Throughout the season, Recital will be meeting with each of the artists of the CSA Performance Series and bringing you a brief profile of them and their work in the days before their opening performance. We will publish a considered review or a post-show discussion with the artists for each performance, developed from post-show discussions with a consistent panel of local experts in related disciplines. Additionally, Recital will slowly build a feature-length documentary investigating the CSA’s history and this current season’s performances.
For the second performance in the New Hazlett Theater’s CSA series, saxophonist John Petrucelli’s suite Presence melds classical music composition into his jazz practice with the assistance of an all-star crew of musicians. This meeting of a jazz quintet and a string quartet produces a beautiful and deeply engaging set of compositions, but while the playing is consistently on point with musicians admirably navigating tricky and heavily composed passages, there are few moments of true magic — that instant electricity that moves the crowd to inch forward in their seats or to raise their hands in applause for a solo.
It might be a matter of intention — and context. The CSA series has historically presented multi-disciplinary works, works that utilize the space in support of the work — site-specific or at least, site-responsive. Artists are implicitly asked to be intentional with the visual and aural elements in their work.