counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

May 25th, 2008: Joe McPhee & Jean-Luc Cappozzo

@instants chavirés

Early gig, and unfortunately pretty short, I could have used a third set. Two trumpets most of the time — Jean-Luc Cappozzo had two, and McPhee a small and a big one — though Joe McPhee also made good use of a soprano saxophone, and just stepped back at times. But that does not mean it was the same kind of sound throughout, far from it. There was the usual understated breathing through the instruments so prevalent in the free improvisation scene, but it was just one sound among many, so it never had a chance to grow tiresome. And there was also some whistling through and even a kind of singing that gave a third and even a fourth line with only two performers. Cappozzo also used a different mouthpiece that yielded a buzzing, reedy sound and in the gimmick department McPhee started by pouring water into his pocket trumpet, which eventually yielded a gurgling sound. He also made good percussive use of his bigger trumpet by hitting the mouthpiece with his palm. And they even were daring enough to play in a regular way.

That’s just for the range of sounds, but it actually never devolved into an empty display, more like going through the possibilities of the instruments but in the course of carrying on a conversation. I did feel dazzled at times, and more than a little of it went way over my head, but that’s my lack of fluency in that language showing. I liked that they played slow at some points, it’s not that usual in there, this avoidance of technical virtuosity. And it proved that Joe McPhee could perfectly well sound smooth when he wants to, and that emphasized the choices made earlier. That’s probably where a third set could have been good for me, maybe I was ready by then to ignore the novelty of the different sounds and focus on the music itself; too often I missed the boat, which not much time to recover because they mostly played shortish sequences.

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May 26, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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