28 March 2012

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Christof Kurzmann and I continue our duo concerts in Brazil with a performance in Porto Alegre on Monday the 26th, and in Florianopolis on Tuesday the 27th; in both cases the shows were outstanding. Getting to Porto Alegre was a bit brutal- we left the hotel at 4:45am to fly from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis, pick up our bags and re-check in (when we arrived at the check in desk we had the same guy from the airline who sent Christof back to the apartment to search for his passport, this time he greeted us, took our bags again without asking for extra charges for the baritone, asked us how our concerts in Sao Paulo were, and wished us luck on the upcoming gigs in Porto Alegre and Florianopolis!), sat at the airport for about 5 hours, flew from Florianopolis to Porto Alegre, then took a nap before dinner and the show. There was a film screening taking and discussion taking place at the venue before we could set up, which meant it was nearly 11pm before we were able to start the concert- a long day and long way from where we started in Sao Paulo that morning. Christof and I played 2 shorter sets and 2 encores for an audience of about 50 people; the 1st encore was an intense wall of sound created by overtones on the bari and a dense thicket of sound from Christof’s computer, all played over a pounding beat- exhilarating and from out of nowhere. Getting back to Florianopolis was still a bit earlier in the morning than I enjoy, but a hell of a lot easier than the travel the day before, and both Christof and I slept most of the afternoon to rest up for our final duo gig of the trip. We again played to shorter sets, using the piece built on a rhythmic sample constructed from Matin Brandlmayr’s drums and my tenor sax to open the night and the “Joe McPhee song” based on one of Joe’s poems to close it. The audience was small but appreciative, and the music of the evening finished with an encore played on bass clarinet that was processed by Christof’s work on the computer. Wednesday was a “day off” half spent catching up with the backlog of email and logistics (getting online while in Brazil has been more difficult than expected), then spent enjoying the town, concluding the night with the best caipirinha of my life (the aesthetics of a perfect drink: the right blend of alcohol and mixers, the right ice, the right glass, the right presentation in an exquisite old bar in the Portuguese side of the city), and staring at the stars overhead on a deserted beach, more stars than I’ve seen in a decade. The Resonance Ensemble playing “Rope,” a piece dedicated to the great Don Ellis: