Lucian Ban | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thu., Oct. 24, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $13, $10 in advance
Since moving from Romania to New York in 1999, pianist Lucian Ban has ricocheted among orthodox postbop, free jazz, and inspired hybrids—including his inventive arrangements of the music of Romanian composer George Enesco. Earlier this year Ban’s quartet Elevation released the blustery Mystery (Sunnyside), where the searing, post-Coltrane blowing of tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton and the charged rhythms of drummer Eric McPherson and bassist John Hebert cut against the pianist’s controlled, abstruse austerity. Ban also has a duo with American violist Mat Maneri, which launched with a show in summer 2011, recently released by ECM as Transylvanian Concert; unsurprisingly, it sounds very different, and not just because of the relatively sparse instrumentation. Against the mahogany grain of Maneri’s microtonal viola, Ban’s playing feels moodier and more brooding. Both players wrote music for the duo, and the title of Ban’s “Not That Kind of Blues” hints at the way they disrupt their own barbed lyricism with distended blues phrasing—Maneri embeds luxuriant blue notes in his crawling lines, for instance, and Ban borrows aching phrases from Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” and the standard “Body and Soul” for his “Harlem Bliss.” What really makes the music sparkle, however, is the players’ rapport—they sound like they’re finishing each other’s sentences. Maneri was supposed to be on this tour with Ban, but can’t make it; Ban will instead play with New York-based Panamanian tenor saxophonist Jorge Sylvester, first in a duo and then in a quartet with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and drummer Mike Reed. —Peter Margasak



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