On the horizon for lovers of jazz with twist is the The Third Annual Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music at Bohemian National Home, happening May 30-31. Performers include the Matthew Shipp Trio (hard to pigeonhole or describe, but he sometimes evokes the pianist evokes the volcanic energy of Cecil Taylor bounded by a sort of jittery focus; sort of like Taylor crossed with a watch spring); not to mention groups led by saxophone wailers Fred Anderson, Andrew Lamb, Ellery Eskelin and Sabir Mateen; the group Edge, ex-Detroiter Hakim Jami; guitar-shredder supreme Eugene Chabourne
and more. In other words, a worthy successor to a fest that kicked off by honoring the great Sam Rivers. To help make it all happen, the Bohos are passing the hat for sponsors: $250 buys a pair of festival passes and your name in print on posters, etc. Info at myspace.com/bohemiannationalhome or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Since Boho is pursuing nonprofit status, your donation could wind up being tax deductible.)
And while we’re on the topic of things with a twist: the DSO’s 8 Days in June festival is also doing the redux thing after a successful inaugural year. Same premise as before: The classics in context can be seen as relevant and cutting edge; today’s cutting edge stuff fits comfortably right alongside. Highlights of the fest, which begins June 13th, include performances of Conlon Nancarrow’s madcap music for player piano and John Zorn’s never-the-same-twice composition “Cobra.” The DSO plays the music of Philip Glass (to what sounds like a humongous pro-Darwin slide show), John Adams, Steve Reich and Frederic Rzewski — not to mention Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff and other names more frequently heard in their repertoire. Bill Frisell brings his trio, and actors will read texts by Henry David Thoreau to the music of John Cage. Etc., etc, etc.. More info at detroitsymphony.com.
Matthew Shipp: a trio impossible to pigeonhole...