Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dottie Grossman and Michael Vlatkovich Collaborate on Word and Music Project

Dottie Grossman puts together short prosaic poems dealing with Zen-like slices of everyday life, friendships and day-to-day reflections on it all. Michael Vlatkovich is a noted trombonist-bandleader in the avant improvisation realm. The two have collaborated on a CD project that alternates Dottie's short poems with equally short improvisations by Michael's quintet. Call and Response and Friends (pfMentum 060) is the intriguing result.

Each segment lasts from one to two minutes, Dottie then quintet in alternation. The constantly refocused, straightforward yet cognitively labyrinthine prose-poetry recitations set up an expectation that is realized in equally varied musical comments by the group. There is freedom; there is focus.

It works completely because Ms. Grossman and the Vlatkovich conflagration are well attuned to one another. Something like this could quickly become pretentious, over-reaching, self-affirming in a kind of conceited aren't-we-artists sort of way. The fact that it all is most certainly NOT has to do with the unprepossessing and almost casual (deceptively perhaps) image-weaving that takes place between the two creative forces.

It is NOT an uneasy melding of prose-poem and jazz. It is an EASY one. Very much recommended.

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