by Steven Pisano
On Wednesday night, jazz composer and drummer Tyshawn Sorey and his trio performed the first in a series of three concerts at Roulette. Piano, bass, drums: it’s a classic jazz combo. But with Sorey at the helm, melodic phrases were as scarce as Martian water. There was no swing, no rhythm, no beat or syncopation.
One thing this music was--at least most of the night--was quiet. As in: library or church quiet. So quiet, in fact, that I held in my breath at times because the sounds of my own inhaling and exhaling seemed as if they might drown out the performers on stage.
The playbill listed no title for the evening, so one wondered if the music had a title at all (though this same trio released a recording called Alloy last month.) It sounded like a single through-composed piece, lasting over two hours. Another work of Sorey's, “For Kathy Change”, runs three-and-a-half hours, so by comparison this was almost a snippet. Still, my brain cried out for a rest, if only to process what had been heard so far.