Thursday, February 19 // 8:00PM
$15 general admission
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is pleased to welcome Ars Nova Workshop as they present the trio Anker/Taborn/Cleaver.
Playing together since 2003, Anker/Taborn/Cleaver create music built on free improvisation, sometimes integrating compositional elements written or conceived by Lotte Anker. All About Jazz describes the group as having “a more-is-less aesthetic, where musical meanings must be inferred from reading between the (improvised) lines."
One of Scandinavia's strongest improvisational and free jazz performers, Lotte Anker has been praised many times over both for her command of her instruments and for her ability to lead ensembles in a way that truly fosters collaboration, invoking “not call-and-response, but response-and-response” (All About Jazz). She leads the What River Ensemble, and plays as in a trio with Sylvie Courvoisier and Ikue Mori. Anker has also played with Tim Berne, Marilyn Crispell, Herb Robertson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Fred Frith, Andrew Cyrille, Laul Lovens, and others.
“If there’s any danger that his music is going to harden into one specific thing — a style, even of his own — he seems to go the other way,” writes The New York Times about Craig Taborn. “He destabilizes any traditional framing idea — of a set, of a song, of a chorus — but with the assurance of a really good frame builder.” The New York City pianist has worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Tim Berne, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, and many others. Taborn’s 2013 ECM release, Chants, featuring Gerlad Cleaver on drums, has been described as “a Zen state of cohesive improvisation, a beautifully surreal dreamscape born of an ego-less equilibrium” (All About Jazz). Cleaver’s unmatched sensitivity as a drummer has lead him to work with Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Matthew Shipp, Jemeel Moondoc, Hank Jones, and many more. His outings as a bandleader have shown him working with a wide array of jazz’s finest, including William Parker, Mat Maneri, Tony Malaby, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Chris Lightcap.
Friday, February 20 // 8:00PM
$15 general admission
The Philadelphia Art Alliance is pleased to welcome Ars Nova Workshop as they welcome New York “terrorist bebop” quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing back to Philadelphia.
Voted Downbeat magazine's Rising Star Ensemble in 2009, the group has established a reputation for subversion, deconstructing standards and their own material through deliberately erratic experimentation and a humorous performance style. Led by bassist Moppa Elliott, tonight’s group features saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition, Kevin Shea, named 2012's Best Drummer by the Village Voice, and Ron Stabinsky on piano.
MOPDtK formed in 2003, although founding members Elliott and trumpeter Peter Evans began playing together in 1998 as students at Oberlin Conservatory. In the liner notes to the band’s 2004 self-titled debut, Elliott states the band’s philosophy: “I would rather make music that uses jazz’s identity crisis against it, piling as many nonsensical musical associations together as possible to create music that is aware of its own inconsistencies, ironies and contradictions and likes it that way”. Elliott makes it clear he is avoiding the idea of “jazz as repertory” -“I like my jazz with some dirt on it,” he says before adding, “Bring out the mud. Standing on the shoulders of giants makes it easier to kick them in the teeth.”
Slippery Rock! (2013), their latest studio recording of original material, was inspired by smooth jazz recordings of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. But as always, references to a wide range of styles, performers and composers – ranging from Haydn and Kool and the Gang to Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith and Philip Glass – are present in the music.
This past year, MOPDtK released Blue, a note-for-note reproduction of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, on Elliott's Hot Cup label.