Last night, I went to hear Zenon and crew at The Mission Theater in Portland. The concert was sponsored by PDX Jazz, directed by Don Lucoff. I think it's great that Lucoff is programming some adventurous bands(last month was Cuong Vu's Burn Unit, and next month....wait, it's my band! More on that later). The turnout was more than respectable; I couldn't help but think that there should have been more PSU students at the concert. Maybe the word isn't getting out to the students. Hopefully we can change that, because Zenon is exactly who the students should be hearing.
|Drummer Henry Cole|
The next piece had some 5/8 leanings which metrically modulated into a 4/4 which revealed the simplicity of the melody, and then shifted back to the 5/8. It occurred to me how much excitement Zenon is able to build without playing outside the chord that much. Again, when you have facility like Zenon, it takes a certain amount of restraint to not play a ton of chromatic lines or ultra harmonic extrapolations. Zenon is able to build using range, dynamics, and rhythm.
The final soloist was Henry Cole, who took a masterful and energetic drum solo over a groove.(I never figured out the meter; it was one of those things where it was in 7 and then 8 and then 5. I bought the CD so I can study the music more.) Cole always knows where the form is and can easily slip his ideas