Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You Should've Seen Lina Allemano

Lina Allemano's quartet played a great show last night at the Thunderbird. I previewed them in City Paper last week and had talked to this Toronto-based trumpet player, who was well-spoken and funny. But the set they played kind of exceeded expectations that I had after hearing their recent live CD.

While the lineup seems like it could be compared to Ornette Coleman's original quartet (trumpet, alto, bass, drums) Allemano's writing really isn't like that. When they moved past the themes, they sounded a little closer to Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch anyway. Allemano liked to blast out some high notes that would hang in the air and it reminded me of what Freddie Hubbard did on that album. (All you armchair Freddie fans will know that Out to Lunch is pretty much an aberration in his career.) Brodie West had a great approach to the alto too, mixing crisp lines with upper register wails that were added as necessary. If I had kept with that horn, it might have been the way I would have played.

There was a good attentive crowd for the Thunderbird's Space Exchange event, which hosted the band. Typically the weekly thing hosts one of four local guys who bring a project of their own, or "sponsor" another musician. Ben Opie brought Allemano in since it was his week. (He sat in for an Ornette song in both sets which, incidentally, still didn't make them sound too much like Mr. Harmolodic's past. Guess they do it differently in Toronto). It was good to see a fair number of people there checking out the show, including some who didn't look like "typical" fans of adventurous jazz.

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