The telepathic trio of keyboardist Angelica Sanchez, saxophonist Tony Malaby & drummer Tom Rainey make their long-awaited return to Greenwich House to kick off 2020 and the eighth year of the Sound It Out series. Angie will bring along her funky Wurlitzer electric keyboard to evoke the two fantastic live albums the trio made 15 years ago, “Alive in Brooklyn, Vols. 1 & 2,” unsung classics of buzzing, riveting improvisation that All About Jazz rightly hailed as “exuberant and enthralling.”
This double-bill presents two of Sound It Out’s favorite guitarists: Mike Baggetta and Nick Millevoi. Mike returns to the series to lead his atmospheric trio featuring bass guitarist Jerome Harris and drummer Billy Mintz. Wilco guitar hero Nels Cline has hailed Mike as “a guitar-poet,” while The New York Times has said: “Mike Baggetta makes stealthy, mysterious music… He’s trying to do something personal with improvisation without ever getting in the way of beauty.” The trio’s “Spectre” album is a rare gem. Doing double-duty, Mike will also be opening up the night in a duo with Nick Millevoi, another six-string individualist who has rocked Greenwich House on numerous occasions. NPR has described Nick’s guitar in full flight as “like a rocket darting skyward between clouds.”
Jeff Davis – “a drummer and composer of sure footing but adventurous inclination,” according to the New York Times – returns to Sound It Out to present his new electro-acoustic quintet The Fastness, featuring Tony Malaby (tenor & soprano saxophones), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Russ Lossing (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ) and Eivind Opsvik (double-bass). These longtime kindred spirits will be celebrating the release of their first album together, “The Fastness” (Fresh Sound). It’s a record of kaleidoscopic dynamism, spanning Jeff’s influences from the Tony Williams Lifetime (“Go Away Glasses”) to Radiohead (“Wednesday Shirt”) to Morton Feldman (“Two Ones”).
Guitarist Brandon Ross – one of Sound It Out’s favorite artists and a musician whom the Paris Review called “a one-man atmosphere factory” – returns to the series as part of a new, free-spirited cooperative trio: Breath of Air, also featuring exciting electric violinist Charlie Burnham and drummer Warren Benbow. Charlie and Warren will be making their debuts in the series, with Breath of Air playing two full sets. Brandon, Charlie and Warren have worked in recent years with the likes of Harriet Tubman, Henry Threadgill, Cassandra Wilson, Arto Lindsay, Wadada Leo Smith, The String Trio of New York and James “Blood” Ulmer’s Odyssey Band.
In this outstanding double-bill, rising-star trumpeter Jaimie Branch and drummer Jason Nazary will both be making their Sound It Out debuts via their forward-minded electro-duo Anteloper, which sees them doubling on synths. DownBeat described Anteloper’s debut album, “Kudu,” as having “an urban sonic edge complemented by plenty of melodic-textural hooks,” while the Chicago Reader noted the duo’s strong “pop drive.” Jason — who is as adept with free-spirited jazz and avant-rock as he is with edgy electronics — will be doing double-duty on the night, not only performing with Jaimie in Anteloper but also playing drums in a new trio with guitarist Ryan Ferreira and alto saxophonist Nathaniel Morgan. Nathaniel is a venturesome Brooklyn instrumentalist-composer-engineer, while Ryan is known for, among other things, playing on two lauded ECM albums by the expanded edition of Tim Berne’s hit Snakeoil band, “Incidentals” and “You’ve Been Watching Me.”