Friday, November 8, 2013

Ari Hoenig concert

Among the three themes I planned to discuss, only math had some place here, and not a single word about jazz. Many concerts, though, and a few of them were good, but none really good to the point to grab a keyboard and write a notice.

Two of them were even a bit disappointing. One year ago, Wayne Shorter celebrated his 80th birthday with his quartet (Danilo Perez, John Pattitucci, Brian Blade) at the Salle Pleyel. But I found the music a bit cold. Only now do I begin to appreciate the CD Without a net that they published soon after.

In september, John Zorn celebrated his 60th birthday at La Villette with a kind of musical marathon: 3 concerts, 9 bands (even 10), some 5 hours of music. Alas. While a similar concert at Banlieues bleues in 2012 had been wonderful, that one was a great disappointment. Except for 3-4 bands (Holy visions, Acoustic Masada, The Dreamers, Bar Kokhba), the rest was boring (Alchemist), ridiculous (Song Project),  if not unbearable (Templars).

But I had the great pleasure to hear Ari Hoenig in Vincennes, with Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Noam Wiesenberg on bass. Ari is a nice young drummer from Philadelphia, with a very melodic touch; I had heared him twice at the Smalls (once with Pilc and Moutin, the other I don't remember!), and he is always very interesting. When I say that he his a melodist, this is not a metaphor. The last piece they played was Charlie Parker's theme Anthropology, and this is the first time that I heard the theme played on the drums. The introduction was rather variations at a slow tempo, but at some point, he played the theme at full speed, and that was really music! Incredible when you think that drums do not have many notes to offer; so for some strokes, Ari had to put his elbow on the drumhead, pressing strongly, so as to modify the pitch. There is a video on youtube where you can see him in action, playing Anthropology (at 7:44, you can guess what I'm talking about), you can also hear that on his CD Inversations. If you like that, his Punk Bop - Live at Smalls is also an excellent CD to listen to.