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Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 12:00 am

Laborless weekend starts with End Times Trio and friends

If you read my last blog post, we are on a laborless journey through the weekend to Labor Day. We opened the weekend with free jazz at The Pharmacy, Thursday night. It was energizing. There were fireworks going off in my brain. The first person I met was an Illinois Times reader who saw the event in the paper and came to the show. Meet Judy! I like meeting new people, and she was lovely. As a few of the first to arrive, we marveled at an old typewriter and I liked the still life on paint stool. Someone, I think it was Mark Schwartz, told us that the floor was an old gymnasium. I loved the idea that the foul and end lines were transposed into new configurations onto this new space. The new meeting the old; the old, new.

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What a marathon of sound and energy. Faces and traces of rawness in the music and musicians. As an audience, we were definitely feeling it, too. Feeling each beat in its soothing and climatic chaos and control. Even the shadows were moving.

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Local freejazz band End Times Trio opened the show. They were amazing. Frank Trompeter played two saxophones at once. Mark Schwartz let go on the electric guitar strings with what I think was a plastic object. It made a sound like birds tweeting. He also showed the acoustic guitar a thing or two. Richard Gilman-Opalsky on drums was impressive, too. The entire evening was a fierce refreshing and gentle rain on a hot summer evening. At times I looked behind me because I thought the shaking and pounding floor was someone approaching me. This was a happy thing. In fact I was smiling as if on a roller coaster -- where at its loudest I would bet not even the most heavy metal magnet could have imagined the rush.

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See that guy engrossed in his bass? That's Albert Wildeman. He's played with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, Frank Rosaly, Tim Daisy, among others. He's also the tallest bass player I've ever seen, which might give him an advantage with his instrument. I pondered that last night. He was playing that thing like Robin Hood played the tax man and his band of merry men and Maid Marian. He had a pouch on the front of the bass to quickly place his bow when he wanted to pound, stroke or pluck the strings, and I kept seeing Robin Hood with a bow and arrow giving, giving and giving to the audience. Albert and Lucas Collins were the two visiting musicians from Chicago. Lucas equally maneuvered the drums. He might be surprised to know I liked when he voiced these indescribable sounds that were a perfect addition to the crescendos. I was quite taken by them as they slipped in the music. So nice to have the traveling duo slip into Springfield. Hopefully they enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed meeting and hearing them. Mark Schwartz said that The Pharmacy's acoustics were some of the best in town. I'd be curious as to their experience.

So now folks, onto Friday night. Won't you join me at Marly's from 6-8 p.m. as Frank Trompeter presents Jazz Happy Hour featuring 16mm "Film Treatments" and 35mm Slidefilms. We like happy! The rest of the weekend itinerary is in my last post. Hope to see you at all the gatherings, loyal Illinois Times fans.

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