Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Better Get Hit in Your Soul

Well here it is! The last two and a half weeks have been busy, busy, busy rehearsing with Calgary's Decidedly Jazz Danceworks company, putting together the pieces for Kimberly Cooper's latest creation: "Better Get Hit in Your Soul: Dances Inspired by The Music, Life and Times of Charles Mingus".

The show features a cast of seven very talented dancers with a three piece band (with yours truly on drums) and the production uses music that spans over the course of Mingus' career including pieces such as "Haitian Fight Song", "Tonight at Noon", "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" and selections from his epic through-composed compositions "Epitaph" and "The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady" among others.

Cooper has done a masterful job of choreographing some very challenging movement to Mingus' music while at the same time capturing the spirit and depths of his giant personality. The dancers are rising to the challenge every night and raising the bar for all of us. It's very exciting to be a part of such a creative project like this, done at such a high level. I like to think that Mingus would have been impressed and enjoyed what Kim has done with his music.

It's also been a great opportunity for me to get deeper inside the music of Mingus and, in particular, the drumming of Dannie Richmond (who's contributions are very underrated in my opinion...). To say I've been getting a workout on my uptempos and fast 3/4 grooves would be an understatement!

We even got a stellar review in the Calgary Herald:

Here's a taste of the show!

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