VISION FESTIVAL 2018 - MARY HALVORSON'S CODE GIRL / WHIT DICKEY TRIO / WOMEN WITH AN AXE TO GRIND / SPACE - ROULETTE, BROOKLYN, NYC, MAY 24
- photography by © Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas
The 23rd edition of Arts For Art’s Vision Festival, a celebratory six-day ride dedicated to unbounded artistic expressiveness - including free jazz, dance, poetry, and cinema - was special not only for its great lineup, filled with both legendary and emergent artists, but also for the vehement messages of resistance against the current political state of the country, pianist Dave Burrell’s Lifetime Achievement, and the continual recognition of the work left by the recently departed Cecil Taylor and Sunny Murray, unparalleled pianist and drummer, respectively.
For the first time in its history, the Festival took place at Roulette in Brooklyn, a more appealing space for the event when compared to the Judson Church in Manhattan, the Vision’s stage in the last recent years. With the first night sold out (sax giant Archie Sheep performed with Dave Burrell, William Parker, and Hamid Drake after has been away of the stages for some time) we attended the second night on Thursday, May 24th.
MARY HALVORSON'S CODE GIRL
Guitarist Mary Halvorson presented her conceptual new project Code Girl, for which she auspiciously wrote lyrics for the first time. In her unique style, having chimerical electronic effects coloring the harmonic and melodic incursions of her attacks, Halvorson took a trip to where indie rock and modern jazz live together as one. The acerbic noise-rock passages of “Possibility Of Lightning”, the flawless time shifts of “And”, and the fingerpicked pop/rock of “Pretty Mountain” were highlights. For this show, the members of Code Girl were the same ones who recorded the album (vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and Thumbscrew partners - bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara) with exception of trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, who replaced Ambrose Akinmusire.
WHIT DICKEY TRIO + GUESTS
The sturdy trio led by drummer Whit Dickey, which includes Rob Brown on alto saxophone and Michael Bisio on acoustic bass, explored vibrant sonic paths with freedom and the force of a thunderbolt. The special guests Karen Broca on bassoon and Jackson Krall on percussion contributed considerably to that raw spontaneity. The numerous fans of this often-cacophonous improvisatory music got certainly thrilled with this performance.
WOMEN W/ AN AXE TO GRIND: patricia nicholson / nicole mitchell / joelle leandre / melanie dyer
The loudest ovation of the night was given to Women With an Axe to Grind, a 100% female quartet composed of dancer Patricia Nicholson, flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Joelle Leandre, and violist Melanie Dyer. Words of protest against sexism, racism, greed, and lies in times of uncertainty and fear have worked in conjunction with nimble corporal expressions and the candid chamber music conjured by the instrumentalists.
SPACE: roscoe mitchell / scott robinson / thomas buckner
Closing out the night was the idiosyncratic trio SPACE, whose original formation goes back to 1979. The current group features two of its original members: the revered woodwind master Roscoe Mitchell and the groundbreaking baritone singer Thomas Buckner. Rounding out the group is the multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, a new valuable partner. While Roscoe played the soprano sax for most of the time, Robinson explored the low-pitched timbres of many reed instruments, including bass and contrabass saxophones and sarrusophone. The sound environment was nothing less than formidable.