Chamber Jazz Double Bill: Hear in Now + Bristle

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — 12:00 AM
Tickets: $15 General, $12 Members
Tickets available at the door only
TomekaReid_HearInNow Bristle
Hear in Now (Photo by Nisha Sondhe) Bristle

Hear in Now, the international improvising trio of Chicago cellist Tomeka Reid, New York violinist Mazz Swift and Italian bassist Sylvia Bolognesi, makes its Bay Area debut in a shared bill with Grass Valley reeds player Randy McKean’s inventive chamber jazz ensemble Bristle.
Hear in Now performs compositions by all three members – some meticulously arranged, alternating between ethereal, levitating melodies and briskly swinging, extroverted postbop, others texture-oriented free improvisations that evoke a classical kind of lyricism. Bristle, a quartet comprising McKean and Cory Wright on an assortment of reeds, plus Murray Campbell on violin and double reeds and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, plays McKean and Wright’s squirrely compositions that de-and re-construct familiar musical genres and pillage the farthest corners of jazz past and present. For this concert, McKean and Wright debut new pieces incorporating graphic scores and game strategies into the usual Bristle melange of composed and improvised elements.

Hear in Now

Mazz Swift (NYC) – violin/vocals
Silvia Bolognesi (Italy) – acoustic bass
Tomeka Reid (Chicago) – cello
Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as “a remarkably versatile player,” (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. She is an integral part of Dee Alexander’s Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble. Reid performs with many of today’s forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz.
Bassist, composer and arranger, Silvia Bolognesi graduated from the Institute R.Franci of Siena, Italy. She is the winner of the “Top Jazz 2010” organized by Musica Jazz magazine. That same year, Bolognesi also won the trophy “In Sound” in the double bass player category. Bolognesi is also the leader of several bands, including the Almond Tree and the Open Combo Octet.
Mazz Swift is a singer, composer and Juilliard-trained violinist who plays electric and acoustic instruments and has, over the years, performed and recorded with a diverse accumulation of artists including Whitney Houston, Perry Farrell, Dee Snider, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Valerie June, DJ Logic, William Parker, Butch Morris, Jason Lindner, Kanye West and Jay-Z. In her own projects, Mazz combines elements of classical, folk, rock, jazz, free improvisational music and electronica – creating a rich, unique and diverse musical experience.


Randy McKean – alto sax, clarinets
Cory Wright – tenor sax, clarinets
Murray Campbell – violin, oboes
Lisa Mezzacappa – acoustic bass
Bristle combines an intuitive chamber music sensibility with an off-kilter improvisational approach, seamlessly mixing fierce solo statements with intricate group textures in its pieces. The group explores the relation between written and open material, continually experimenting with popular song and through-composed forms. Wheezing accordions, errant looping machines, the kids’ game Butts Up, typographic glyphs, Donkey Kong Level 3 (the one with the elevators) and Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch all serve as inspirations for Bristle’s compositions, as does individual members’ past work with Yusef Lateef, Anthony Braxton, and Henry Threadgill. “Fresh, vibrant and unpredictable, starting with jaunty ditties or broad soundscapes but then pulling out the rug with outbursts of wild improv, abrupt changes in trajectory or gradual disintegration.” — KZSU 90.1 fm