Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chez Amandes (Beezer and 5-Track Come to Town)!

Clip 1 (50 megs)
Clip 2 (79 megs)
Clip 3 (25 megs)

Here's as much as I was able to record of a beautiful all-afternoon jam at Gerry Amandes's's's studio on Sunday, July 31st. The event was timed to take advantage of the simultaneous local materialization of 5-track (LA) and John Beezer (NY, NY), but also drew heavily from a jumbo pool of local Seattle improvisers, including Ian, Woody, and me (all from WEGO). With my atrocious name-recall and the likelihood of forgetting or incriminating somebody, I won't even try to list all of the participants, but it was great to reconnect with those that I hadn't seen in years(!) and to meet a few new and bright faces. (If you were there and don't mind identifying yourself, please sign in in the comments down there at the bottom.)

Special huge thanks to Gerry for offering his studio for this!! It had been several years since I'd been there and I thought perhaps I'd overblown the perfection of the space in my interim memory, but WOW, if anything it was even warmer and more fully appointed than before. I won't get into specifics, but the whole space feels lovingly constructed for freakish sound-support and flexibility of configuration. With an average of 7-10 players at a time, frequently shifting stations, we were never isolated nor crowded. And the whole space just feeeels fantastic.

Music started bubbling up some-time around 3:30-ish(?) and it was still cooking along when Tina and Lucy picked me up at around 7:00pm. So this huge download may only be a fraction of the whole event…? However, this recording does capture just about everything that happened while I was there. The hard-drive on my little recorder ran out of space just as I was packing up to leave. And the breaks between tracks here were simply paranoid attempts to bracket off and preserve recordings. In each case, I started it up again immediately, so not much is lost (… hopefully the breaks make for less of a monolithic download as well).

As with most large-group improv, there's not a whole lot of chordal movement here (with a few dramatic exceptions!).  A sizeable percentage of it was variations on some flavor of modal minor. But the players were all adept enough to extend and imply changes with various dimensions of tension and release.

With how much material there is here, I'm tempted to cull out and present only a few 10-minute clips of the highest peaks of synergy. (… and I may still do that) But I suspect that most of the audience for these recordings will be the players that were there and the people that they send to this page, so for now I'm just posting the whole crazy soup in order to give everyone the best chance of finding the morsels that they remember most fondly.