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February 2016

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Venue:
Boot & Saddle1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 General Admission
Friday, January 15, 2016 - 8:00pm

Nels Cline / Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver Trio

Nels Cline, el. guitar
Larry Ochs, saxophone
Gerald Cleaver, drums

Ars Nova Workshop is thrilled to present guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and saxophonist Larry Ochs. Three experimental icons, individually and collectively drawing upon the outer limits of Midwestern free jazz, Bay Area structured improvisation, and bicoastal noise punk, converge on Philadelphia in a rare meeting.

 

Jazzmaster assassin Nels Cline might be as close as the modern avant-garde gets to a household name. Before joining indie rock institution Wilco in 2004, Cline divided his energy between improvised contexts alongside Julius Hemphill, Vinny Golia, and brother Alex, and more song-oriented settings like Carla Bozulich’s alt-country outfit Geraldine Fibbers and Mike Watt’s Crew of the Flying Saucer. Cline continues to occupy the narrow space between pure sound and song, as exemplified by his longstanding Singers trio with drummer Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn, and his recent duo with guitar prodigy Julian Lage.

 

In his own words, Michigan-bred, New York-based Gerald Cleaver’s multifaceted approach to the drum set balances “static sound and extreme dynamics, melodicism within heavy texture, deep-rooted groove, unchained abandon, and the power and revelation of recurring form.” Cleaver made a name for himself through enduring partnerships with Vision Fest regulars like Roscoe Mitchell and Charles Gayle, but lately critics have been abuzz about his new musique concrète-cum-free rock quintet Black Host with Darius Jones, Cooper-Moore, Brandon Seabrook, and Pascal Niggenkemper. Pitchfork’s Hank Shteamer described 2013’s Life in the Sugar Candle Mines as, “a well-tended hot-house: feverish and bracingly weird, yet also purposeful and shrewdly strategic.”

 

Larry Ochs is best known as founder and executive director of the Rova Sax Quartet, a San Francisco institution that pioneered the application of improvisational strategies within the context of contemporary classical music in the late 70s. Equally inspired by modernist 20th century composition and the more worldly, abrasive strands of 60s free jazz, Rova and Ochs became widely celebrated for the lengths they would go to stretch the performance parameters of notated music through early collaborations with Henry Kaiser, Fred Frith, and John Zorn. This concert marks Ochs’ first Philadelphia appearance since the Celestial Septet, a big band encompassing both the Rova Sax Quartet and the Nels Cline Singers, performed at the International House in 2011.

Nick Mazzarella Trio
Nick Mazzarella, alto saxophone
Anton Hatwich, bass
Frank Rosaly, drums

Formed in 2008, the Nick Mazzarella Trio was conceived as a compositional vehicle very much in the lineage of its hometown. Saxophonist Mazzarella, bassist Anton Hatwich, and drummer Frank Rosaly draw upon the individual legacies of AACM’s ecstatic collective improvisations, the extended techniques found at Myopic Books’ weekly improv sessions, and the jetpack propulsion of the Vandermark 5 to achieve what Peter Margasak calls “an infectious buoyancy and vitality that’s hard to resist.” The trio maintains impeccable Windy City pedigrees, with individual members playing in groups with Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mike Reed, Aram Shelton, Dave Rempis, Matana Roberts, and Nicole Mitchell, among others. The trio are touring in support of their third full-length, 2015’s Ultraviolet.