Uri Caine Trio
Thursday, March 12th, 8 p.m.| Morris Graves Museum of Art
"Uri Caine is a monster improviser and an exceptionally sophisticated arranger."
—Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
"Caine clearly ranks among the first tier of contemporary pianists…who are defining what modern jazz should be."
—Mark Sabbatini, All About Jazz
Uri Caine may be the only musician on the planet who has collaborated with both Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (of hip-hop band The Roots) and the Cleveland Orchestra, and even that only hints at his extraordinarily eclectic range and depth. His extensive discography now totals 20 albums and includes recordings dedicated to solo piano, Tin Pan Alley, Jewish traditions and electro-acoustic grooves.
But Caine may be best known for his reimaginings of the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, and Mozart. These wildly inventive adaptations have employed everything from jazz improvisers, Baroque instrumentalists and a string quartet to a cantor, a turntablist and traditional Chinese musicians. They've been widely praised by both classical and jazz critics: his 1997 album Urlicht/Primal Light won the International Mahler society's "Best CD of the Year" award, and his latest, The Othello Syndrome (based on Verdi's "Otello") snagged a Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Crossover." “I think the idea of taking a preexisting form and transforming it through group improvisation can be done with any music,” says Caine. ''I'm coming at classical compositions from the jazz perspective, where you take a standard and somehow transform it in the way Charlie Parker would work with an Irving Berlin song.''
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Caine came of musical age playing piano with hard bop greats like drummer "Philly Joe" Jones and saxophonist Hank Mobley. As a composition student at the University of Pennsylvania, he developed his love of the Western classical tradition. When he moved to New York, he soon fell in with other leading-edge jazz musicians such as Dave Douglas, John Zorn and Don Byron.
Caine has received commissions from the Vienna Volksoper, The Seattle Chamber Players, Relache, The Beaux Arts Trio, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Köln and the American Composers Orchestra. He was Director of the Venice Biennale for Music in 2003, and for the past three years he has been composer in residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
In his trio, whose members have played together on and off for the past 20 years, Caine practices yet another musical style in which he's deeply rooted: modern, acoustic, straight-ahead jazz. (In last year's DownBeat Critics' Poll, Caine finished just one vote behind his idol Herbie Hancock in the "Best Keyboard Player" category.) But like the rest of his music, his work with piano trio both honors and reinterprets the tradition, using familiar standards and his own originals as springboards for surprising and adventurous improvisations. All About Jazz called the group's signature album Live at the Village Vanguard "relentlessly inventive...a masterwork from a pianist at the very top of his game."
Bassist Drew Gress is a respected leader in his own right who has also served as a sideman for musicians like Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Marc Copland, Fred Hersch and John Hollenbeck. His album 7 Black Butterflies landed on a slew of "Best of 2005" lists.Ben Perowsky's drumming has been heard with everyone from Rickie Lee Jones and James Moody to John Zorn and John Cale. He also leads several groups of his own.
Tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here at our website, or at People's Records and The Works. Seating will be limited; we recommend early arrival!
Uri Caine will also present a FREE public workshop entitled "Variations and Improvisation" on Friday morning, March 13th at 10:00 on the stage of Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus.
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Additional support for this show comes from The Arcata Eye, Libation Wine Shop & Wine Bar, Renaissance Internet, Diane Sharples Taxes & Consulting, and Sushi Spot. Friday's free public workshop is made possible through the generosity of HSU's Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.