Alex Cline: For People In Sorrow

One of my favorite jazz festivals is the annual October display of left of center music provided by the Angel City Art Festival located in good ol’ LA. Performed at various venues, a concert at the acoustically wondrous Redcat Theatre from the 2011 fest featured percussionist Alex Cline delivering a homage to Roscoe Mitchell’s opus People In Sorrow.

The hour long set opens with a poem delivered by Larry Ward. After that, the all-star band, conducted by Will Salmon and including Oliver Lake/reeds-fl, Vinny Golia/winds, Jeff Gauthier/viol and  Myra Melford/key, delves into a very personal portrayal of sounds. The ominous opening of brass and fluffy reeds turns into an eruption of free form percussion, eventually coalescing into a chaos of percussion and piano before Melford comes out of the mix with some personal musing, leading into some electric guitar work by G.E. Stinson. A bit of thunderous sounds are emitted before vocalist Dwight Trible’s voice cries in anguish. Some reeds and strings meld together before Sister Dang Nghiem’s chant haunts the scene, slowly starting the quiet descent into rest and repose. There is a dvd that accompanies the audio disc, and for some reason, this type of music always comes off better visually.  A document of an important jazz fest.

Cryptogramophone Records

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