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Venue:
Johnny Brenda's1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $18 General Admission
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 8:00pm

Nels Cline-Larry Ochs-Gerald Cleaver Trio

Two Nights in Philly | Night One

Larry Ochs, saxophone
Nels Cline, el. guitar
Gerald Cleaver, drums

Ars Nova Workshop is thrilled to present the return of the electrifying trio of guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and saxophonist Larry Ochs. Three experimental icons, individually and collectively drawing upon the outer limits of Midwestern free jazz, Bay Area structured improvisation, and bicoastal noise punk, converge on Philadelphia in a rare meeting.

Jazzmaster assassin Nels Cline might be as close as the modern avant-garde gets to a household name. Before joining indie rock institution Wilco in 2004, Cline divided his energy between improvised contexts alongside Julius Hemphill, Vinny Golia, and brother Alex, and more song-oriented settings like Carla Bozulich’s alt-country outfit Geraldine Fibbers and Mike Watt’s Crew of the Flying Saucer. Cline continues to occupy the narrow space between pure sound and song, as exemplified by his longstanding Singers trio with drummer Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn, and his recent duo with guitar prodigy Julian Lage.

In his own words, Michigan-bred, New York-based Gerald Cleaver’s multifaceted approach to the drum set balances “static sound and extreme dynamics, melodicism within heavy texture, deep-rooted groove, unchained abandon, and the power and revelation of recurring form.” Cleaver made a name for himself through enduring partnerships with Vision Fest regulars like Roscoe Mitchell and Charles Gayle, but lately critics have been abuzz about his new musique concrète-cum-free rock quintet Black Host with Darius Jones, Cooper-Moore, Brandon Seabrook, and Pascal Niggenkemper. Pitchfork’s Hank Shteamer described 2013’s Life in the Sugar Candle Mines as, “a well-tended hot-house: feverish and bracingly weird, yet also purposeful and shrewdly strategic.”

Larry Ochs is best known as founder and executive director of the Rova Sax Quartet, a San Francisco institution that pioneered the application of improvisational strategies within the context of contemporary classical music in the late 70s. Equally inspired by modernist 20th century composition and the more worldly, abrasive strands of 60s free jazz, Rova and Ochs became widely celebrated for the lengths they would go to stretch the performance parameters of notated music through early collaborations with Henry Kaiser, Fred Frith, and John Zorn. This concert marks Ochs’ first Philadelphia appearance since the Celestial Septet, a big band encompassing both the Rova Sax Quartet and the Nels Cline Singers, performed at the International House in 2011.

Noveller
Sarah Lipstate, el. guitar

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present Noveller, the solo electric guitar project of Brooklyn-based composer and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate.

 

Handling the guitar as her muse, Lipstate summons a sonic palette so rich as to challenge the listener to conceive of how it’s housed in a single instrument manipulated by a solitary performer. Her most recent album, Fantastic Planet, is a journey through eclectic sonic terrain, blending rich waves of synth with soaring cinematic guitar lines that guide the listener through Noveller's most diverse and compelling release to date.

 

Pitchfork writes that Lipstate’s “pitch-warped melodies bubble and coalesce into a creeping latticework of booming bass, twitchy drones, and slurred guitar leads… [moving] from pointillist detail to hazy heaviness.”

 

Noveller has toured with Iggy Pop, St. Vincent, Radiolab, Xiu Xiu, the Jesus Lizard, U.S. Girls, & Aidan Baker.  Lipstate has collaborated with several renowned musicians, including JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia), Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers), David Wm. Sims (the Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid) and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). She has previously performed as a member of Cold Cave, Parts & Labor, and One Umbrella. Lipstate has also participated in Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, Ben Frost’s “Music for 6 Guitars” Ensemble, and Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble.