LOS: Bobby Zankel’s Wonderful Sound 4 & Thri

Friday, October 8, 2010 – Doors: 8:30 p.m. Show: 9 p.m. sharp
$10 at the door / $8 in advance (only at
brownpapertickets.com) – BYOB

Bobby Zankel, alto saxophone

Tom Lawton, piano

Anthony Tidd, bass

Craig McIver, drums

Micah Jones, bass

Michael Pracher, tenor saxophone

Wayne Smith, Jr., drums

The Brooklyn-born composer/saxophonist BOBBY ZANKEL first began attracting attention in the early 70s for his work with Cecil Taylor’s “Unit Core Ensemble” as a “skillful young altoist with a powerful music at his fingertips” (Downbeat 9/71). His underground reputation grew on the New York “Loft Scene,” where he performed with the likes of Ray Anderson, William Parker, and Sunny Murray and  where he continued his apprenticeship with Taylor.  Zankel became a Philadelphian in 1975 to raise his family and to expand his artistic vision without heed to commercialism or the trends of the times. Since 1975 his performances as a sideman have ranged from the Hank Mobley/Sonny Gillete Quintet, to Jymmie Merritt’s Forerunners, to the Dells, NRBQ, Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir, Ruth Naomi Floyd, and European work with Taylor. Zankel’s intensive studies of tonality and rhythms with Maestro Dennis Sandole have lead to his development into one of the most brilliant and original composers of our time.  His alto playing has been described as a unique amalgam of the precision and rhythmic intricacy of be-bop, with the soul and drive of hard bop, and the fire, spirituality, creativity and intensity of the avant garde.  Zankel’s tenure in Philadelphia has been marked by a series of acclaimed collaborations with choreographers, writers, and visual artists (funded by a variety of grants, and commissions), four that have resulted in three ballets and one opera. In 1995 he was honored to receive the prestigious Pew Fellowship (the largest monetary grant that one can apply for in the US) for his writing. Zankel’s compositions, which are characterized by a stunning blend of rhythmic layers, a highly personal, complex, chromatic harmonic language, and a hauntingly beautiful melodic lyricism, have been performed by such diverse musicians as Johnny Coles, Odean Pope, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Lester Bowie, Marilyn Crispell, Ralph Peterson Jr.  The introspection of the composer’s life is balanced by more than two decades of teaching music in the Pennsylvania prisons.  Since 2001 Zankel has led his big band the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound in monthly performances at Philadelphia’s Tritone bar.  For tonight’s show at Moonstone, he will be joined by the current Warriors rhythm section of pianist TOM LAWTON, bassist ANTHONY TIDD, and drummer CRAIG MCIVER.

THRI (pronounced “three”) is a chordless trio dedicated to the spontaneous renderings of common (and not-so-common) tunes.  With a heavy stress on interplay and personal expression, as well as an elusive reference to the great chordless trios of jazz, the group catapults itself toward what its members have called the “string theory” — the belief that there are an infinite number of ways to play through any one tune. Thri is UArts faculty members MICAH JONES (bass) and MICHAEL PRACHER (sax), with drummer WAYNE SMITH, JR., a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Three Blind Mice, and Victor North’s Chris’ Jazz Cafe jam session house band.

A Lucky Old Souls production

Lucky Old Souls @ Moonstone is a monthly event, showcasing some of Philadelphia’s most creative musicians in a laid-back, BYOB venue that combines the intimacy of a club with a concert hall’s respect for the music.


Posted in Lucky Old Souls, Moonstone Arts Center Events