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New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

Robert Glasper

The Knit was humming with nonstop activity for more than seven consecutive hours in all three spaces as the second annual NYC Winter Jazzfest rolled on from 6 p.m. till past 1 a.m., giving downtown music regulars and out-of-towners attending the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference quite an earful of alternative sounds.

Guitarist Goran Ivanovic opened the proceedings in the Mainspace with his compelling hybrid of Balkan jazz blended with gypsy and klezmer sensibilities. A classically trained guitarist from Chicago, Ivanovic strummed his nylon stringed instrument with flamenco bravura while also forging tight, intricate unison lines with saxophonist Doug Rosenberg as bassist Matthew Ulery and drummer Michael Caskey set a furious pace. At times their odd-metered, blazing breakdowns recalled Ivo Paposov’s Bulgarian Wedding Band with strains of Middle Eastern flavor seeping into the mix. At its most serene, this unorthodox world music group resembled and instrumental version of the late-’60s acoustic group Pentangle, which brought a jazzy kind of verve to traditional British folk ballads while also blending in world music elements.

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