The Flatlands Collective
Lilypad - Cambridge, MA
Thursday, December 4th
The Flatlands Collective is a group of Chicago musicians and the Boston-based Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra. I'm pretty sure that this was the first time I've ever seen Dijkstra live. I've certainly had plenty of opportunities to see him play, but for whatever reason, it never worked out until yesterday. Dijkstra impressed me more as a composer and bandleader than he did as a soloist last night. In his defense, the music was structured in a way that didn't give the musicians as much of a chance to stretch out as a normal free jazz unit and the ensemble had a tendency to drown out the soloists, which may have been due to the acoustics of the room.
I really like the sound that larger ensembles are able to produce and the pieces that I enjoyed the most at this show were the ones that really made use of the entire group, especially, the horn section. It was also great to hear Frank Rosaly play again, after being so impressed with his playing the last time I saw him. I felt he shined as an accompanist the last time, but this time, I was more impressed with his solos. He used a lot of dynamic and rhythmic contrasts, which gave his solos a real lyrical quality. I was most impressed with clarinetist James Falzone. I had never even heard of him before the show so I had no idea what to expect, but I was really blown away by both the quality of his phrasing and the consistency of his tone.
I really enjoyed some of the tunes the band played and some of them didn't do anything for me at all, there wasn't very much middle ground. Most of the time, however, it was a really good show.