Offside Jazz Festival – Preview
Posted on May 19, 2012
I’ve been graciously asked to do a few write-ups about the upcoming Offside Music Festival, which is being put on by local guitarist Alex Pinto. I couldn’t be more thrilled, because the lineup is amazing. Every single group contains musicians who have floored me in live performance, or whom I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. Just to whet your appetite, here are some of the groups I am most excited to see next weekend.
Thursday, May 24
Rempis/Ochs/Johnston Trio – I’ve seen Larry Ochs with his group Kihnoua. The music that night was an exquisite blending of tones and timbres – group playing so cohesive, that it was often difficult to tell who was playing what notes/noises. I have seen Darren Johnston in enough settings to know that he is a formidable player in almost any situation. Whether he is playing gnarly changes and time signatures, straight-ahead, balkan music, or avant-garde free improvised music, he fits right in tastefully. These two alone would make a powerful pairing, and I am curious to see what Rempis will bring to the table in this trio of horns.
Friday, May 25
Alex Pinto Trio – I saw Alex Pinto open up for Kneebody at Viracoccha last year. He is a great example of why studying jazz is still relevant, because of it informs his music without making it a lesson on musical history and tradition. Pinto’s music is, instead, an innovative amalgam of Hindustani, rock, and jazz influences, truly unique in its approach.
Saturday, May 26
The Supplicants – I first saw David Boyce because of an undercover show of Nick Drake covers, which happened to be curated by Darren Johnston (playing with Larry Ochs on the first night of Offside). He played solo, masterfully layering recorded loops of his rich tenor tone, and manipulating the sound with an overflowing pedalboard. I can’t wait to hear him in a group setting. Drummer Hamir Atwal, one of my favorite local drummers, appears to be subbing in on this gig. This is just as well, because every time I walk into a club and see his vintage drum kit set up, complete with kitchen towels draped over the bass drum, I know I am at a good gig.
That being said, I could probably write equally gushing previews of every group that is going to play; and I will – once I’ve gone and seen them all next week.
THURSDAY MAY 24 – “EXCURSIONS”
El Valenciano, 1153 Valencia Street, San Francisco
LISA MEZZACAPPA’S BAIT & SWITCH
THESE ARE OUR HOURS
FRIDAY MAY 25 – ”ONWARD”
50 Mason Social House, 50 Mason Street, San Francisco
ALEX PINTO TRIO
ERIK JEKABSON TRIO
MARCUS SHELBY TRIO
SATURDAY MAY 26 – ”JUNCTION”
Location TBA, San Francisco
KLAXON MUTANT JAZZ ALL STARS