Monday, October 22, 2007

Earshot: Watts & Harris + Rigler & Radding

Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival.

Among the originators of the English free-improv scene in the 1970s, British-born saxophonist Trevor Watts was also one of the first to bring traditional African drums into direct contact with jazz saxophone. He and drummer Jamie Harris began working together in 1999 in the now defunct 8 piece Celebration Band. The Watts/Harris Duo was formed in 2002, and they've been working consistently since then.

For the bleeding-edge of American avant-garde composition, look no further than former Seattleite Reuben Radding. Armed with his double bass and taste for the unhinged, Radding digs into his own exploratory works for various ensembles with a lithely improvising musical mind fueled by the technical adroitness to keep up with it. His duo partner Jane Rigler uses a quarter-tone flute with extra keys for playing notes between the standard pitches. Together, their spirited improvisations stun and surprise.

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