About a year ago, when I started in earnest to feature live improvisational music on The Long Rally, I had a grandiose vision of how it might ultimately go down. I imagined a weekly rotating door with musicians of all genres and personalities coming by to improvise live at 11pm in casual self-appointed groups: locals with out-of-towners passing through, adventurous rockers and noize dudes with straight up jazz musicians, the drone with the lyrical, the acoustic with the electric and electronic, the classically-trained with the self-taught. Sometimes a gumbo’s just a gumbo, and sometimes it’s the best fucking food you’ve ever tasted in your life.
Last night is the closest I’ve gotten to my fanciful and somewhat naive dream when a cast of NYC’s best and brightest made the trip out to our humble Jersey City home. Jeremiah Cymerman, who played a solo clarinet/electronics set on the show last year, assembled the group of musicians, and together we came up with a loose concept of configuring them in little ensembles for short improvisational pieces. Neither the musicians nor I knew what the formations would be or what would be played until a few minutes before kickoff. Between pieces whoever wasn’t setting up would join me in the studio for some chat, and we’d end with the full group going at it.
The result was a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, some unexpectedly wacked out high points, and ultimately a wonderful set of live and spontaneous music! Catch all of these folks at the Telluric Currents Series at Ibeam in Brooklyn this weekend. I’m off the schedule for the summer, but who knows, maybe my live improv dreams will come true in the fall, after all. Thanks to Sean Austin for engineering.