Presented By Guelph Jazz Festival:
John Butcher/Thomas Lehn/Matthew Shipp (UK/Germany/USA)
This trio’s 2016 disc, Tangle, on the British Fataka label is astonishing, one of the most exciting records of improvised music in recent years. There is a deeply satisfying tension-and-release that emerges from pianist Matthew Shipp’s insistent repetitions (which propose a sense of structure), saxophonist John Butcher’s unfettered extensions of that material (which both animate and stretch that structure), and analogue synthesist Thomas Lehn’s whirlwind timbral dance (which makes the whole thing utterly mysterious). These characterizations are of course simplifications, and each of these distinctive virtuosos ranges through the music in dazzling and often lyrical ways, each devoted to the activity group form-making with characteristic and complementary commitment and imagination. A special trio playing in North America for the first time. A state of the art.
Peggy Lee Octet: Tell Tale (BC)
A long-time friend of the festival, Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee has assembled an octet of some of her city’s finest improvisers to play her suite, Film in Music, “a musical response to David Milch’s brilliant HBO series, Deadwood.” The eight composed segments of the suite suggest a narrative arch to be animated by extended improvisations by the ensemble members, whom Lee conceives as ‘characters’ in the story. The suite was premiered in Vancouver in 2009 and has since been documented on the Drip Audio label. Peggy Lee (cello, composition), Meredith Bates (violin), Kevin Elaschuk (trumpet), Dylan van der Schyff (drums), Chris Gestrin (keyboards), André Lachance (bass guitar), Torsten Müller (double bass) & Ron Samworth (guitar).
For the full schedule of Festival events and programming details, visit guelphjazzfestival.com.
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