July 6, 2012
Cornelia Street Cafe
Mark Helias - The Parlance of our Times
Mark Helias, bass; Tim Berne, alto saxophone, Kirk Knuffke, trumpet; Mark Ferber, drums. This is a new line-up with longtime colleague Tim Berne. The notes say “the music explores the lexicon of composition and improvisation.” Another good night of music by great musicians. They did as they said, combining compositions and improvisation beautifully. I particularly liked how they played together as a quartet but then as duos and trios always changing the combinations. Helias and Ferber together were quite amazing. Tim and Kirk, virtuosic players, continued in that vein. They didn’t announce who the composers of each piece were but they played “Sequestered,” Waltz for Thursday Face,” “Speed Kills” where the sax and trumpet actually played in unison for a bit and Mark had a fabulous solo turn. The final piece for this set was, “ Land’s End.” This one I assume is by Helias as he said it was inspired by his grandfather who came from Land’s End in France. This is an older piece (1984) and was recorded on his first album.