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SPRING (led by Henry Ptacek) at Café Coda
April 30 @ 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm$10
A cropped handbill displays the event information in the lower left corner. Individual photos of SPRING’s members form an image collage. Clockwise from top left: Chris Rottmayer, Charlie Palm, Pawan Benjamin, Ari Smith, and Henry Ptacek (at the center).
After some reconfiguration, drummer Henry Ptacek has brought together a sterling cast of local talent for another iteration of his SPRING ensemble. Featuring Ptacek in a quintet with Pawan Benjamin (saxophone), Charlie Palm (trumpet), Chris Rottmayer (piano), and Ari Smith (bass), this senior recital will exhibit the range and depth of his influences, mixing free improvisation with an array of familiar tunes by celebrated jazz giants.
Across two succinct sets, expect to hear interpretations of snappy, old- and new-school post-bop (Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Dream” and Kenny Garrett’s “Ja-Hed”) play off more ’70s fusion-leaning deep cuts by Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, as well as expansively hypnotic Hindustani-tinged spiritual jazz, including one of Alice Coltrane’s most famous pieces from Journey In Satchidananda (1971).
Aside from those, Ptacek points out the group’s open rendition of a folk blues tune, “I’m So Blue,” which is a bit of a sonic curve ball in the grander program. And yet, it will likely function as a comforting point of departure—a refreshing act break to stir listeners’ imaginations much like the members’ improvising, before propelling us back into their focused and inspired jazz covers.
When Ptacek isn’t dabbling in this idiom, he considerably kicks up the tempo in a new Pixies- and Replacements-like post-punk quintet, Mission Trip (with Zachary Vincent Dunn, Sam Eklund, Reegan Franzmeier, and Jasper Nelson), who just dropped a new EP earlier this month.
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