Earshot: New Series One + Scrambler

Jazz: The Second Century brings the progression of jazz into creative motion on the concert stage, presenting Seattle artists selected by a peer panel, performing original work in a concert setting. The series is a continuation of the very first programming initiative of the Earshot Jazz organization, and embodies one of our core values. It offers a current, subtle, perhaps refreshing, un-sentimental look at our city’s engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form.

New Series One takes their name from a reference on Charles Mingus’ record, Mingus Presents Mingus. The trio – Simon Henneman (guitar), Troy Schefelbein (acoustic bass), Mike Gebhart (hand drums & percussion) – plays in an uninterrupted flow, comfortably moving between melodies, rhythms, and chord changes. The result harkens to the roots of jazz as a very intimate folk music. Henneman sees New Series One as a space for each performer to interact on a shared platform, to interact and listen deeply, finding new places to explore. In an ever-expanding world with multiplying distractions, the group’s search for commonplace and closeness offers a refreshing antidote.

Trombonist and composer Christian Pincock describes his Scrambler project as a “musical mash” that combines large quantities of jazz, several cups of classical music, a tablespoon of folk and a dash of sound effects, whisked together with Soundpainting, a conducted improvisation sign language created by performance artist Walter Thompson. In his Scrambler project, Pincock calls upon some of Seattle’s most innovative improvisers using physical gestures to communicate to them in real time to create a unique feedback loop. Each performance becomes an experiment for the performers and the spectators, who are invited to reconsider traditional roles and hierarchies between the conductor, musician, and audience relationships. The ensemble tonight is Christian Pincock (soundpainting) with Heather Bentley (viola), Greg Campbell (French horn and percussion), Haley Freedlund (trombone), Ryan Kotler (bass), Carol Levin (harp), Kelsey Mines (bass), Remy Morritt (drums), Evan Smith (saxophones), Geoff Traeger (electronics), Evan Woodle (drums), and Jacob Zimmerman (woodwinds).

Watch video of sets by New Series One and Scrambler, thanks to elhotrod32.