Jan 19, 2013
Cry and Roar
Racer Sessions Third Year Anniversary Festival Night II

Three bands again tonight, one set each.

Christian Pincocle’s Live Composition Ensemble
Christian Pincocle – conducting
Ivan Artega – alto sax
Jacob Zimmerman – alto sax
Evan Smith – baritone sax
Chad McCullough – trumpet
Andrew Olmstead – keyboard
Connor Apperson – percussion
Schraepfer Harvey – percussion
Don Berman – percussion

This band was my second favorite of the two nights I was at the festival. The horns played great, hitting some crazy high notes. Their solos were excellant.

Mr Olmstead was very good on keys, playing a very good solo. The three drummers were fine. They produced some pretty interesting percussion sounds.

The band was very tight, thanks to Mr Pincocle’s direction. I spoke to him afterward, and he told me the band had three, two hours rehearsals before the gig, and each time a different cat couldn’t make it to a rehearsal. He also told me nothing is written. Not one note. So it’s free and it isn’t. Cool. His direction used some pretty interesting hand signals (and a lot of them) and body English. I was wondering when the the guy was going to steal second.

Syrinx Effect
Naomi Siegel – trombone
Kate Olsen – soprano sax

If you’ve never read any previous reviews I’ve written, I don’t dig electronics. I’ve heard both of these ladies before, together or seperately in other bands,
and believe me, they can play (or don’t believe me and check them out yourself). Even though they played with electronics, they take off their shoes so they can control the buttons and pedals better, I enjoyed the music. It was good. At least they didn’t completely lose the tone and integrity of their instruments. They work well together, their songs had the right amount of harmony and friction. They did bring new ideas for getting the most out of their instruments, and I don’t mean the electronic stuff. I spoke to Ms Olsen afterwards and she said they had tried some songs acoustic before and decided to go electronic. OK.

I want to quickly jump on my soap box (If you see me around, I’m on my soap box a lot. That’s why I had to go on facebook so I would have some friends.). Jazz isn’t any different than any other industry, in that it has it’s prejudices. One lady side person referred to getting gigs as trying to break into a “good ol’ boys’ club”. So when you hear these two ladies, or Dawn Clement, Amy Denio (I saw her at the Royal Room not to far back, and she blew the doors open on that place!), Lauren Hendrix (I’ve heard play bass at the Owl), Tobi Stone, Samantha Boshnick, Beth Fleener… and other women, give them a little extra listen and support.

Japanese Guy
Andrew Swanson – alto sax, keyboard, EWI, percussion, vocals
Skyler Skjelset – guitar, effects
Chris Icasiano – drums

More Electronics. The music was OK. I was impressed when Mr Skjelset broke a string on his guitar, he pulled out another one, tuned it, and played on, with minimal interuption to the set. Very professional.

I was also impressed with Mr Swanson’s dexterity to be be able to play so many instruments so well. Chris Icasiano … I can’t say enough good things about this kid. Great solo. His approach to his instrument and the music is definitely unique, definitely great. Something about this last set. I’ve been standing all night. My dogs are barking. My arthritis is really starting to become very upset with me. I’m sure the music would have sounded a lot better than I heard it. It’s hard to listen and pay attention when you’re hurting.

Thanks to all the musicians and composers.

Seattle Jazz