The Turbine ! (The Bridge #3)

  • 17.11.2015|

The Turbine ! [The Bridge #3]
Harrison Bankhead (double bass)
Benjamin Duboc (double bass)
Hamid Drake (drums, frame drum)
Ramon Lopez (drums, tabla, percussion)

+ for the 2nd set, special guest Steve Swell (trombone)

November 17 at 7.30 pm
Admission $ 15

Zurcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker st NY

Since the year 1960 and “Free Jazz” by Ornette Coleman, who doubled every instrument of his quartet, until the mirror structures of Roscoe Mitchell’s or Henry Threadgill’s ensembles, the multiplication of the rhythm section – already devoted to all matters of growths and outgrowths – has gone through varied forms. Since February 2014, with a resounding first tour in France “on The Bridge” and a first recording for the Rogue Art label, there is also The Turbine ! with Harrison Bankhead, Benjamin Duboc, Hamid Drake, and Ramon Lopez –two extraordinary bassists, two drummers extraordinaire, the rise of rhythms. In this case, however, it’s about something way beyond the reinforcement of the autonomy of the “rhythm section,” playing or juggling with pulsations, or something way beyond combustion – although the men of The Turbine ! keep this power about them, this power to transform any rhythm in a connector, a generator, a regenerator. To rephrase things like Bankhead, Drake, Duboc, and Lopez let them be understood, and let them grow : it’s about four, distinctly, creating musicians, who engage in total music, (incidentally) made on basses and drums. Together, telluric or transparent, the four men strike alliances after alloys, go back in all times, are the masters of the feeling of duration and permutations, deal with matter, materials, speeds, flows, realities. Wisdom of the rhythmicist (physicist ?) : “These days, physicists themselves realize this : that there is no inherent nature. The form is empty. If you look at any object under a microscope, you’ll see other thins, other elements, whereas the object seems endowed with a solid form. I am happy to carry out this function that gives the impression that a beat is kept, in a given situation, benefiting beings, although I know that I am not keeping anything. How could I ? Time is constantly flowing. And these words that we use : ‘keeping’ the beat, ‘keeping’ time… Illusions.” Fully conscious of the paths that open up at any time for the music created in the moment, the four polyrhythmicists dive in the continuous flow of things and beings, and frequently invite a fifth improviser to join them, to sift through or magnetize their collective exchanges. Communication is established once and for all. Right away and forever, it will always be euphoria, resounding realms.

“If you think that having a double rhythm team would limit the sound or ideas in any way, you would be wrong since the sound of this group is magnificent, powerful, consistently awe-inspiring. The blend of both bassists, drum set or frame drum and tablas is expansive and joyous. While one rhythm team plays the groove or pulse, the other one plays around or with them, all four (…), ascending their spirits together.”
Review of The Turbine ! album, Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Jazz” music has always crossed stylistic or national borders, to better exalt dizzying, “dissimilar singularities,” and their stirring power. However, projects that deeply association French and American musicians are not that common, for lack of time, for lack of resource, the music industry preferring event-driven encounters to lasting relationships, isolated fusions to shared mutations. French musicians tread little on the American soil, where they most often sent as “hired guns,” unable to strengthen the bonds they create there ; American musicians are recurrent guests of European clubs and festivals, but don’t have much more free time to carry on the exchanges they start there. Thus was born the idea to build a transatlantic bridge – The Bridge – that would consistently cross both parties, in both directions, to recreate the conditions of true sharing, through space and time. At the rate of four tours, or rather four exploration travels per year, for always mixed ensembles.