Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Zach Stewart - November 11, 2012


For this upcoming Racer Sessions, I would like to focus the music in a direction that is inspired by the improvisation concepts in the music of Wayne Krantz. 

The idea is to create a basic predetermined template for improvisation that implies the concept of “groove”(nonspecific rhythmic ideas played in time) and form, which in this case means a set length that determines a beginning and end to a complete musical idea or phrase that is agreed upon by all of the musicians involved. 

In advance, a rhythmic environment(or environments if there are wishes to make changes within a piece) is established by agreeing on tempo and meter. The form is then established by agreeing on a set number of bars that determines the phrase and may go as far as to determine how many are played until either there is a change in rhythmic environment or it is the end of the piece. It is up to the players to establish ahead of time, how simple or complex they wish to make it. In the case of Krantz’ music often times, a tempo and meter, and simple form can create an ideal environment where more elaborate rhythms can by expressed while maintaining cohesiveness within the heat of improvisation. What is not predetermined is harmonic/melodic environment and what role the instruments play in an ensemble. They do not have to be traditional roles and nor should they be all the time. 

What this whole process will require is a bit more scheming and preparation by the musicians which I think has the potential to turn out some interesting results in terms of the strength and immediacy of pieces. It will be chalk full of successes and failures like any spontaneous music that presents it’s own challenges. If there is any one thing that I hope for all of us is that we embrace the possibilities in this set musical environment and play without hesitancy.

The opening piece will be a GOAT reunion of sorts with Greg Sinibaldi on baritone sax, myself on electric guitar, and Chris Icasiano on drums.