Craig Taborn Quartet at PONCHO Concert Hall February 24, 2017
Full house at the show, packed, both upstairs and down. But when you are on the cover of Downbeat and playing the Village Vanguard for a week straight upcoming, like Taborn is, well, it isn't shocking. But in a way it is shocking because the music was pretty far out there on the spectrum. They played three compositions in the course of an hour and a half, which morphed and modulated and often felt like four people playing four completely different parts that had nothing to do with one another where even the pulse was hard to find but then it would come back around and there would be a melody that every locked into. Both bass and keyboards shifted between acoustic and electric. One tune sounded like rock, like Ummagumma or something of that ilk. The last tune was a Roscoe Mitchell tune called "Jamaican Farewell." They played a short encore that was in an insane time signature. Taborn was virtuosic on his instrument, able to do anything. The rest of the band included long-time Minneapolis-area friend Dave King (of the Bad Plus) on drums, former Seattleite Chris Speed on saxophone, and Chris Lightcap on bass. The avante garde is alive and well. Pretty sure Bill Frisell was in the audience.