Thursday, May 14
The Royal Room ● 5000 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle ● 8-11 p.m. ● donation ● 21+
Helix (8 p.m.)
Helix explores the multiplicity of the quartet: two tenor saxophones and two drum sets. Six duos, four trios, one quartet. The quartet explores and exploits the combination of these relationships through improvisation in real time – no musical property is out of the question as they navigate each moment as a unit. The relationships of the instruments, coupled with a ‘helical’ approach to improvisation, results in 100-percent acoustic music that is honest and earnest in its pursuit of spontaneity. Note: This will be one of the final performances of Eric Barber’s tenure in Seattle, as he readies to pursue bright new opportunities in California – Eric is a singular, truly wonderful musician and human being who will be sorely missed by all in the Northwest creative music community!
Eric Barber (tenor saxophone), Greg Sinibaldi (tenor saxophone), Greg Campbell (drums, percussion), Thomas Campbell (drums, percussion)
Focus on Sanity – Revisiting Ornette Coleman’s “Free Jazz” (9 p.m.)
Ornette Coleman’s role and importance in the jazz canon is well established. Among his many innovative compositions is “Free Jazz.” Created spontaneously, with a minimum of cues and without any discernible repeated themes, “Free Jazz” helped change the way jazz was approached, considered, and played, especially for large ensembles.
Nine Seattle-based musicians will revisit this seminal piece, recreating the double-quartet format albeit with different instrumentation and an extra voice. Coleman’s “Mob Job” will also be performed. Group members include Jim Knodle (trumpet), James DeJoie (alto saxophone), Dennis Rea (guitar), Ken Masters (guitar), Stephen Thomas Cavit (drums), Don Berman (drums), John Seman (bass), Ryan Berg (bass), and Matt McCluskey (keyboards).
Being John McLaughlin (10 p.m.)
Being John McLaughlin impressively re-creates the epochal music of John McLaughlin and the early Mahavishnu Orchestra albums (circa Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire). Formed by keyboardist Ryan Burns and a supremely talented crew of like-minded cohorts. Being John McLaughlin is rounded out by Tristan Gianola (guitar), Alicia DeJoie (violin), Geoff Harper (bass) and John Bishop (drums). Prepare to be mowed down by “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love”…