A chilly damp December night in Brooklyn — but The Firehouse Space was warmed by the inquiring music of Lena Bloch, tenor saxophone; Dan Tepfer, piano; Dave Miller, guitar; Billy Mintz, drums.
Rather than treat this grouping of players and voices in a traditional way (ensemble line, solos, drum fours, ensemble), Lena, Dan, Dave, and Billy approached this set as an opportunity to ask questions of the music, to sweetly probe the possibilities of four improvisers on the same stand. So the music seemed a series of inquiries and hypothetical questions given substance: “What would happen if you and I conversed in this manner for a time?”
And the results were deeply rewarding. It was a privilege to be there and equally a privilege to be able to share this music with you. If you expect the expected, the brave explorations of this quartet may surprise . . . but their respect for the music comes through in every note and rest, every solo and improvised colloquy.
The enigmatic title of Lena’s composition, HIGH POINT OF FLAT HILLS, has an intriguing explanation. You’ll have to ask her at her next gig (January 31, 2013):
Variations on OUT OF NOWHERE:
The occasionally mournful reharmonization of the familiar STAR EYES:
The sweet, searching question: HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?:
Lena’s own 33:
Improvisations on WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE / SUBCONSCIOUS-LEE (which Lee Konitz tells everyone was not his title):
Testing the waters, taking chances gently, experimenting with new combinations, flavors, textures, essences . . . .
May your happiness increase.