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{ Category Archives } New Music

Classical/crossover/experimental/modern music by living or recently living composers

The Ciompi Quartet with guest Branford Marsalis

Tonight, in the same hall Zorn played last night, it was the Ciompi Quartet with Branford Marsalis. I was looking forward to hearing my friend marc faris’s new composition Mountain Music which, as it turned out, is a beautifully restrained piece, distinctive, personal, and surprising. And yet, through no fault of the music or musicians, I was discontent. I was hoping for something grittier, and I end up thinking about other times I’ve heard Branford play or speak.

Tagged Branford Marsalis, Ciompi Quartet, classical music, crossover music, jazz

John Zorn’s Acoustic Masada at Page Auditorium

What a set! The four players—Zorn (alto sax), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Greg Cohen (bass) and Joey Baron (drums)—came onstage briskly, got in position with a minimum of fuss as Zorn shouted something I didn’t catch, and immediately launched into a frenetic free-form piece, Zorn playing with one hand and jabbing behind his back with the other to direct the drummer. Grunge jazz, in the best sense of the word, all the way down to Zorn’s camo pants.

Tagged Dave Douglas, jazz, John Zorn, live music, new music, Ornette Coleman