[JPL] A Jazz Concert Schedule That’s Like a Mixtape ...NYTimes

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 11 17:53:05 EDT 2006

September 10, 2006
The New Season | Music
A Jazz Concert Schedule That’s Like a Mixtape 
A JAZZ concert season can suggest comparisons to a
course curriculum, a museum catalog or a tasting menu.
The new season at Merkin Concert Hall was designed
with yet another model in mind. It aspires to the
gritty, unofficial quality of a mixtape. 

That may sound slightly out of character for Merkin
Hall, which has earned a reputation for avant-gardism
of a cool and cerebral disposition. But for Brice
Rosenbloom and Simon Rentner, the season’s producers,
it makes sense. 

Certainly it fits their profile. Mr. Rosenbloom has
booked music at Makor and the Knitting Factory, and
Mr. Rentner has a background in radio production.
Their commitment to eclecticism comes across as
matter-of-fact, even when it carries a whiff of
youthful pretension. DJ Spooky was one source of
inspiration for their programming concept, Mr. Rentner
said in a recent phone conversation. 

The 45-concert season began on Sept. 2 with a tribute
to New Orleans jazz and soul. Its closing jazz event,
on May 7, pairs the Ron Carter Nonet and the Aaron
Goldberg Trio. Both concerts fall under Chamber Jazz,
a six-concert subscription series that will also
include the free-jazz pianist Cecil Taylor (Oct. 12)
and the Mingus Orchestra (Nov. 30). 

The hall’s No Minimum series no longer heeds its
original dual-piano premise: its first installment on
Oct. 9 will feature the pianist Robert Glasper with,
separately, the guitarist Lionel Loueke and the
bassist Meshell Ndegeocello. The Zoom: Composers Close
Up series will include a Feb. 15 showcase for the
Argentine composer Guillermo Klein. And the first
concert of the new Masters Reimagined program, on
Sept. 9, will feature the music of Hermeto Pascoal as
performed by the Bobby Sanabria Big Band. 

Though studded with stylish contemporary references —
like Radiohead and Björk, the subjects of an
interpretive concert on Oct. 19 — the season’s most
promising feature has a historic tinge. Reissue is a
series that addresses repertory in a different fashion
than Jazz at Lincoln Center, which once employed both
Mr. Rosenbloom and Mr. Rentner.

On Sept. 16 Reissue pays homage to Don Cherry’s
“Symphony for Improvisers,” with that album’s original
bassist, Henry Grimes, and the trumpeters Dave Douglas
and Roy Campbell. On Nov. 14 it will salute Andrew
Hill’s “Passing Ships,” with Mr. Hill leading an octet
as well as his trio. 

On Dec. 19 Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew” will be
revisited by Animation, led by the saxophonist and
producer Bob Belden. And on Feb. 19, “The Connection,”
by Freddie Redd, will be revived with the alto
saxophonist Lou Donaldson filling in for Jackie McLean
and, after a lengthy obscurity, Mr. Redd at the piano.

Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com

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