DC Improvisers Collective @ Crooked Beat

Quick pre-bedtime post: I saw the DC Improvisers Collective play an in-store show at Crooked Beat Records, a nifty little indie record store that sells a lot of used and new vinyl and has an interesting CD selection as well. Before I talk about the actual show, I should note one thing I discovered at Crooked Beat: the “33 1/3″ series of books. This is a series that highlights one significant album per book (each book is pocket-sized and runs around 100 pages, it seems). It’s a cool idea and from the ones I browsed through, it looks like they are pretty competently done. There’s no standard style, so for instance the structure of the book about The Magnetic Fields69 Love Songs is totally different from the one about Radiohead’s OK Computer. I’m going to have to pick up some of these; for more info, PopMatters did a nice feature on them last year, or here’s the full list at Amazon.

As for the show, I enjoyed it. DCIC in this instance (I guess the lineup varies, but since this was my first time seeing them, I’m not sure) was a guitar-sax-drums trio. As befits their name, they just did, as far as I could tell, pure collective improv — three pieces that stretched to maybe an hour total. As far as unstructured improv goes, they were pretty solid, and I was particularly impressed with the saxophonist, who ranged widely from quiet, lyrical melodies to seriously free intensity. They would lose steam a couple times each improv, only to figure out what to do next after a few minutes of noodling, and hit on something really great. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking but I would definitely enjoy seeing these guys again. I bought their new CD but haven’t had a chance for anything but a cursory listen so far.

Here’s a post about the show at the guitarist’s blog.

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