The other important work coming up in January is with two free improvisation ensembles: a quartet with Nate McBride, Fred Lonberg-Holm, and Frank Rosaly, and a trio with Joe Morris and Luther Gray. The idea for the quartet was instigated by Fred, we hardly ever get a chance to work with each other in a small group context (we’re usually playing together in the Brotzmann Chicago Tentet or the Territory Band), and the I was offered a couple of Sundays at the Hungary Brain in Chicago and decided on this lineup as a chance to rectify the situation.
The trio with Joe came out of our discussions during the last couple of years about organizing a specific project together, a place to develop an ongoing way to work, and this group is the result of those talks. When I go out East to visit family in mid January, I’ll also be getting together with Joe and Luther to rehearse, and to perform at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Boston on Friday the 21st. With this band Joe and I are interested in investigating new methods of working with free improvisation, approaches based more on “American” improvisation models than the ones that have been developed primarily in Europe. The idea itself is going to take some real effort to clarify (Joe’s suggestion that I look at the photography of Walker Evans sounds like a brilliant place to start). However, by asking questions about what the idea of being an “American improviser” means in this period, it should be possible to find some new ways of expressing ourselves – and that idea alone makes the trio worth pursuing.
In closing this last document for 2004, I’d like to acknowledge and thank the people I’ve worked with in both North America and Europe for the last 12 months, particularly the musicians; but also the booking agents, David Viecelli and Erhard Hessling; the presenters who took the risks on the concerts; the players I heard that inspired me to continue; and of course the listeners who heard what we had to say with sound in 2004.
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