Katherine Young's Bold Bassoon | Bleader

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Katherine Young's Bold Bassoon

Posted By on 10.21.10 at 11:41 AM

Katherine Young
  • Katherine Young
Former Chicagoan, onetime Reader employee, and (most important) kickass bassoonist Katherine Young is back in town for a couple of concerts, the first of which is this evening. Tonight at Elastic she improvises and plays compositions in various configurations with bass clarinetist Jason Stein and cellist Tomeka Reid. Sharing the bill is trombonist Nick Broste, leading his terrific trio with reedist Keefe Jackson and bassist Anton Hatwich. On Saturday at 9 PM Young will play a solo set at Post Family Gallery. Also on the bill: solo electronics from Nick Butcher and a set from Elementary Princess of Evil, aka Ryan Ingebritsen (electronics) and Erica Dicker (violin).

During her days in Chicago, Young's regular musical partner was violist Amy Cimini; they both live in New York these days, and they're still playing together. Their long-running duo project Architeuthis Walks on Land recently released its second album, Natura Naturans (Carrier), a bracing blast of free improvisation that benefits from the pair's mutual familiarity—their rapport is clear, whether they're shadowing each other with ghostly harmonics or colliding strident squawks and slashing double stops. Bassoon and viola aren't typically associated with the kind of raw dissonance and extended technique on display here, and "Glitterbird" has an almost Chinese tonality that suggests an erhu-guan duet. Recordings like Natura Naturans vividly refute the claim that free improvisation has worked itself into an idiomatic rut and no longer has the power to surprise. Yes, predictable free improv does happen, but a project like Architeuthis Walks on Land makes it clear that we're not at the end of the line.

photo: Mario Kladis

Today's playlist:

Majid Al Muhandis, Enssa (Rotana)
Prince Jammy, Strictly Dub (Pressure Sounds)
Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh (Universal Motown)
Dave Brubeck Quartet, Jazz at Oberlin (Fantasy/OJC)
David Binney, Aliso (Criss Cross)

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