 2018

I have been familiar with trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and Tcheser Holmes for several years now. Their work in Irreversible Entanglements, a quintet featuring Moor Mother, Keir Neuringer, and Luke Stewart, has seen them touring internationally since 2016 and releasing one of the foremost records of 2017. Navarro and Holmes have been working on their duo

Review: Joanna Mattrey Band at Muchmore’s, Sep 5, 2018

On September 5, 2018, violist Joanna Mattrey convened a quintet of superb improvisers that included trombonist Ben Gerstein, trumpeter Joe Moffett, bass clarinetist John McCowen, and vocalist Nina Dante. Their set was an exploration of the possibilities of minimalist improvisations in a collective context. The music began with small sounds, as if emerging from all

Review: Weasel Walter, Sam Weinberg, Carlos Quebrada Live at Wonders of Nature, Sep 5, 2018

Colombian electric bassist, Carlos Quebrada, based in Buenos Aires, joined New York drummer Weasel Walter and saxophonist Sam Weinberg for an intense, visceral performance at Wonders of Nature on Wednesday, September 5. This trio presented a set of jagged-edged, high-energy improvised music that really pushed the boundaries. Saxophonic squeaks, rapid, percussive bass lines, and hard,

Review: Blacks’ Myths, Live at Fridman Gallery, Sep 7, 2018

Blacks’ Myths, a duo of electric bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Warren G. “Trae” Crudup III played the second set at the Fridman Gallery, Friday, September 7. They released their debut record in July. The band embodies deep rhythms and dark energies. The two riffed and improvised, building off of each other constantly. Stewart often

Review: James Brandon Lewis Solo, Live at the Fridman Gallery, Sep 7, 2018

I was running late on Friday, September 7, but when I approached the block where the Fridman Gallery is in the West Village, I was pleasantly greeted by the flowing sounds of the saxophone of James Brandon Lewis. I recognized it instantly. The music appeared in an interesting context, the closing night of the Strange

Review: Charmaine Lee Solo at Wonders of Nature, Sep 5, 2018

Vocalist Charmaine Lee opened a three-set bill at Wonders of Nature on Wednesday, September 5. Using an amplifier and distortion effects, Lee created explosions of ecstatic, attacking sound with vibrations like abrasions, collisions, and disruptions which she occasionally disrupted with vocalized words or phrases. She performed the entire 10-minute set with her back to the

Review: Lucas Brode and Kevin Shea Live at the Troost, August 22

Electric guitarist Lucas Brode and drummer Kevin Shea met for an ambient duo performance at the Troost on Wednesday, August 22. What I heard defied all expectations that I had about these two musicians and represented a new dimension of their work (for me anyway). Shea opened with light shimmering cymbal work to which Brode

Review: Brian Chase and Zeena Parkins Live at San Damiano Church, Brooklyn

On Monday, August 20, drummer Brian Chase and harpist Zeena Parkins played a series of groundbreaking pieces at San Damiano Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was one of those electric New York evenings. When I arrived at the venue, there was a line outside of pensive audience members ready to experience something new and unexpected.

Review: Jason Kao Hwang Ensemble at Bushwick Public House, Aug 13, 2018

Jason Kao Hwang (violin) brought collaborators Stomu Takeishi (electric bass) and Michael T.A. Thompson (drums) to Bushwick Public House last night for a dynamic set of improvisations. The music was fully improvised, riveting throughout, and evolved impressively from beginning to end. The piece had four distinct sections, giving the set the feeling of a suite with

Review: Anteloper Live at H0l0, July 15, 2018

Sunday evening I had my first opportunity to see Anteloper play live. It was well worth the wait. Anteloper consists of Jaimie Branch (trumpet, electronics) and Jason Nazary (drums, electronics). The band creates intense layers of sound, recording loops, playing their instruments over electronics, and using delays in a manner to create far more sound