Go To Church

Arve Henriksen performing live at the Rochester International Jazz Festival 2009
click photo above for a movie of the last song from Arve Henriksen’s set last night

We spent some time following links to sound files for Friday’s line-up. We watched a video of Pat Martino and couldn’t even count the number of strings on the bass player’s instrument but we guessed there were seven so we nixed that show. Turns out he played with an organist and no bass player. We heard he was great. We chose to start with Arve Henriksen, a trumpet player from Norway, who was performing with a dj at the Lutheran Church. We thought there would be a bigger line for this event but it was pretty laid back. We chatted with friends while they mowed the lawn at the church. Hal told us there was a review of Arve and Nils Petter Molvaer (we saw Nils here the night before) in today’s New York Times.

Thank god churches are are hurting for patrons (except for the Evangelicals) these days because all these beautiful urban buildings are now available as performance spaces. The Cowboy Junkies recorded the Trinity Sessions in a Toronto Church letting the ambiance of the hall define their whole sound. Ani DiFranco bought an old church in Buffalo and converted it to a performance space and Doug Rice has recently converted an old Baptist church on Atlantic Avenue into MUCC. Arve Hendriksen let the room breathe and he made the most of it with his beautiful sparse but melodically rich trumpet playing. And looked completely relaxed sitting on the piano bench while the dj sampled the horn live and processed the horn parts adding them to the mix. I closed my eyes and heard an Arabic falsetto voice chanting and assumed the dj had added a vocal loop. When I looked up it was Arve singing into the mic. If only church going was this meditative and restorative. We stopped over at Abilene and then came back for the second set.

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