Up Next: PRISM with Chris Potter and Ravi Coltrane

By: . April 28, 2015. Posted under:

On June 9th at the Painted Bride in Philly, and June 10 at Symphony Space in NYC, PRISM presents the next installment of Heritage/Evolution, a groundbreaking project featuring world premieres of new works composed and performed by today’s most inventive jazz saxophonists. This time around, Heritage/Evolution spotlights PRISM with saxophone luminaries Chris Potter and Ravi Coltrane. The program follows PRISM’s January 2015 CD release of Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1 on Innova Recordings with guest saxophonists Steve Lehman, Dave Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Tim Ries, and Miguel Zenón.

Since the saxophone’s invention by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840, it has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences worldwide. The Heritage/Evolution project charts fresh musical territory, drawing on the saxophone’s cross-cultural heritage to blend jazz with everything from Western and South Indian classical music to Romani and Latin American folkloric music. Join us for an unprecedented saxophone summit as PRISM, a “bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets” (The New York Times) partners with two master artists who defy convention.

Chris Potter on his new commission. “My piece, Improvisations, was conceived as exactly that: I improvised five short pieces on tenor saxophone, transcribed what I played, then orchestrated the music for saxophone ensemble. In this way I sought to hold on to the immediacy and unexpected quality of improvised music, created in a moment’s time, while also giving myself leeway to use the rich array of harmonic and orchestrational possibilities afforded by the more traditional compositional process. It has been said that improvisation is composition speeded up and composition is improvisation slowed way down (the musical decision making process differs only in the rate of speed), and I wanted to blur those lines even further with this piece.”

Ravi Coltrane on his new commission: “At every moment, we are drawing on these two traditions, reconciling and hybridizing elements of African and Western European music. Still, there is always room to turn the paradigm on its side. My music-making these days grows out of a deep interest in psychology, especially temperament of and between players… My work will also explore the many facets of counterpoint—the idea of strange bedfellows (classical and jazz saxophonists) being in constant dance, but maintaining a fierce independence.”

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