April-29th-2012, 02:05 PM
swing high swing higher
Mat Maneri Quintet 4/28/12
Mat Maneri - viola
Oscar Noriega - bass clarinet, b-flat clarinet and alto saxophone
Kris Davis - piano
Garth Stevenson - bass
Randy Peterson - drums
3 or 4 feet from Mat with Oscar Noriega in the center with Kris Davis on the left - the bassist in the back left and the drums behind Maneri - first piece must have been number 1 and it was a good 15 minute warm-up in which Davis impressed, Noriega was fine on the bass clarinet and the rest of the band started to find it's place. some problems with the reedist's microphone so he jokes "make sure they can hear the clarinet"
Mats then says ok - we will start off with a viola/clarinet duo - someone int he band asks "do we then go into number 2" and I think Mat responded with something like " No - then we hit it, or then we will just go"
and then they started to go, hit it, or whatever the height of so-called 'Maneri Music" is at it's very best. Kris Davis plays Monkian, Cecilian, Tatumesque even - certainly all of those influences are there - and some Paul Bley too for sure - but it is unimaginable, indescribable piano and I asked my new friend who we waited in line with about her - and he plays the piano - and I think his jaw was dropped - this was NOTHING like the Kris Davis I had seen with her own band or with Malaby's 9 piece. Had to be seen and heard for anyone reading this how great this set was getting.
the *great* Randy Peterson starts heating it up as well, and the first solo is typically awesome - as always (or so I THOUGHT) threatening a groove) the ceiling may have shook, but methinks at that point, still holding something back.
fwiw - this quality of off-kilter precision is a hallmark of what is now and has been for a while, Mat's music when it is played by his band.
with about 40-45 minutes gone, we knew they would play one more piece - maybe it was number 2 but I don't know - whatever it was it had a fairly typical jazzish head - and then I may have heard an almost walking bass - and mother of jesus, I heard the great drummerman playing as close to a groove as I have ever heard him play - and I also knew that there would be a viola/drum duet at the end as Mat had said to the band, that was where they were going - and maybe when he sometimes called out soloists - "Kris!" or "Garth" or what anyone who has seen the boys and girls a few times really wants to hear "RANDY!"
so Oscar plays Charlie Parker meets Jimmy Lyons and Eric Dolphy all rolled into one and blows the fucking roof off the place - and maybe this is the tune/performance that any doubter of the Maneri magic needed to hear. - and then the duet...
and Mat in about 5 minutes with Peterson starting to shake the walls really tunred up the intensity and closed the set with a ferocity and brilliance that no musician I know has matched in many years.
Stunning - and my wife who is not a jazz head was amazed.....
second set was said to be "short and sweet" and as with a similar quintet last December they started with a "ballad" - fine slow, then Mat tells them "slow down" and it gets to that tempo that is only heard in this music - as slow as stop and as stopped as slow - and the undulating dynamics continue - it gets very intense on all kind of levels - but still nothing like the heights of the first 60 minute set.
second piece was a free improvisation and Oscar Noriega took the b-flat clarinet to places I dodn't know it could go to, the band and the drummer found a new altered cryptic non-grooved swing thing with accents and cymbals in all the unknown and lost places that few if any drummers find and the band rocks the place the fuck out and then there is time for one more - an old Mat tune called Dolphy's Dance and it is equally stunning and it's over after a special lady who know someone in the band is screaming throughout the last 5 or 10 minutes like it was a rock band until Mat had the band bring it down - and then it was back and I think my wife may have thought it was the best band she had seen yet - and to me maybe the best since DKV in 2001 or maybe the second Brotz Tentet gig @ Tonic in 2001 or 2002.
the lady wants an encore (not my wife, the other one) and Mat says ok - "we will play 30 seconds of the most incredible shit ever played"
then they did.
plus Mat loves that my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org!!!
of course - for the reason he is here - even though it is Mat's band - it comes from the great man - it lives on through one of the greatest pure improvisors this music has known - they did say he was always the best musician in the band, even 20 years ago....
and until next time, when Mat most likely will start it us with 'here we go'
Get Ready To Receive Yourself
April-29th-2012, 02:56 PM
Plus ça change...
Hey, thanks for the fabola review, Preach!!
I hope you're saying hi to Mat for me!
“The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand.”--George Moore
April-29th-2012, 05:54 PM
Great review, SR; wish I could've been there. Where was it?
Life is so easy if you have no integrity
April-29th-2012, 07:07 PM
swing high swing higher
June-3rd-2012, 04:05 AM