Festival Night At The Knitting Factory
In a quirky old windowless building on a side street in Tribeca, a downtown neighborhood being renovated by artists, resides the high temple of avant-garde music in the United States, and, as such, a holy place of bohemia as well. Here, the music is not polite; the feeling is conspiratorial; the employees look as casual as everyone else. This is what New York bohos love--the feeling of being in on something the bourgeoise would never, could never, dig. With avant-garde music, this is a guarantee.
Joe likes to compare it to abstract art. "I play abstract music," he said to a painter friend of mine.
Mary-Noelle Dana, Empress of
Festivities at The
Stairway from the main entrance with
the box office
Today, Joe's ensemble, The Rainforest Initiative, delivered the goods during the third night of the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, in the Main Space of the Knitting Factory. I arrived during the last hour of their rehearsal on the afternoon of the show.
Rehearsal in The Main Space--an
Laughing together: That's Marcio Mattos
with the bass, Charles Austin, next to his saxophone,
After the rehearsal, Joe and I taxi'd
over to Bleeker Street for dinner at
When we returned, a crowd had lined up at the box office.
Nels Cline and his quartet, including
Zeena Parkins on concert and Celtic harps
In the dressing room--four of the
greatest living saxophone players:
The opening chant: Lei'ohu Ryder, in
the yellow drape,
The whole ensemble plays an
At the end, they all played together
again, and then Lei'ohu and Mahalani
After the band took a bow, composer and
bandleader Joe Gallivan
Every seat was filled; every listener,
ecstatic, most especially the staff of the Knitting
After midnight began a jam session
hosted by a surprise guest,