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Transparent Productions, a local “non-profit volunteer collective,” put on its first “improvised and experimental” concert ten years ago this summer. The show was at Food for Thought at its old location in Dupont Circle. (The hippie/veggie restaurant has moved, in diminshed form, to the front of the Black Cat, and its old space is now occupied by Bistro Du Coin.) The musicians that night were saxophonist and trumpeter Joe McPhee and bassist Michael Bisio. McPhee is an important name on the free jazz circuit. I’ve seen him since—another Transparent show with Scandanavian group The Thing—and heard a number of his recordings. But, to these ears, he has never sounded better than he did that night. His playing was tight and melodic—experimental, but not aggressively so. The two men seemed less interested in exploring the typical soft-LOUD-soft dynamic that is so typical to “improvised and experimental” music than playing something closer to actual songs. Only McPhee’s records Nation Time and WBAI’s Music Store 1971 can really compare.
It was an impressive beginning for Transparent and the group has continued to impress over the years. For its tenth annivesary Transparent brings Bisio back along with a couple of McPhee’s Vietnam-era contemporaries: violinist Billy Bang and bassist William Parker. Here are the details:
Transparent Productions presents Sunday Solos in Celebration of Transparent’s 10th
JULY 15TH @7PM $15 BILLY BANG – VIOLIN
JULY 22ND @7PM $20* (*Partial Sangha Benefit) 1st Set WILLIAM PARKER Bass, performing “The Politics of 4 Strings” 2nd Set WILLIAM PARKER Dosongoni, shakuhachi and percussion slides PATRICIA NICHOLSON Dance Performing “Waiting summer, song of the red sky people”
JULY 29th @7PM $15 1ST Set MICHAEL BISIO Bass 2nd Set MICHAEL BISIO QUARTET MICHAEL BISIO Bass AFRAM FEFER Reeds STEPHEN GAUSI Reeds JAY ROSEN – drums
@ SANGHA 7014 Westmoreland Avenue Takoma Park, MD 3 blocks east of the Takoma Park Metro Station, just below the corner of Carroll and Westmoreland (301) 891-3214