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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Clockwise from top left: Matt Mitchell, Colin Stranahan, Mark Shim, Ches Smith. Photos courtesy of the artists.

This weekend, The Jazz Gallery will present two evenings of exploratory duos. On Friday evening, pianist Matt Mitchell will be joined by drummer/percussionist Ches Smith to perform material from Mitchell’s 2013 album, Fiction (Pi Recordings). On Saturday, drummer Colin Stranahan has invited saxophonist and EWI player Mark Shim to join him for two fully-improvised sets.

The music on Fiction began as etudes that Mitchell wrote for himself, exploring relationships between fixed and open structures, and challenging his formidable technique. While on tour with saxophonist Tim Berne’s band Snakeoil, Mitchell would warm up with these pieces during soundcheck. Over the course of the tour, Smith—the band’s drummer—would join in, laying the groundwork for this acclaimed record. Before hearing Mitchell and Smith revisit this material at the Gallery on Friday, take a listen to the tracks “Veins” and “Dadaist Flu” from the record, below.

While coming from different generations of the New York jazz scene, saxophonist Mark Shim and Colin Stranahan have developed a strong collaborative rapport over the past several years. The pair played in a double-drummer project co-led by Stranahan and Ziv Ravitz, and also went on a U.S. State Department tour of Russia in 2015, which you can check out below.

For their duo sets, Shim will be bringing his EWI and electronics rig, building an expansive palette for real-time interaction with Stranahan.

Matt Mitchell, piano, and Ches Smith, drums/percussion, play The Jazz Gallery on Friday, May 31, 2019. Sets are 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $25 general admission ($10 for members), $35 reserved cabaret seating ($20 for members) for each set.

Colin Stranahan, drums, and Mark Shim, saxophone/EWI/electronics, play the Gallery on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $20 general admission ($10 for members), $30 reserved cabaret seating ($20 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets for both shows here.