By Flotz
30 Sep 2011

James Farm at Jazz Alley September 28 2011

Go see James Farm tonight/tomrrow ‘cause they were off the hook last night, just like last year: super hero players, rock star musicians, jazz virtuosos tearin it up.  Good sized crowd in attendance, appreciative, calling for an encore, giving them a standing ovation.  All players got their time in the limelight but also many moments of all four playing madly.  Kept thinking about the interview with drummer Eric Harland as I listened to them, his comment:

“When we play a song with a structure, we have the ability to float off away from that or remain in the structure.  But we all make the journey together and then whoever brings the song back, it’s not like there’s someone holding anyone back , like a ball and chain. You have the liberty to freely explore where you want to go. And we’ll go there with you and come back together. That’s the secret.”

You could hear that dynamic last night. Aaron Parks, the pianist, went some interesting places, very major key, even major pentatonic, although modal.  His solo w/o the other players was super emotive.  Harland too had a spot in the light w/o anyone else playing, super cool inventive drum solo. Joshua Redman tore it up of course, climaxing to a frenzied peak and then walking off to the side of the stage upon completing his statement. Didn’t catch the names of all of the compositions, but included “1981” by Parks into “If By  Air” by Redman, “Unravel” by Parks, “Coax” by Matt Penman, “Pollywog” by Redman, “Chronos” by Parks and a couple more I might have missed. Most of these are on their record, which is on Nonesuch, kinda cool to see that label signing these guys.

If you are a fan of jazz, get yrself to Jazz Alley Wed/Thurs of this week to catch a band at the top of their game.

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