This is becoming a summer that celebrates the bass violin. Several
performances have been memorable in the past few weeks. It began with an
invitation from Jane Grenier B. for “An Evening of Improvised Alchemy,” on June
15, some days before the summer solstice. Jane and I met downtown in 2012 at a
community meeting hosted by Patricia and William Parker of Arts for Art, Inc.,
and Jane has become a friend. She willingly helped us get the word out about our
2012 Merkin Hall Tribute to Wilbur Ware. Getting the chance to experience her
work, I thoroughly enjoyed “Tragically Hip,” ZenBeatz, the poetry of Jane B.
improvised with Albey Balgochian’s musical concepts. It was a pleasure meeting
Jane’s husband Albey and hearing his acoustic bass approach. A poet at heart, I
was captivated by the poetry and mesmerized by the bass. Experiencing the
performance is vital, but seeing the words on the page with Albey’s art adds a
dimension otherwise unavailable. I thank them for sharing both.
Following this duo performance was Albey’s Bassentric. Joining Albey were
bassists Ken Filiano and Francois Grillot, along with special guests, vocalist
Fay Victor and dancer Mayo Yamaguchi. These were unusual and inspiring
performances with other interpretive elements. Nowadays, it is rare to hear
acoustic bass playing or see the bass used as a literal percussive device; I
remained until the end.
I had planned to leave and catch the performance of Reggie Workman WORKz at
The Vision Festival...I missed this performance,
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