Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano
with a special solo set by Dave Burrell
April 15, 2022 8:00pm
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the galvanizing duo of guitarist Bill Orcutt, founding member of infamous noise rockers Harry Pussy, and electrifying avant-garde drummer Chris Corsano, in performance at the RUBA Club, Philadelphia, on Friday, April 15, 2022.
UPDATE (4/6/2022) — Legendary composer, pianist, and longtime friend of Ars Nova Workshop, Dave Burrell will be joining us with a special solo set to open the program.
The aggression and experimentation of Miami-based duo Harry Pussy, which featured Bill Orcutt on four-string guitar and vocals, proved to be highly influential on a generation of underground noisemakers, but Orcutt seemed to disappear after the band called it quits in 1997. The guitarist relocated to San Francisco, got a job in software engineering and went almost completely silent for the next decade and change. He reemerged in 2009 with the solo acoustic guitar album A New Way To Pay Old Debts. The overdue return was widely hailed, landing at no. 3 in The Wire magazine’s “Top 50 Releases of the Year” list and being acclaimed by Pitchfork for its “raw improvisations equally indebted to blues legends like Lightnin’ Hopkins and abstract experimenters like Derek Bailey.”
Orcutt has been on the road regularly ever since, releasing a string of solo albums on his own Palilalia imprint alongside collaborations with drummer Jacob Felix Heule, cellist Okkyung Lee, guitarist Bill Nace, Hayley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux, and Brazilian trio Chinese Cookie Poets. In 2012 he picked up the electric guitar once again, and began a raucous partnership with Chris Corsano.
Based in upstate NY, Chris Corsano has been active at the intersections of collective improvisation, free jazz, avant-rock, and noise music since the late 1990s. He began a long-standing, high-energy musical partnership with saxophonist Paul Flaherty in 1998, combining modern free-jazz’s ecstatic collectivist spirit and the urgency and intensity of hardcore punk. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop his solo music, a dynamic, spontaneously-composed amalgam of extended techniques for drum set and non-percussive instruments of his own making. He spent 2007 and ’08 as the drummer on Björk’s Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings with the likes of Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Thurston Moore, Virginia Genta, C. Spencer Yeh, and Jandek.
As a leading figure of the New York avant-garde scene in the second-half of the 1960s, Dave Burrell established himself early as an innovative pianist, collaborating with emerging leaders in contemporary jazz and joining the groups of Marion Brown, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp. He has played and recorded with, among others, Giuseppi Logan, Sunny Murray, Albert Ayler, Grahan Moncur III, Byard Lancaster, Sirone, Alan Silva, Clifford Thornton, and Roscoe Mitchell. Burrell participated with many other prominent musicians in the legendary Pan-African Festival in Algiers and in the historic series of releases of the French labels BYG and America.
In the following decades, Burrell’s music and concepts have evolved and enlarged in many directions, from piano solos through a long series of historical collaborations. Constant activity in the avant-garde jazz continuum and continual confrontation with ragtime and jazz piano tradition (Jelly Roll Morton, Ellington, Monk), as well as with popular song and classical music heritage, have always been strongly connected in Burrell’s personal style, a combination of composed form and improvised detail that joins past and present in an all-embracing panorama.
$20 General Admission
21 & Over