Sunday, January 30, 2022

Concert review: ANDREW LAMB’S CIRCADIAN SPHERES OF LIGHT PROJECT

 

Originally published in The NYC Jazz Record, NY@Night Column, January 2022

ANDREW LAMB’S CIRCADIAN SPHERES OF LIGHT PROJECT

Dec 1, 2021, Roulette, Brooklyn

Andrew Lamb I(center, seated) and the Circadian Spheres of Light. Photo by Pietaro

 Ensconced within an all-star ensemble, saxophonist/composer Andrew Lamb brought new life—new lives!--to inter-disciplinary performance, and Roulette (December 1) was the perfect breeding ground for the Circadian Spheres of Light Project. Lamb’s music has always walked between the epic and the shock of the new, but with the influence of study into music’s influence on the brain, and in the company of poet/multi-instrumentalist Ngoma Hill, a compatriot of Amiri Baraka, the artful became a statement of both awakening and cultural pride. “I am the original man”, Hill proclaimed just after his didgeridoo introduction, moving to the sweep of visual artist Jimmy James Green’s brush work. The ensemble eased in but spoke in torrents through Lamb’s series of motifs realized across the eleven instrumentalists who had freedom of pitch through each unison. 

This 90-minute, multi-themed work erupted into the fire music we love, with the house quaking beneath the celebrated Warren Smith’s timpani throb and broil. He was one of four percussionists covering a glittering wealth of metals and idiophones at stage rear: Newman Taylor Baker (washboard, more), Lloyd Haber (drumset, gongs) and Jose Luis Abreu (hand drums, shakers). 

Trombone giant Dick Griffin seared the atmosphere with the circular breathing that still mystifies, and Melanie Griffin, the most essential jazz violist today, played heart-wrenching improvisations, particularly when paired with dancer Trashina Conner. Far too much to fit into this column, but other astounding soloists were bassist Hill Greene, violinist Gwen Laster, and maestro Lamb himself.

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