© - Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.
Bill Kirchner’s distinctive approach to Jazz became even more unique on October 7, 2014 when he was joined by pianist Carlton Holmes, bassist/vocalist Jim Ferguson and vocalist Holli Ross for “An Evening of Indigos.”
The music from this concert was released on October 16, 2015 on a An Evening of Indigos double CD [Jazzheads Records JH 1213].
The premise for this concert is contained in the following explanation:
"The mood at this remarkable concert was indeed indigo but far from monochromatic," remarks Dan Morgenstern in the package notes.
Kirchner also includes his own comments made at the New School that night in the program notes:
"Most concerts are, in a sense, variety shows. The standard idea in programming them is to come up with a multiplicity of tempos and moods, usually building to a climax. In this case, we're aiming to explore one mood, though in different facets. And to sustain that mood, we'll refrain from talking to the audience between songs. . . . Just let the music and emotions envelop you."
In essence Bill wrote seven originals, arranged six standards, and invited three of his musician friends to perform it with him in concert. What a bash that must have been.
Bill Kirchner’s music is compelling; it draws you in with its originality. By way of analogy, it’s like being in the hands of a master navigator as you explore the unchartered waters of the Amazon. Think “Jazz” instead of “Amazon” and you are ready to have Bill take your senses and soul on a voyage of discovery as he navigates the music into new and different sonorities and textures.
This is improvisational music such as you’ve never heard before: two hours of fun and adventure from the brilliant musical mind of Bill Kirchner and his well-chosen associates: Holli Ross, Jim Ferguson, and Carlton Holmes.
It’s impossible for me to improve on the insights, observations and words of praise from the many distinguished Jazz musicians, authors and other artists whose comments on the music from this concert make up a large part of the insert notes that are included with the double CD of the music.
So I thought it best to simply represent their comments “as is” within this posting along with other marketing materials that Bill sent along.
Acclaim from those who were there or who watched the video on YouTube:
"The mood at this remarkable concert was indeed Indigo but far from monochromatic.
There is much that could be said - about Bill's fine and varied compositions, the flawless work of his associates
but what lingers are the beautiful sounds he coaxed from his horn. I look forward to hearing them again!"
- Dan Morgenstern, author. Living With Jazz; NEA Jazz Master
"Achingly beautiful music by a great player and composer who proves that doing what you love can be done no matter what setbacks you face. An inspiration for all of us.”
- Marc Myers, JazzWax.com
“You are the warrior supreme.”
- Dave Liebman, saxophonist, composer, educator, NEA Jazz Master
"The concert is remarkable for its lyricism, musicianship, restraint, and the unity of the musicians. ....a concert of surpassing intimacy."
- Doug Ramsey, artsjournal.com/rifftides/
"When I heard of the concert of Bill Kirchner's music, I said to myself, 'I have to adjust my schedule so I can attend.' I am so happy I did, as the concert was a TOTAL joy to me. There were beautiful melodies, great emotion, and wonderful performances that took place on the New School stage. Bill has been having serious health issues over the past number of years, but he has not let that affect his composing, his performing, and his emotional projection. This concert was filled with surprises on the highest level. All the musicians taking part did a job that Bill has to be very happy with; they all performed their BUTTS OFF, all for Bill and the audience. Thank you, Bill Kirchner, for giving me a night to really remember."
- Jimmy Owens, trumpeter, composer, educator, NEA Jazz Master
"It doesn't get better than this. 'Since You Asked' is paralyzing."
- Marlyn Mason, actress/writer/filmmaker
"What a fantastic concert! The unity of mood, as you say, combined with an enchanting variety of musical and lyrical nuances, is unique. I've always appreciated Jim Ferguson, both as an instrumentalist and as a singer,
but his interpretations, here, touched me particularly: his 'Save Your Love For Me,' so different from the other versions I love (Etta Jones, Irene Reid with Oliver Nelson), and those marvelous songs of yours: 'Foolish Little Girl,' that has a deep
melancholy yearning a la Alec Wilder, and the adaptation of Yeats.
Your own playing is always so elegantly moving and profound and, I'm ashamed to admit it, I've just discovered here in Miss Holli one of the real contemporary interpreters."
- Luciano Federighi, musician/jazz writer
"Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is a beautiful document of what must have been amazing to behold in the flesh!
I can't imagine the collective thrill that your audience experienced. There were a number of moments when the sheer beauty of the sound was breathtaking. A rare treat to savor."
- Bill Bennett, jazz writer
"Thanks so much for making this real artistic and musical treasure available for us. The whole concert is touching and moving. And how the evening was sequenced is definitely a lesson from a master. Chapeau! as the French say! Perfect
interplay of all members of your group, i.e., the high artistry of how to listen. As a pianist I was especially fascinated by Carlton Holmes, whose touch and musical taste is another gem to listen to."
- Jurg Sommer, pianist/jazz writer
“You must have put an incredible amount of thought and preparation into it, and it shows. From the all-important choice musicians (who couldn't have been more sympatico) to the sequencing of the pieces, which couldn't have been any better.
The arc of the whole concert progresses beautifully, even though you're exploring the same pensive and lyrical mood throughout. It takes a lot of guts to reverse the usual 'variety' format of various moods and tempos and to ask that the audience partake of it as a whole, withholding any applause till the end (thus eliminating one of your pet peeves and mine - too much applause). Demanding this kind of attention span puts pressure squarely on the shoulders of the performers to create a spell and hold the audience, which you and the others clearly brought off."
- Steve Wallace, bassist/writer, wallacebass.com
"When Bill Kirchner enters with the theme, or variations on it, the tone of the evening becomes clearly set. There is drama in the lines: when building to a climax on changes, or at a turnaround, Bill invariably finds the expressive
color tone, and holds it for everything it's worth, projecting a very full and airy sound. Bill has developed a vocabulary that maximizes his sound, relying on careful note choices, vocal inflections, repetitive rhythmic patterns, and a grasp of the material that leads to good musical choices."
- Marc Steinberg, pianist
"Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it."
- Duke Ellington
"You can always simplify."
- Lee Konitz