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Live Review: 2nd October Revolution in Philadelphia

Four-day celebration of the jazz underground featured Oliver Lake, Annette Peacock, Brian Marsella, and more

L to R: Brian Marsella, Christian McBride, and Anwar Marshall at the October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, Philadelphia, Oct. 5, 2018
L to R: Brian Marsella, Christian McBride, and Anwar Marshall at the October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, Philadelphia, Oct. 5, 2018 (photo: Ken Weiss)

The idea of the avant-garde has always been built around the shock of the new, the unceasing urge to push further, reinvent, or question what’s come before. All of which can make it somewhat disconcerting to realize just how long some of our most challenging artists have been stretching those boundaries, and how many have been lost along the way.

That became particularly clear at this year’s second annual October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, which took place in Philadelphia over four days in early October. Presented by the Philly organization Ars Nova Workshop, the inventive festival takes its name from trumpeter Bill Dixon’s artist-driven 1964 fest—a reminder in itself of how long much of the underground has stayed underground.

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