Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Overtone Quartet

Unfortunately I got sick the weekend after my last post so I couldn't make the Parker - Rothenberg show but I did get a couple of good ones in the last few weeks, including the Overtone Quaret at the Kennedy Center.

The Overtone Quartet is one of those "band of bandleaders" deals, a group comprising three musicians well known as leaders, bassist Dave Holland, pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter along with celebrated drummer (as well as ordained minister and model) Eric Harland.

They were at the Kennedy Center on October 10 and played with fire and virtuosity for over an hour. Holland lived up to his fearsome reputation in his features. Moran played tricky bop to gospel to ragtime in one spot and dreamily funky electric piano for an ambiance that recalled the Miles Davis electric bands that Holland played in. Harland, who I knew the least about, was a wonder working in African and hip hop flavors on one long solo turn with extreme shifts in dynamics.

The audience was properly appreciative though I got the impression this was all pretty new to them. From the little talk I overheard as I left, I had a feeling there were a lot of moonlighting classical fans there, which isn't that much of a shock considering the venue. The same place will have McCoy Tyner and Lee Konitz playing there separately next month. Hopefully I can make it to one of those shows.

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