Matt Lavelle & Reggie Sylvester's Retrograde (trumpet and drums)
This Humidity: Marihito Ayabe, synthesizer; Steve Holtje, electric keyboard; Jochem van Dijk, electric bass and effects; Reggie Sylvester, drums
Matt Lavelle and Reggie Sylvester, New York avant-jazz scene veterans and longtime cohorts in the Bern Nix Quartet, perform in duo for their Retrograde project, an audacious extension of Interstellar Space, John Coltrane's classic duo album with drummer Rashied Ali. Visiting destinations overlooked on Trane's tour of the solar system, they craft a space suite of earthier delights. Their CD of the suite, also named Retrograde, was released earlier this year by ESP-Disk'.
Trumpeter/alto clarinetist Matt Lavelle (b. 1970) studied with avant-jazz icon Ornette Coleman and swing-era veteran Hildred Humphries (Count Basie, Billie Holiday), has worked with William Parker, Bern Nix, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Jemeel Moondoc, Mat Maneri, Matana Roberts, Rashied Bakr, and folk/American improv ensemble Stars Like Fleas, etc. He collaborated with ESP fave Giuseppi Logan on the latter's late-in-life comeback and was in three of Sabir Mateen's bands for a total of ten years. Lavelle leads a variety of groups, most notably The 12 Houses, an all-star avant big band.
Drummer Reggie Sylvester (b. 1957) was a member of the early Black Rock Coalition of the mid-1980s and played with the BRC Orchestra. In For/Against Babylon and its instrumental offshoot Trio from Beyond, he opened for Blues Traveller, Spin Doctors, Ginger Baker's Middle Passage Band (album produced by Bill Laswell), and Raging Slab at Wetlands. In April 2012, he became a member of the Bern Nix Quartet, playing all their shows until Nix's death in 2017 and on their 2013 album Negative Capability. Sylvester currently co-leads avant-pop/folk group the Human Hearts Trio with singer-songwriter Lindsey Wilson and bassist Michael Trotman, a band that sometimes includes multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter. Sylvester was commissioned by Patricia Nicholson Parker to compose and perform I Know Your Face with Wilson, Carter, Nix, and bassist Francois Grillot at the Arts for Art festival Justice Is Compassion.
Caterpillar Quartet offshoot This Humidity combines Krautrock textures with free improvisation. Formed this September, This Humidity blasts off into the cosmos powered by the grooves of Reggie Sylvester (see above).
Caterpillar Quartet co-founder Jochem van Dijk has composed music and played bass guitar in New York since 2008. Jochem has shared the stage with Fay Victor, Marvin Sewell, Daniel Carter, Darius Jones, Jeremy Carlstedt, Federico Ughi, Michael ‘TA’ Thompson, Ras Moshe, Anders Nilsson, Nick Didkovsky, and more. His latest release is Sandbox (2018), a duo with bassoonist Maribel Suarez Alonso.
Steve Holtje (electric keyboards) founded Theoretical Mustache, out of which Caterpillar Quartet grew. He composed soundtracks for Bystander (2006) and A Man Full of Days (2015). His day job is managing ESP-Disk’.
Marihito Ayabe, on modular synth and keyboards, is the multi-talented man behind projects including Loop Diaries, Helio Parallax, and Chimp Beams as well as the cassette tape label Personal Affair, which has been licensing classic ESP-Disk’ albums and releasing them on tapes.
Buy tickets here: