August 7th, 2017
Doors At 7. Music At 7:30pm
Percussionist Ben Hall will be performing three methodologies: Tympani (1/4 speed), Bass Drum (Breathing), Trapset, (Whole Note)
Photo by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET
Hall studied West African percussion with Jumma Santos and trapset and precognition with Milford Graves at Bennington College in Vermont where he also worked with Bill Dixon with whom he made his last small group recordings.
As a founding member of 1/4 speed jazz unit Graveyards with John Olson of Wolf Eyes he produced over 90 recordings on all media across 30 different labels. Graveyards worked in numerous formats regularly collaborating with Faruq Z. Bey, C. Spencer Yeh, Nate Wooley, and Greg Kelley and performed at the No Fun Festival, Open Circuit, and Michigan Progressive Underground.
Hall’s current working groups include: New Monuments (with Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus) and C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core)), Nate Wooley’s Large Ensemble Seven Storey Mountain, and Joe Morris’ Raven Trio (with fellow percussionist Andria Nicodemou.) and has recorded for Important, Troubleman Unlimited, Arbor, American Tapes, Bocian, WhatThe?, and Pleasure of the Text.
Hall has written about music for The Wire, in The BSC Manual on contemporary approaches to improvisation in Boston, and introducing John Olson's book Life Is a Ripoff. Hall is also the editor and founder of the website Baptizum which is a survey of Black-American Christian spiritual music & sermons from the 1930s to the 1980s and the largest internet resource of this period of music.
If anyone were to carry the torch of early John Stevens and New York Art Quartet-era Milford Graves, it would be this drummer. However, that’s not to say his connection to these historical methods of percussion is without a hard and fast contemporariness. Light, empathetic and constantly inventive, his insistent jabs and fluid time provided an arresting carpet for the clambering interplay.