Mutual Aid Project Trio: Creative improvisational music
SF Local Music Examiners
October 7th, 2010
“. . . The best image I can think of is the formation of Voltron which is exactly how we get down,” Marshall Trammell, drummer for Mutual Aid Project Trio, explained with fervor when questioned about creative improvisational music. Like jazz or free jazz, creative music is a contemporary musical genre deeply rooted in working class communities. Creative improvisational music, however, defies traditional conventions of music-making. Trammell elaborated: . . . [It] is simultaneously metaphysical and hyper-real, gratifying and cathartic, and synergetic.”
Mutual Aid Project Trio is a Bay Area based collective comprised of Trammell, Tracy Hui (guitar/objects), and Nick Obando (tenor/alto saxophone). Trammell began this collective out of his deep need for his art and life’s work to be a part of social justice movements in his surrounding communities. He is a student of Afro-Cuban and Haitian drumming styles. Through his drumming teacher, Trammell met a prolific Haitian drummer from New York City who worked with Obando. At the time, Obando already was in a duo with Hui. However, Trammell soon joined them to start "something fresh" - the Mutual Aid Project Trio.
Currently, Mutual Aid Project Trio is working on its website and press kit to line up future gigs in the Bay Area and beyond. In the following months, it has booked studio time to record album. It intends to free record produced from site-specific recordings in favorite places/parks in Oakland.
Mutual Aid Project is the opening act for Rent Romus and Lords of Outland on Saturday, October 9th at Musicians Union Hall (9th and Mission) at 8:00PM.
The Lords of Outland were preceded by Mutual Aid Project Trio, a trio consisting of Trammel (drums), Tracy Hui (guitar/objects) and Nick Obando (tenor/alto saxophone). The set opened very quietly, with just tongue noises on the saxophone, moving flutter tonguing and whistle tones. Hui joined in with threaded metal bowls on top of his guitar. The overall effect was very computer-music like, even though no computers were involved, with the sound moving between very inharmonic metallic and major arpeggios. Gradually, the music moved to loud tonal notes on the saxophone and free sound picking on the guitar, and eventually the drums as well. There was a moment which reminded me a a lot of a version of Summertime from one an Elvin Jones CD that I have in my regular rotation (enough to mention it here). The music eventually become more active, moving into a more rhythmic jazz fell, even frenetic. Then back into a quiet section with just cymbals and saxophone.
The middle of the set featured a Haitian chant “for all families to come together”, a positive and supportive sentiment, particular for a country that has been through so much tragedy this year.
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