Endangered Blood at Town Hall October 14, 2011
Well, it’s that time of year again in which mind blowing musical experiences await you in abundance: yes, Earshot Jazz Festival kicked off. Caught the opening night performance by Endangered Blood. Holy shit. Was in the front row with three other drummers, all of our mouths agape at Jim Black’s prowess. Not to mention Oscar Noriega (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Chris Speed (tenor saxophone), all of whom shredded with aplomb. But it wasn’t just technical proficiency – it was the collective sound and energy of the band as a whole. There wasn’t meter so much as a pulse, like the shoreline, everyone in tune to it but no one needing to reference it directly. We all know the ocean is there. Songs were journeys, going off in all directions, then coming back, rising to skronking heights and descending again to earth. The occasional nod to genre but mostly going to brave new worlds. As listener, flipped between tuning into a single player and then absorbing the collective sound produced, all four instruments greater than the sum, a force. Reminded me a bit of James Farm: similarly mind blowing performance.