Posts Tagged ‘Curt Newton’

Driff Records: Making a Case

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014


Matchbox: Pandelis Karayorgis, Nate McBride, Jorrit Dijkstra, and Curt Newton performing at the LilyPad in Cambridge, MA on June 4, 2014.

If there is strength in numbers, Driff Records is taking a stand against the general indifference with which improvised music is met in the Boston area. That is not say that there are no enthusiastic supporters of the music here, but over the last couple of years a stack of recordings on the relatively new label—often local artists working with musicians from other cities in the U.S. or Europe—is asking the world to pay more attention. In fact, the albums are a public statement about connections and sympathies that have existed for years.

The label was founded in 2012 by musicians Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis in 2012 to release “transatlantic” improvised music. They are both from Europe, so the emphasis on music with feet on both sides of the “pond” should come as no surprise.

On Friday, July 18, the Second Annual Driff Fest (and CD release party) at the Lilypad in Cambridge will be featuring many of the bands on the label: Matchbox, Bolt, Tony Malaby, and the Driff Large Ensemble. That translates to many of the best improvisers in Boston. For more information, check their website. You have your marching orders.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

After a wonderful evening of listening to free improvisation at the Outpost in Cambridge last night, I took part in a discussion about the phrase “you have to learn the rules before you break them.” It was agreed that it was a relatively meaningless phrase. However, the beauty of the music that proceeded the discussion showed that certain rules were indeed in play. Perhaps a better way to describe it is that they all shared a language that allowed everyone there to mine possibilities and construct some rather varied “instant compositions” without unintentionally stepping on the feet of the other musicians. I say unintentionally because there was some rather purposeful stomping going on. I guess the idea is that you have to know which rules are in play to take advantage of them, because—whether you like or not—there are always rules.