Fri, January 26, 2018
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2018-01-26 8:00 pm
Mike Cemprola And Caleb Curtis at @exuberance
Ever watch squirrels chase one another? I don’t think there is an evolutionary reason for this behavior. They’re naturally acrobatic and just having fun—leaping, darting up and down a tree, daring to tag or be tagged, spinning to change direction at breakneck speeds. It’s exhilarating to watch, this play. Like music, it’s not about anything except itself—the freedom to fly impetuously, breathtakingly, beautifully. We call it playing music.
This salon features two extraordinary alto saxophonists. I’m not saying they’re squirrelly. But their solo playing can be exhilarating. Playing together, they may indeed leap and dart up and down the tonal range available to them, impetuously turning, parrying, instigating, mimicking, challenging the other. I can’t wait to hear what they’ll do.
Mike Cemprola was a fixture on the jazz scene here in Philadelphia for several years. He played with his own quartet, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Norman David and the Eleventet, the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, and Gunshow. With gratitude I note his making the music of my band “exuberance" musical beyond my dreams. Last year, he joined the Air Force and now plays federally sanctioned jazz (and occasionally “Hail to the Chief”) with the Airmen of Note.
Caleb Curtis is a New Yorker who is making impressions with a raft of bands. Here in Philadelphia we catch him frequently with Orrin Evan’s Captain Black Big Band and with Josh Lawerence’s Color Theory, but his credits are a mile long. They include his role in the Brooklyn-based collective Walking Distance. Their new album Freebird with pianist Jason Moran drops shortly.
The alto saxophone is a hallowed instrument in jazz. The sounds of Johnny Hodges, Bird, Cannonball, Ornette and scores of others are invoked whenever someone picks up the instrument. Players with the intelligence, intrepid skills, heart and passion of Cemprola and Curtis will honor the tradition and chase the ineffable. Joining the duo are Luke O’Reilly on piano, Madison Rast on bass, and Anwar Marshall on drums. Don’t miss this.
Mike Cemprola | Caleb Curtis
8-11 pm Friday, January 26
1220 N. Mascher St. (steps away from the Girard Ave. El stop) [map]
We contemplate a $25 donation to support the musicians and provide appropriate refreshments.
Click RSVP to this invitation to get on the guest list. Invitation expires when we reach 70 attendees. Looking forward to seeing you.
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@exuberance parties at Matt’s are by invitation only to provide a dignified, comfortable and acoustically ideal setting for worthwhile art and ideas. Cellphones and other devices are to be holstered during the performances. Between sets, conviviality rules.