Of the many contexts in which Douglas Ewart has appeared, the Clarinet Choir is probably my favorite: his concepts seem more concentrated, and the limitations of the format–the choir usually includes four to seven clarinets and no other instruments–paradoxically nudge his compositional skills to another level. What’s more, Ewart himself is one of the unsung masters of the bass clarinet, and he attacks the format with a gusto and scope beyond the efforts of other such ensembles. This edition of the choir boasts a fairly unbeatable lineup: Edward Wilkerson, Mwata Bowden (who does most of the clarinet work in Wilkerson’s Eight Bold Souls), and Joseph Jarman (of the Art Ensemble of Chicago). To top it off, the choir will be joined by trombonist/composer George Lewis, bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, and vocalists Rita Warford and G’Ra. Sunday, 7 PM, Getz Theater, 72 E. 11th; 445-8356. (The Art Ensemble, as well as a quartet led by Henry Threadgill and Adegoke Steve Colson, will also appear on this program, which concludes the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians 25th Anniversary Festival; other activities include midnight jam sessions at Southend Musicworks and a Saturday-afternoon panel discussion at Columbia College on the A.A.C.M.’s place in 20th-century music.)
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lauren Deutsch.