Saturday, May 03, 2008

Graham Reynolds and Brannen Temple

I trekked down to the Long Center to catch Graham Reynolds and Brannen Temple perform as a duet. Unfortunately, I arrived about 15 minutes late to see them already at work. I estimate there were about 70 people in the audience.

The stage had an interesting layout with a Steinway Grand, 2 drum sets, a vibraphone, and assorted make shift percussion strewn in front of Brannen's kit. Both musicians moved very fluidly between the various "stations" during the show, which lasted approximately 75 minutes.

Some of the highlights ...

  • They began with a group of improvisations. Graham played a Steinway Grand, accompanied by Brannen on the traps. The songs all had great interplay between the piano and drums. One piece had a mutated "Trading eights" feel, without being cliche. Graham was playing in his very orchestral, Bartok-ish style with heavy use of left hand octaves and ostinatos.
  • They then switched positions on stage, so that Brannen was on Vibes and Graham was on his drum kit to perform one of Brannen's compositions. This was as an interesting change of pace, and the song presented had a completely different feel and texture.
  • Changing places again, Brannen performed a percussion solo on a collection of make shift instruments. The instruments consisted of things like barrels, propane tanks, and buckets. I distinctly remember the title of one piece being Boogie's Boogie, a dedication to his infant son.
  • The show finished up with Brannen on the percussion and Graham returning to the piano and ending with a variation on a theme by Lionel Ritchie, that would have fit right in with the rest of the Scanner Darkly soundtrack.

I really enjoyed this show, as well as my first venture inside of the Long Center. The music was great and the acoustics were fantastic.

My only criticism: the show was too short!

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