At the end of last year, I wrote about how Outsound Presents celebrated the end of 2012 with a two-set concert in their New Music Series at the Luggage Store Gallery (LSG). The LSG New Music Series is the longest-standing experimental music series in the Bay Area. It is artist-run and is entirely the product of volunteer efforts. Outsound Presents also manages a second concert series, called the SIMM (Static Illusion Methodical Madness) Music series. As its Web site states, this is a bi-monthly series of concerts presenting “highly professional and truly adventurous music that would not normally be heard or supported by mainstream society.” While the LSG gigs tend to involve different approaches to the use of electronic and computer technology, SIMM concentrates more on acoustic instruments. These concerts take place on alternate Sundays between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The next one will be held this coming Sunday, just in time to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Snake in the Asian Lunar calendar.
The 7:30 p.m. set will feature the Filipino-American guitarist and composer Karl Evangelista and his new Ai-Ai project. The core group for this project consists of Evangelista, his wife Rei Scampavia and Eli Wallace on keyboards, and drummer Robert Lopez. They perform with a “revolving cast” of percussionists and reed players.
Their style has compared to how jazz has progressed in the wake of two of Miles Davis’ most famous recording sessions, the first for In A Silent Way and the second for Bitches Brew. This involves a heavy dose of free improvisation within the genres of both free jazz and progressive rock. Their selections involve both instrumental and vocal performances by Scampavia and Evangelista.
The second set will begin at 8:30 p.m. and will be taken by Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra. Saxophonist Bennett released a recording of this ensemble in December of 2002, and he is particularly interested in free improvisation among relatively large groups of musicians. If Evangelista is a spiritual descendent of Miles through his work in the late Sixties, then it may be reasonable to attribute Bennett’s “ancestry” to two other influential composers from that time frame: John Coltrane for his conception of “Ascension” and Anthony Braxton for the work growing out of his creation of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. For this performance Bennett’s ensemble will include Joe Lasqo on keyboards, Robert Ewing on trombone, Jeff Hobbs on violin, Darren Johnston on trumpet, Bob Marsh on accordion, Lisa Mezzacappa on bass, and Crystal Pascucci on cello.
This performance will take place on Sunday, February 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The venue for SIMM Series concerts is the Musicians Union Hall at 116 Ninth Street, near the corner of Mission Street. General admission is $10 with an $8 rate for students and seniors.