4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Joshua White Quintet at 98 Bottles

Piano virtuoso Joshua White assembled a quintet of like-minded Southern California improvisers for an explosive and expansive evening of works by jazz icons Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman to a packed and enthusiastic audience in The Back Room at 98 Bottles Saturday night.

San Diego jazz fans are extremely fortunate for the opportunity to witness the meteoric development of White, who internationally acclaimed bassist Mark Dresser referred to as a "singular talent."

What makes this so?

One factor, shared with me by Rob Thorsen, is the pianist's attitude of fearlessness. White is always eager to stretch the boundaries of musical conventions. Another is his remarkable ability to listen and absorb the contributions of musicians who have preceded him. A final important attribute is his ability to seamlessly travel from highly lyrical playing to very harmonically dense explorations--often within the same solo. What is amazing about White is that he can use materials that would sound jarring in the hands of others--and make them swing. There is always an element of the blues in his improvisations, and he can visit areas as widely divergent as stride piano, be-bop, and free improvisation without ever sounding self-conscious about it.

Beginning with the seldom heard Ornette Coleman ballad, "Beauty Is A Rare Thing," trombonist Michael Dessen and alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton loosely joined together to state the plaintive theme, while White built waves of rumbling dissonant chords beneath. Drummer Dan Schnelle intensified the drama with well-timed explosive accents with soft mallets while bassist Dave Robaire pedaled and strummed double-stops. Seamlessly, the band segued into the joyous, quasi-Latin theme "Una Muy Bonita," another Coleman classic. Templeton opened up with a wild statement that cross-referenced ideas of both Coleman and 60's legend Eric Dolphy, rocking back and forth while he worked toward a frenzy. Dessen brought the dynamics, tempo and intensity down to a whisper to explore the inner logics and possibilities-- then White waxed rhapsodic before leading the group into Coleman's "Peace," another weirdly contemplative theme. Robaire focused on choice, resonant tones before the tune transformed into a hard, wicked blues that White shifted from ecstatic streams of melody to confrontational clusters and splayed harmonies.

Dessen dipped deep into the gutbucket for an inspired plunger-mute essay that found him chortling obscene sound effects and transmuting blues clichés into fresh observations simply by displacing the accents away from the expected. Templeton began his solo with very dry curlicues in the manner of a Steve Lacy while White's solo built to a climax that fostered the emergence of "Enfant," an ebullient "free-hop" head that led directly to an astonishing Schnelle drum solo, in which one could hear the melody clearly all the way through.

White changed things up with his final selection of the first set, a rollicking Jamaican folk-song, "Doctor Bud." It was amazing how well their adaptation of this piece fit with the spirit and letter of the Coleman and Monk material.

Speaking of Monk, the second set began with "Evidence," with White's arrangement moving the melody into considerably darker territory. Dessen soloed first, alternating between an extremely pliant legato and razor-sharp punctuations while Templeton began with swooning ideas that layered into a caterwauling stretch of extremes that dropped a few jaws in the process.

Coleman's "Face Of The Bass," followed, and naturally, Robaire got a full feature on this, which he explored in detail with a solo full of deliberate tones, key-shifting sequences, hammer-ons and pull-offs. After a rhythmically charged visitation of Monk's "Ugly Beauty," White introduced the band and they exploded with an uncanny representation of Coleman's "Blues Connotation," which featured each member of the group knocking it out of the park.

Early candidate for top-ten concerts of the year.

Image

Photo by Ian Tordella

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Superbloom lays claim to best café location in the city – updated Dec. 6

On a patio overlooking Mission Bay, even boring mochas taste good
Next Article

People start getting agro on a 2-foot day

This isn’t Hawaii! There is nothing to fight over!

Piano virtuoso Joshua White assembled a quintet of like-minded Southern California improvisers for an explosive and expansive evening of works by jazz icons Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman to a packed and enthusiastic audience in The Back Room at 98 Bottles Saturday night.

San Diego jazz fans are extremely fortunate for the opportunity to witness the meteoric development of White, who internationally acclaimed bassist Mark Dresser referred to as a "singular talent."

What makes this so?

One factor, shared with me by Rob Thorsen, is the pianist's attitude of fearlessness. White is always eager to stretch the boundaries of musical conventions. Another is his remarkable ability to listen and absorb the contributions of musicians who have preceded him. A final important attribute is his ability to seamlessly travel from highly lyrical playing to very harmonically dense explorations--often within the same solo. What is amazing about White is that he can use materials that would sound jarring in the hands of others--and make them swing. There is always an element of the blues in his improvisations, and he can visit areas as widely divergent as stride piano, be-bop, and free improvisation without ever sounding self-conscious about it.

Beginning with the seldom heard Ornette Coleman ballad, "Beauty Is A Rare Thing," trombonist Michael Dessen and alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton loosely joined together to state the plaintive theme, while White built waves of rumbling dissonant chords beneath. Drummer Dan Schnelle intensified the drama with well-timed explosive accents with soft mallets while bassist Dave Robaire pedaled and strummed double-stops. Seamlessly, the band segued into the joyous, quasi-Latin theme "Una Muy Bonita," another Coleman classic. Templeton opened up with a wild statement that cross-referenced ideas of both Coleman and 60's legend Eric Dolphy, rocking back and forth while he worked toward a frenzy. Dessen brought the dynamics, tempo and intensity down to a whisper to explore the inner logics and possibilities-- then White waxed rhapsodic before leading the group into Coleman's "Peace," another weirdly contemplative theme. Robaire focused on choice, resonant tones before the tune transformed into a hard, wicked blues that White shifted from ecstatic streams of melody to confrontational clusters and splayed harmonies.

Dessen dipped deep into the gutbucket for an inspired plunger-mute essay that found him chortling obscene sound effects and transmuting blues clichés into fresh observations simply by displacing the accents away from the expected. Templeton began his solo with very dry curlicues in the manner of a Steve Lacy while White's solo built to a climax that fostered the emergence of "Enfant," an ebullient "free-hop" head that led directly to an astonishing Schnelle drum solo, in which one could hear the melody clearly all the way through.

White changed things up with his final selection of the first set, a rollicking Jamaican folk-song, "Doctor Bud." It was amazing how well their adaptation of this piece fit with the spirit and letter of the Coleman and Monk material.

Speaking of Monk, the second set began with "Evidence," with White's arrangement moving the melody into considerably darker territory. Dessen soloed first, alternating between an extremely pliant legato and razor-sharp punctuations while Templeton began with swooning ideas that layered into a caterwauling stretch of extremes that dropped a few jaws in the process.

Coleman's "Face Of The Bass," followed, and naturally, Robaire got a full feature on this, which he explored in detail with a solo full of deliberate tones, key-shifting sequences, hammer-ons and pull-offs. After a rhythmically charged visitation of Monk's "Ugly Beauty," White introduced the band and they exploded with an uncanny representation of Coleman's "Blues Connotation," which featured each member of the group knocking it out of the park.

Early candidate for top-ten concerts of the year.

Image

Photo by Ian Tordella

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close