At this point, Dave Rempis, who will appear with drummer Tyler Damon at Saturday gig presented by New Ghosts, is a known quantity in Cleveland. By his own count, the Chicago multi-reedist said, “I must’ve played there 12 or 15 times. It’s often more than once a year. Oh man, the list goes on and on.”
In all manner of settings, from solo concerts to large group situations, multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark has proven his mettle as a fearless and resourceful improvisor. So when two-fifths of his new Edition 55 band were not available to tour, he added a new piece to the remaining players and rechristened the band Edition Redux.
But the story doesn’t end there. The new player, keyboardist Erez Dessel, couldn’t make the tour’s first gig, Vandermark did the math and made 3=2+1. Call it new math or even New Addition, but any way you look at it, Saturday’s New Ghosts concert at BOP STOP—one set by drummer Lily Glick Finnegan with tubist Beth McDonald and a solo set by Vandermark—adds up to an intriguing look at the ever-dynamic Chicago scene.
With its wide dynamic range, speech-like articulation and capacity for playing off-the-scale notes, the saxophone would seem to be the perfect instrument for creative improvised music (some people call it “free jazz” or “avant-garde jazz” or “fire music”). Fine, but anything the saxophone can do, the trombone can do better. So why don’t we hear more trombones in creative music—or in mainstream jazz, for that matter?
It’s a question that Steve Swell, the trombonist who will appear at the Beachland Ballroom Sunday with saxophonist Frode Gjerstad, Jon Rune Strøm on bass and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, has pondered for a long time.
It’s practically a cliche in jazz circles: no one wants to listen to a bass solo. Stephan Crump has heard it all before. Yet when he kicks off his set at Bop Stop next Thursday, Oct. 13 at a concert presented by New Ghosts, it will be alone on the Hingetown club’s stage with only his double bass joining him. Don’t expect to hear a lot of sotto voce chattering. The more common response to Crump’s playing is stunned silence.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, a quartet that has been one of the world’s most restlessly creative and genre-defying ensembles since its founding in San Francisco in the 1970s will return to Cleveland for the first time in nearly 35 years.
No, it’s not the Kronos Quartet, which played here in 2006 and 2013. Tuesday’s New Ghosts concert at Bop Stop will present the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, a musical aggregation that has been as influential, catalytic and inventive as its more celebrated Bay-area string-playing contemporaries.