27 April 2007


EUROPE pt. 1

After taking care of the Atomic School Days session there was some typical running around in town until I headed to Portugal to do some work with 4 Corners (Magnus, Paal, Adam Lane, myself) to coincide with the release of our album on Clean Feed. The quartet had a bit of rehearsal time before performing on March 17th at the Braga Jazz Festival in the newly restored Theatro Circo. A nice concert, but I was happy that we were going to have a follow up performance in Lisbon a couple of days later. It’s difficult to start up after nearly a year apart (we last worked together as a quartet in June of 2006), and the more a group gets to work together the better it tends to sound… Had an interesting experience after walking out into the evening air following dinner one night during our stay in Braga. Things were usually pretty quiet in town but on this particular occasion, as the members of the band walked towards the theater to listen to a festival concert, we saw a man running towards us with small flashlights attached to his head and glancing at what appeared to be a map in his right hand as he raced down the street. That was pretty odd, but the weirdness continued with another guy running by, in the opposite direction. Then two people bolted up out of a subway stop- all with maps and flashlights. As more and more people charged by us we started to notice the numbers pinned to their chests, it seems that we’d stumbled onto some kind of bizarre late night orienteering race…

After the gig in Braga the band traveled to Lisbon. On the 18th I had the opportunity to play a duo concert with the violinist, Carlos Zingaro, at the Trem Azul record shop. Though I had heard Carlos before, this was the first chance I had to play with him and the music turned out beautifully, improvisations based on very quick action. He’s an amazing musician, just beautiful to work with. Afterwards we celebrated with Pedro Costa and the shop staff, the 4 Corners guys, and some fans with great Portuguese wine and cheese- very civilized. The next night the 4 Corners group performed at the Centro Cultural de Belem, the show was recorded and filmed for a future DVD release on Clean Feed. Our first set contained the best music the band has ever played; the material took off from the first note, some very good fortune to have that on film. The second set was a bit more ragged, Adam was having technical issues with his borrowed gear, but the encore turned out beautifully. This quartet doesn’t get together too often, but when we do we seem to get things done right and documented.

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