|The emotional tones of Spain, klezmer, modal jazz, and bending Arabic scales, rang out from Marilyn Lerner's piano.
And the responsive audience followed every move of her individualistic approach to improvising on traditional songs.
Whether immersed in the building emotions of a Spanish-tinged song, or answering a series of unfolding chords with passages of strumming inside the piano, the virtuoso player consistently made you feel.
Lerner's overall understanding of musical form and finish was very appealing and it set an appropriate mood for Lorie Wolf's jazz-rooted musical suite, Taibele and Her Demon, which followed.
|Based on the Isaac Bashevis Singer tale, the 60-minute piece was conducted from the drum chair by its drummer/composer/arranger, Lorie Wolf, and was narrated and sung by Aviva Chernik. The recurring soloists were Mike Wark on tenor saxophone, Lina Allemano on trumpet, and Don Thompson on piano.
Chernik's vivid narrating, singing, and acting, told us Taibele's story. She's an abandoned wife whose numerous forced encounters with a male demon truly are the stuff of legend.
Also, "Taibele ..." looked at matters of the sacred and the profane, the carnal and the spiritual.
Which played well on this stage.
And the 9-piece band's performance was subtle, contained lyrically driven solos, and was gentle.
But importantly, "Taibele ..." preserved that delicious sense of historical irony found in lines like "... they first met on a night as black as Egypt".