Monday, December 2, 2013

Roscoe Mitchell & Mike Reed at Made In Chicago Festival (30.09)

Made in Chicago in Poznań is quite an unique jazz festival. Dedicated to one city but not to any particular fraction of jazz-purists or avant-guardists or whateve. The idea of gathering, or musical community, of continuity - those elements are innate in the festival's formula. I missed friday concerts unfortunately, the first performance of saturday was an example of inter-generation dialogue and continuity in music. On one side of the stage, a true legend of avant-guarde jazz movement, founding member of AACM, co founder of Art Ensemble of Chicago. On the other side, over three decades younger musician, nonetheless an accomplished artist and well-established person on the musical map of the windy city.

Roscoe Mitchell's approach to his wood instruments is unique (on the evening - tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones). On one hand, he's like a sculpture, attentive to every possible detail, on the other, an architecture, having a far-sight vision of the whole elaborate structure of the piece. He constantly reinvents and reharmonizes the musical materia, and creates mysterious labirynths with his spiraling, sharp phrases. A live research on sound's nature, breathing, subsounds, possible alternations.

Mike Reed moves freely through Mitchell's labirynth and rounds the musical space with percussive pulse and melodics. During a particularly energetic drumming cavalry at the end of the first extended piece, he hits the plate of the stand. He plays also steel tongue drum (with touch mike) which proves to be an intriguing addition to the drumset - the instrument can add both a slightly tribal, ritual melodic touch to the music as the sense of unreal typical to electro-acoustic minimalism.

It's difficult to try to catch the magic that happened at that moment, on that evening. As the magic is elusive, let's hope we shall catch that moment again. 

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