Musician-run spaces such as Ibeam continue to serve as exciting spaces for innovation and collaborative genesis between Brooklyn’s most-cutting-edge musicians. Last night, drummer Tomas Fujiwara unveiled a new trio at Ibeam that included bassist Matt Pavolka and alto saxophonist Loren Stillman. Showing little hint of being unfamiliar with one another, the band members played one continuous 45-minute set that showcased a plethora of moods and styles, including a number of originals composed by the leader. The music began with an open, almost cavernous sound as the musicians invited the audience along on an adventurous and unpredictable musical act of spelunking into the unknown. The drums provided the footsteps, the bass the echoes, and the alto sax, the searing human desire for discovery and light as the three artists investigated the depths and breadth of sound. Stillman opened unexpected shafts of light into this deep chasm of soul with constant energy revealing mystery, frolicking, even mocking the darkness. One of the most exciting moments of the concert featured Fujiwara pairing off with each of the other musicians in succession, the brief duos reaching the highest levels of energy for the night. All of a day’s experiences seemed wrapped into this set: mournful loneliness, ecstatic union, contemplative solitude, painful parting, joyful reunion, autonomy, calm coalescence. Each of these emotions were woven around Fujiwara’s constant churning energy, Pavolka’s bass lines, and Stillman’s driving fire.
Tomas Fujiwara next plays in Josh Sinton’s Ideal Bread at La Sala, this Thursday, April 25, 8 pm.