They have the ability to move like an amoeba – fluid and unpredictable. The cornetist’s mid-sized outfit is known for its shape-shifting skills, and if that means the trombonist waxes bittersweet while the guitarist grinds her fist bloody, so be it. He’s touring a new, extended piece entitled “Navigation Abstract,” and this particular show gives us a chance to hear what the band sounds like with two drummers – Chad Taylor makes it a septet for the evening.
The Kneebody saxophonist has proven his chops in myriad local gigs during the past few years. And while hearing him play in a trio setting is a joy, the midsize ensemble from the new Frame really gives you insight into his artistic innards. Architecture is key; the keyboard-centric tunes have an arranger’s touch, and buoyancy is everywhere. This music bubbles over.
Seems like Ornette is in the air a lot these days. Musicians like Gregg August and J.D. Allen talking about the informal sessions the maestro has been having at his home, the arrival of the icon at the Sonny Rollins birthday show (“I was full of joy when he came out,” Newk told me the other day, “any time I hear him it’s a good experience”) and plenty of young cats like Noah Preminger turning to tunes such as “Law Years” and “Street Woman” (the young tenor player Facebook’d the message “Ornette’s Science Fiction should be the new bible. End of story.” on Friday).
To my mind, that’s how it should be. Investigations of OC’s canon are always welcome. For the last two nights, Jimmy Katz has curated a tip of the hat to Ornette at the Jazz Gallery. Tonight’s show is the last of of the presentation, with Nasheet Waits (with pianist Stanley Cowell, y’all) and Joe Lovano‘s Super Sonix group (Cameron Brown and Joey Baron) taking it home. I’ll throw $5 in the tip jar if JoeLo dives into “European Echoes,” one of my fave OC trio nuggets. And I’ll thank everyone in advance, especially Katz, for the fun.