Friday, February 26, 2010
WATIV and NOLA's "Open Ears" Music Series
The weekly Open Ears series of (adventurous) improvised music events has been exposing New Orleans’s residents and visitors to the lively local creative scene (and important visiting musicians) for several years now. It happens every Tuesday night at NOLA’s The Blue Nile. Admission is a voluntary contribution and one or two groups hold forth in an evening’s worth of music. One of the founder-curators, the ever-musically profound trombonist and bandleader Jeff Albert can often be a part of what’s happening on any given night. Many of the evenings are digitally captured and can be enjoyed via a free Creative Commons download at the site www.openears.com.
Since I have not been able to get down to NOLA (or anywhere else much lately) I have contented myself to following as best I can via these downloads.
One such offering features some local adepts in a night of electric improvisation, in a style that incorporates some free improvisation as well as more structured compositional elements, and they do it well.
The band is called WATIV. They were captured on the night of this past January 5th. WATIV consists of Will Thompson, keyboard, Chris Alford, electric guitar, James Singleton on the bass, and Simon Lott, drums. I believe they have at least one album out and based on this performance, I imagine it is good listening.
The music ranges from intricate, driving electric ensemble pieces, vibrant guitar and keyboard work, quieter meditative grooves and flat-out free-form collectivity. It comes squarely down in the “good music” camp and is quite worthy of your ears. Take a listen and by all means get over there to the Blue Nile on a Tuesday night if you are in the area.