Get excited for the Other Minds festival, with Tyshawn & King, Sara & Roscoe, Sylvie & Mary, William & Patricia and Darius alone


The 25th edition of Festival of other spirits, an intensely exploratory San Francisco-based affair, was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020. We know what derailed those plans – but the festival is making a comeback this week, with four nights of programming at the Atrium Theater. I will be present throughout the festival, which will be presented both in person and via a paid livestream. So, in anticipation of this event, we’re dedicating this week’s Take Five to a range of artists performing at the festival.

King Britt and Tyshawn Sorey, “Untitled Three”

King Britt and Tyshawn Sorey, “Untitled Three”

If you follow contemporary currents in creative music, there’s a good chance you know Tyshawn Sorey – son of Newark, MacArthur Fellow, beloved collaborator from Claire Chase to Vijay Iyer. Jazz fans could be forgiven for not also knowing King Britt, a pioneering producer and songwriter who made his debut on the Philadelphia club scene, toured internationally with Digable Planets, and became something of a music guru. electronic music. (Britt is also, like Sorey, an academic; he teaches a course at UCSD called “Blacktronika: Afrofuturism In Electronic Music.”) Around the same time last year, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum had presented these two artists in a conversation going. They will attend a similar conference ahead of their performance of Other Minds on Friday – partly mirroring an upcoming album, Tyshawn and King, releases on The Buddy System on October 21. Listen to “Untitled Three”, the third of the album’s five tracks, and you’ll get a feel for the scope they bring to the project, which harnesses elements of techno and minimalism in the service of an entirely malleable and unpredictable exchange. .

Sara Schoenbeck with Roscoe Mitchell, “Chordata”

“Chordata” by Sara Schoenbeck and Roscoe Mitchell

On her new eponymous album, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck explores the vast potential of her instrument in a series of duets, with partners ranging from drummer Harris Eisenstadt to flutist Nicole Mitchell to guitarist Nels Cline. One of the most purely exploratory of these tête-à-tête is with Roscoe Mitchell, the NEA Jazz Master and founding member of the AACM. “Chordata”, a track from the album, is a three and a half minute extract of a longer improvisation between Schoenbeck and Mitchell. The above video, previewed here, takes place over more than 10 minutes of spontaneous discovery. It was filmed and recorded at Madison, where Mitchell taught at the Univ. of Wisconsin. And while he sits behind a range of percussion instruments (mostly gongs and cymbals), he sticks to the soprano saxophone throughout – not that it is sonically limited, in any way. or, by this restriction. Mitchell will perform on Other Minds on Saturday with Trio Five, with Junius Paul on bass and Vincent Davis on drums; he will also present his music on October 28 at Roulette in Brooklyn, as part of the venerable Interpretations Series.

Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson, “Bent Yellow”

Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and guitarist Mary Halvorson first collaborated as a duo several years ago, for a beautiful album, Culture circles, which happened in early 2017. Following that release, they toured Europe and the United States, deepening their relationship. And they brought that extra insight to In search of the missing hour, which will be released on Pyroclastic Records on October 29. Halvorson’s “Bent Yellow”, previewed here, captures the balance of flint sensibility and clarity in their musical bond, with a particular spider-like grace that has been the composer’s business. Courvoisier and Halvorson perform at Other Minds on Sunday evening.

Darius Jones, “Figure n ° 2”

Number n ° 2

NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton, who plays the final set at Other Minds Sunday Night, is known for (among other things) helping to establish the improvised solo saxophone recital as a full spectrum experience. His example lurks on the outskirts of Raw Demoon Alchemy (A Solitary Operation), a new solo album by Darius Jones, recorded at Holocene in Portland, Oregon, almost exactly two years ago. It should be noted here, of course, that Jones has a viola sound very different from that of Braxton; it expresses the sweet and succulent complexity of a perfect blood orange. And the repertoire on the album ranges from Roscoe Mitchell to Sun Ra to Georgia Anne Muldrow, whose “Figure No. 2” is a painful piece of melody preoccupied with repetition, like in a prayer.

William Parker and Patricia Nicholson, “Wrestling”

William Parker and Patricia Nicholson, “Wrestling”

The presence of multi-instrumentalist William Parker and dancer-choreographer-poet Patricia Nicholson at Other Minds should be a reminder of another unclassifiable peak of the avant-garde: the Vision Festival, which began as a hopeful by-product. of their creative partnership and took on a full life. At No kidding! – an album to be released on ESP-Disk on October 29 – Parker and Nicholson explore their collaboration once again, with contributions from tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, violist Melanie Dyer and others. “Struggle,” featuring Nicholson’s spoken word verse on a meandering desert groove, captures the central attitude of the project. (“You know how Sisyphus always pushes that rock up a hill?” Nicholson lavishes. “Never get anywhere.”) The political urgency of the track should also permeate their performance at the festival Friday, featuring a longtime travel companion Hamid Drake on percussion and vocals.


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