Do the Math “Live”

This Friday I’m playing solo in Bryant Park, free, at 9 PM, as part of IN/TER/SECT.

Bryant Park Presents

jazz+classical music
July 15, 5-10pm

Kit of Parts featuring:
The Westerlies
Ben Monder
Rabbit Rabbit (Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias Bossi)
Argus String Quartet

and Ethan Iverson

INTERSECT gives New Yorkers the rare opportunity to experience some of the best players in jazz and classical music, all on one bill. With five ensembles each night – including internationally renowned veterans such as Chris Potter, Andy Akiho, Dan Tepfer and Ethan Iverson, as well as some of the most talented and exciting up-and-coming artists – the three evening series showcases world-class performances in these seemingly disparate genres. The series features standards and new works, including commissions and world premieres, and is produced with Chamber Music America and curated by composer and saxophonist Patrick Zimmerli.

My program is kind of a culmination of things I’ve been studying over the last half decade or so, often with related discussion here on DTM.

Heliotrope Bouquet (1907) Scott Joplin

Little Joe From Chicago (1939) Mary Lou Williams

Carolina Shout (1918) James P. Johnson

I’d Love A Rag (2015) Ethan Iverson

Iverson works on early jazz to deepen his practice of modern-day piano. Reasonably authentic renditions of rag, boogie, and stride are followed by Iverson’s own pastiche from the suite Easy Win written for Dance Heginbotham.

South Hampton (2012) Ethan Iverson

A blues written with Hampton Hawes in mind: Iverson has played it with Paul Motian, Tootie Heath, and Billy Hart.

Re-Elect That (2011) Ethan Iverson

Written for The Bad Plus, also works as a chaotic solo number.

Apollo (1988) Pat Zimmerli

Iverson and the curator of IN/TER/SECT have known each other a long time. Iverson first played the bebop-to-the-future Apollo in a 1992 jam session with Zimmerli and Thelonious Monk, Jr. 

Piano Sonata (1952) Hall Overton

Hall Overton was Thelonious Monk’s arranger for the celebrated big band concert at Town Hall and this is why Overton’s name is remembered today. However, his more significant original creative output was in modernist composition: teaching at Juilliard, getting significant commissions, recording for CRI. The Piano Sonata is nine minutes in one rhapsodic breath. The style starts like neo-Copland but soon becomes quite dense and polytonal. Themes intertwine and there’s a transfigured recapitulation in the final pages but there is no conventional sonata form. 

Another Tonal Salvo (2016) Ethan Iverson

Straight up jazz composed as a companion piece for the recent 21-century premiere of the above Overton: the title is an anagram of “hall overton sonata.” 

Music Without Metaphor (2013) Scott Wollschleger

It is difficult to play solo piano in an urban outdoor setting. This luscious ambient work by a major young Brooklyn composer will embrace the nightlife of Bryant Park.

Carpenter’s Kit (2016, composed especially for IN/TER\SECT) Ethan Iverson

Another excuse to play jazz, and another excuse to anagram: the title is jumble of “intersect park.”

The really “new” thing for me here is “Music Without Metaphor” by Scott Wollschleger, which has been recorded beautifully by Ivan Ilić. Ilić’s thoughtful program note is valuable.

Wollschelger has become one of my favorite contemporary composers. The next day, Wollschelger’s stunning piano concerto Meditation on Dust will be played in North Adams MA by Karl Larson at MASS MoCA.