Sunday, March 17, 2013

Distant Intervals/Ouroboros; Berkeley Arts Festival Building, Berkeley, CA 3/17/13

St. Patrick's Day evening was a study in contrasts for multi-reed man Sheldon Brown, as he led two very distinct combos through their respective Jazz worlds.

First up, Distant Intervals played compositions by Brown, inspired by poetry and the cadences of its spoken form. Disaster Amnesiac was blown away by his note-for-note duets with recorded poetry from the likes of Philip Lamantia and Andrew Joron.
The band was served well by adept brush player Vijay Anderson, great spoken Beat from Clark Coolidge, and amazing improvised Jazz singing from Lorin Benedict.
Brown's compositional approach reminded this listener of the wide spaces of AACM artists coupled with the controlled refinements of European Avant Garde music.

Above: Distant Intervals fill and leave spaces

After Distant Intervals, Brown, Joron, and Coolidge were joined by another mutli-reed practitioner, Joseph Noble, for a set by their new band Ouroboros. This group took a more classically Improv approach to great places, flowing nicely in and out of free zones. As he had more room to play, theremin player Joron gave Ouroboros a much more drone-ey feel, and Coolidge's free trap set rumble moved the group into wilder, more abstract spaces. Disaster Amnesiac thought of Sunny Murry, Ed Blackwell, and Andrew Cyrille! Coolidge lays it down! Brown played a lot more clarinet and bass clarinet; at times he sounded almost Trad. No surprise there, though, as it seems that Sheldon can play any style. Noble's best turn was during a flute solo that easily matched Dolphy or Kirk in terms of expressive gusto.

Above: Ouroboros Eye and Ear Control. ESP Disk' could use a group like this!

Below: Ouroboros short clip

Sheldon Brown's growth continues to amaze.

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