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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

From L to R: Christopher Hoffman, Matt Mitchell, Jacob Garchik, Anna Webber, Ches Smith, Chris Tordini, and Jeremy Viner. Photo by Liz Kosack, courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, September 5, The Jazz Gallery kicks off its 2019-20 season with a performance by multi-instrumentalist Anna Webber’s septet. This past January, Webber and her septet released Clockwise (Pi Recordings), a sprawling album of original compositions that takes inspiration from 20th century works for percussion by composers like Edgard Varèse and Iannis Xenakis. However, as Webber notes in an interview with Jazz Speaks, she molds these inspirations in idiosyncratic ways:

I wasn’t taking little licks from the music—it was more from my overall research into a specific piece. For example, two of the pieces on Clockwise called “Korē” are both inspired by [Iannis] Xenakis’ piece “Persephassa.” The connection is that Persephassa is another word in Greek for Persephone, and Korē is another name for the same Greek goddess.

It’s written for six percussionists that are surrounding the audience. And a lot of the ideas in that piece are rotated between percussionists. So, if you’re in the middle of the room, you can feel as if music is moving around you in a circle. I just used the idea of rotation for the two “Korē” pieces. It’s a pretty abstract place to start a piece from, but it was kind of the building block, rather than anything really specific, musically. But there’s a big range on the album from how specific I was with taking ideas from the original pieces and how very, very loosely I treated the source material.

At the Gallery this week, Webber has assembled the album’s full personnel, with Kate Gentile filling in for Ches Smith on drums & percussion. Before coming out to the Gallery, take a listen to the tracks “Kore II” and “Array” below.

The Anna Webber Septet plays The Jazz Gallery on Thursday, September 5, 2019. The Group features Ms. Webber on tenor saxophone & flute, Jeremy Viner on tenor saxophone & clarinet, Jacob Garchik on trombone, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Matt Mitchell on piano, Chris Tordini on bass, and Kate Gentile on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members), $20 reserved table seating ($10 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.