VISION FESTIVAL 22 - DAY 6 - at JUDSON CHURCH - NYC, jun 3
- photography by © Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas
An impromptu excursion by a trio of explorers - violist Mat Maneri, saxophonist Tony Malaby, and cellist Daniel Levin - drew effusive applause from the attentive listeners that could see them very close once they placed themselves right in front of the first row of the audience. Their avant-chamber-jazz, taken from the New Artifacts CD, incorporates buzzing crescendos, sudden fragmentations, and symbiotic linearities, where everything lives in constant mutation and adaptation.
Ivo Perelman Quartet was the band that followed, delivering a totally improvised set. The resourceful Brazilian saxophonist explored a wide range of colors and timbres in the company of his regular bandmates: the inventive Matthew Shipp on piano, Michael Bisio on bass, and Whit Dickey on drums. The abstract moods were mounted through desperate laments, furious inner battles, gravitational trips, and earthly extemporaneous runs.
Adventurous saxophonist David Murray was the man of the night, aiming at the deepest of our souls with striking inside/outside phrases placed over the Afro-tinged textures created by percussionist Khalil El’Zabar, a longtime collaborator, and the sober lines of bassist Carmen Rothwell, who replaced the initially announced Gerry Eastman.
After an introductory meditation enriched by the percussive chimes of mbira, El’Zabar’s “Sweet Meat” was deconstructed through blues-drenched lines, rapid-fire attacks, and zany rhythms, but it was with Murray’s “Song For a New South Africa”, an explosion of intense warm colors, that the trio conquered the audience. Besides playing cajon, El’Zabar sung and declaimed words of wisdom about peace, love, tolerance, and diversity.
When everything seemed to be over, Murray returns to the stage with a bass clarinet to blow percussive pops and deliver an amazing solo on a danceable extra tune.
The final act, entitled Songs for a Free World, joined clamorous jazz and expressive dance. By turns, saxophonist Oliver Lake and bassist William Parker, who presented their own compositions, led a big band that comprised vocalist Fay Victor, saxophonist Ras Moshe, trumpeter Vincent Chancey, the honoree pianist Cooper-Moore, and percussionist Hamid Drake, among others.
VISION is an essential festival made of impactful musicians and performers, powerful art and a laudable will of changing the world. This was the 22nd year that these fearless voices spoke loud and clear in a resolute quest for freedom, which is much appreciated.