Carlo Costa Quartet at Muchmore’s (8 Jul 2013)

Muchmore’s has rapidly emerged as the go-to-place for adventuresome, improvised jazz music this summer through a series of concerts curated by Yoni Kretzmer on Monday nights in June and July. The club has drawn consistently large crowds to these events, showcasing the growing fan base that exists for cutting-edge music.

Carlo Costa (percussion) led an exciting quartet aimed at deep exploration via a one hour-long improvised piece. The band included veteran Steve Swell (trombone), Jonathan Moritz (tenor and soprano sax), and Sean Ali (bass).

The music opened with each musician breathing life into their instruments. The mere movement of air through the horns provided a subtle opening with light tapping of cymbals and the movement of bass bow across strings without reverberations. Through this process, the musicians reached out into the peripheries of their instruments, drawing in the edges. By avoiding the expected and unearthing new and subtle sounds, each performer re-centered their respective instruments around a new form of sound. Having achieved this aural revolution, they opened vast frontiers into which they boldly stepped.

The sound ebbed and flowed, swelling to ecstatic moments, then receding down to quiet solos by the leader that then grew again with the others joining him as he led them along a new path. This was music with a heartbeat. Not one obtusely enforced by the drummer, but rather an irregular one with a vital pulse that revolved around and through the communal musical organism which seemed to breathe, grow, and diminish on its own. Each musician contributed something to this experience. Costa was at the center of the enduring energy that propelled the piece forward and his patience set the tone that others seemed to follow. Swell gave the music a feeling of consistency throughout, his warm tones and breathy lines never overwhelming the others. Moritz, meanwhile, brought his characteristic creative improvising, whether from his attentive selection of notes and space, or the use of body mutes or other extended techniques. Ali, an underrated bassist, showcased his wide-ranging ideas hinting that we were only witnessing a small proportion of his bag of tricks.

Catch the rest of the improvised jazz series at Muchmore’s this month on upcoming Monday nights in July beginning each night at 8:30 pm.

  • July 15: Keir Neuringer/Julius Masri at 8:30 pm; Hearing Things: Matt Bauder, Justin Carroll, Vinnie Sperrazza at 10 pm
  • July 22: Reuben Radding & Slo-Mo Doves with Jay Vilnai, John Mettam at 8:30 pm; Terrence McManus Duo; 9volt: Rick Parker, Tim Berne, Eyal Maoz, Yoni Halevy at 10 pm
  • July 29: Ingrid Laubrock/Tatsuya Nakatani at 8:30 pm; Adam Hopkins Trio with Anna Webber, Jason Nazary at 10 pm

Cisco BradleyCarlo Costa Quartet at Muchmore’s (8 Jul 2013)