Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Winter Jazzfest // Barry Altschul

Via Time Out New York, here's a preview of five promising sets at this coming weekend's Winter Jazzfest.


Also, a very happy 70th b-day to Mr. Barry Altschul. (Dig Harris Eisenstadt's Q&A with the man over at Destination: Out.) I can't wait to check out the new 3dom Factor CD; that band sounded great at Roulette last night, as did Altschul's reunited BRAHMA trio.

It's been a real trip and a pleasure getting to know Altschul's playing in the present tense over the past few years. When I first started checking him out on record, around 2000, he didn't seem to be performing much, so my aural picture of his playing was that skittery, high-pitched style you hear on Dave Holland's Conference of the Birds. When I heard him a couple years back with Jon Irabagon—I think it was the Foxy release party at Cornelia Street CafĂ©—I couldn't believe how fat and forceful he sounded. The same was true of last night's performance. He really smacks the kit, revels in the booming, woody tones of the drums and the bash of the cymbals. And the Beaver Harris–inspired "ragtime to no time" principle that Eisenstadt discusses was in full effect at Roulette; you'll see few other drummers who not only execute this full spectrum convincingly but appear to be having a total blast no matter what mode they're playing in. Altschul is a radiant performer; see him if you have the chance.

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