Thursday October 4, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- On Friday, Open Music Collective will present the Michael Formanek Quartet at 7:30 p.m., in the Cotton Mill. This will be a part of a worldwide tour for the release of the new CD "Small Places" under the ECM label.

"Small Places" is double bassist/composer Michael Formanek’s follow-up to "The Rub and Spare Change," his widely lauded ECM debut as a leader. That 2010 release garnered a rare five-star review in DownBeat magazine, while The New York Times described the disc as being "graceful in its subversions, often even sumptuous." The review in Progression perhaps puts it best: "This type of listening experience, dense yet luminiferous, treads the tightrope between cerebral and streetwise in a damn cool way."

The new album features the same powerhouse band of long-time confreres, with Formanek in telepathic league with saxophonist Tim Berne, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver. The music in "Small Places" is earthy yet atmospheric, It is very 21st-century American jazz, brimming with piquant riffs and muscular ostinatos, rich in melodic possibility and the sound of surprise.

Formanek’s singular approach to the acoustic bass has led to an impressive range of musical associations. During his 30-plus year career, he has played or recorded with Elvis Costello, Tim Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Mingus Big Band, Attila Zoller, Gunther Schuller, Dave Burrell, Joe Lovano and many others.

Composition also plays a significant role in Formanek’s musical profile, and four albums of his original music have been released to critical acclaim on the Enja label.

Formanek received Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant for 2000-2001 to compose a new piece for the Tim Berne/Michael Formanek Duo, which was recently performed in Philadelphia as part of the Chamber Music America Encore program for 2007. Formanek was commissioned to compose a piece for the 150th anniversary of the Peabody Conservatory. The piece, "The Open Book," for jazz soloists with orchestra, was premiered at Peabody in February of 2007, and featured members of the Peabody Jazz Orchestra and the Peabody Concert Orchestra led by Hajime Teri Murai.

Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students. For information, call 802-254-5054 or e-mail info@openmusiccollective.org for reservations.