Last night Matt and I went to see Justin Mullens’ Delphian Jazz Orchestra at the Bowery Poetry club. It was an awesome show, I wish I hadn’t missed the first two numbers. It’s a traditional big band setup, but they play music that does a lot of my favorite things. Individual songs change style frequently. There’s a great groove, but it’s always shifting, either when they play a waltz with no drums or when the drummer plays some sort of samba rhythm and keeps switching up what he’s playing it on. The harmonies are dense, rich, lush, and crunchy.
The highlight of the night was the last song called “S’latch” which was played in accompaniment to a video put together by the bari player, Matt Cowan. The video was made up of clips from “Land of the Lost”, a campy 70s TV show, featuring claymation dinosaurs, people in ape suits, and “aliens” with giant gem-like eyes. The best special effect had to be when the characters were supposed to be plummeting down some sort of bottomless pit, but it was clear that they were actually sitting on the floor wriggling their arms and legs. Cowan didn’t have to do much to make the show completely ridiculous, but he did a good job of splicing various scenes together with iMovie. The music was superbly synched with the video on a fine temporal level as well as an emotional level, which was doubly amazing since the band members seemed hardly to pay any attention to it.