Wednesday, July 17, 2013

jarrett/peacock/dejohnette trio -- venice

At the Teatro la Fenice:  
The show was a form of perfection, some of which was exquisitely moving -- especially in the ballad context where, unlike in a club or a rock show, there was NO crowd noise (think church, or quieter, if possible) and you hear all the nuance and delicacy.  In the normal "standards" setting this perfection got . . . boring . . . or at least un-riveting.  It did not move your soul, but I that's your problem.  Little "free jazz" improv; maybe a couple segments by Jarrett, who had his back to the audience the whole time.  Two sets, 45 minutes each. The sets mimic each other: a mildly swinging tune gives way to upbeat gives way to ballad.  The occasional drum or bass solo.  Rinse and repeat. Jarrett changes from red shirt to blue shirt for second set. Sitting in a box with Phillip and Rebecca.  They have the back two of the four seats in the box.  You stand.  No alcohol, no drinks, no nothing but the wonderful architectural ambience.  The couple in front of you doesn't return for the second set; neither do P&R -- they had a dinner rez.  You have your own personal box for the set. As "experience" (cool theater, Venice, lucking into the show, the shock of "the new" [or old]), it is exceptional.  The theater: beautiful, seating maybe 1,000.  Sound: perfect. Not a bad seat in the 5-tiered house, except . . . the seats closest to the stage?!

Picture a horseshoe with the stage at the open end.  As the ends of each side of the shoe bend toward each other, the sight lines of the box seats begin to turn away from the stage.  It looks pretty conceptually, but is ergonomically vexing if you're toward the "end" of either side of the shoe.  "Craning your neck" accurately describes the sensation, and if you were in the back two seats in the boxes closest the stage, you could only see maybe a third of the action.  The band being toward the middle to rear of the stage didn't help.

(   Fuggedaboutit if you're in the back two seats of the room in boxes 1 - 7 and 29 - 35.  Pay attention to the angle of the outline, not the diagonal lines of the boxes; that is the actual sightline.)

They requested no pictures "so the musicians could play their best music."  Ahem.  You break the law:

p.s.  Improv moment.  They all come out at the start of the show and take their positions.  Applause.  Jarrett walks off stage; comes back with dark (sun?) glasses on.  Applause.  He deadpans to the audience (the only time he spoke directly to you) without a mic (and you could hear him clearly on the back row: acoustics!):  "This is the first time my glasses ever got applause."

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