Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kalashnikov : Jamie Saft and Mike Pride at Korzo

Until last Tuesday the only context I'd seen Jamie Saft in live was with John Zorn's Electric Masada, a large group that performs with Zorn conducting, leading the band through rapid stylistic changes like someone turning the dial on an FM radio.
It was great to see him playing acoustic piano in an intimate setting like Korzo, improvising with drummer Mike Pride. In addition to piano, Jamie played two Casio keyboards through effects and at very high volume. It was easily the loudest performance I'd seen at Korzo. Another notable feature of the performance was how Jamie kept a three note motif going for almost the entire set. It kept reappearing first in dramatic minor chords on the piano, later on the crazy Casio organ sounds, then again on the plucked strings of the piano. The music was also very grandiose and tonal, really reveling in the power and beauty of two chords and diatonic harmony. I always find this refreshing. The harmonic language of modern free improvisation and also in the compositions of improvisors is often too gray and atonal for my taste. It's nice to take a long bath in C major every now and then.
Here's a little clip, including the 3 note motif!

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