The return of a master saxophonist, Joe McPhee, a legend of the freedoms of Jazz improvisation, joined by some of Boston’s most creative and acclaimed musicians for a
concert we may also call “Jazz Beyond Jazz” *
Joe McPhee (saxophones & brass) + Ra-Kalam Bob Moses (drums) + Jeb Bishop (trombone) + Damon Smith (double bass,)
A monumental meeting which is not to be missed between the great Joe McPhee (last performed here in 1/2015) and Boston drum legend Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, plus significant other Boston cutting-edge musicians, Jeb Bishop and Damon Smith. McPhee and Jeb Bishop also recorded one of the great American improvised music CDs in the 90s as a duo, Brass City on Okka Disk.
Joe McPhee “… His magical take on avant-garde sax remains one of the wonders of the scene. He still has one of the most beautiful tones on the planet, even when he’s reaching for jazz’s outer limits.” – Time Out N Y..
McPhee’s concept of “Po Music, a “process of provocation…to move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones.”
“Bob Moses has now emerged as the possessor of one of the grander imaginations in America’s true classical music. No orchestral composer of this scope, mellow wit, and freshly distinctive range of colors has come along since Gil Evans.”-Nat Hentoff, Modern Recor ding and Music
Joe McPhee: joemcphee.com is a multi-instrumentalist (tenor, alto, soprano, trumpet, electronics), composer, improviser, and theoretician, Later in a U.S. Army band and at the age of 32 after hearing the music of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Albert Ayler he taught himself how to play the saxophone and has played both instruments ever since. In 1981, he met accordionist and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of “deep listening” strengthened his interests in extended techniques. He also discovered Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, concepts for solving problems by “disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle; applying this to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of “Po Music. He is a prolific recording and in-demand concert artist over the more than 50 years of his life.
Drummer, composer, artist, poet, dancer, visionary, nature mystic, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses’s life has been a continuous quest for vision, spirit, compassion, growth, and mastery in a multiplicity of art forms. A partial list of stellar musicians Bob Moses has worked and/or recorded with both as a leader and a sideman includes: Charles Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jim Pepper, Larry Coryell, The Free Spirits, Dave Liebman, Gary Burton, Keith Jarrett, Steve Swallow, Michael Gibbs, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Paul Bley, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, and many, may others.
Moses’s first recording as a leader was the 1968 album Love Animal, with Jim Pepper, Larry Coryell, Steve Swallow, and Keith Jarrett. The albums Bittersuite in the Ozone and Love Everlasting, the later recorded with spiritual master and guitar genius Tisziji Muñoz, both received five stars in Down Beat. The album Love Everlasting, recorded September 23, 1987, features Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, John Medeski, and John Lockwood, while the album Drumming Birds, also 1987, features percussion duets with Billy Martin. He is also the author of the drum method book Drum Wisdom.Moses currently performs alongside numerous musicians and teaches at New England Conservatory.
Jeb Bishop began playing the trombone at the age of 10 and majored in classical trombone. He did not want to pursue that career so he returned to Raleigh, N.C. in 1982 and took up engineering studies at NC State University. Raleigh’s underground rock scene attracted him, and from 1982-84 he played bass guitar. At the same time, he developed an interest in philosophy and spent 1984-85 studying at the Higher Institute of Philosophy in Belgium.
Returning to Raleigh in 1985, he spent the next few years working and playing guitar, bass, cheap keyboards, drums, etc., in rock bands. In 1989 he left Raleigh to pursue graduate studies in philosophy. During 1991-92 he returned to Europe, spending the summer of 1991 studying German then pursuing independent studies in philosophy.
Returning to Chicago in 1992, he completed his M.A. at Loyola in 1993 and begun to make connections with improvising musicians in Chicago, having joined the Flying Luttenbachers as bassist (later adding trombone) in late 1992, and playing guitar occasionally in a quartet with Weasel Walter, Ken Vandermark, and Kevin Drumm.
In late 1995, Bishop joined the Vandermark 5 as one of its founding members, and remained with the band through the end of 2004. During this period he also became associated the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, School Days, Ken Vandermark’s Territory Band, and his own Jeb Bishop Trio; and became a very frequent participant in ad hoc and free-improvised concerts in Chicago.
Damon Smith, born in Spokane, WA. www.balancepointacoustics.com. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Houston, Texas Damon moved to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon’s explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music.
Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra’s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and Europeans.