Jazzfest Berlin – New York
Lakecia Benjamin // Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus
With a multi-generational mix of the most diverse musical influences, Lakecia Benjamin explores the spiritual heart of the music of the Coltranes. Lina Allemano and her Berlin trio create a music of extremes with a flow that feels utterly organic, masterfully mirroring the ups-and-downs of life itself.
Livestream from New York
Lakecia Benjamin: “Pursuance – The Coltranes”
In Lakecia Benjamin’s homage to Alice and John Coltrane, we encounter a stylistically diverse set of arrangements, with the leader reaching out to musicians that were part of the Coltranes’ orbit, including bassist Reggie Workman – a university professor of hers – who signed on as co-producer. Working with a multi-generational mix, including Gary Bartz, Ron Carter, Meshell Ndegeocello and Jazzmeia Horn, Benjamin deftly underlines the elasticity and spiritual heart in the music of the Coltranes. As yet largely little-known in Europe, the young leader on alto re-frames indelible themes like Alice’s “Going Home” or John’s “Syeeda’s Song Flute” with a varied contemporary lustre utilising R&B and gospel colours as well as lyrical chamber settings. This imbues her – and by extension the Coltrane’s – music with a simultaneously new and eternal hue. Her versatile band with singer Charanee Wade, drummer Darrell Green, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and pianist Zaccai Curtis shares her joy of playing and her sensitivity.
Lakecia Benjamin alto saxophone, leader
E.J. Strickland drums
Lonnie Plaxico bass
Zaccai Curtis piano
Livestream from Berlin
Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus
Trumpeter Lina Allemano, who splits her time between Berlin and Toronto, assembled this knotty trio in 2017, which applies the extended techniques of free improvisation to her loose, decidedly jagged compositions. Drummer Michael Griener and electric bassist Dan Peter Sundland are equal provocateurs, both sketching out the irregular contours of the pieces alongside the leader’s fat-toned lines and taking flight during the extended improvisatory sections, although it is often difficult to determine when the notes are coming from a page and when they’re spontaneously shaped. Each piece morphs frequently, with the musicians pulling together and apart without ever abandoning a sleek architecture. Allemano toggles effortlessly between passages of brash lyricism and visceral abstraction. Sometimes her partners shadow her turbulent blowing, and sometimes they generate exquisite tension against it, breathlessly moving between loping grooves and an almost spastic pointillism, but in each scenario the trumpeter is fueled by their machinations, whether unleashing abraded flourishes that recall the playing of Wadada Leo Smith or compact, warmly tuneful vignettes. The trio generates a music of extremes with a flow that feels utterly organic, masterfully mirroring the ups and downs of life itself into an impressively concentrated efficiency that can agitate or soothe.
Lina Allemano trumpet
Dan Peter Sundland bass
Michael Griener drums
These concerts are part of Jazzfest Berlin – New York