San Diego composer Joe Garrison has reemerged into the local jazz scene in the past few years, and his concert at the Loft in La Jolla made waves with the full-house assembled to witness the 18-member Night People ensemble interpret his music.
Armed with a full slate of prime soloists and orchestral players plus the live sampled electronics of Chris Warren, Garrison led off with “Casi Cada Dia,” with bass-clarinetist Ariana Warren alto-violinist Dave Millard and soprano saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta positing individual statements over luxuriant harmonies from the three trombone, two trumpet, flute and oboe wind section.
“South Door” explored dissonance as color and elicited powerful solos from Derek Cannon’s trumpet, Lynn Willard’s piano, Jordan Morita’s trombone, and Ian Tordella’s alto saxophone, while the dedication to the late Daniel Jackson, “Sun Soul,” radiated modal textures from Willard and guitarist Tonga Ross-Ma’u under Millard’s mournful alto-flute elegy.
Trombonist’s Brian Smith and Brian O’Donnell layered dual solos through the sputtering, undulated electronic treatment of their output in real time by Warren, on the kalimba-like meditation “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” using a raw drum solo from Charlie Weller to transition into the Weather Report-ish “Cuando la Lluvia,” featuring Doug Meeuwsen.
Concert: Joe Garrison & Night People
Date: December 2, 2014
Venue: The Loft, UCSD
Seats: center table, up front