Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Drummer Mark Collenburg at San Jose Winter Fest with Robert Glasper Experiment

This month celebrates The 3rd Annual San Jose Jazz Winter Fest, as they call it the "cool counterpart to the wildly popular Summer Fest" which happens each August.  It was a thrill for me last weekend to emcee the show for the Robert Glasper Experiment.  Featuring music from his Grammy winning release "Black Radio" pianist Robert Glasper is joined by bassist Derrick Hodge, Casey Benjamin on vocals/saxophones/synths, and playing the drums Mark Collenburg.  Playing the stuffing out of the drums!!!!!  His sense of syncopation is uncanny.  He dissects the beats to their core.  Technically he's pulling things off that are simply amazing.  His hands become a blur as he navigates his way around his drums.  It becomes so poly-rhythmic he's playing so much one could imagine Milford Graves, Sunny Murray and Andrew Cyrille all together on the bandstand at the same time.  However even as the music crosses so many musical boundaries it defies category, what Collenburg is doing is very funky(!) stuff, it's always in the pocket and the groove is always there.  Can't say I know much more about Mark other than Glasper's mentioning as he introduced the members of the band that he's from St. Louis.  What I do know is that Robert Glasper is taking the music to some thrilling places, and that Mark Collenburg is as exciting to hear play live as any drummer I've ever heard.

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