uri gurvich quartet at the stone at the new school, nyc, aug 25

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

The Stone at The New School was the venue chosen to celebrate the release of Kinship, the third album by saxophonist Uri Gurvich. For this show, he summoned the Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, whose licks and grooves can also be heard on the album, as well as pianist Luis Perdomo and drummer Johnathan Blake who filled in for Leo Genovese and Francisco Mela, respectively.

Ha Im, Ha Im” was introduced by drums and sax, acquiring Latin contortions near the end, mostly through Blake’s pulsing exertion. The improvisations by Perdomo and Gurvich flew like a natural conversation, while Slavov spoke with a poised arrangement of melody and rhythm.

Song For Kate”, written for Gurvich’s wife, resolves to where our ears never expect, and “Kinship” embraces a spiritual descent, built through soulful harmonies, mallet drumming, and bowed bass.

A unique moment happened when the Argentinian composer and pedagogue Bernardo Palombo, whose songs were recorded in the past by Mercedes Sosa and Phillip Glass, joined the quartet on the bandstand to interpret with yearning eloquence “El Chubut”, for which he wrote the lyrics.

The party ended with a couple of killing pieces: the folk-inflected “Blue Nomad”, in which Gurvich and Perdomo improvise alternately, narrowing the number of bars as they move forward, and the refreshing “Go Down Moses”, which served as a showcase for the bandleader’s abilities on soprano, often loaded with Coltranean moods.

People who packed the room left not only satisfied but also energized by the great music.