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The Bobby Avey Quartet at Cornelia Street TONIGHT!

July 24, 2011

A New Face showcases Avey as a thoughtful and unique composer who knows how to capitalize on the unique strengths of each band member, while simultaneously propelling the energy of the collective unit. Structural elements of the pieces, like meter, originate from his lithe, personal command of novel rhythmic constructions inspired by musical traditions throughout the world. These are then reinterpreted through the feel and flowing sensibility acquired through his deep understanding of jazz rhythm. Another important component, harmony, is informed by Avey’s immersion in the currents of classical music, and A New Face showcases a stunning command of tonal chromaticism.

“Late November” opens the record with a lilting solo piano, whose accents betray an almost imperceptible rhythmic pattern-this ambiguous tapestry is then seamlessly woven into the fabric of the collective rendering, as the original piano motif propels the band through intricate sections, explosive solos and a truly multidimensional rhythm. The hypnotic, serpentine groove at times sways between a fast, buoyant cycle of triplets and a long, highly syncopated Balkan funk-oftentimes the artists even allow this groove to inhabit the two discrete worlds at the same time. Avey improvises with supreme confidence-giving particular importance to sensitive and beautiful melody-as he surges through the rhythmic rapids provided by Perlson. Avey’s panache and total control over the swirling layers of rhythm and harmony is on full display in this stellar opening to the album. Liebman augments the trio for “In Retreat”, a composition invoking the harmonies of a Beethoven sonata bathed in the 20th century milieu of Bartok and Messiaen. The trio continues with “Delusion”, an intense piece highlighting the band’s adroit internalization and command of the Kopaniza rhythm from Bulgaria. The listener is confronted by confusing drum hits, unexpected accents, labyrinthine thematic movements, jabbing staccatos and clashing notes over a rhythm that’s constantly in flux-but Avey’s maturity enables a patiently-narrated improvisation to surface within the formidable aural tempest.
Do not miss The Bobby Avey Quartet at the Cornelia Street Cafe in the village tonight.

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