Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sitting In With Burnt Sugar

Real Art Ways

Hartford, CT

Following the topic of having fun close to home, I recently had the opportunity to sit in with Burnt Sugar at Real Art Ways, thanks to a generous invitation from Greg Tate, who leads the ensemble.

Greg employs Butch Morris’ Conduction methodology, but manages to put his own distinctive spin on the technique. Most notable is Greg’s passion (obsession) for/with rhythm. He often builds from the ground up, employing bass and drum grooves as the foundation for his musical house. Greg is also more open-handed (minimalist) in his direction of the music. This may, in part, be due to the family model he employs with Burnt Sugar. This is a working band (that may contract or expand in size) with a solid center of well-trained players: a rarity these days.

Rather than pull me up at a moments notice to solo, Mr. Tate allowed me to stand in the section for the entire evening. What I dug most was finally getting to play alongside Lewis Barnes, a gentleman and trumpet stalwart for many of William Parkers groups.

The house at RAW was packed, as is usual on Creative Cocktail evenings, and I/we had a ball!

Photos by Steven Laschever

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