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Sat, June 16, 2012
Nameless Sound closes its spring concert season with a visit from one of our perennial favorites, The Thing with Joe McPhee.
The Thing burn with the fire, spirit, and inspiration of the hottest free jazz, streamlined with the razor-sharp blade of the fiercest hard rock. With acoustic jazz instrumentation, the three young Scandinavians stir up a rallying wail that can blow out any stack of amplifiers. The repertoire is a combination of ‘60s era new-jazz (Don Cherry, James Blood Ulmer) and transformations of hard rock throw-downs (PJ Harvey, White Stripes, Sonics). Their latest CD, The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound) is a collaboration with the vocalist Nenah Cherry, Don's daughter. This is no watered down jazz-rock. The Thing take the most uncompromising aspects of both genres … and turn up the heat.
As if that weren’t enough, The Thing are joined by living legend Joe McPhee, a true messenger of jazz’s radical avant-garde. A musical storyteller at heart, Joe McPhee plays every note with the cry of the blues. Yet, the emotional content of the music is fully compatible with a theoretical approach informed by the “deep listening” aesthetic of Pauline Oliveros, as well as by Dr. Edward de Bono’s “lateral thinking” problem-solving techniques. McPhee’s recorded legacy extends back to 1967; since then, he's participated in dozens of recordings in an astonishing array of formats, including solo albums, duos, small groups, and large ensembles. He'll arrive in Houston fresh off a week's worth of concerts in New York, where he'll be feted as the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Vision Festival, the country’s most important festival for creative improvisation. A musician of unlimited depth, sincerity and soul, McPhee is truly one of jazz’s greatest living artists.