With a film by Robert Longo: Pictures for Music (1979)
28 January 2007
Electric guitars:
Rhys Chatham
David Daniell (San Agustin, Essentialist)
Chris Cretella (Goose Lane)
Michael Pellegrino (Lord Fowl)
Steven Ross (Humanoid)
Matt Wilson (Titles)
Electric bass: Vechel Jaynes (Lord Fowl)
Drums: Dave Parmelee (The Vultures)
Tour recording engineer: Eric Block (Semaphore Recording Studio)
Tour manager: Regina Greene of Front Porch Productions
Produced by Rick Omonte and Front Porch Productions
We rolled into town with David Daniell, myself, Regina Greene of Front Porch Productions who was acting as tour manager, and Eric Block, our recordist. This is the second time that I have played at Bar, and I must say both times were fantastic experiences for me. The first time was last March with the band Essentialist, and for the current show, Regina had asked the booking person at the bar, Rick Omonte, to put together a group of musicians from the area of New Haven to play Guitar Trio (G3), and what a group they were!
But first, a bit about the Bar...
In fact, Bar is a brewery, they make their own beer. You go into the front entrance and there is a hallway. To the right is a two-level restaurant, with everything softly lit and exquisitely done in wood. On the third floor is the office and an area where musicians can hang out and relax. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, particularly where various types of beer are concerned, and the kitchen staff is fantastic! A lot of them are also musicians and artists of various persuasions. So if you find yourself in New Haven, be sure to check this place out.
To left of the entrance is a large, high-ceiling square-shaped room tastefully done in warm colors. This is where the serious drinking is done and there is a pool table at one end of the room. If you happen to continue through the hallway at the end of the room where the pool table is, you will arrive in another large space, which is in the shape of an almost perfect box. This room is used for special events and is equipped with its own bar. And it is in this room that Rick Omonte books his bands on Sunday nights, in effect, the room where G3 was to be played that night!
Rick has been booking this room for a number of years now. New Haven's Play Magazine did a preview of our G3 performance for that night and pretty much said it all: “... it is actually pretty amazing what Bar's booker has done for the local scene, he has time and again brought some of the most compelling and artful performers to town with little recognition for his perseverance.” So let's have a big hand for Rick!!
When we arrived, David and I greeted the local musicians and began to set up our amps.
David and I have been working together right from the start of my reinsertion into America last March (I live in France and hadn't been back to the States in quite a long time). For the G3 tour, David had the responsibility of being a kind of concertmaster. Since the idea of this tour was to play with a new group of musicians in each city, we felt it would be more comfortable for all concerned if there were at least one other musician besides myself who had already played G3. Too, I have been known in performances to sometimes have “out-of-body experiences,” that is to say, I sometimes get more into the performance aspect of things. So it was agreed that another one of David's musical responsibilities would be to hold the band together when I am otherwise occupied during the performances.
After the initial introductions with the local musicians, we were soon sound checking. Now this was the second city we played in on the G3 tour. In the first city, Brooklyn, I was playing with people I had known for many years. New Haven was the first city where I was working with new friends. So we had no indication as to whether this was going to work well or not.
As it happened, all the musicians from New Haven either already knew G3 or had listened carefully to the Table of the Elements recording as well as having studied the score to G3 carefully.
Man, were they prepared!
Dave Parmelee hit the drums HARD, yet at the same time poetically. Vechel Jaynes added a bass line that no one had ever used before. What most bass players do is simply cop the lick used on the record. Vechel came up with his own line, it was more legato. David was saying to me later in the tour van that he found that Veekel's playing was rock solid in addition to being lyrical.
When we first played G3 in the seventies, it took the original guitarists in the band (Nina Canal of Ut and Glenn Branca of the Static) a bit of time to get used to the idea of playing a tune where the entire melodic content was COMPLETELY the overtones generated by the E string of the electric guitar. This was not the case with guitarists Chris Cretella (Goose Lane), Michael Pellegrino (Lord Fowl), Steven Ross (Humanoid) and Matt Wilson (Titles). After reviewing the overall form of the piece, these guys were altering the overall wave shape of the sound like master acousticians. They were monsters and we had a blast.
G3 was warmly received by the full house we had in the room. We even did a short encore!
Luckily, we had ace sound engineer Eric Block recording everything that transpired on a beautiful 12-track Pro-Tools recording, so the magic of New Haven on this fabulous Sunday night has been captured for prosperity.
Standing from left to right: Chris Cretella, Vechel Jaynes, Dave Parmelee, David Daniell. Kneeling from left to right: Matt Wilson, Rick Omonte, Michael Pellegrino, Stephen Ross. In front: Rhys © Rhys Chatham
G3 performance at the Bar