anna webber's simple trio at greenwich house, nyc, apr 22

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

Brooklyn-based saxophonist/flutist/composer Anna Webber brought her bass-less Simple Trio, comprising Matt Mitchell on piano and John Hollenbeck on drums, to the Greenwich House’s Sound It Out concert series on Saturday, April 22.
The performance served to promote her latest album Binary, released in October last year on Skirl Records.
The trio stepped on the bandstand extremely focused and showing the expected predisposition for improvisation and interaction within the structural blocks that characterize the bandleader’s compositions.

They kicked in with “Impulse Purchase”, initially served up with breathtaking saxophone trills followed by intricate piano swirls. Patiently, the tune evolved into invigorating interplays magnified by Hollenbeck’s hypnotic cymbal collisions and supplementary solo moments before reaching the powerful collective finale.
Disintegratiate”, effusive in its sonic textures and packed with a reverberative rock-ish pulse, gave place to “Tug O’ War” where the bandleader switches to flute. Despite the quiet atmosphere and sweeter timbre, the hyper-inventive Hollenbeck makes it attractively pulsing by using a panoply of percussive toys.
After two short and contrapuntal pieces, both named “Rectangle”, the trio retrieves the impeccably synchronized “Emoticon” from the 2014 album Simple (Skirl Records). At a certain point, I imagined a honking train speeding up in an urban landscape.

Mitchell’s voicings sounded beautifully in the soul-searching “Binary”, a tune that intersperses light and dark tones, while the agitated “Underhelmed” left the audience puzzled with its outspoken enthusiasm.
Webber and her peers revealed as much nerve onstage as in their studio recordings.