Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cartoon Justice/4th World-Luna's Cafe, Sacramento CA 4/10/17

After a breezy, sun dappled ride up to Luna's Cafe in Sacramento on I-80 East I was in a fine mood. This part of California is so electrically green right now! Gotta love that. It was also cool to see the snow capped mountains in the eastern distance and that Nut Tree Plaza is making a real comeback. Man, how I love this place.
I'd been looking forward to Cartoon Justice's set at the venerable Nebraska Mondays for a while. Mika, Kersti, Eli, and myself all manged to get there in time for a quick set up and a timely start. Our set consisted of four pieces, two of which we'd rehearsed: these were grooved, pattern based songs, inspired by Ornette's Harmelodics and Miles's Free Funk. I felt pretty comfortable on them, rockin' out at times but trying to mesh energy with dynamics. I guess that Mika's guitar got a bit overpowered, so maybe I still need to work on that. We did one shorter improvisation where I stuck to brushes and a mostly Blues feel; at times I felt lost, but Eli guided me back with his bass tones. We finished with a longer improv that featured the multi-talented Tony Passarell on some great soprano sax flights that intertwined with Kersti's alto in neat ways. It seemed as though Cartoon Justice got to our ideal sound, one that I've termed Shamanic Jazz. Sadly, no one recorded, so those now belong exclusively to the Akashic Record.

Below: drums and Pontecorvos

A few days back, Tony Passarell contacted me and asked if I'd be up for subbing for 4th World's drummer Martin Birke. Obviously, I took him up on the offer. It was great fun to try to fit in with this cool group's Ambient-flavored Improvised Music. I enjoyed locking in with bassist Paul Relvas as he got to know a really nice new fret-less bass. Also cool was guitarist Stephen Sullivan's textural playing. At times we achieved what I felt were some rad ECM-type sounds. Once, I looked over at Stephen's pedal board and it was at a setting called "Scuba Diver"! I found that funny! Diver down!!!
Along top of this rhythm section, Tony played cornet, soprano, percussion, and generally lead the band into various sound zones. Tony's talents are endless, and it was a real pleasure to share a stage with him.
All told, a fun night of musical activity in the always chill Luna's Cafe. Many thanks to those that stuck around and listened.

Below: live shots by Russ Tucker. Thanks, Russ!

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