Sunday, August 14, 2011

India Cooke/Bill Crossman/Donald Robinson, 8/14/11, Berkeley Arts Festival

The weather was great and the mood was light for this Sunday matinee, presented by the Berkeley Arts Festival, 2011.
India was in fine form. Her earthy, bluesy playing, honed with the likes of Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor, is such a joy to hear. Even when she gets into heavy abstraction, there is always a joyful sound coming from her violin. She's a Jazz Master.
Cooke was joined by pianist Bill Crossman and drummer Donald Robinson. Crossman's swift piano playing, often in duet with India, was at times also bluesy, at times more abstractly Cecil-like. The two chased each others' playing brilliantly.
Drummer Donald Robinson playing the second half of each of the group's two sets. His mallet-driven  playing was subtle, generally quiet, and very free. Perfect for the chamber Jazz feel conjured up by Cooke and Crossman.
It's such a blessing to live in such close proximity to marvelous players such as these. What a fine day for freedom of expression!

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