Review: Kate Gentile, Brandon Seabrook, and Matt Mitchell, Live at Spectrum, Jan 4, 2019

Three idiosyncratic players, drummer Kate Gentile, guitarist and banjoist Brandon Seabrook, and pianist Matt Mitchell came together at Spectrum for an interesting set of music. All three musicians are composers and each contributed pieces to this collective unit. The ways that the three fit together in different ways throughout the night was the driving narrative of the music. All three figures have been doing game-changing work on the New York scene over the past decade.

The opening piece, “Theoretical Muscle,” felt like three square objects colliding at rapid speed, dismembering into fractured puzzle pieces, and then being reassembled back into shapes different than the original with the splinters and fragments rearranged in a new formation. By the conclusion of the piece, they were fully integrated, with the various textures and colors of their sounds thoroughly mixed together.

The third piece, “The Agnostic and Spastic,” featured interesting synchronicity of parallel sounds and ideas like one might notice similar yet varied currents in the flow of a rushing river. The forces of cohesion and variation coexisted within a certain kind of tension, though each player evolved the piece to take different shapes and a full range of scintillating colors.

The fourth piece explored synchronized high-speed repetition and flow with slightly less intricate action as the previous piece, but with more of an emerging beat. Gentile’s off-kilter rhythms kept the entire piece destabilized with possibility while Seabrook and Mitchell carried out a fascinating duet, like two fire dancers, moving in flashing colors: Seabrook cutting with jagged, fierce sounds while Mitchell moved nimbly around with his own counter.

Check out Spectrum for a heavy dose of Brooklyn’s cutting edge music.

Cisco BradleyReview: Kate Gentile, Brandon Seabrook, and Matt Mitchell, Live at Spectrum, Jan 4, 2019