Weasel Walter Quintet Uptown 12-16-2008

Last night there was another free show at the Uptown in downtown Oakland. This one was put together by Sarah Lockhart. The first set was John Gruntfest’s Ritual Resurrection Band, which is led by John on alto and words. It was pretty theatrical, and the line up of 2 drummers, 2 keyboards, and 4 saxophones made for a full sound and opportunities for small group pairings for improvising.

The second set was SL Morse – the duo of Sarah and Aurora Josephson. Now I think that Sarah was reading a composition the whole way through and it seemed that Aurora was free – had some good moments and the simple pairing of voice and percussion worked well.

Weasel put together a quintet with me on alto, Aaron Bennett on tenor, Darren Johnston on trumpet and Damon Smith on bass. He wrote a long-form piece for the group that we played for the first time at 21 Grand about a month ago. That time we didn’t have a chance to actually rehearse it before hand, and this time we did – the piece has Weasel and Damon being free for the majority of the piece and alot of written material that is in time for the horns to play together – compositionally the opposite of the SL Morse set. The music is all high energy, with the piece opening up after about 10 minutes into long solo sections for each horn player to work with the rhythm section. Darren’s trumpet solo sounded great and despite the mic set up for this purpose, Aaron went without in a real high energy section with Weasel and Damon. I started mine and didn’t feel so strong for awhile – I don’t know if it’s the extra work I’ve been doing or that it’s actually kind of cold around here, but I just didn’t feel like my playing was working – maybe a bad reed. These things happen.

Good to work on that music again – I think we’ll be recording it soon.

And here is the video!

Weasel Walter Quintet @ The Uptown 12-16-08 from mxxx palmer on Vimeo.


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