Jazz: Jen Shyu and Steve Coleman

Modern jazz is really interesting. I'm a jazz neophyte, but so far I have really enjoyed all of my encounters with its performance. I saw Jen Shyu for the first time in a year and a half (it was grrreat to see her!); she performed this evening with Steve Coleman and Five Elements at The Jazz Gallery (also playing was drummer Marcus Gilmore, who looked like he could be no older than 17 -- but he was really fantastic). I guess the evening could be best described as having "widened" my senses. I sat there in the little narrow performance space, and I could almost feel my senses expanding to encompass the complexity of the music, which seemed mildly avant gard compared to what I think of as traditional jazz. I loved the relentless tapping of percussive irregularity combined with regular rhythms, and Steve Coleman's sax playing was awesome. I thought the two brass players in the group couldn't quite keep up with his fluid precision and smooth licks. And it was nice to hear Jen use her voice as an instrument, buh-dab-buh-dabbing her way up and down tricky scales and arpeggios in unison with saxophone, trumpet, and trombone.

I tried a couple of good restaurants this week. Peter, Karine and I went to eat at the Harrison, which was fair (but not that great) for the price, and Pat and I went to Hearth last night, which was also only fair for its cost. It's too easy to spend a lot of money on mediocre food here in this city.[see some photos]