Review: Ben Wendel Group At Bop Stop AllAboutJazz.com, 27 March, 2023Comments closed
After the cultural extinction event of 2020, some lifeforms re-emerged sooner than others. You would expect the ones with the most funding to be among the first to return, though perhaps not at their previous strength. And you might imagine that the more DIY scenes, the ones for which precarity is an ongoing fact, would also survive.
The 1Way at the Go Factory series of free improvisation shows curated by saxophonist Dan Wenninger, is one of the survivors, though it’s more like a cicada than a hardy cockroach. It hasn’t been dormant for seven years; there were a few scattered comebacks last fall. When the series resumes March 28 at the Go Factory loft, with Togishi and the Folger/Bruce/Martinez Trio, it will mark what Wenninger hopes will be a second beginning, a 1Way 2.0.Leave a Comment
Eleven months ago, A.J. Kluth was at New York’s New School at a conference presented by Black Quantum Futurism, the literary and artistic collective created by Philadelphians Rasheedah Phillips and Camae Ayewa, the composer and poet who performs as Moor Mother.
“That was my first time meeting Camae and really feeling like the work that the collective was doing [and] that she was doing as a musician was deeply important and urgent,” Kluth said on a video call earlier this month. “I said, ‘I would love to bring you to Cleveland sometime.’ She’s like, ‘That sounds cool. I’ve never been to Cleveland. Let’s do that.’ But she’s really busy. She’s got a really heavy touring schedule and it didn’t seem plausible.”
Several months of phone calls, planning meetings and grant applications later, the Case Western Reserve University musicologist’s implausible idea has become reality, and a reality greater than even he imagined.
On Friday evening, Moor Mother will be joined on the stage of Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art by Lonnie Holley, Lee Bains, and the Cleveland-based collective Mourning [A] BLKstar for a presentation Kluth called “Toward a Different Kind of Horizon, an extraordinary collection of artists who to varying degrees are associated with the cultural movement known as Afrofuturism.
When I moved to Cleveland in late 2019, I was eager to plunge full-time into a jazz scene that looked like New York’s to me. That notion might be laughable to longtime citizens of The Land, but from the jazz desert of Erie, Pennsylvania, that’s how Cleveland looked to me. Consider this ten-day period in Sept. 2019 when Bop Stop presented a cavalcade of stars that would make even the most hardened New York booker bow in respect and awe.
Even with stars in my eyes I knew that such intervals are few and far between. But every rule needs an exception as proof, and one has arrived this week where in the course of three nights, Cleveland will host concerts by the brilliant tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel, vibes wizard Joel Ross and the mesmerizing poet, community activist and truth-teller Moor Mother.Leave a Comment
Marco Benevento is a workaholic. The playful, keyboardist who gleefully straddles the worlds of jam-band euphoria, jazzy, improvisatory exploration and nerdy gadget geekery might not fit the image of the jittery, Type-A striver but just listen to the man himself.
“I’m a very productive person,” he said by phone last month from his home in Woodstock, New York and one listen to his latest release, Marco Benevento (Royal Potato Factory, 2022), proves his point. Benevento composed all the music and played all the instruments except for some occasional added percussion and the vocals, aside from cameos by his wife and children are all Benevento’s.
But as much as studio wonkery appeals to the 45-year-old New Jersey native (and more about that later), he’s a road dog at heart who will return to a favorite venue, the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern March 14 on a double bill with labelmates Mike Dillon and Punkadelic.Leave a Comment
Multiple reviews: ‘Choose Joy‘ AllAboutJazz.com, 28 January, 2023Comments closed