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JOHN ETTINGER ENSEMBLE

Berkeley Arts (Duende sponsered)

2133 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

November 3, 2012

Tony Malaby week continues – concludes, actually. Great band – Hart, Sickafoose, Malaby . . . Never heard Ettinger before, but with a band like this, he must be good. And he is – great sound to the band, nice, unique instrumentation. And good writing – the tunes all with a distinct mood and element. This was supposed to be a show at Duende – but due to construction delays, it had to be moved. Same story as the Shuffleboil show – which means even though Duende doesn’t really exist yet, it is like the best concert promoter in town – 2 for 2 – and with Yoshis like a carnival of terrible these days, I can barely handle the wait until Duende opens. First time I went to Berkeley Arts (which is where it was moved to, thanks to Philip Greenlief)  – a very nice sounding room – think I’ll go back tomorrow night for Ben Goldberg.

The music – 1st tune and the 1st soprano Malaby’s played all week – and damn! he rips it up on that too – excellent edgy sound to the usually thin and boring instrument. Sickafoose is a man that basically never swings – he plays a modern bass style, all grooves and interaction – a beastly player in his way. Two sets of music – all very good. The 2nd set had 2 high points – Amdigato (or something like that) had a vicious, way out Malaby tenor solo with Hart all busy and interactive underneath. Sickafoose kept giving these funny looks where he would look from Malaby to Ettinger and back, like he was checking if the crazy ass stuff coming out of Malaby’s horn was acceptable or not. Indeed, it was the best music of the night. Torrential train-wreck tenor playing. Love it.

They closed with Kissinger In Space a really cool tune that went from thick groove to spacey out and back – sort of. On its return it felt all fractured and altered as if space twisted HK’s mind a bit. Great deal at the booth – all 3 Ettinger cd’s for $15 – that, I like. A great show, modern and excellent.

1st set

1. Shunyata

2. August Rain

3. Just Like Tomorrow

4. Dogleg 

5. Better Angels

6. Dual Diagnosis

2nd set

1. Talking Leaves

2. Ambigato

3. Harper Lee

4. The Doors Are Closing 

5. Kissinger In Space

JOHN ETTINGER – violin

TONY MALABY – tenor and soprano sax

JOE PREUSS – guitar

TODD SICKAFOOSE – bass

LORCA HART – drums

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SHUFFLEBOIL

Duende (well, not yet – Starline Storefront, 2236 MLK), Oakland

October 19, 2012

9pm 

 

Shuffleboil, or so their called. Turns out to be the perfect name for them – sinister shuffle beats and all a-boil in furious swells and intensity. Great music from a band of players I’ve never seen before. Horvitz I know from Naked City, of course, and other Zorn projects – and Previte from a Zorn bootleg – but the whole band turned out to be dynamite. Previte is a beast. Drumming like a madman and loving every minute of it. Very unusual intrumentation – not sure I’ve heard anything set up quite like this – 3 chordal instruments and drums. Horvitz had the Rhodes distorted to near-guitar sounds for a bunch of it – dark, dirty guitar. The sound had this cool mix – 3 dark, earthy and noisy players grinding out grooves and clusters of intensity, and the guitarist with a lighter, cleaner sound on top, nicely popping along (well – he plays some nasty guitar, lots of creative ideas and sounds, but the overall playing was almost like dancing afloat this churning mess of awesomeness).

Duende is this new restaurant/music club opening in uptown – spoke with Rocco at the door and he said they are planning on having experimental jazz a couple days a week (yess!). But, this isn’t Duende, not yet. This was supposed to be their pre-opening concert, but because of construction delays, they moved it to some guys open loft downstairs from the Starline (also not opened yet) – it was at 2236 MLK. Came across the info randomly – and was unsure what the music would be. Appaerently, the chef of this new Duende place is good buds with Zorn, so we’ll see if they can keep up this style of music.

Went with Gage. The show was LOUD – many tunes building quickly from either ambient searching or popping grooves to all out battles – Doria is a great player, ripping off fleet organ solos, often entwined with Hovitz’s dark Rhodes – trading lines or just inputting comments into the others solo. Horvitz had some furious playing and great solos. Previte was playing a storm from the get-go, and by the end he was just drumming like a bad season – quite impressive. Great music. 

WAYNE HORVITZ –Fender Rhodes

JOE DORIA – Hammond B3

TIM YOUNG – guitar

BOBBY PREVITE – drums

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