The Robert Glasper experiment pooled together some ultimate high end harmony, textures all borrowed from the past and recreated into the hippest take on fusion. RG was astounding at the keyboards—he did the 2 keyboards-at-once thing which is always going to be creative and really gives definition to what he was playing in each hand. Just about anything he wanted was there for him. That is the impression he gives.... concentrating 100% while looking like he has nothing to do with what was coming out there. He's a master reharminizer, giving us a fantastic tossed off rubato version of Body and Soul as an intro to another song with a related topic. I recognized much of what he was doing and am glad I'm on a kind-of-right-track in my own playing at least in part. He is masterful.. they all had fun. The unique feature apart from drums and electric bass, was the saxophone player who is a vocorder artist of the highest order. So confident, Voccorder with a keyboard strapped loosely on, this fellow just mellowed everything out and soared with such finesse and impact. He has a great sense of phrasing and was truly spellbinding !! All the MacEwan Music kids were around the front stage checking out the Vocorder machine during the break. I predict future sales and orders from the music store outlets in Edmonton..
They are releasing a record: "Black Radio" at the end of the month..
Saturday night: Owen Howard's reunion band featured drummer compositions (from the CD "Drum Lore") of which Owen's pieces made up the greatest number. A very good band with some local and imported players— some very difficult music played extremely well with lots of detail and some very professional and accomplished thinking. My admiration for those reading this music perhaps for the 2nd or 3rd time and keeping track of the form during Owen's brilliant, musical, but complex soloing.
There's something about the perspective that drummers might have when composing for a band. They can build the arrangement around themselves and what they do. However, in Owen's case the astonishing brilliance is extended to his concept of line and harmonies. It was very entertaining but also a challenging show to listen to. One didn't want to miss a second of it in case some fine detail might be lost... A very great show and a great weekend at the Yardbird: "a highlight of the season", was the thought expressed by some members of the enthusiastic audience !!
G. is making clean up my studio... loose papers always scattered whenever I get the piano tuned. I got some very encouraging news on the book front today and am resolved to live up to the comments that arrive. More practise, more listening, more meditation—which is hard to do while you're dusting things in an effort to tidy and clean things.... not so tough by some standards I think:)