Beginning on March 7th, Minneapolis-bassed drummer and composer Dave King, a member of the renowned trio The Bad Plus, will play three consecutive nights at Brooklyn’s ShapeShifter Lab. During the residency—which will be presented by the improvised music non-profit Search & Restore—King will perform with five different groups, all of which accent different aspects of his musical life.
On the 7th, King will play with alto saxophonist Tim Berne—also a member of another one of King’s projects, Buffalo Collision—and the guitarist Ryan Ferreira. “Tim Berne was a very important musician for me and many others in my generation who wanted to compose original music for dedicated ensembles with an iconoclastic approach,” Kings says. “I have been fortunate to play with Tim in a number of settings over the years. Ryan, Tim and I have gotten together a few times in the last year and it has felt great, so I thought that this residency was a great opportunity to debut a new thing. Ryan is such a unique voice as well as a beautiful spirit. I immediately felt comfortable playing with him.”
Also on the 7th, King will play the first of two nights with his band The Dave King Trucking Company. Consisting of King’s Minneapolis colleagues—guitarist Erik Fratzke, tenor saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, bassist Adam Linz—along with New York-based tenor saxophonist Chris Speed, the Trucking Company is meant to highlight Midwestern aspects in King’s music. Of the group, King says, “I put this band together almost four years ago, and we have two records out on the Sunnyside label. This group focuses on original music, mostly of my own, with a sound that criss-crosses between old country blues and Midwest themes and the avant-garde with a little jazz thrown in.”
The following evening, along with a set by The Trucking Company, King will play with The Gang Font, with Greg Norton, formerly of the band Husker Dü. King says: “The Gang Font is a project that I put together with Erik Fratzke when we became associated with the bass player Greg Norton. Greg was a fan of The Bad Plus and we became friends. I’ve always thought that Husker Dü was one of the great bands of the genre, so we decided to join forces under the guise of Greg’s love for the avant garde, a punky spirit and our collective love of mathy improve.”
On the 9th, King will play duo with the Matt Mitchell, a pianist who plays in groups led by Tim Berne, Dave Douglas and John Hollenbeck. “Matt Mitchell is one of the great pianists of his generation and also one of the most unique.” says King. “His dedication to the music is unparalleled in my eyes, and his great energy and open ears are a valuable asset on the scene. He is also funny and humble. At ShapeShifter Lab, we will be playing the music from my duet record which we have only performed live twice before.” For the second set of that evening, King will play with a duo version of Golden Valley Is Now, which is a group comprised of himself and fellow Minnesota natives pianist Craig Taborn and bassist—and Bad Plus cohort—Reid Anderson. Golden Valley Is Now originally came together for a residency of King’s at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Of the trio, King says: “Reid and I grew up together in Golden Valley, Minnesota, with Craig Taborn, who cannot make the shows, so Reid and I will be debuting the world premier of the duet version of the band. Live electronics, drums, original songs and improvisation.”
For more information on Dave King, go to www.daveking.net.
Photo credit: Cameron Whittig