FLUID COMPOSITIONS: When I asked improvisatory jazz drummer Vijay Anderson about any unconquered musical frontiers, he quoted the great Ornette Coleman. “Music is not a style; it is an idea, and there are as many ideas in the world as there are stars in the universe, and they are all in your head,” he said. Anderson added: “With that in mind, I think the possibilities are endless.”
When he and music partner Hafez Modirzadeh play The Piano Kitchen (430 Rose Ave.) on Sunday, July 10, at 7 p.m., expect endless and unexpected possibilities as the drum-saxophone duo engages in freely fluid musical dialogue. The two have gained acclaim in jazz circles for their boldly inventive and completely unbounded musical discourse, which touches on traditions of global jazz motifs in untraditional ways.
The two are noted figures in Bay Area jazz, which, though lacking in the deep history of New York or Chicago, nevertheless enjoys an eclectic, intergenerational exchange between creative musicians pushing the genre forward in new ways, says Anderson. As a freelance drummer, he has built a reputation for original and dynamic rhythms, while Modirzadeh is both an acclaimed innovator and researcher, currently holding a professorship in creative music studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU).
The two met when Anderson was a student of Modirzadeh’s while an undergrad at SFSU. They became reacquainted two years ago and realized there was a strong connection, with both preferring to travel open-endedly upon jazzy roads of uncharted and unpredictable nature. “Vijay is one of the most original drummers to come around these parts in a long time,” Modirzadeh said. “His is a singular voice on his instrument, pared down, honest, with an extensive dynamic range.”
The two do acknowledge the importance of structure in music, and their floating improvisations often build from firm foundations. “Whether the music is composed or improvised, there are always some elements of structure. I am a big fan of theme and variation and feel there are always different elements of control going on,” Anderson said. “There is structure throughout, with fluidity being more the goal than any sort of rigidity,” Modirzadeh added.
The two are thoroughly excited about the upcoming Piano Kitchen show, which, with its painted vistas of blue skies, will be a fittingly expansive space for their ever-advancing musical frontiers.
PARTY OVER HERE, PARTY OVER THERE: Summer is certainly in full swing, despite any lingering tendrils of gray and gloom that smother our seaside town. With a few days of recovery time from recent patriotic partying, it’s time to raise a glass to the occasion of the day and party all over again.
Tonight on Thursday, July 7, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club celebrates the coronation of a brand-new patio with special summertime cocktails, smokin’ good food, and games galore, like darts, giant Jenga, corn hole, and ladderball. The all-ages event will be a very fun way to feel the love for one of S.B.’s favorite music venues (1221 State St., 6:30pm).
On Saturday, July 9, help Ricardo celebrate his birthday with some of the most punk partiers around, when SoCal bands Ill Repute, Boxheads, Unit-F, and Propaganda of the Dead host an all-ages gig for the birthday boy, whomever he may be. Oxnard’s Ill Repute and S.B.’s Boxheads are two of the longer-standing punk acts in our area, having torn it up since the 1980s as a foundational cornerstone in the hardcore California style known as nardcore — children of the time may remember La Casa de la Raza as S.B.’s nardcore nest. No one can hold a candle to Boxheads’ funny and slightly worrying press-release manifesto, which makes them seem like the hardcore punk equivalent of an Animal House rager. Just don’t fall asleep during their set (423 State St., 8:30pm).