Friday, June 22, 2007
















So I pretty much always, these last few years, end up attending at least one jazz fest event per annum, basically due to the fact that several people I know from the jazz boards come into town for the Vision Fest and I enjoy hanging out with them. Though the vast majority of what tends to be presented there falls into a category I'll gently describe as "boring" (to me), and often worse, occasionally some jewels emerge that, of course, I wouldn't have encountered otherwise. Last year there were two (Bill Dixon/George Lewis & Joe Morris/Barre Phillips). Several years ago I saw a stunning duo performance by Fred Anderson and Harrison Bankhead. Even if I'm not very sanguine on the art form as such these days, it remained a joy to experience two musicians who did it so well, not incidentally laying waste to most everything else on the program, actually playing "free" jazz.

I'll be heading back tonight and tomorrow. This evening the above duo augmented by Hamid Drake will be playing, so I have some hopes for a good set. Otherwise a bunch of things that seem, on the face of it, eminently missable: 50 violins in tribute to Leroy Jenkins, Mat Shipp solo (potential, but not holding my breath), Roy Campbell's "Ahkenaten [sic] Suite" (avoidable on title grounds alone) and *shudder* a Patricia Nicholson dance/art project which should serve as a perfect time to run over to Katz' for a nosh. Another Jenkins homage with Myra Melford and Mark Taylor closes things out.

Tomorrow, Vyacheslav Ganelin plays with a trio which could be interesting for historical reasons. Maybe. Eddie Gale & Prince Lasha are with a larger group; again, historically curious, although Ms. Nicholson is threatening to dance during the set....a Rob Brown Quartet and a Whit Dickey trio will likely do nothing for me and I'll be certain to exit before the finale, Amiri Baraka's Blue Ark (although, who knows?, that could turn out to be the highlight....)

We shall see.

10 comments:

Jon said...

did you get your $30 tickets in advance, or will you be buying $35 tickets at the door?

Brian Olewnick said...

I'm, um, splurging.

I saw in Nate Chinen's article in the NYT this morning that there was a sizeable crowd at the shows earlier in the week, though it's hard for me to imagine them turning away anyone. If so, I'd only feel bad for Scott, though I figure he might be able to glower his way in....If I have to listen from Norfolk St., I'll survive.

Jon said...

listening from Jersey City might be ideal, I know how you like to balance the concert with outside noise. that might be the perfect mix for most of those sets.

Jon said...

so? inquiring minds want to know.

Brian Olewnick said...

See above

Anonymous said...

if it wasnt for patricia parker there would be no vision festival.she works incredibly hard on behalf of art in NYC. shame on you for knocking her own artistic contribution through her dancing. It's amazing to me that she still finds time to devote to her craft outside of all of the vision fest planning. Her installation piece, which i think you missed, was wonderful, as was Matthew shipp's solo set. Surely there is a way to criticze without knocking people down?

Brian Olewnick said...

So I guess everything's good and nothing bears criticism, especially if it's created by a good person. Happy you feel that way; I don't. I did miss her installation piece though I caught enough of her performance with Eddie Gale to feel pretty secure in my evaluation.

It's funny, but I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't think almost exactly along the lines I do about Ms. Nicholson's dancing. I'm sure they exist, but I've yet to run into them. But I guess it's impolitic to say so publicly.

Anonymous said...

dont be so ridiculous. of course i wasnt at all implying that u shouldnt criticize, but surely there is a way to give more meaning to what you say rather than coming off as somewhat snarky, as it leaves really no room for critical thought to develop. Your comments on P Parker were very one dimensional. Why not really dig first?

this whole jazz blogosphere culture is a bit disconcerting....

Brian Olewnick said...

If the postings here were a "review" of the event rather than just my thoughts, I'd have to be more descriptive of her flailings. Admittedly, that would prove a tough task. The analogy to the Feiffer cartoons that Pete C. made (which I believe I posted here somewhere) captures more of the essence of her performances than anything I could come up with.

Sorry, for me, it's not too different than having to investigate a Kenny G. CD in depth. Some things just aren't worth the time. I'll comment and move on; if that's snark, so be it.

Jeez, good thing I didn't even get into Budbill's puerilely lame political poesy between sets....

btw, feel free to use your name.

Anonymous said...

u dont have 2 apologize 2 me. I'm not trying to cut you down, u are more than entitled to your opinion, though comparing p parker to kenny g is really questionable, but again you are entitled to speak your truths. More power to you! But since u are allowing people to comment i just felt it neccessary to say something. A lot of folks that make these grandiose judgements about the Vision festival just don't really get it. Which is fine. I've seen it every year since its inception and can say i personally think its one of the best creative showcases this city has to offer, and each year it gets even better.I did not expect that you would understand where I am coming from. I probably should have never commented in the first place. But whats done is done....
And, by the way, if u dont want anonymous posters on your blog you shouldn't give them the choice.

hope u eventually run across something creative that inspires you as much as Patricia Parker and the whole Vision community inspires me.