Pioneering saxophonist, composer, and improviser Roscoe Mitchell continues to make vital, essential music into his late seventies, most recently with 2017’s rich and staggering Bells for the South Side — almost universally acclaimed as one of the top recordings of 2017. The album positions Mitchell inside four different trios of enormously different impulses, with a total of nine interlocking, electrifying musicians navigating and illuminating Mitchell’s brilliant compositional structures. Big Ears is especially proud to present — for only the second time ever live in concert — the full TRIOS performance, with essentially the same all-star grouping that appears on the ECM recording.
In addition to playing in Mitchell’s TRIOS, two of those players — multi-instrumentalist and MacArthur fellow Tyshawn Sorey and pianist extraordinaire Craig Taborn — will lead their own ensembles in Big Ears performances. Sorey will lead his own trio that recorded the highly praised Verisimilitude, while Taborn will lead his Daylight Ghosts quartet. Each of those recordings, along with Mitchell’s Bells for the South Side, occupied three of the top 10 spots in 2017’s NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll (with Big Ears alum Vijay Iyer’s Sextet taking first place).
Never one to hold back, it seems that four trios is not quite enough for Roscoe Mitchell. As announced a few weeks ago, he will also perform a second concert with his Trio Five featuring Junius Paul on bass/electric bass and Vincent Davis on drums.
Just a few of the amazing jazz-related performances in store for Big Ears 2018. Dig in…and buckle up!