The second formation set to cross the bridge (following the quintet that brought together Douglas R. Ewart, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Joëlle Léandre, Bernard Santacruz, and Michael Zerang to perform across France) is a daring and atypical ensemble, using a diverse array of percussive instruments and/or approaches, that will journey to the crossroads of African, Black American, and European Music to explore and bend the relationship between jazz and “trance” experiences, through improvisation (and repetition). If improvisation must always meet requirements of amazement and renewal, and repetition must always meet requirements of diligence and transfixion, what will be born of their collision? Which magnetic force will cause their attraction?
It takes a quintet to answer this valuable question, thus came together Chicago-based musicians Joshua Abrams(bass, guimbri), Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), and Avreeayl Ra (drums, percussion), and French musicians Aymeric Avice (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Benjamin Sanz (drums, percussion). The idea for the project originated in early 2012, when Avice and Sanz (who had worked together on entrancing forms of music) performed with Abrams’ Natural information Society in Paris. Then, Sanz and Abrams discovered they shared a common interest in Moroccan Gnawa music, and training in African musical techniques and instruments.
The Bridge gave them the platform to carry out this adventure. This transatlantic collective brings together five musicians who were all set on such a course, and whose different backgrounds (with Sun Ra and Christian Vander, with Bonnie Prince Billy et Jean-Louis, with André Minvielle and Nicole Mitchell, with Peter Brötzmann and The Roots, with Tortoise and David Murray…) and musical material will be collectively transformed and reinterpreted in new directions, to uncharted territories. Together, they form a structure with impressive rhythmic architecture, focused on rhythm and texture, and the planet motions: the combination of brass, strings, vibraphone, drum kits and percussion, creates a unique haven to perform enchanting improvised music.