18 June 2010

RIJF 2010: Day Six

Started off the evening with another peek at Trombone Shorty. At least this time I got to see him play some horns. It was definitely a lot better than the bit I caught earlier, though still, not living up to the hype for me. When there is so much other interesting music to choose from out there, it is tough to settle on a heard it all before funk outfit. Funk: easy to play, difficult to master.

Next up, Eivind Opsvik Overseas, an avant-garde band from NYC. This was my pick of the night, featuring Kenny Wolleson on drums, who played the 2009 fest with Bill Frisell, one of the best shows I caught all last year. This set did not disappoint, with Wolleson dancing around an implied beat and the rest of the band layering on top of that. Beautiful, thought-provoking, at times jarring, others droning (in a good way). I made the mistake of finally catching a set at Max at Eastman Place to see Adam Niewood instead of coming for the 2nd set of Overseas. Niewood was greatly disappointing, standards that were sub-standard, and he pulled out an electric sax that just sounded plain awful. Left soon enough to just catch the tail end of the Overseas late set, and thankfully the 40 or so of us still there was able to get them to come back for one more.

Before that I let myself get carried away into John Taylor's world. Solo piano that gets compared to Keith Jarrett's solo work a ton. It is quite different in my eyes though since Jarrett is completely improvised whereas this is composed. Still, remarkable playing, wonderfully engrossing and moving music. He was one of a handful of artists this week that got so lost in his music he couldn't remember what he played. Seriously, that keeps happening a lot. Been dragging this week what with full days at work followed by working a full night at jazz fest (not sure which job is tougher), so I couldn't stick around Taylor's set for as long as I probably should have for fear of falling asleep.

Capped off the night with the Hackensaw Boys. Hot damn the Hackensaw Boys. These guys put the pep back in my step. Blisteringly good old-time string band music, raucous, loose, and scraggly. Ended their set by getting everyone to come up front and crowd around the stage. Then they played a few songs completely unmiced, "just like it used to be." They played well after 11, and were still urged back on for an encore. Claiming that it was "past curfew" they played one more unmiced, though it would have brought the house down to turn the volume back up one more time. Still, best set at the Abilene yet.

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