Archive for March, 2009

Lyn Horton: Kidd Jordan and Trio Goes to Town

March 26th 2009

originally published at AllAboutJazz.com

Photo credit: Lyn Horton

Photo credit: Lyn Horton

During one of the most tempestuous winters in memory, the twentieth season of the Magic Triangle Series at UMass Amherst began with the highly energetic performance of the Kidd Jordan Trio: Kidd Jordan on tenor, William Parker on upright bass and flute, Hamid Drake on drums, percussion and frame drum.

The producer of the series, Glenn Siegel, announced the players and prepared the audience to expect one set. After rousing applause, the players came to the stage from behind the back wall. A hush blanketed the hall. With his left arm hugging the neck of the bass to steady it, Parker meanwhile applied resin to his bow. Drake settled on his stool in back of his drumset and adjusted his array of drumsticks. Moistening the reed in his mouthpiece by inserting it in his mouth several times, Jordan readied himself to play his glistening silver tenor saxophone.

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Lyn Horton: Curtis Clark, Connie Crothers, and Joe Bonner—
Exploring the World of Piano

March 8th 2009

Published March 8, 2009 at AllAboutJazz.com:

Sitting at the piano before playing it is somewhat like sitting at a drawing table in front of a blank piece of paper before drawing on it. The keyboard is like the piece of paper. Until a pianist touches the keyboard (or not, i.e. John Cage, 4’33,”1952) or the artist makes a mark (or seems to not, i.e. Robert Rauschenberg, ”White Paintings,” 1951), nothing happens: the emptiness is brimming with potential (which implies “substance” to Cage because Cage was exploring the meaning of silence as itself and Rauschenberg was reacting to the overdone-ness of Abstract Expressionist Painting).

The pianist, like the visual artist, is an individual interpreter of the piano. Through this interpretation, how the pianist plays the instrument and subsequently develops a language using it evolves. The instrument becomes the medium of expression, or communication, as well as a participant in the conversation between instrument and musician. The material with which to communicate through piano is, in turn, drawn from the musician’s life-experience.

For the first three weeks in February, a consortium of contributors brings the Series “A World of Piano” to the Northampton (MA) Center for the Arts. This year, three pianists, each of whom might be said to travel under a popular audience radar, performed: Curtis Clark, Connie Cruthers and Joe Bonner.

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