DATE: SATURDAY, december 1
TIME: 8:00 P.M.
TICKETS: $18 ($15 for students & seniors)
Ever-evolving drummer-composer Devin Gray – who played the second show in the Sound It Out series back in 2012 and has returned many times since as a leader and sideman – will be celebrating the release of the sophomore album by his all-star quartet Dirigo Rataplan, featuring trumpeter Dave Ballou, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin & bassist Michael Formanek. Writing about Devin’s first album with Dirigo Rataplan, Jazzwise magazine said: “A musician-drummer rather than a drummer-drummer, Gray is interested in making music that is deeply evocative… shaped by a fizzing, often restless push-pull energy.”
About the evolution of Dirigo Rataplan and his writing for the band, Gray says: “I’ve become more at ease with following my natural artistic impulses. The experiences I’ve had over the past six years have been so inspiring – in the intense, ultra-energized New York jazz scene, of course, but also in Europe, where players in improvised music are so open to different genres and have this holistic approach to art and creativity. Coming back to Dirigo, the guys and I have some history together now, having played a lot more gigs. The band is even more sympathetic to my writing and that overall approach, as well as more comfortable playing off each other. Mike, Dave and Ellery are still such heroes of mine – my respect for them as musicians, mentors and men is boundless. They can play anything – they can swing, they can read, they can play free, all day long – so it remains a great challenge for me to challenge them, to spur their creativity. The way they respond thrills me.”