There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
STANDOUT TRACK: No. 3, “Dark Matter Denial,” is—at 12 minutes—the shortest track on DC Improvisers Collective’s Ministry of Spontaneous Composition. Its basis is a mellow, some might even say “stoned,” groove by electric pianist Jonathan Matis, bassist Chris Brown, and drummer Ben Azzara. Over top, guitarist John Kamman, clarinetist Ben Redwine, and trumpeter Patrick Whitehead veer between laidback solo and fiery interplay.
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: Improvisation, obviously. Specifically, free improvisation, which leans toward jazz but avoids being pegged to any particular genre. Other than that, says Matis, the musical direction depends on which members of the rotating collective are “in the room on a particular day.” In the case of “Dark Matter Denial,” it was all about Brown and Azzara. “They have a very intuitive relationship,” Matis says. “So when things settle into a groove, those two really can go there.”
WEIRD SCIENCE: The title of “Dark Matter Denial,” like the other titles on Ministry of Spontaneous Composition, is a salute to DCIC’s fan base. “We get names and addresses of our CD sales [from Bandcamp],” Matis explains, “and there’s an interesting profile of our customers emerging: They are primarily science professors in Europe. Hard sciences, like geology, astrophysics. So we went about dreaming up song titles that would appeal to our demographic. That’s our version of niche marketing.”
DC Improvisers Collective performs tonight at 8 p.m. with Joe Lally at Third Floor, 4201 Georgia Ave. NW. $10