The Transformative Harpist

ek is eik coverAnne Vanschothorst, Ek Is Eik
(Big Round Records)
A Review
Dutch harpist Anne Vanschothorst fears
neither time nor space, luxuriating in vast
silences and in expanded moments that stretch a listener’s anticipation. On her most recent album, Ek Is Eik (Afrikaans for I Am Oak), she reveals herself as one of those
magicians—oh! I meant to type “musicians”—beyond categorization who can drop the
listener deep into a contemplative space of peace and restoration. Continue reading

This Band, by Any Name, Would Swing As Sweetly

Glenn KosturSaxophonist Glenn Kostur has had nothing but trouble with the name of the sextet he is
accidentally headlining. When Tom Guralnick, executive director of the Outpost Performance Space, offered him a Thursday night in the fall season, Kostur immediately thought of the nameless sextet that had coalesced last spring for a faculty recital by trombonist Chris Buckholz and a subsequent recording project.

“We enjoyed playing together, and we liked the sextet format,” says Kostur. So the group, which also included Paul Gonzales on trumpet, Stu MacAskie on piano, Colin Deuble on bass, and
Arnaldo Acosta on drums, decided to stay together and develop a repertoire.

With a slot to fill on the Outpost calendar, the band needed a name, and Kostur suggested Deep Six to the band members. What no one expected is that Deep Six, a perfectly benign play on words, somehow got tangled up—and I’m guessing here—with the title of a famous
pornographic movie in some minds. In fact, when Kostur ran the name out for inspection at a party, he induced a bit of blushing among the ladies.

The group settled on Six of One, but deep swing is still on their menu. Continue reading

Brooklyn Galaxies

Brooklyn, once the stepchild of Manhattan, has become a musical mecca, attracting hordes of musicians and listeners to neighborhoods with “music in the cafés at night, and revolution in the air,” to quote Zimmie, who was writing about another time and place and revolution.

Here are two new releases from folks who live on planets situated in different galaxies but who inhabit the same modest borough of New York City: Musette Explosion and the Suite
Unraveling, headed by guitarist Lily Maase, an Albuquerque native. Continue reading

Miguel Zenón Explores Changeable Identities

Cole, Zenón, Perdomo, Glauwischnig.

Cole, Zenón, Perdomo, Glawischnig.

When saxophonist Miguel Zenón, who was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, first
encountered New Yorkers of Puerto Rican heritage, he was astonished to find that despite
being two or three generations removed from life on the Caribbean island, they were as
connected to its traditions as the people he knew back home in San Juan. This discovery set Zenón off on a three-year voyage to understand the way in which “Nuyoricans” experience their national identity.

What he learned can be summed up in the title of his new album, Identities Are Changeable (Miel Music), to be released November 4. “The idea that I had is to try to represent musically this
concept of identity being multiple and being able to change,” Zenón explained in a phone
interview from California.

In characteristic fashion, Zenón brings to bear on the project a lively curiosity, an intellectual
rigor, a supple and muscular emotionality, and a musical sophistication capable of translating his social research into an eloquent artistic statement. Backed by Luis Perdomo (piano), Hans Glawischnig (bass), and Eric Doob (drums), Zenón brings his discoveries to the Outpost this Thursday. Continue reading

Eric Vloeimans’ Oliver’s Cinema: Moving Sounds

Photo compilation by Abe Goldstien.

Photo compilation by Abe Goldstien.

The last time gregarious Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans (pronounced Vlouie-mahns) came through Albuquerque, he brought his electronically supplemented quartet Gatecrash, which
delivered eloquent and funky kick-ass jazz at a fairly high volume. No louder than Vloeimans’ wardrobe, though, which is as floridly splendid as anything Carnaby Street ever produced.

This time around, Vloeimans, as sartorially colorful as ever, enlists his stunning virtuosity in the service of a very different musical experience: Oliver’s Cinema, a trio that also includes
Belgium’s Tuur Florizoone on accordion and Germany’s Jörg Brinkmann on cello, virtuosi in their own right, and which inhabits the other end of the volume spectrum. The three, who sound as if they’ve been together for years, draw on both original and popular compositions to produce
expressive, delicate, and uncategorizable chamber music played in the open air of jazz. Forget “third stream.” This music blends several streams—from jazz with a folkloric memory, to
popular movie scores with a classical sensibility.

This Thursday at the Outpost, if their eponymously titled album (Buzz/Challenge Records
International
) is any indication, Eric Vloeimans’ Oliver’s Cinema will unreel an evening of lyrical moving sounds. Continue reading