CoPAC and the Shaking Ray Levi Society will present the Founding Fathers of American Free Improv: Jack Wright, Davey Williams, Bob Stagner and Evan Lipsonon Tuesday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. at Barking Legs Theater. Tickets are $10 in advance and at the door.
Review for Founding Fathers of American Free Improv:
Alto and soprano saxophonist Jack Wright is a sax titan with a career that spans five decades in the world of free improvisation. He has a command of the sax that is at the top of his field with a passionate, kinetic playing style and a huge sound vocabulary.
Davey Williams is one of the most unique musical figures to have ever come from the state of Alabama. Considered one of the "three founding fathers of American free improvisational guitar" (along with Henry Kaiser and Eugene Chadbourne), he is the only person to ever successfully - and honestly - bridge the gap between the disparate worlds of Robert Johnson and Sun Ra. As a 19-year-old protege of the late Delta and Chicago blues master Johnny Shines (himself a protege of Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf), Davey mastered the slide steel stylings of his teacher and expounded on the form by taking the blues in directions few knew it could go or dare try. Dubbing his style "convulsive blues," he has quietly blown minds around the world through his unique deployment of old-school form and new school technique.
Evan Lipson has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. Drawn towards aberrant perspectives at an early age, his formative experiences were primarily rooted in extreme and often discordant forms of rock, improvised music, modernist composition, jazz, outsider pop, soundtracks, and noise. Lipson is currently active with Normal Love and WREST. Recently, he has written music for several films as well as a new collaboration with David Greenberger, Amanda Cagle, and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. Past units include Satanized, Dynamite Club, Psychotic Quartet, Femme Tops and the Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson has performed throughout North America, as well as Brazil, Taiwan and Japan. His music has been released on several imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, Caminante, New Atlantis and Damage Rituals.
Bob Stagner is the only artist to have ever performed with both Dolly Parton and Derek Bailey. He is a percussionist, teacher, speaker and leader in arts advocacy for over 25 years. He co-founded the free improvisation duo, The Shaking Ray Levis, and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, an arts education organization that supports emerging artists in performance, art and film. He is the Southeast director of The Rhythmic Arts Project that provides music workshops for people with physical and mental disabilities. He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Derek Bailey, Rev. Howard Finster, Wayne White, Bob Dorough, Fred Frith, Min Tanaka, Amy Denio, Shelley Hirsch, and John Zorn.